Last night was another successful annual gathering of airline inflight product representatives, and suppliers of inflight amenity kits which Simon Ward, editor-in-chief and publisher of Travel Plus has organized every year since 2009.
While there to cover the awards, we bumped into James Huntly, creative eirector of brands of Honour, who spoke at this year’s Passenger Experience conference specifically about the importance of soft touches to further enhance the airline brand. Huntly believes that small touches, like cabin amenity kits, make a big impact on passengers. While far more expensive elements of the cabin get a lot of focus, and are important, Huntly feels that soft elements of the cabin experience, like meals and amenity kits, and especially service can make or break the investment made in seats and other fixtures.
Proof of Huntly’s opinion came instantly, when a frequent traveller tweeted to his followers to immediately follow the tweet trail from the Runway Girl Network announcing each award live.
There were many great nominees, and all of the kits were well thought out; providing comfort and even a touch of luxury to passengers to help them stay fresh and feel pampered. But, like any other award, there had to be winners and runners up. The full list of winners and nominees, with pictures of the featured products are to be found on the Travel Plus Awards Site. The awards are retrospective, so this year’s awards were 2013.
In the First Class category, the winners were Garuda Airlines for their Unisex Amenity Kit, Oman Air for their Male Amenity Kit, and Singapore Airlines for their Female Amenity Kit.
For Europe and Africa, Alitalia won Best Business Class Amenity Kit in both the Female Kit and Male Kit Categories.
Alessio Pracchia, who was present from Ferragamo Parfums SPA, felt proud of their award, and was especially happy as they also supply the Singapore First Class Female Amenity Kit.
The panel of judges for the awards are an impressive list of travel industry members and observers, frequent flyers, and style editors, all of whom know quite a lot about the importance of comfort and that little touch extra in the aircraft cabin.
- Susan Ward Davies – Travel & Lifestyle Director, ELLE magazine & elleuk.com,
- Stuart Singleton-White – Senior Manager Rainforest Alliance
- Paul Lawrence – Chief Underwriting Officer, Hiscox PLC
- Simon Lee – Head of Airline and Aerospace, Travelers Syndicate Management
- Tanya Lawrence – Leisure Traveler
- Dr Danny Sriskandarajah – Director General, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
- Stephen Banks – Director of Sales & Marketing Africa, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts Africa
- Chrissie Sunderland – Director & Ex BA First Class Cabin Crew
- Sam Thomas – Executive PA Investment Bank
- Catherine Brown – Leisure & Business Traveller Management Trainer & Training Consultant
- Heather Overy – Leisure Traveler
- Dr Martin Buttle – Senior Supply Chain Consultant, Made-By
- James Air – Associate Publisher, Travel Daily Media – UK & Middle East
The makers of these winning kits were all very honored by their prizes. Perhaps, one of the most touching and appropriate conclusions of the evening was when Crystal O’nellin, senior marketing & brand manager for Wessco International told Barker: “What you do, you know [organizing these awards] it really matters to the industry. It’s really important.”
With those words she echoed the sentiments of all present for the enjoyable evening that was.