Singapore Airlines: no plans for business class amenity kits, pyjamas

Singapore Airlines: no plans for business class amenity kits, pyjamas

Singapore Airlines is one of the relatively few premium international airlines not to hand out amenity kits for business class passengers. None of those little designer-branded bags packing with upscale skincare products – let alone pyjamas, for that matter.

Those are decisions which sometimes confound passenger expectations, but Singapore Airlines says it's all about spending money in the right places – and amenity kits and PJs don't fall into that box.

"I ask myself, 'Do I want to spend $6-8 million just on an amenity kit?"' poses Mr Tan Pee Teck, Singapore Airlines' Senior Vice President for Product & Services

"At last count, I think there were 38 airlines with business class that gave amenity kits (but) you can't really differentiate yourself through an amenity kit" Tan explains to Australian Business Traveller.

"And if you travel very often, this thing is just left behind. So we decided to pump the money into other things for business class, and just make sure that our bathroom is stocked properly."

SQ not losing sleep over lack of PJs

The same goes for pyjamas or 'sleep suits'. While de rigueur in first class, many airlines – among them Qantas, China Southern, Etihad and Qatar – also offer them to business class passengers during overnight flights.

But that's also a no-go area for Singapore Airlines, Tan reveals.

"We have a constraint in space (on board), and particularly if we were also to bring in sleeper suits we’d definitely need more storage – unless you’re giving it to them in the lounge, which is another logistical challenge."

For SQ, then, it's less about the 'bonus' of an amenity kit or pyjamas and more on the basics of the business class experience.

"Food and wine are more important aspects for us, and the experience in the lounge. Most other business class lounges tend to be quite ‘functional’ – it’s normally the first class one that’s a bit of a ‘wow’, but it’s getting more competitive, and people have choice – now more than ever" Tan adds with a nod towards the airline's new-look lounges, which are coming to its home hub of Singapore T3 in 2017

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41 Comments

  • Sesh

    Sesh

    28 Oct, 2015 01:33 pm

    Except that their lounges are mediocre, even the new look ones.  No comparison to the ones run by Cathay and Qantas. And the food is pretty average too

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    30 Oct, 2015 06:56 pm

    I thought their new LHR lounge was pretty good and their silverkris in changi t3 to be ok, but their MEL lounge is utter crap, but it's still the best star lounge in MEL.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar

    28 Oct, 2015 01:46 pm

    what 'works' for one airline, doesn't neccessarily work for others.. SIA does what works for the majority of its clientelle that matter to them ;)  same goes for other airlines

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    28 Oct, 2015 09:13 pm

    SQ's elitism rubs me up the wrong way. It shows in the profile of their clientele. I'm not sure it's the kind of people I would voluntarily associate with.

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  • petrhsr

    petrhsr

    29 Oct, 2015 10:28 am

    Perhaps you should stick to flying Tiger, so that your egalitarian sensibilities remain unoffended by those who are fortunate enough to be able to travel in the expensive forward cabins?

    I'm sure it's never occured to you that they might not voluntarily associate with you, either.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    29 Oct, 2015 10:32 am

    Petrhsr, your post is both off-topic and personally attacking another AusBT user. Please be reminded of our published comment policy and be aware that further comments along these lines will be deleted without notice.

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  • Yohy

    Yohy

    28 Oct, 2015 01:47 pm

    really an odd way to look at things - in reality by not providing the same level of service as other carriers in terms of amenities and things like lounges they simply reduce the perceived value of their product in the eyes of the consumer.

    in the past they may have gotten away with this through the  level of onboard service and F&B but that has really slipped of late in business.

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  • petrhsr

    petrhsr

    28 Oct, 2015 02:38 pm

    They seem to be focussed on getting premium passengers through the airport and onto the aircraft in the shortest possible time.  Perhaps they have figured-out that their biggest spending customers have better things to do than sit around for hours stuffing their faces with noodles and getting lashed on Clos de Mesnil?

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  • dommey

    dommey

    28 Oct, 2015 01:54 pm

    I think when people start paying 8000 - 9000 dollars business class airfare, people would start to look at finer things like better food and better service. These amenity kids and pjs aren't that expensive relative the airfare.

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  • russell

    russell

    28 Oct, 2015 02:37 pm

    I am not sure better food is that expensive relative to the airfare either. It really comes down to the real estate you are occupying on the aircraft that to some degree justifies the expense of the airfare. Probably cost the airline $30 max for a J class meal for instance.

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  • Tom Goddard

    TomGoddardd

    28 Oct, 2015 02:12 pm

    Why not?

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    28 Oct, 2015 02:49 pm

    I see the logic with respect to amenity kits. Frankly, the high end skincare products are things which are unnecessary and I only ever use the lip balm (and new planes have higher cabin pressure and humidity these days, reducing the necessity of even that), so keeping skincare products in the bathroom makes sense to me (although the drawback is that it does increase the time of the average lavatory use). That said, non-skincare parts of the amenity kit like a pen (for filling out forms), eyemask, sleep socks and earplugs (especially on older, louder airframes) are pretty important to me too. Perhaps SQ should just adopt for a simpler, bare-essentials amenity kit and keep the skincare stuff in the bathroom (maybe a chapstick in the amenity kit too).

    But the pajamas? They greatly improve the comfort of sleep, help the passenger feel cleaner (and keep their clothes cleaner), and on a carrier which flies some of the longest flights in the world I'd think that having PJs is a complete no-brainer. Come on SQ, if VA and Qantas can offer PJs, so can you.

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  • Peggy Hayes

    Pegasus

    28 Oct, 2015 03:56 pm

    Can't the FAs walk about with a trolley or basket offering single amenities? Then each PAX could choose which items they'd like, such as moisturiser, eye masks, ear plugs, toothbrush/paste, etc. They could do away with the expensive bags and packaging, although they could probably offer empty bags, as well.

    I never use all the stuff supplied and it seems like an awful waste of money and not particularly environment-friendly.

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  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    29 Oct, 2015 03:31 am

    JAL actually does this in Business Class. It does make sense for the frequent traveller but part of the fun (for me at least) flying partner carriers is taking back things from them not from my home carrier. So I guess I was a little disappointed they didn't have an amenity kit to speak of.

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  • Propofol88

    Propofol88

    28 Oct, 2015 03:52 pm

    The amenity kit and pjs don't really sway my decision to fly one carrier over another. The amenity kit I collect all end up in a shelf in my walk-in closet, generally unused. The pjs I find more useful as it's more comfortable to wear in-flight and allows your clothes to remain fresh and less crinkled when you arrive at your destination. Furthermore, I enjoy wearing them at home too!

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  • James Wong

    Carebear

    28 Oct, 2015 04:07 pm

    Almost every airline give amenity kits EK been the best. People see these as a reminder of the flight and airlines is bit like free advertising. Sending it right to the traveller home. Is so wired SQ answer in such a big headed way. I have a room full of these they are a nice collections from other airlines. 

    Perhaps they should cancelled for first class then? Why they give for suit or first class! 

    If you use this logic why get any free slippers, socks, eye mask. ? I just travelled on J SQ business. 

    Why sq   Waste millions on tv or bill board advertising? Everyone knows Singapore girls. 

    Anyone else think the same. 

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  • sumayya

    sumayya

    6 Nov, 2015 05:06 pm

    Totally agree with James. If thats how SQ thinks then let them cancel for first as well.

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  • jet_setter

    jet_setter

    28 Oct, 2015 05:22 pm

    Understandable to not provide PJ's in J but no amenity kits?!! really??

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  • CityRail

    CityRail

    28 Oct, 2015 10:16 pm

    Wait. Aren't amenity kits are being handed out on Singapore AIrlines Economy and Premium Economy Class for all overnight Australian service?

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  • eminere

    eminere

    29 Oct, 2015 12:05 pm

    Those aren't really amenity kits in the usual sense of the term as applied to the premium cabins. More like comfort packs for the masses.

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  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    30 Oct, 2015 08:53 pm

    But how much are they paying to Givenchy for these. Surely an SQ branded kit would suffice for the lower cabins?

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  • Bizflyer

    Bizflyer

    29 Oct, 2015 12:17 am

    It is a shame they dont give out any PJ's in J but I am very fortunat to be part of solitare club so as a general rule I can get the PJ's. 

    The amenity kit is a missing factor but the bathroom is very well stocked so they cancel each other out 

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  • AB__CD

    AB__CD

    29 Oct, 2015 01:54 am

    Disappointing that SQ doesn't have kits in J given that even Air France gives me an amenity kit (tho no pjs) on the 1 hour hop between CGK and SIN in PE, but it's not that big a deal.

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  • eminere

    eminere

    29 Oct, 2015 12:04 pm

    This completely flies in the face of SQ priding themselves on being a carrier of distinction.

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  • marlo

    marlo

    30 Oct, 2015 03:35 pm

    I am flying with them in january for the first time. Flying from Brisbane you get the old angled seats and now I find that there are also no amenity packs, I presume that there are toothbrushes etc to be had in the bathrooms, and no PJs on the overnight flight. I always change into the PJs as I like to arrive feeling neat and tidy and not all crushed. Means I need to take more on board with me. This was an opportunity to maybe woo me from Qantas but sounds like Qantas is safe.

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  • Peter Riddell

    Pericon9

    30 Oct, 2015 06:03 pm

    Would recommend you go back to QF.  The SQ, J product is made up of wonderful and efficient yet dispassionate service with uncomfortable hardware.

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    30 Oct, 2015 03:42 pm

    EK dont provide amenity kits during daytime flights. Fly with them on 7am flight PVG-DXB and no kit, which is silly seeing that you are up at 4am to get to PVG airport, and then if the connection is another long haul during the day you still get one.

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  • Matthew Holden

    MGHolden

    30 Oct, 2015 04:38 pm

    I think this a great example of Singapore Airlines who 'don't get it'.  Mr Tan Pee Teck comment focuses purely on the consumed experience.  What SIA foolishly forgets is one of the most important elements of Services Marketing; the ability to tangiibise the intangible. Most of us road warriors and our families can always fondly remember a trip or experience when having those old ammenity kits around home.  Singapore Airlines? Great experience but they are quickly forget when you walk off their aircraft.

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  • Peter Riddell

    Pericon9

    30 Oct, 2015 06:00 pm

    Really longed for a little bit of luxury on a midnight flight out of Mumbai back to Melbourne. Coupled with the fact their "bed" was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've had, it was money wasted.  Being pinned down to the bed by the massive belt that held me in place rather than a slack seat belt was horrible.  No sleep = a very disappointing experience.  Having a seat wide enough to fit two of us is no trade off for a good night's sleep.

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  • Peter Riddell

    Pericon9

    30 Oct, 2015 06:07 pm

    And on the Mumbai midnight departure, they could have saved bucket loads in serving us a full, 3-4 course meal at midnight when all we wanted was a few pieces of fruit and some peppermint tea to relax.  Seriously, why even include a huge meal when breakfast at the other end would have been a better idea.

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  • goldys

    goldys

    30 Oct, 2015 06:23 pm

    Having just travelled Singapore airlines business class i cannot agree with the reasons to do away with amenity packs and pyjamas.

    Was the food better-No

    Were there adequate amenities in the toilet Eg toothbrushes-NO

    Mr Tan Pee Teck, you are wrong, the food is no better, the service is no better.

    In fact talking to other passengers the experience was worse.

    We the customer are not fooled-you have done away with these extras to save money-nothing else

     

    For me it is back to Qantas and other airlines that care about business class passengers

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    30 Oct, 2015 06:54 pm

    see the thing is that their Business class was at it's peak when the A380 first came out in 2007 and before the GFC.  Ever since then the cost cutting has been slow and gradual, maybe not evident if you compare a flight this year with one last year, but if you comapre the experience to 7+ years ago then it's quite noticable.

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  • James Wong

    Carebear

    30 Oct, 2015 07:34 pm

    Also the business class product is too different for SQ dependent on the aircraft like A380 and A330 this is Disappointing. The price of the ticket is the same. 

    Does Mr Tan notice that? Or he feels is no different? 

    I think no amity kit is simply wrong for business for what ever reason. 

     

     

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  • marlo

    marlo

    30 Oct, 2015 11:01 pm

    Can someone please advise if I have to pack my toothbrush and travel toothpaste, can not believe I am even having to ask this question on a business class flight but I hate not brushing my teeth

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    31 Oct, 2015 09:10 am

    I always pack one just to be safe, but of the four Singapore Airlines business class flights I've taken this month, all had the dental kits available in the bathroom.

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    31 Oct, 2015 01:12 pm

    even economy class pax get given packs with toothbrush, toothpaste and socks

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  • goldys

    goldys

    31 Oct, 2015 07:52 am

    Pack your toothbrush as the flights I was on only had enough for half the business class passengers

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    31 Oct, 2015 09:06 am

    The lack of PJ's on SQ does absolutely annoy me because I often forget to pack a pair in my carry-on.  It's no fun rushing from a meeting in Singapore to an overnight flight and realising you'll be sleeping in your suit trousers and undershirt :-(

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  • Andrewg

    Andrewg

    2 Nov, 2015 11:47 am

    I travel to Asia 10-15 times a year. My preferred airline is SQ and I usually fly Business class (sometimes first class). I'm also a PPS member.

    I really don't care about the amenity kit.

    Having flown business and first class on many airlines, I am very happy with the SQ business service. On board the staff are friendly, food is reasonable, drink selection is ok and the seats are comfortable.

    The lounges at Changi are pretty good. But I agree with other comments that the Melbourne SQ lounge is very ordinary. But better than the SQ lounge in Beijing (THERE ISN'T ONE).

    As a somewhat frequent flyer having somewhere quiet to do some work, relax or call home is pretty important to me.

    When I plan to sleep on board I pack tracksuit pants. It's really not that hard.  And the bathroom on board has toothbrushes etc.

    The $6-8m savings from not supplying business amenity kits and PJs should be spent on sorting out a better network of lounges in airports where SQ doesn't have their own, and fixing the sub-standard lounges like the one at Melbourne Airport.

    And @TheRealBabushka, I don't really know what "SQ elitism" you are referring to. My friends and I never discuss which part of the plane we sit in. None of us really care. I select SQ because it offers good service at a good price (compared to most other airlines offering a similar service to the destinations I'm going to). I select business class because I fly a lot for work and I can justify it.

    I don't think that is elitism. For me it's about being prepared to pay for extra comfort (and being fortunate enough to be able to).

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  • goldys

    goldys

    2 Nov, 2015 04:04 pm

    Andrewg obviously an employee of SQ

    Nothing has improved-in fact food is worse and service bad,

    The A330 bed when down-you are actually sleeping on the floor and not flat bed

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  • kikoenaivoice

    kikoenaivoice

    3 Nov, 2015 12:45 pm

    For me the pouches and cases come quite handy to put all the essentials in one place for subsequent travels. For example in one of the pouch I will put all the cords and charger necessary for my laptop or a battery pack with the cords for those airports not fitted with readily available powerpoints.

    I recently flew Turkish Airline long haul (SIN-IST) in economy nonetheless. The Economy amenity kit wins over SQ business "amenity" pouch handsdown. (TK had slipper, socks, ear plugs, lip balm, toothbrush in a niche Chopard zip bag).

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