Amenity kits

Souvenir Sunday: mouthwash tabs for travelers

On Souvenir Sunday we celebrate inexpensive, offbeat and/or locally-themed souvenirs you can buy when you’re Stuck at The Airport.

This week, we’re focusing on a curious-but-cool and very inexpensive “invention” that arrived in my mailbox that may just find a spot in my travel amenity kit.

These Listerine Ready! Tabs, are zero alcohol, sugar free, tablets that somehow change from solid to liquid when you chew them so you can freshen up with a bit of safe-to-swallow mouthwwash on the go.

They’re a step beyond those ‘breath strips’ that were all the rage for a bit (and I notice are still for sale, and now come in cinnamon). But these tabs seem to be more serious and ‘robust’ and might come in handy after those long flights when the line to the airplane bathroom is long and you really just need to make sure you don’t overwhelm your seatmate with your morning breath.

Would you use this?

*I’m on a fair number of press mailing lists and things (sometimes related to travel, sometimes not; sometimes chocolate, sometimes not) show up in my mailbox. I share the more interesting items in an occasional “Would you use this?” post and store some items away to use a ‘prizes’ for readers who send along story tips or photos of great Souvenir Sunday items found on the road.

Travel Tidbits: from United and JetBlue

United Airlines will open its Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (at Gate  G92) on April 30 to passengers traveling in the premium cabin travel.

The two-level, 28,000 square foot lounge has 440 seats, 492 power outlets and USB ports, 5 daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, 8 shower suites, valets who will steam garments for you, a bistro-like buffet and a restaurant-style dining area.

At the bar, they’ll be serving cocktails inspired by the Bay Area including, says United, the Mai Tai, invented in Oakland in 1944, and the Pisco Punch, “featuring pisco which became all the rage during the California Gold Rush of 1849.”

Not flying through SFO? In addition to this new lounge and the existing one at Chicago O’Hare, United will open Polaris lounges at Newark Liberty International Airport in early June, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston this summer and at Los Angeles International Airport this fall.

United also introduced some food and beverage upgrades for passengers on board.

Starting May 1, pasengers can purchase egg and chicken chorizo tacos (breakfast/$8.99) and barbecue chicken sandwiches (lunch/dinner; $9.99) from the inflight menu and some interesting new beers and ales, including Lagunitas Sumpin’ Easy Ale, New Belgium’s Citradelic Tangerine IPA and, this summer,  Belgian pilsner Stella Artois ($7.99 each). 

For those flying on JetBlue’s Mint flights, be sure to open and take home the limited-edition amenity kit.

In addition to a keeper pair of SuperSoft socks from Basic Outfitters, the kit includes a toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, screen wipe, pen, earplugs and pillow pack, and a Hudson Made New York trio of lip salve, facial mist and hand cream – all tucked in a Hayward and Hopper collaboratively designed travel bag inspired by Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward’s Los Angeles home circa 1963.


Souvenir Sunday: 747-themed amenity kits on United

United Airlines is going to retire its Boeing 747 fleet on November 7 and to mark the occasion the airline is giving out 747-themed Polaris amenity kits starting Monday, October 23, through January 2018.

Silver kits go to first class customers, while blue kits will be handed out to business class fliers. In addition to the usual amenity kit items, each kit contains a pack of five 747 trading cards, so you can swap with your friends.

Passengers on United’s premium transcontinetnal routes (EWR-SFO, EWR-LAX, BOS-SFO) will receive (smaller, but just as charming) commemorative kits as well.


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Amenity kit after-use

I was thinking about using the amenity kit I received during my 787 Dreamliner flight on KLM from Seattle to Amsterdam as a fashionable clutch.

Designed by Jan Taminiau, the bag is a nice red color and big enough to hold a cellphone and a few other items. But when I got to my hotel room – the lovely Conservatorium Hotel – I found that the bag also came in handy when I needed to prop up my computer cable so that it stayed connected to the adapter in the wall.

Pleased with myself, I sent out a Tweet to show off how handy I am.

Only to get this message demonstrating a tastier adapter solution:

So now I’m making a collection.. if you’ve got a creative solution for hooking up your computer cables when on the road, please take a snap and send it along.

United Airlines amenity kits celebrate Rio 2016 Olympic Games

United Airlines Olympics Amenity Kit First


From June through September, United Global First, United Business First passengers on long haul flights and P.S. Premium Service passengers on transcontinental flights will receive amenity kits celebrating the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Global First and BusinessFirst passengers will get their kits in a rounded fuselage-shaped tin that lifts open to reveal a themed eye mask and pair of socks, a toothbrush, a good-sized (0.85 oz) tube of toothpaste, a tiny packet of tissues, a comb, a pen earplugs, mints, toothpick/flosser, a selection of Cowshed moisturizing products and – a sign of the times – four tiny packets of hand sanitizer.



United amenities kit PS

The P.s. Premium Service kit is a rectangular tin with eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, Cowshed lip balm and two tiny packets of hand santizer.