ANA Downgrades First Class Amenity Kits To Samsonite

Filed Under: ANA

I’ve never been much for collecting material things, which might explain why I have a reasonably easy time living out of a carry-on full time.

However, one of the few exceptions are Rimowa amenity kits, which several airlines have offered premium cabin passengers over the years. They’re basically miniature Rimowa suitcases, though they each have the logos of their respective airlines on them.

ANA-Rimowa

Over the years I’ve collected several styles of Rimowa amenity kits from ANA, EVA Air, Lufthansa, and Thai Airways.

Unfortunately it looks like yet another airline has discontinued Rimowa amenity kits for the time being. ANA is now offering first class passengers Samsonite amenity kits on longhaul flights. ANA has offered Rimowa amenity kits on flights to Japan for years, while they offered (a different style of) Samsonite amenity kits on flights from Japan.

There are four styles of Samsonite amenity kits which will be available from hereon out, all intended to be miniature replicas of the Samsonite Cosmolite Luggage collection.

Samsonite-ANA

Ultimately I don’t think the quality of amenity kits materially alters the passenger experience, though at the same time my inner 12 year old does get excited when I board a flight where I know I’ll get a “cool” amenity kit.

I do find the Samsonite collection a bit odd, though. Samsonite isn’t exactly a luxury brand, so creating a collector’s set of amenity kits around a not-so-upmarket brand is a bit puzzling, in my opinion. Which isn’t to say the quality of Samsonite is that much worse than that of Rimowa, though in terms of branding that perception is definitely there.

Do you care about what kind of amenity kits an airline offers? Is it something which materially alters your experience as a passenger?

Comments

  1. Ben, Samsonite might not be as ‘up-market’ as Rimowa is, but I like their products (especially the Black Label and Cosmolite stuff!) so this makes me quite excited actually!

  2. What Diondi said. They’ve spent a lot of time and effort with Black Label, special stores – especially in Asia, and designer partnerships. It’s not Tumi yet, but it’s not your father’s Samsonite either.

  3. I love the current American retro liveries kits, hoping to collect them all. Otherwise not that bothered, useful for the flight but otherwise just more tat to accumulate!

  4. Actually, when I flew NRT-ORD last November, I didn’t get the black (fabric?) Samsonite kit; I got a Rimowa. It was black, not the silver blue that they give out on USA-NRT flights.

  5. Samsonite luggage is nice enough but it just isn’t iconic enough to make for an exciting/interesting amenity kit, as with the Rimowa suitcase or Delta’s Tumi “ballistic nylon” cases.

    It is also the slightest bit tacky for first class, since to me this amenity kit seems to say “we got paid some $$$ from Samsonite to hand these out so Samsonite could burnish its brand”, which is not really the message you want to send in a prestigious First Class cabin. Whereas kits by Rimowa or luxury cosmetic brands suggest “we paid a bunch of money for this luxurious product to share with you” (even if the true financial arrangement may well be more like what I described for Samsonite).

  6. Interesting, I didn’t realize they distinguished the kits based on the direction of the flight. I flew NRT-ORD in ANA First two weeks ago and received the metallic blue Rimowa case.

  7. I think that a nice amenity kit is a nice souvenir. I wouldnĀ“t base my airline choice solely on their amenity kit, but it can make a difference when choosing between two good products, like flying Eva instead of Asiana business class.
    I like the rimowa cases because they look great, but I think they are a few inches shorter of being useful. Hopefully the samsonite cases are a bit bigger. And after a few rimowa cases, itĀ“s nice to have other options.

  8. I never got the chance to collect the ANA version of Rimowa šŸ™ but I don’t think this is as a downgrade at all, and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind having other designs of amenity kits in your collection. And I have to agree with Carlos, I also love the rimowa cases because they look great, but they are a bit short of being useful ( I won’t be complaining if I continue getting them, haha).

  9. Super sad…my flight is in July…I guess I’ll be expecting Samsonite instead of Rimowa šŸ™

  10. Oh bummer, I got a NRT-SEA flight in Aug and was looking forward to a Rimowa kit. Oh well, hopefully I’ll still get one on the Thai BKK-NRT leg, or better yet a Tumi!

  11. I agree with Bgriff’s analysis.
    Samsonshite just not at the same level as Rimowa in terms of desireability

  12. Bummer. I’ve sold every ANA Rimowa kit I’ve collected on eBay for around $100 each, which comes close to covering the costs of collecting the miles for redeeming on ANA in the first place. I don’t think the Samsonite ones will have the same kind of market value.

  13. I probably have over a dozen Rimowa kits primarily on my flights with Thai and ANA. The last one I got was my flight on ANA from NRT-JFK last month. In addition to the Rimowa kits, I have tons of other kits from all my travels. I have a closet full of them. Just can’t seem to part with them. šŸ™‚

  14. no, Samsonite is better because it is an American brand. Oh, I forgot you are German too, maybe that’s why you love German rimowa better than American Samsonite

  15. I think airlines are missing out on a great opportunity to influence brand perception by overlooking amenity kits. They are relatively cheap compared to other things like $300/bottle champagne and massages in airport lounges, yet they are something you take with you after the flight and often remember for a long time. Maybe Ben, who travels a ton, doesn’t find them that memorable, but I think semi-frequent travelers (like me) often do.

    I will never forget the amenity kit I received on Cathay Pacific back in 1998, flying them in F from LAX to HKG. It was a beautiful leather (or maybe high-end vinyl) kit full of luxury products, including a razor handle that I still sometimes use 17 years later. It had a full bottle of Hermes cologne, too. Not that I used the cologne or cared for the smell, but it just felt special to receive this gift from the airline.

    I had a similar experience flying F on France around the same time and the kit was very nice. I recall that it was made of quilted fabric and had a panel that folded out with a mirror in it. I gave it to my mother and she loved it. I’m sure to this day that she probably thinks of AF as this uber-luxury airline solely based on that kit.

    I’m shocked at some of the crap I receive today, even among well-respected airlines like CX and EY. They spend so much on other types of bling that I’ve long forgotten, but cheaped out on the amenity kit that I take with me and put on a shelf and look at from time to time — or give to a friend or family member. I think it’s penny wise, pound foolish thinking that I would expect of a US carrier, yet has somehow infected foreign ones, as well.

  16. Wow, life just totally sucks sometimes. Oh well, I guess I’ll just continue with my re-used plastic bag that has worked for years. I hope the folks with me in economy can put up with my frugality, and not be judgmental of my complete lack of class.

  17. Samsonite is considered a luxury brand in many parts of the pacific rim.

    Sort of like Fosters….a “pricey import” here in the US while most Australians would tell you it is the worst of the worst.

  18. yeah I’m not sure that you’re on point with this one Coins… Samsonite might not be as high end as Rimowa, but it’s still considered a luxury brand in general. and that’s without even going into some of their high end product lines which seems to be the inspiration for this ANA case/kit.

    anyways, when does this switch take place? I think I might wanna squeeze a quick weekend trip across the pacific and back soon just for a last chance at the Rimowa kits.

  19. Switch made since 1 April. I am sure they must have some Rimowa left…. will see on my inbound flight into NRR which one I gets.

  20. Oh, and size wise, it is only slightly bigger than the Rimowa, feel similar, material wise. The Rimowa is slightly heavier and the plastic thicker, when its empty, the Rimowa does seems of a higher quality, mainly based on the weight and feels.

    Also, I think there is a slight change to the business class kit, mainly the colour of the bag.

  21. Lucky, Samsonite hard Curv bassed material suitcases are the best selling product in Europe. The product Samsonite has been making in the last few years is excellent. Here is a link to this line which is sold in most of the world excluding the US: http://www.samsonite.co.uk/lite-cube/

    I noticed LH now gives its business class passengers soft sided Samsonite amenity kits. So overall, Samsonite is trying too place its product more directly with airlines and in flights.

  22. NH didn’t offer Rimowa amenity kit for years, it was just a mere 2 years to be exact (2013/4–2015/3), you are probably confused with LH and TG. If NH had been offering Rimowa for years, you would have seen 10+ Rimowa colors like LH and TG had, NH only had 4 Rimowa colors for the duration. At the beginning, NH specified only flights to Japan has Rimowa, that is because NH’s Rimowa stock wasn’t big enough to supply both direction, at the time NH only had 1 color of Rimowa, which was light blue. Towards the end NH actually offer Rimowa for both directions when the supply increase, it had 4 different colors, light blue, dark blue, matte black, grey or matte grey.

    Regarding Samsonite not being up to par with Rimowa, yes it is true, but it is still better than what LH had replaced with Rimowa (In case you are not aware, LH had stopped Rimowa as well for a few months now). The current Samsonite hard case with NH is actually manufactured by the same supplier that made Rimowa, which is Formia.

    @ ray – Tumi only exist with TG for an extremely short period of time, when their Rimowa stock was out several years ago, you would not be able to find that now. If TG ever has shortage of Rimowa again, you will see the purple Porshe Design hard case C kit being replaced with.

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