What do do with your amenity kits

You've probably got all of this in your carry-on bag already…

Long haul First and Business Class flights usually come with an amenity kit – a cute case with toiletries and things you might need while on-board. The first time I ever flew First was back around 2000 when a points broker friend got us onto the old legendary Lufthansa First (the one with the fresh-cut rose in your seat's integrated bud vase!). I saved the amenity kit from that flight for years!

When I finally took my second trip in the front of the plane nearly a decade later, I saved that kit too because it was cool and shiny and reminded me of my trip! Well, if you get good at the points game and don't control your hoarding instincts you can end up with a ton of these things. (Yes, I realize this is quite possibly the most first world problem on earth).

Here are some things you can do with them:


0. Leave them on the plane, preferably unopened

If they're still sealed, the airline can just reuse them. You've probably already got your own preferred brand of all of those things in your carry on bag anyway. If the kit's been opened or used in any way, any recycling they'll do is a lot more complicated. Also, I've seen folks in coach snag abandoned amenity kits on their way off the plane, so I suppose that's a kind of recycling, too. Some airlines actually repurpose them for disaster relief organizations.


1. Donate them

I'd heard lots of folks talk about donating them to homeless shelters, but as someone who's worked in the nonprofit sector for over a decade, I'm really sensitive to only donating things that organizations actually need. After much emailing and calling, I found that Grand Central Neighborhood Services in Manhattan can use them, so I donated a big box of mine there. If you're not in NYC and are looking at a local place to donate, do everyone a favor and call or email them first to make sure they can use them.


2. Sell them on eBay

Yes, believe it or not, there are aviation geeks/hoarders out there who will buy your kits off of you. I sold a few just to see how the process worked and I can say with some degree of certainty that the Rimowa hard-sided cases (like the ones used by ANA First and EVA Business) are the most in demand. The few I sold went for $30 – $50 each. Many of the domestic ones didn't sell at all. As with item 0 on this list, sealed and unopened is critical to fetching a good price.

If you're going to sell one, this is your best bet.

This one, not so much.

3. Re-purpose them

They make great cases for school supplies, charging cables, cameras, smartphones, etc.


4. Give them as gifts

But man you've gotta be careful about this one. It's really easy to look like a mega-douche giving one of these without some careful forethought.


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