American will offer 'Heritage' amenity kits from airlines like TWA

American Airlines is going retro. 

The carrier announced today it will introduce nine limited edition amenity kits this year in premium cabins, each  highlighting a different historic airline. American and its predecessors have been a part of a bunch of mergers over the decades, and these kits will pay homage to several defunct carriers. (There is one exception: One kit will simply honor American Airlines.)

Every four months for the next year, American will release three new kits. These carriers will be celebrated:

  • American Airlines
  • AirCal
  • Allegheny
  • America West
  • Piedmont
  • PSA
  • Reno Air
  • Trans World Airways
  •  US Airways

Not all of these airlines were so popular while they were around, and I suspect some of them never gave out amenity kits to passengers. (Reno Air, I'm looking at you.) But I suppose American is nonetheless banking on the nostalgia factor. American has already painted some aircraft in historic liveries, a tradition started by US Airways. 

Before US Airways merged with American, it honored its predecessors by painting airplanes in their logos. These 'heritage liveries' remain, but they now say 'American.'  Photo: Cubbie_n_Vegas. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Before US Airways merged with American, it honored its predecessors by painting airplanes in their logos. These 'heritage liveries' remain, but they now say 'American.'  Photo: Cubbie_n_Vegas. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Passengers will receive the special kits in first and business class on long-haul international flights. First class passengers will get slightly nicer amenities. 

The kits will have the usual junk, including socks, eye masks, ear plugs, tooth brushes, hand lotion and lip balm. "They are contained in a stylish, felt case inspired by designer bags, sized specifically to be re-used as a mini-tablet computer case," American says in a release.

If you don't fly a lot in a lot of premium cabins, fear not. I believe American is going to send me a kit. If it does, I'll give it away here on the blog. Watch this space for details. 

Also, American made two other premium cabins announcements. It said it will now give amenity kits to business class passengers between New York and San Francisco and New York and Los Angeles. And the airline said it is upgrading the pajamas given to international first class passengers. Those passengers also will receive slippers.   

As for the amenity kits, airlines seem to be willing to have more fun with them. United, which is now giving away city-themed kits, will offer a PGA Tour one in April.