There’s nothing new in airlines offering luxury branded amenity kits filled with fancy big-name lotions and creams but in the last few years, we’ve seen a new war emerge between airlines – who can offer the best luxury branded bedding. American Airlines, for example, has collaborated with Casper, while United has teamed up with Saks Fifth Avenue and British Airways is working with British lifestyle brand, The White Company.
Air New Zealand, meanwhile has decided to take a slightly different approach, working with local footwear brand Allbirds to create…. an eye mask. We’re not quite sure how the two came to think of working on an eye mask but seeing that Allbirds specalises in making comfy footwear out of merino wool, it perhaps makes some sense.
The airline says the jointly developed eye mask, dubbed ‘the bird mask’ on account of its striking resemblance to its birdlike features, has been “intelligently designed” and promises to help passengers “sleep better and wake up fresh” – that’s quite a statement!
“The sensationally soft mask is made from sustainable, ZQ-certified New Zealand merino wool and castor bean oil-based foam,” says Air New Zealand. Further describing, the masks feature’s the airline’s PR team explained:
“The attention to design detail includes clever moulded eye indentations which allow for natural eye movement, while the quirky birdlike beak provides a comfortable seal against the face to completely block out light.”
Sadly, not many people are likely to get the chance to try out the new mask. It will only be available to Business Premier cabin on selected North American routes (including an onward flight to London Heathrow) throughout October. It’s not clear whether Air New Zealand plans to make make the bird mask available permanently.
Allbirds has been making a name for itself in the last couple of years as an innovative and sustainable footwear brand. The company has featured in the likes of Vogue and has attracted a loyal following for its simple merino wool-based footwear.
But surely a footwear brand and an airline aren’t natural partners? Well, Air New Zealand says both businesses take comfort seriously so really it was a pretty natural fit. As for Allbirds, they said they jumped at the chance to work with Air New Zealand. Maybe a pair of branded slippers will be coming to the airline’s business class cabin sometime soon as well.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.