Darren Booth (Frequently Flying) Memorial Amenity Kit Giveaway

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Darren Booth, author of Frequently Flying, passed away on January 4th. Final Flight Farewell is a loving post from this parents, with fans contributing their memories of Darren.

I remember first encountering Darren’s amenity kit reviews with the reaction, “Amenity kits? Who cares?” A great deal of people do, it turns out. As I followed Darren’s exploits, I too began to care and see airplanes and airlines as more than a means to get from A to B.

Without its pilot, the blog will be discontinued but should not be lost. There is much of value to the frequent flyer.

So, I ask you, the reader, to comment on a favorite post from Frequently Flying, including the link in the comment and why you chose it, so that other readers can find more of Darren’s gems. Make an effort to go back through the archives and I am sure you will learn and enjoy.

For every 20 eligible, unique comments, up to 200, I will give away an amenity kit from my personal reserve, up to a total of 10 amenity kits.

Of course there will be an United amenity kit, as Darren’s primary airline, and others may include Delta Tumi, China Eastern Ferragamo, and maybe some surprises. I will assign them to winners at random.

China Eastern Ferragamo Amenity Kit

Comments must be posted by Saturday, January 11 at 11:59 PM EST. Potential winners will be drawn at random from all comments, will be posted here and notified by email by Sunday, January 12 at 11:59 PM EST, and accept by Saturday, January 118 at 11:59 PM EST. Available to US entrants/addresses only.

Thank you, Darren for sharing yourself with us, this seat’s saved for you.
UA 787 04

And the luck of the draw goes to:

#6, Simon, who recommended:

Amenity Kit Giveaway 07Jan14 A

Amenity Kit Review: Thai Airways Royal First Class – Men’s Tumi (2012)

Tumi amenity kit review. I love Tumi products!

#22, Samuel, who recommended:

Amenity Kit Giveaway 07Jan14 B

The Cost and Allure of Airline Amenity Kits

An interesting post about amenity kits from a business (cost) perspective.

#44, Henry, who also recommended Thai Tumi:

Amenity Kit Giveaway 07Jan14 C

RIP Darren

Thank you for creating a niche for amenity kits. His post below made Thai First an aspirational award for me:

Amenity Kit Review: Thai Airways Royal First Class – Men’s Tumi (2012)

May you enjoy your eternal window seat

Thank you all for your tributes to Darren.

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Yiye
Yiye
7 years ago

Darren will be missed by us… I particularly enjoy his “Confessions of an elite status junkie” installments, which is thought-provoking (at least) to me.
Link’s below:
http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/08/23/confessions-of-an-elite-status-junkie-part-one/

Sharon Booth
Sharon Booth
7 years ago

Our son, Darren, would love your tribute and giveaway, what a precious memorial to him. If you and Flyertalk and others could get the word out, we will be sending to BoardingArea Darren’s collection of kits as well as his many flight mementos, for the April event in Seattle, and proceeds will go to Darren’s charity, which we are still sorting out. His second passion was animals, so probably in that regard. Thank you, Stefan, and to absolutely everyone, for your special kindnesses. We will be making a scrapbook of Darren’s travel passion and all the comments that came in… Read more »

Mon
Mon
7 years ago

Beautiful tribute and a great way to celebrate Darren’s contribution. My favorite post was his top 10 amenity kit list because it consolidated all the kits (and travels) I have yet to pursue .

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/11/04/top-10-amenity-kit-reviews-plus-a-new-index-page/

Lisa
Lisa
7 years ago
James
7 years ago

I’m really gonna miss him. He was such a genuine guy and I enjoyed our twitter chats. My favorite all time kit review of his was definitely Air Astana. We both had a good laugh at that because we were “Air who???” Lol. Who knew. He did, apparently.

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/09/16/amenity-kit-review-air-astana-long-haul-business-class-mens/

tiffany l
tiffany l
7 years ago

i didn’t know darren personally, but his love for travel really came through in his blog posts. RIP.

i liked this review of a rimowa amenity kit–i could finally see what everyone was always raving about! http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2011/10/17/amenity-kit-review-thai-airways-royal-first-class-summer-2011/

Jo
Jo
7 years ago

One of the good guys…

Mae
Mae
7 years ago

He will be greatly missed. His blog (as does yours) covered a different aspect of flying vs the rest of Boarding Area’s blog and made details interesting. It was refreshing to not read so much about credit cards and the lot. Some of his posts were minute details but fascinating…vintage seat maps! http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/03/27/the-cost-and-allure-of-airline-amenity-kits/. Being detailed oriented and always counting costs-I loved the information. I wish it was longer! http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/08/27/confessions-of-an-elite-status-junkie-part-two/ I loved that he posted his passport picture-his first one at that! It was nice to see the personal side of him. You tend to see a guarded and anonymous side… Read more »

alexism
alexism
7 years ago

I liked the blog quite a bit and am saddened by Darren’s passing. The review I liked best his review of a CX first kit (I was so excited when i got mine that I have to this day):

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/02/23/amenity-kit-review-cathay-pacific-first-class-women%E2%80%99s-kit-summer-2011/

greg z
greg z
7 years ago

I always liked the first kit reviews best. Gave me something to aspire to (the flight too I guess). If I had to pick one, it would be the first I read:

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/09/04/amenity-kit-review-thai-airways-royal-first-class-%E2%80%93-men%E2%80%99s-tumi-2012/

Thanks for all the great times, you’ll be missed!

Jim F.
Jim F.
7 years ago

After comparing Darren’s reviews of the new AA and US kits, my hope (as a newbie international premium class passenger in May) is that the “New American” goes with the prior American kit reviewed here: http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/03/17/amenity-kit-review-american-airlines-business-class-%E2%80%93-eames-case/

Stuart
Stuart
7 years ago

RIP Darren, was looking at this review because I’m going on a US Air Flight this weekend and it made me sad that I’ll never see a review from Darren again:
http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/07/29/amenity-kit-review-us-airways-envoy-business-class/

jim
jim
7 years ago

My favorite post by DB was always his Top 10 list of amenity kits, because he gave such a detailed breakdown of his way of calculating the score. DB you will be missed!

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/11/04/top-10-amenity-kit-reviews-plus-a-new-index-page/

Henry
Henry
7 years ago

RIP Darren

Thank you for creating a niche for amenity kits. His post below made Thai First an aspirational award for me:

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/09/04/amenity-kit-review-thai-airways-royal-first-class-%E2%80%93-men%E2%80%99s-tumi-2012/

May you enjoy your eternal window seat

Joey
Joey
7 years ago

What a beautiful and touching tribute, Stefan! Below are my favorite blog entries of Darren:

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/02/26/buh-bye-upgrade-phobia-rediscovering-the-joy-of-coach-travel/

I love his quote “Chasing the high of earning top-tier status and getting upgrades these past few years has really suppressed some of my natural joy.”
I’ve never met Darren but from this quote alone, I like him already simply since we both share the natural joy of flying, regardless of which seat we sit on. I think it’s also one of the reasons why I read your blog since you plan by destination even if it means you’ll have to fly economy.

Ket
Ket
7 years ago

I just wanna say it is very nice of you to give away amenity kits in memory of Darren Booth. Warms my heart in this very cold weather in the NE. 🙂

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/about/

I just stumbled upon this blog tonight and LOVE it. I’m very sorry he passed at such a young age. Reading his blog introduction makes me feel like my dream of traveling the skies really isn’t that absurd, and may just help me pursue my passion. Even after his passing, he is making change and will continue to, I’m sure.

Bless his resting soul. Maybe we’ll see him in the skies some day.

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

I just stumbled upon this blog tonight and LOVE it. I’m very sorry he passed at such a young age. Reading his blog introduction makes me feel like my dream of traveling the skies really isn’t that absurd, and may just help me pursue my passion. Even after his passing, he is making change and will continue to, I’m sure.

Bless his resting soul. Maybe we’ll see him in the skies some day.

Kittt Katz
Kittt Katz
7 years ago

Darren was a generous giver of information and a generous amswerer of emails. I was shocked when I read the news this morning. I had just flown on united and the person next to me left a biz amenity kit from a soviet air line. I
thought he might be amused so I packed it up to send it to him but I procrastinated in finding out his address. He taught me a lesson. Even though I never met him Or heard his voice I feel An immense loss.

Shannon
Shannon
7 years ago

Darren is such a nice and warm person. He always answers my question promptly by email or tweet. He never ignores my comments like a lot of bloggers do. I am also a big fan of his unique amenity kit review s. You will be missed! Thanks Stefan to let us know this sad news.

David
David
7 years ago

Very sad news for his family. Nice tribute by you, Stefan.

I really enjoyed the following post by Darren about flying coach because I always fly coach. We’re a family of four so I highly value every mile/point I get.

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/02/26/buh-bye-upgrade-phobia-rediscovering-the-joy-of-coach-travel/

This is some of what he wrote:

“Flying is awesome and it, in and of itself, is what I love to do.”

“If I get an upgrade, great. And if not, simply love the experience of flying.”

Derek
Derek
7 years ago

I always loved the vintage seat maps and detailed descriptions, so my choice is that of my favorite plane, the 747SP.

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2011/08/15/vintage-airline-seat-map-united-airlines-boeing-747-sp-special-performance/

Kaye
Kaye
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2011/08/15/vintage-airline-seat-map-united-airlines-boeing-747-sp-special-performance/

The first post I read of Darren’s. This vintage seat map (a favorite feature) made me feel nostalgic of flying in old-school planes.

Ted
Ted
7 years ago
Jansen
Jansen
7 years ago

I too like to collect amenity kits. http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2011/07/18/amenity-kit-review-british-airways-first-class-spring-2011/ Like Darren says, anything BA, exudes class and style/taste.

DavidB
DavidB
7 years ago

As an amenity kit addict I read Darren’s posts about these things to know what to be on the look-out for on my own travels. Who knows exactly why, but maybe they held a bit of the “gift at Christmas or birthday” aura about them…expected but the contents were always a bit of a surprise. Will miss these reports. But suppose my favourite post was actually one of his last, an homage to those luxurious “Barcko-lounger” style C-seats on UA’s now departed PS 757s. I hate UA’s “new” C seat (the ones on the ex-UA planes) but fondly recall a… Read more »

airshadow
airshadow
7 years ago

I liked his recent vintage seat map post of an American Eagle Shorts 360 – I found myself Googling images of the aircraft because I thought it was cool looking. http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/11/29/vintage-airline-seat-map-american-eagle-shorts-360/
RIP Darren

mowogo
mowogo
7 years ago

Honestly, my favorite post was his top 10 ranking of the amenity kits. While the total list is great, seeing the specific best ones at the top makes me really wish I had all of them listed (some of the others reviewed, not so much) http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/11/04/top-10-amenity-kit-reviews-plus-a-new-index-page/

BOShappyflyer
BOShappyflyer
7 years ago

Thank you for a tribute to Darren. I don’t know Darren personally but I enjoyed his blog, so I was really shocked and deeply saddened to learn about his passing. He seems like such a kind and sweet guy. May he rest in peace and I wish his family some comfort during this very difficult time. That said, one of my favorite Darren’s post is — ironically — not an amenity post, but this one: http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/05/27/captured-the-embarrassing-photo-of-me-on-my-first-flight-ever/ I love this one because it showed a different (more personal) side of him and his family (not something that one take lightly when… Read more »

trackback

[…] We lost Darren Booth, Boarding Area blogger at Frequently Flying. Here is the comment I left at the classy short blog post announcing his passing by his parents. RIP Darren, you have no idea how much you will be missed, your passion for all things flying was so evident! Rapid Travel Chai has a nice tribute and (what else?) an amenity kit contest. […]

Kelly M
Kelly M
7 years ago
Bruce
Bruce
7 years ago

I’m am so sorry!!!! He was a wonderful person in this goofy community of frequent flyer lunatics and will be greatly missed. I thought his blurb on “Spongebob Squarepants” backpacks and comfort kits on Nov. 27…spoke to the little kids in all of us. Willing to grow old…not willing to grow up!!! We are all…just passing thru…i will live this day…as if it is my last…Carpe Diem!!!!!

Jonny
Jonny
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/10/15/amenity-kit-review-united-airlines-global-first-–-2012/

Kit review of united airlines. Flying for the first time in first class (united) this spring and have been reading every detail of my trip that I can to get ready.

cy
cy
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/12/17/million-mile-flight-review-united-businessfirst-seoul-to-san-francisco/

loved reading his 1MM trip report… never expected it to be one of his last 🙁 RIP

Angelina
7 years ago

This is a great tribute to Darren and his passions. I’m sure he is beaming over this. RIP

Samuel
Samuel
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/03/27/the-cost-and-allure-of-airline-amenity-kits/

An interesting post about amenity kits from a business (cost) perspective.

Sarty
Sarty
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/11/27/amenity-kit-review-qatar-airways-childrens-activity-backpack/
Gotta love Sponge Bob!
This review nicely shows the author’s enthusiasm.

kodoma
kodoma
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/03/17/amenity-kit-review-american-airlines-business-class-–-eames-case/
I looked at kits I had a slight chance of ever obtaining and I liked this one. I like Eames. Darren really had an eye for details. Thanks for doing this!

Bill n DC
Bill n DC
7 years ago

My favorite tribute is that he got me taking pictures of the amenity kits. Not sure if can attach photos, but I have a nice 2012 United Global First pic like his Oct 13 review:http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/10/15/amenity-kit-review-united-airlines-global-first-%E2%80%93-2012/

Max J
Max J
7 years ago

He will be so missed…

Atif
Atif
7 years ago

I LOVED the amenity kit reviews. I’ve always loved amenity kits, even from a young age when we didn’t fly much…. a LONG time ago I even used some Continental miles to BUY a surplus kit direct from Continental back when they had an on-line store for that kind of thing….

Darren’s posts reviewing kits always made my day better!

Having said that…as a Delta flyer it was this post (and the series it was part of) that I liked the most because it gave me insight into how life on United goes…

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/12/17/million-mile-flight-review-united-businessfirst-seoul-to-san-francisco/

Will miss Frequent Flying!

Denise L
Denise L
7 years ago

I liked The Cost and Allure of Airline Amenity Kits post because I was always curious about how much it cost an airline.
http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/03/27/the-cost-and-allure-of-airline-amenity-kits/

Phillip M
Phillip M
7 years ago

Such a great way to honor such a great man.

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2012/08/26/vintage-airline-seat-map-delta-air-lines-dc-10/

One of the best flights when I was younger was on this plane. The vintage seat maps were always a pleasant surprise, and would bring back great memories of flying on lots of different planes gone by.

RIP Darren. You will never know how much you affected to the community.

Michael W Travels
7 years ago

Stefan- Very nice tribute & giveaway for a stand up guy! I still can not believe the news…

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

Loved his last post on the United Airlines Special Edition BusinessFirst Amenity Kits. Very fitting as he was indeed special!

Gregory
Gregory
7 years ago
Jacob
Jacob
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2013/09/16/amenity-kit-review-air-astana-long-haul-business-class-mens/

I’ve never heard of Air Astana but they seem to have an awesome product. I really wanted to fly them after reading the amenity kit review.

MilesAbound
7 years ago

I am going to pick Darren’s highest rated amenity kit from Thai first class, a product I have yet to try: http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/2011/10/17/amenity-kit-review-thai-airways-royal-first-class-summer-2011/ I did not have the pleasure of meeting Darren, but his quirky and fun blog made my cut when I stopped reading BoardingArea and slimmed down to just the readable blogs via Google Reader and now Feedly. It was with a very heavy heart that I learned of his passing. I have some Cathay amenity kits of my own from a recent trip back from YVR. If I win I will be donating this kit along with my… Read more »

askmrlee
7 years ago

http://boardingarea.com/frequentlyflying/about/

I chose this page simply because the montage of his frequent flyer cards on this page resembles my own personal collection from last century! I also have cards from PA, ML, TW and HP and a UA Premier Emeritus.