United Airlines is testing a proprietary blend of sandalwood, cedar, orange peel and leather to provide a signature aroma in the carrier’s lounges, jetways and boarding areas.
United Airlines is launching an effort to become the best smelling airline in the skies. The airline is working hard to take its branding to a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of scent.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, United Airlines is experimenting to find an aroma of its very own that passengers will easily identify with the airline. The new signature smell is being tested in select locations at the carrier’s Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) hub. The scent is subtly deployed using strategically placed plug-style diffusers.
United Airlines Marketing Manger Mark Krolick told the WSJ that the new scent that is being deployed in conjunction with redesigned lighting and gate areas “will create a more relaxing environment.” Krolick added that he expects the olfactory and aesthetic improvements to yield concrete, if not subconscious results. “A good experience engenders brand preference, which will probably result in more booking.”
The signature scent the airline is testing is tentatively named “Landing” and consists of a melange of sandalwood, cedar, orange peel and leather.
United Airlines isn’t the first to experiment with a proprietary aroma. Delta uses its own scent known as Calm in its cabins. Turkish Airlines has deployed its own scent called TK 1933 since 2013, and Singapore Airlines has been spraying its very own blend of rose, lavender and citrus called Stefan Floridian Waters for more than 30 years.
The idea of using the sense of smell to help brand the airline isn’t without detractors. Aileen Gagney, who works with the American Lung Association and already suffers respiratory distress and migraines as a result of other passengers’ overuse of perfumes and colognes, is one of those detractors.
“I can’t even imagine a signature scent in an airport,” Gagney told the WSJ. “I’d put a cloth over my face.”