The next time you're flying for a business trip, you might notice a different smell in the airplane cabin.
Delta and United are among a group of airlines collaborating with professional scent marketers to develop their own signature fragrances in an effort to help customers relax and potentially distinguish their brand, The Wall Street Journal reports.
United Airlines is rolling out its own new fragrance--tentatively called Landing--which WSJ describes as a combination of orange peel, sandalwood, cedar, and leather. Delta already has been diffusing its signature scent Calm, a mixture of lavender and chamomile, in airplane cabins, lavatory soap dispensers, and hot towels given to premium classes for about two years. Several other airlines are now approaching launch dates for their own signature aromas.
Not surprisingly, some customers aren't buying the idea of being subjected to these scents for an entire flight. Flyers with asthma or allergies could experience migraines or breathing problems if subjected to the chemicals found in perfumes or sprays. According to WSJ, the airlines are eliciting customer feedback to guide their olfactory strategies.
"We're not going to lay it on thick," an Alaska Airlines executive told WSJ. "We're not selling clothes or a lifestyle here."
Though the airlines don't (currently) plan to bottle their signature smells for retail, they do see value in them. United marketing manager Mark Krolick told WSJ that its new fragrance, in addition to other improvements like new lighting and redesigned gates, will create a more relaxing environment for customers.
"A good experience engenders brand preference, which probably will result in more booking," Krolick said.
Mike Henny, Delta's director of customer experience, told the paper the airline had more practical reasons for developing its own fragrance.
"We were trying to improve the smell of our lavatories, to be honest," he said.