What Does United Airlines Smell Like?

A big story in travel this week was United’s new boarding areas and process. There are prototypes at O’Hare gates B4, 8, and 10.

United has changed passenger seating areas and gate-agent podiums, while adding standing work stations and boarding poles to bring more order to the boarding process.

Here’s the part that really struck me, though:

United plans to add blue lighting to the jet bridges — the walkways from the gate to the aircraft — and scent machines to create “positive transition moments.”

“Just before you cross through the boarding door of the plane, you get a whiff of the signature United scent,” Walter said.

Called Landing, the fragrance is an herbal, spalike smell, Walter said, that also will be in O’Hare’s United Club lounges.

Westin’s ‘white tea’ scent has actually managed to attach to the brand, the way United wants its scent to.

Can you recommend a scent for United? What does United smell like? I want to hear from you!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. ACTUALLY, and I imagine many reading this may be dismissive or chuckle, but that’s actually a very good idea.

    Part of the ‘problem’ with airlines these days is they simply act like they don’t really care about the small stuff. They’re chock full of analysts and numbers people spewing off relational aspects of oil hedging and how as a pilot they had to go through 14 umpteen years of hazing at Guadalcanal but there’s absolutely no image or even attempt to maintain an image.

    No show. No dough. If just one of the supposed competitors simply took the time to life their heads from the ledger and stop obsessing on this years astronomical lease rate to Boeing or Airbus and remembered that in the end they are a hospitality business and simple things like smelling nice matter, we’d all be better off.

  2. obviously lift. I guess I should take the time to proofread what I spontaneously utter

  3. The idea of a scent representing a brand is actually brilliant and many brands do this (especially in retail). United being the crap that it is, the smell should be that of sulfur gas.

  4. i know some people with strong allergies that cans handle the scents. They avoid boutique hotels like the plague. Theres a reason airlines shouldn’t do this.

  5. Instead of putting the $$$ toward a signature scent and trendy blue lighting on the jetway I would like to see the money allocated to more comfortable seats in coach. Like, a few more ounces of cushioning!

  6. Really, what does United Airlines smell like? After years of shrinking seats on their airplanes, increased airline fares, decreasing mileage benefits for flights flown, and extra charges for everything but the air you breathe on their planes? How about doggie doo doo?

  7. The scent of United could only be one thing
    The stench of cattle
    due to many sweaty stinking agitated passengers packed in like sardines with no advance seat assignments for their lowly silver elites
    I hate all scents and perfumes. It will be sure to keep me out of their planes and anywhere else they decide to use this. I stopped staying at a number of hotels over the use of the perfumes
    How about publishing a phone number for customer assistance or consumer relations to take care of problems?I realize being a responsible airline is totally out of the question in their mind set
    Though would be a much wiser investment

  8. They used to have a pleasantly scented soap in the lavatories. the closest match I found was Caswell Massey almond. That seems to be gone.

    I do hope that whatever they use, it doesn’t impact those with allergies!

  9. American Express Centurion Lounge uses a scent called “Clean Laundry” which is very close to Westin’s Green Tea.
    (What about people w/ perfume allergies ?)

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