On Tuesday, Singapore Airlines (a codeshare partner of Alaska Airlines) celebrated the inaugural non-stop flight between Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) with a lion dance and ribbon cutting at the gate and a water canon salute.
Seattle now becomes the fourth U.S. city to boast non-stop service to Singapore, joining Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco.
During September, the flight will between Seattle and Singapore three times a week and expand to four flights a week in October.
The new SEA – SIN Singapore Airlines flight is the first-ever nonstop flight from SEA Airport to Southeast Asia. And, at 15-hours and 50-minutes, it is now also the longest longest nonstop flight from SEA airport.
The new flight is also the inspiration for a cool music video.
Singapore Airlines commissioned Seattle-based producer and musician Chong the Nomad to use an A350-900 aircraft – the same type being used for the SIA-SIN flight – as her musical instrument.
My story this week for CNBC is about airports, airlines, hotels and other places – including Disney and National Parks – that have unique and, at times, bespoke, fragrances that you may want to take home.
If only we could do a scratch and sniff blog post today!
The award-winning airport also has a
special amenity that can’t be seen: a bespoke fragrance that’s diffused into
many areas of the sprawling terminals.
The airport’s signature scent has fresh floral notes of orchid, Damask rose, Asian spices and essential oils said to calm nerves and lower blood pressure. And travelers who want that soothing aroma for their homes can have it: a gift shop in Jewel’s mall sells the Changi Scent line of candles, reed diffusers and perfume oils for $14-$18.
airports in Asia, as well as in Europe and the United States, scent their
public spaces as well.
we borrowed the idea from the hotel industry, where many properties have
branded scents that welcome guests to the lobbies,” said Kevin Bumen, director of
California’s San Luis Obispo County
Regional Airport (SBP).
airport opened its new 6-gate terminal, improving the passenger experience was
a high priority.
one thing we could do was to add scent in the ticketing areas and in bag claim,”
said Bumen, “Those are the first and last areas passengers experience, and they
can be points of stress and confusion. So tested several fragrances and chose a
spa-like scent that conveys the idea that the airport is fresh and clean and
much of the airport and improved our aesthetics. Now we’re looking into how to
enhance that with scents,” said TPA spokeswoman Emily Nipps, “We’ve
narrowed it down to three scents and I can tell you we’re sticking with scents
that reflect the Tampa Bay Region – ocean, wood, tropics, greenery, that sort
Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, Delta and
United are among the carriers that use bespoke and specially chosen fragrances
in some gate areas, lounges, lavatories, jetways and airplane cabins.
Japan’s ANA (All Nippon Airways) has a unique
fragrance that it is a blend of 12 natural aromas, including traditional Japanese umbrella-pine, Yoshino
Japanese cedar, mint and rosemary. Customers can purchase the scents on-line and
on flights with in-flight shopping.
scent designer Rachel Vosper created a bespoke scent called “Air” for Virgin Atlantic that has notes of lemon, rose, vanilla and essential oils such as
lavender and eucalyptus. The airline sells candles featuring the fragrance for 30 British pounds (about $37).
unique scent, designed by Air Aroma,
is a mixture of subtle
woods, white florals, and fresh green tea notes, while Delta Air Lines’ “Calm” scent was created with lavender
Alaska Airlines’ “Ocean Citron” scent, used in lounge soaps and hand lotions, was custom made by Seattle-based Antica Farmacista, and is designed to evoke “the allure of the cool blue ocean,” with notes of California Lemon, Soft Jasmine, Lavender, Green Tea, among others.
To create its signature scent, called “Landing,” United
to avoid notes that were
too polarizing as well as notes that might be considered too feminine or too
masculine, said airline spokeswoman Maddie King. The final product, used in the
airline’s lounges and warm towels on board, includes a blend of orange peel,
bergamot, cypress, fir balsam, black pepper, black tea, violet wood,
sandalwood, cedar, amber, leather and patchouli.
The time and money airlines spend on choosing or developing a
signature scent “Is truly all about customer experience,” said Logan Andres, Director
of Products and Marketing for ScentAir, a company that provides and creates scents
for airlines, airports resorts and hotels as well as casinos, stores, spas,
auto dealerships and even doctors’ offices and funeral homes.
“Our research on this found that for airline passengers a good
smelling and welcoming gate area while you’re waiting for you plane is only
second behind having someplace to plug in your smartphone. And it was more
important than cushy seats. We were kind of surprised.”
Aroma to go
It’s not surprising that many travelers want to take home a
nice-smelling souvenir of a place they’ve enjoyed.
Disney has a new line of plush toys infused with the scent of iconic park foods, including
Mickey Mouse ice-cream bars and pizza slices and Minnie Mouse cupcakes and
Paddywax sells a collection
of candles with scents inspired by the country’s national parks.
In addition to raising funds for the National
Park Foundation, “These scented candles transport you to the wilderness of
our national parks, filling the mind with treasured memories from trails and
vistas experienced with loved ones,” said Stefanie Mathew, the National Park Foundation’s
senior vice president of corporate partnerships.
Sometimes, the souvenir scents are free.
Through its Scent Concierge program, guests at Hotel Spero in San Francisco can choose a wooden wand infused with one of four distinct scents and either take their wand home or use it to create a special fragrance in their rooms.
And at Casa Velas
in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, guests are given a small complimentary bottle of
the hotel’s signature citrus-lavender scent as a checkout amenity.
shown that smell triggers emotions and memories,” said Luis Angarita, the
resort’s Managing Director, “So we thought an amenity of our signature scent
would be the perfect takeaway for our guests. Whenever they open the bottle,
they’ll think of their special times at Casa Velas.”
And maybe book another trip.
Do you notice the scent of airports, airplane, hotels or other venues you visit? Would you want to take any of those scents home?
And for long-haul travel, Singapore’s Changi Airport has rolled out a new stopover program that includes a (one-way) hotel transfer, a SIM card and an overnight stay at one of 20 participating hotels. Packages start at S$63 – about $46 US dollars.
It’s always a delight to spend a day touring Singapore Changi Airport, which offers a wide array of truly useful amenities and a smorgasbord of entertaining treats.
Here are some snaps taken this week during a 5-mile airport hike that included a stop at Hobbiton, an encounter with a giant Oreo cookie and a view of the airfield from one of the world’s best airport powder rooms.
Air New Zealand has set up a Hobbit hole in the departure hall of Terminal 3.
The Easter Bunny is still on duty at Changi Airport
This giant Oreo cookie had a helper handing out samples of tiny Oreo cookies.
This Changi Airport powder room has picture windows offering great views out to the airfield. I’ve been assured those outside cannot see in… Photo courtesy Yvette Cardozo.
From my recent Bing Travel slide show, here are a few more posh airport amenities:
Offering travelers the world’s largest airport slide, a transit hotel with a roof-top pool and free foot massages, live entertainment, movie theaters and computer games, Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport consistently tops the posh chart. Posher yet: five fanatically-tended-to themed gardens displaying, respectively, ferns, orchids, cactus, sunflowers and more than 1,000 live butterflies.
Posh perusing is available at Taiwan Tayoun International Airport, which now has a library with 2000 paper books and 400 e-titles for passengers on layovers. The much larger Airport Library at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport opened last year. The “sitting area with added value” offers a multi-media collection of books, films and music about Dutch history, culture, art and literature.
Maintaining a posh state of mind in transit is easier if you look and feel great. Thankfully, spas offering manicures, haircuts, facials and back, neck and foot massages are becoming commonplace in many terminals. At Finland’s Helsinki Airport, relaxation goes a step further: a Finnair-branded spa offers a choice of spruce, stone, steam or a traditional Finnish sauna.
They say music hath charms to soothe the savage beast. So can music relax stressed-out travelers? We think so. Especially if you catch one of the regular concerts offered at airports in Austin, Nashville, San Diego or San Francisco. The poshest airport musical act may take place at Portland International Airport, where John English (“The Voice”) delivers Frank Sinatra tributes twice-weekly.