Airline branding used to be one of those oxymorons like "airline food" or "government efficiency," but during the past few years the airlines have made herculean efforts to stem the tide of commoditization.

These efforts are beginning to pay off, because it seems to be getting easier to tell the airlines apart. This environment may be ripe for experiments in something we've long anticipated: the migration of land-based brands to airline cabins.

We've seen a little of this in recent years, with food service, electronics and amenities for premium sleeper seats. Delta, however, will soon be taking it a step further with the introduction of Westin's "Heavenly" bedding in the carrier's BusinessElite cabins.

This is a welcome development. It's proof that airlines can evolve, and that respected earthbound brands are not afraid to be seen with them.
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