Braniff Brand Still Means Travel Industry Luxury

Former airliner lends name, style to planned hotel in Oaklawn
Dream Parlor Fire Pit Lounge with Hostess – 1968

Want to give Dallas visitors a feel of the late ‘60s-early 1970s when colorful, high-service airlines dominated the skies and discotheques dominated the imagination?

Wait a couple of years or so, depending on flight – err, make that construction – delays, and put them up in a new Braniff-themed boutique hotel in Oaklawn.

MM Property Holdings Inc. (Centurion American), which in 2018 finished restoring Dallas’ historic 169-room Statler Hilton Hotel, plans to begin work in 2021 on the former Braniff International Hostess College located at 2801 Wycliff Ave.

Edward Russell, an aviation writer with The Points Guy travel website and blog, expects a luxury destination with appeal “for avgeeks and mid-century design buffs alike.”

“Love the jet-age vibe of the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport? Get ready to pack your bags to do it again, only this time with a Texas twang,” he writes on thepointsguy.com.

“Love the jet-age vibe of the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport? Get ready to pack your bags to do it again, only this time with a Texas twang.”

Edward Russell

Braniff Airways Inc., doing business as Braniff International, signed the hotel’s licensing agreement in May and announced it in November 2020.

Richard Ben Cass, the chairman of the former international airline turned branding and marketing, retail, and historic airliner tour firm, announced that Braniff would consult on the interior and exterior restoration and keep creative control over the use of its copyrighted and trademarked designs.

“Braniff, which shut down in 1982, is probably best known for its ‘end of the plain plane’ campaign by mid-century designer Alexander Girard,” Russell wrote. “His designs featured a broad palette of colors from pastels to bright primaries prompting the tag line: ‘You can fly with us seven times and never fly the same color twice.’

In 2019, the company agreed to allow the Dallas Cowboys, TACAir, Lincoln Property Company, and Randall Reed Enterprises to use the Braniff name at the newly restored former 1958 Braniff International Operations and Maintenance Base at Dallas Love Field.

A $140 million reconstruction project revived the facility at 7701 Lemmon Ave. as a retail, office, and aviation center.

Future licensing agreements could include other hotels in former Braniff destination cities, Cass said.

The Oaklawn hotel will come with 75 luxury rooms, amidst elegant and stylish Braniff themes, historical as well as recently created designs. Amenities will likely include a restaurant, bar, large swimming pool with an outdoor bar and beverage service, and a boutique store offering luxurious Braniff-branded goods ranging from model airplanes to drink coasters and T-shirts.

“One thing is clear: there will be no views of planes like at the TWA Hotel,” Russell wrote. “Located about three miles from Love Field, future Braniff Hotel guests will have a better view of tollway traffic than Southwest Airlines jets at the nearby airport.”


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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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