Read to the bottom of the post for details on a Hello Kitty giveaway!
Perhaps what I was most excited about were two back-to-back Hello Kitty flights operated by EVA Air. EVA Air, the Star Alliance carrier based in Taiwan, has several Hello Kitty routes. They even have a website dedicated to the Hello Kitty Service. They have six Hello Kitty airplanes, from The Hello Kitty Loves Apples Jet to The Hello Kitty Speed Puff.
While previously their entire Hello Kitty fleet consisted of Airbus A330 aircraft, in September they launched their first Boeing 777-300ER in a Hello Kitty configuration, which I thought was really exciting news. I loved EVA Air Royal Laurel class when I flew it from Taipei to San Francisco a few months ago, so I could only imagine how much fun it would be with a touch of Hello Kitty flair.
I arrived at Tokyo Narita Airport more excited than Kitty herself! The check-in area was just opening as I arrived so the airport agents were in the process of sprucing up the plain check-in area and adding some flair, like Hello Kitty cardboard cutouts, Hello Kitty luggage tags, Hello Kitty images on the screen, etc.
Hello Kitty Jet Check-in
Hello Kitty Jet Check-In
Naturally I was quite excited when my boarding pass for both flights were printed on Hello Kitty cardstock!
Hello Kitty Jet Boarding Pass
As luck would have it, the Hello Kitty flight was departing from a remote stand, so I was able to get even better pictures of the aircraft. BR2197 from Tokyo Narita to Taipei is operated by the Hello Kitty Speed Puff, which is apparently a magical flying cloud of some sort. Most of the other passengers on the bus were in business class and didn’t seem quite as amused as I by the Hello Kitty paint scheme.
Hello Kitty Plane: Speedpuff Edition
While the cabin as such is no different from their standard A330s, everything else has a bit more “panache”:
There are Hello Kitty pillows.
Hello Kitty Jet Pillow
There are Hello Kitty safety cards.
There are Hello Kitty menus.
Hello Kitty Jet Menu
There are Hello Kitty paintings.
There are Hello Kitty toiletries.
And there is even Hello Kitty toilet paper.
Hello Kitty Jet Toilet Paper
The ground experience in Taipei was probably the highlight of the entire Hello Kitty experience, as gate C3 is pretty pimped out.
Hello Kitty Taipei Gate Area
Hello Kitty Taipei Gate Area
Hello Kitty Jet Play Area
Hello Kitty Jet Stamps
The onboard food experiences on both flights — and especially on the flight from Taipei to Los Angeles — were equally Kitty-centric.
There were Hello Kitty napkins, and Hello Kitty snack mix.
There was Hello Kitty foie gras.
Hello Kitty Jet Appetizer
There was Hello Kitty dessert.
Hello Kitty Jet Dessert
There was a Hello Kitty pillow.
Hello Kitty Jet Pillow and blanket
…and even Hello Kitty entertainment!
The flight attendants wore Hello Kitty aprons on both flights, and upon landing they didn’t just thank us for flying EVA Air on behalf of EVA Air or the crew, but on behalf of Hello Kitty as well!
I may have gone a bit overboard with my Hello Kitty duty free purchases, though. When I booked the trip I promised to bring back some goodies to give away, though I guess I didn’t really think of the implication of trying to walk through customs with five Hello Kitty bags. I’m not certain what exactly is wrong with a 23 year old male in a sports coat carrying five pink tote bags full of Hello Kitty merchandise, but judging by the harsh “Sir, what’s in those bags?” I received from the customs officer, it might be a bit unusual. 😉
Hello Kitty Jet Duty Free Extravaganza
I’ll have a full trip report on both flights next week, but in the meantime I can only recommend this service. Presently EVA Air offers Hello Kitty service on select frequencies to Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Seoul, Guam, and Shanghai. EVA Air has a full listing of Hello Kitty flights should you want to try the service yourself.
Want to win some Hello Kitty swag? Stay tuned for the official giveaway later today!