US Airways Club Charlotte
US Airways Envoy Class Charlotte to Paris
Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Star Alliance Lounge Paris
Air China Business Class Paris to Beijing
Air China Business Class Lounge Beijing
ANA 787 Business Class Beijing to Tokyo
Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport
Tokyo Narita Airport Hello Kitty Check-in
EVA Air Hello Kitty Business Class Tokyo to Taipei
EVA Air The Star Lounge Taipei
Taipei Airport Hello Kitty Gate
EVA Air Hello Kitty Royal Laurel Class Taipei to Los Angeles
EVA Air 2197
Tokyo Narita (NRT) – Taipei (TPE)
Wednesday, October 16
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 9C (Business Class)
We boarded through door 2L and turned left into the business class cabin. EVA Air’s A330-200 has a total of 24 angled flat business class seats spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. We had a pair of aisle and window seats in the last row of the cabin.
While the design/colors of the seats themselves weren’t especially grand, the Hello Kitty pillow and blanket accompanying them added some much needed pizzaz to the cabin.
The seatbacks had decent sized TV monitors, though what stuck out to me was the Hello Kitty safety card and Hello Kitty Jet pamphlet.
The entertainment controls were located to the left of my seat underneath the armrest, and were quite intuitive.
Meanwhile the seat controls were located on my right armrest and also intuitive.
Waiting in the seatback were slippers and headphones.
Once most passengers were settled in the crew came around to offer hot towels.
That was followed by pre-departure beverages, which were of course served on Hello Kitty napkins. I was pretty giddy at this point. 😉
The cabin itself was pretty tame, minus the Hello Kitty artwork/shrine located on the forward bulkhead.
Boarding took quite a long time since passengers were spread across several buses, so as we waited for the door to close the menu and wine list were distributed, which featured Hello Kitty artwork on the cover.
The door closed at 4:05PM, and shortly after that we began our pushback. During our taxi out the flight attendants made announcements in three languages, and I was thrilled to find out that “Hello Kitty” is pronounced the same in all of them. When she made the announcement in English she welcomed us aboard on behalf of Hello Kitty, and informed us that “we have prepared a variety of Hello Kitty services for you so you can enjoy the flight.”
Shortly after pushback the captain came on the PA to inform us that we wouldn’t be moving for another 30 minutes due to congestion at the airport. Due to the huge typhoon in the morning operations were an absolute mess, and there were apparently about 50 planes ahead of us for takeoff. He also informed us that once we were airborne our flight time would be 3hr21min.
Sure enough we held our position for about 30 minutes, at which point we continued our taxi to the runway. Initially we seemed to taxi more or less in circles, until we joined the “final” departure queue for runway 34L, where there were only a handful of aircraft ahead of us.
We took off at 5:10PM, right as the sun was setting, which made for some nice views.
As we climbed out I browsed the Sky TV entertainment selection, and decided to watch a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
The seatbelt sign was turned off about 20 minutes into the flight, so I immediately headed to the restroom, which seems to be the highlight of the Hello Kitty service.
The lavatory features Hello Kitty lotion, spray, facial mist, soap, and even a Hello Kitty air freshener.
The most exciting, no doubt, is the Hello Kitty toilet paper!
I’m not going to lie, I looked through the lavatory trying to find a whole roll I could possibly take with me, though they seem to hide them well, because I couldn’t find one. And I’m not about to take a half used roll of toilet paper… I won’t sink that low.
By the time I got back to my seat the flight attendants already had their pink Hello Kitty aprons on and were taking meal orders. The menu read as follows:
And the wine/drink list read as follows:
My favorite thing about EVA Air’s menu is their Din Tai Fung selection. One of the only Din Tai Fungs in the US is across the street from my apartment in Bellevue, so it’s awesome to get the “local” version on EVA Air. Unfortunately by the time they got to our seats they only had one Din Tai Fung meal left, so I let my friend have it, while I had the western meal.
The meal service began with drinks and Hello Kitty mixed nuts and crackers, once again served with a Hello Kitty napkin.
My western starter consisted of smoked salmon and grilled scallops, served with a side of fruit.
Meanwhile the Din Tai Fung appetizer consisted of steamed beef soup.
The crew also came around with a selection from the breadbasket, so I selected a roll and a piece of garlic bread.
For the month of October the western main course was a “salmon cheese cutlet with garlic herb and lobster sauce.” That description sounded horrific to me, but it actually tasted quite good.
Meanwhile the Din Tai Fung main course consisted of spicy shrimp and pork wonton, which I know from past experience is excellent.
The western dessert was beautifully presented and Hello Kitty themed, though I didn’t love the taste.
The Chinese dessert consisted of a pastry with taro filling. I love anything with taro/mochi/boba, so this looked especially good to me.
I was also offered green tea ice cream, something I don’t think I’ll ever develop a taste for.
To finish off the meal I ordered a cappuccino. Much to my surprise it was probably the best cappuccino I’ve ever had, be it on the ground or in the air. It was spectacular, not to mention beautifully presented. It definitely ranks as one of the best hot beverages I’ve had in the sky.
The meal service was finished roughly 90 minutes into the flight. Service throughout the meal was fine. On my last EVA Air flight from Taipei to San Francisco I had a phenomenal crew, and unfortunately this one wasn’t quite as good. They weren’t rude or anything, but just didn’t give the impression that they enjoyed their jobs. Not sure how that’s possible when you’re wearing a pink Hello Kitty apron. 😉
After the meal I was rather tired so decided to take a nap. I reclined the seat into its most flat position and I have to say it was fairly comfortable. I wouldn’t want to fly in it on a longhaul, but for a quick flight it was more than sufficient. I napped for about an hour, until we began our descent into Taipei.
As we began our descent the crew came through the cabin with a basket consisting of a variety of mints.
Our descent was fairly turbulent, and we touched down in Taipei at 8:30PM, a little bit over 3.5 hours late.
As we taxied to the gate the crew once again thanked everyone for flying EVA Air on behalf of Hello Kitty — “Thank you for flying aboard this joint EVA and ANA flight operated by the Hello Kitty Jet. We hope you had a great time with Kitty and all of us.”
While the crew wasn’t amazing, I really loved how unique the Hello Kitty service is. Now if only I were a 12 year old girl…
Also, while the A330 business class isn’t modern, it’s much more spacious than the business class product I flew on EVA’s brand new Airbus A321s from Tokyo to Taipei last time.