On December 31, 2001, your correspondent (female) and her 2 girlfriends set out from Narita Airport in Tokyo to travel across the sea and spend the New Year holiday abroad.
Our destination was Taiwan, the perfect country for some end-of-the-year girls’ time. Late-night snacks at the night markets, white sparrow fortune telling, Taiwanese massage and a friendly people who are known to love Japan: surely there isn’t a cozier place for the three Japanese women to relax!
Yet, as excited as we were to kick back after arriving in Taiwan, the end-all objective of this trip was none other than the flight from Tokyo to Taipei on Eva Air’s Hello Kitty Jet!
Taiwan-based airline Eva Air currently has 3 Hello Kitty Jets in operation. They original Airbus A33-200 planes launched in 2005 but were then gradually taken off route in 2009. Then, Eva Air brought them back last year—this time using Airbus A33-300—to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Sure there are other options like Pokémon for cute character themed air travel, but none can captivate a lady’s heart like Hello Kitty!
【The Hello Kitty Cabin】
First, before you even get on the plane, they start melting your heart with an adorable Hello Kitty themed boarding pass! I’m keeping mine as a souvenir!
My heart was pounding with anticipation by the time they started boarding and the moment I stepped on the plane and saw Hello Kitty head rest covers on all the seats, I knew Eva Air had come through for me.
The pillows (available in either yellow or green) were also adorned with Hello Kitty’s delightful face and I seriously thought about how to sneak one out without the flight crew noticing.
Sitting down, my eyes were quickly caught by the small monitor built into the seat in front of me playing an original short animated movie about Hello Kitty and Eva Air. Just where does the adorable stop!?!
When the in-flight meal came around, we were given a Hello Kitty paper cup, a Hello Kitty spoon, a Hello Kitty fork and a Hello Kitty moist towelette to clean our hands after we ate our meal garnished with a Hello Kitty fish cake.
And if the food didn’t settle well, well then, you could just pick up your Hello Kitty sick bag and run to the toilet, where there is also Hello Kitty toilet paper and Hello Kitty hand soap!
This was all served to us by a lovely group of cabin attendants wearing Hello Kitty aprons, which were available for purchase from the Eva Air air shopping magazine along with a number of other special Hello Kitty goods.
It was more Kitty than I had ever imagined—a holy land for the Hello Kitty fan.
But wait…surely, I thought, the other passengers couldn’t all be Kitty-crazed women like me.
I decided the best way to find out was to take a peek into business class (just a peek!) and, just as I thought…
【Even Serious Grown Men Ride The Hello Kitty Jet】
Ladies, what would you think of a man sporting a grizzly punch perm and dark sunglasses while dressed in a white suit and pointed toe enamel shoes flying in a plane such as this?
Because he was there, along with the important-looking men in their top-class company business suits. Does the company arrange this? Are those who under-perform called in by their boss and told: “We’re arranged for you to fly Kitty-class for the next overseas business meeting.”
Still, I suppose business class is business class and everyone seemed comfortable enough lounging in their comfy-looking chairs under the amiable gaze of Hello Kitty on the giant monitor.
Finally, after the end of a wonderful Taiwan trip, we headed back to the airport in Taipei to go home to Japan and, wouldn’t you know it, there was Hello Kitty standing near check-in to send us off. I don’t think a flight has every filled me with so much joy. I love you, Hello Kitty. I love you, Eva Air.
Pictures & Original Article: Yurie Hori
▼Hello Kitty Jet Business class: where the elite of Asia go to keep it cute.
▼Airline shopping magazine packed with original Hello Kitty goods!
[ Read in Japanese ]