by Paul Thompson
Do you know Hello Kitty? The famous bow-wearing feline and her fellow characters first appeared over 43 years ago, and they now adorn everything that you would find other popular cartoons like Mickey Mouse on — including airplanes! Taiwanese airline Eva Air has placed one of its famous Hello Kitty planes on the route between Los Angeles and Taipei on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday each week.
Created in 1974, Hello Kitty is a pop culture icon, and aviation geeks alike are absolutely ga-ga over the planes that feature her and her friends’ likeness. Unlike many airlines that might feature cartoon characters on the exterior, the Eva Air Boeing 777-300ER. The Hello Kitty experience begins when you check in for your flight. Before boarding the plane, you’ll have a special Hello Kitty boarding pass, and special stickers places on your bag tags.
Once you board, you’ll see Hello Kitty characters everywhere, from flight aprons to the food & beverage menus, the utensils, pillows, headrest, emergency card, and even the bathroom soap. By the time the plane lands, the plane has been pretty much ransacked of all collectibles. The airline expects it, and it is completely acceptable to take these items home. The airline also has a shop for those who want something collectable without taking a flight.
Eva Air runs three flights a day from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE), so it’s important to book Flight 5 (the 11:55AM departure) on these days if you want to be on this special plane. Eva Air’s main website doesn’t tell you that you’ll be on a Hello Kitty plane.
Eva Air has seven Hello Kitty aircraft, and you can find more about them here. Currently, Chicago is the only other US city receiving service from a Hello Kitty plane. Those flying from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) can book a different Hello Kitty 777, by booking flight 55 on Mondays, Thursdays, or Saturdays to Taipei.
Would you consider booking a flight, just to be on this special plane?
Paul Thompson is a revered aviation & travel journalist for Airways Live & The Points Guy. He is a 16-year airline industry veteran and sought after writer in the aeronautics field. Follow Paul on Twitter @flyingphotog