Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
EVA Air Hello Kitty Jet HKG To Taipei J/Class  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11830 times:

Eva Air Short-Haul Hello Kitty Jet Experience in Premium Laurel Class 2013


Here is going to be a three-part summer trip report on some interesting airlines and airplanes that are a bit less heard about in North America and Europe. I choose these airlines not because of miles, but based on my aviation enthusiasm. I hope you will enjoy them.

The first trip report will be focused on a better-known airline but its unique operation on these five A330s, which are painted in five different Hello Kitty themes. This trip report also comes at the right time, as EVA air will introduce its first Hello Kitty Boeing 777-300ER service to Los Angeles. I have flown numerous specially painted jets on numerous airlines in the past, but other than Alaska’s “Spirit of Disneyland,” no airlines do much to their interior. Eva Air really goes out of its way to decorate the whole plane from head to tail in a Hello Kitty theme, and all the amenities and catering are specially designed for these Hello Kitty flights. It even features unique “Hello Kitty” check-in area at Taipei Taoyuan airport, as well as Hello Kitty printed boarding passes and a designated gate at TPE. Hello Kitty is popular in Aaia, and Eva Air really wins hearts over China Airlines on investing in Hello Kitty and brings out some uniqueness in the highly competitive flights to North Asia, especially South Korea and Japan, and new to Mainland China. Hong Kong is a one of the lucky destinations to be assigned the Hello Kitty theme, and since some of the shorter flights to Japan only take half a day, why not adds an additional roundtrip to Hong Kong, where Hello Kitty is commonly known. The evening operation is not too ideal, but at least EVA Air does not price it up like other flights. A RT discounted business class fare is less than $HKD3000 including tax, and you can fly the Hello Kitty jet. However there are occasions for last minute aircraft substitution, if the plane runs late in its morning turn to Japan. However, there will be more families booked on these Hello Kitty flights in both business and economy class, so you might want to avoid them if you are not a fan of dealing with children especially during holidays. If you don’t like Hello Kitty, I will not recommend you flying it. But if you are a fan, this is definitely worthy of every penny. I will pick a flight that departs from Taipei, as there are unique amenities provided at TPE. You get a more complete experience. Duty free is very popular on these flights, so I will pre-order and you can additional discount too. On the short flight to and from Hong Kong/Shanghai, you definitely should pre-order duty free.

Here is my itinerary:
August 16, 2013
BR 858 HKG-TPE Lv2100 Arr2240 Airbus A330-200 B-16311 “Happy Music Jet”

August 25, 2013
BR 857 TPE-HKG Lv1810 Arr1950 Airbus A330-200 B-16309 “Speed Puff Jet”

I used a travel agency to book this flight, so could not comment too much on evaair booking system. However I am able to select seat and pre-select my meals on all the flights using evaair.com. It is a very good website, and there are special entrées available only online. It is sort of like Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook. So I highly recommend business class passengers to use EVA’s website to pre-select your entrée or even select a special meal. There are great entrées available from Taipei, its home base

Check-in:
EVA Air uses Aisle E in HKG. Since it operates a shuttle style schedule, its counters pretty much open throughout the day. There are separate lanes for EVA Air’s elites, Star Alliance gold, and business class passengers, as well as online check-in baggage drop line, and regular economy class check in line. EVA Air has three evening flights, which are always full. However there are no significant waits. The agents were very polite and my Star Alliance gold status is recognized. They recognize my Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles card. I overhead some rough conversations between agents and impatient BR elite members and really need to give them credits for dealing with these rude passengers.




There was no special Hello Kitty check-in here and not surprised at all, but my boarding pass and lounge invitation were issued in Hello Kitty stock!


For my return flight, there is actually a Hello Kitty check-in area in Taoyuan airport. Since I arrived from another flight, I used the transit desk, and there were no Hello Kitty boarding passes. For those who frequent Taipei airport, you cannot miss the brightly decorated Hello Kitty check-in areas at Terminal Two.

Lounge:
EVA Air uses Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Hong Kong airport, which is quite nice. The lounge was not busy tonight, as Virgin Atlantic’s flight to Sydney had left, and a bit too early for London bound passengers. An EVA Air agent immediately welcomed me to the lounge, and the lounge was pretty much the same as before. There was a menu for passengers to order from, and I just asked for a bowl of noodles, as I was not too hungry.



Lounge menu:




Bar


Seating area




Evergreen Club – I am really confused now, as EVA Air has opened various lounges for different elite members and business class passengers. There is a new EVA Air Club, as well as EVA Air Garden, as well as the Infinity and Star lounges. Four lounges – confused right… but I stopped asking questions. I was sent to the infinity lounge, which I assumed were the business class lounges. My feeling about the newly renovated Infinity lounge was too bright and I honestly don’t want a club environment prior to a long haul flight. The previous lounges are dated and awful, but the new lounge is too over the top, and I want a modern yet calming lounge. The neon lights atrium is just too much. I appreciate the more comfortable seats, but the whole atmosphere was overwhelming. It is just my honest opinion.












Buffet











12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11819 times:

Gate:
EVA Air typically uses gate 36 and 60 here at HKG, and tonight’s flight uses gate 36. There are no special decorations at the gate.


There was a last minute aircraft change tonight. The Speed Puff jet that was assigned to Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong flights had a swap with the Happy Music Jet. Speed Puff was sent to Sapporo today. I don’t mind the last minute plane change, as I got to fly on one more Hello Kitty Jet. “Hello Kitty Happy Music Jet” B-16311 arrived on time from Taipei, and pulled into gate 36.





Hello Kitty Designated Gate at Taoyuan Airport – C3. It is obvious that the Duty free shop is the major partner of this joint venture with EVA air in promoting Hello Kitty. There is a large playing area for children, as well as a television showing Hello Kitty cartoons (In Mandarin of course). There is a main Hello Kitty shop selling various products including some Taiwan only product. I bought a bunch of stuff for my niece. It is definitely a smart decision to put a shop there.













I like this cute statue

















EVA Air Airbus A330-300 B-16333 Heading to Seoul Incheon








Hello Kitty Passbook only available at Taipei Taoyuan Airport


They will be passed out during Hello Kitty flights.


Hong Kong stamp – each destination has its own unique stamp


EVA Air Airbus A330-200 B-16309 Hello Kitty Speed Puff Jet







Flight information:
Boarding for BR 858 began on time at 8:30pm, and there was a separate business class/elite and economy class lane, and since two doors were used, the cabin was filled up quickly. Pre-takeoff service included a choice of orange juice or water, and since this is the Hello Kitty flight, the personal TV is showing Hello Kitty Welcome Onboard animation, as well as Hello Kitty theme music song.

Pre-takeoff OJ


Of course Hello Kitty napkin


Personal TV showing Hello Kitty video


The flight was full this evening, as this flight provided easy connections to EVA Air’s last bank of flights to the USA, and it was clear that there were many business travelers heading to the United States. I had a feeling that Hello Kitty did not amuse them too much after the initial “wow” factor. Headsets were already placed in the magazine pocket, and cold towels were passed out prior to departure, which was welcomed, as it was very hot and humid in HK. Door was closed at 8:59pm and we pushed back two minutes later. HKG was not too busy, as it was between the late afternoon and late night rush periods for departure flights. We took off from R/W25L at 9:15pm. Flying time was an hour and twenty-nine minutes with a cruising attitude of 33,000feet.

For the return flight, boarding took place a bit later than expected, as the inbound flight from Narita arrived a few minutes behind schedule. It took a while to clean the plane, and there was so maintenance issue with the plane. EVA Air kept everyone informed, but after the revised boarding time of 6pm, there was no additional announcement. I just saw many mechanics walking around the plane. Boarding finally began at 6:11pm. Today’s return flight was filled with families with younger children heading back to HK after a few days in Taipei. Business Class was not completely full (three empty seats) but a large Chinese family with a few young children occupied the cabin. They were quite loud during the boarding stage, and the extended delay did not help. Once again, this return flight was popular among Hong Kong travelers, as the timing was perfect for the families.

Champagne was also offered as pre-takeoff beverage! But I stuck with my orange juice!


The maintenance issue was not resolved by the time boarding was completed. The pilot did not say much until they finally resolved the issue and waiting for documentation. He was apologetic for the delays, but I feel that they could give us a bit more information. Door was finally closed at 6:52pm, and we pushed back two minutes later. Following a TransAsia Airways A330-300 B-22101 heading to Singapore, we took off at 7:08pm. Our flying time was an hour and sixteen minutes with a cruising attitude of 40,000feet. We later descended towards 35,000feet after half of the flight.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11820 times:

Cabin:
The basic configuration remains the same, but there are additional Hello Kitty decorations in the cabin, including a different painting for each aircraft!

B-16309 Hello Kitty Speed Puff Jet Cabin



B-16311 Hello Kitty Happy Music Jet




Painting for B-16309 Hello Kitty Speed Puff Jet



Painting for B-16311 Hello Kitty Happy Music Jet


Seat:



Hello Kitty pillow – different colors – blue, yellow, red, pink, and green



Additional photos:
Happy Kitty Speed Puff Jet at Narita







Hello Kitty Amenities:
Hello Kitty Vomit Bag


Hello Kitty Safety card




Hello Kitty Business Class Menu


Catering:
EVA Air offers a hot meal in business class on this short flight. The service style has changed and BR adopts Cathay Pacific style trolley service. Beverage orders were taken prior to departure, as well as tea and coffee. It was a short flight – 75 minutes long. Linen was first placed on each individual table, and then the F/A passed out the tray with appetizer and dessert, along with your beverage and breadbasket. Garlic breads were features on both flights, along with two other types of rolls. Then the F/A rolled out the entrée trolley and let you select your choice after seeing them. Then there was a tea and coffee service, followed by hot towels. Candies (mints and various hard candies) were offered after descent has begun.

From HKG to TPE, I did not order any special meal. Here is the menu
BR 858 Hong Kong to Taipei

Light Meal
Hors D’Oeuvre




Main Course
(Date 1-15)
Braised Grouper Fillet with Ginger and Scallion in Hoisin Sauce
Mixed Vegetables
Noodles
Or
Red Curry Chicken South Asian Style
Seasonal Vegetables
Steamed Rice

(Date 16-End of Month)
Shiitake Mushroom Stuffed with Shrimp Mousse in light spicy sauce
Seasonal Vegetables
Steamed Rice


Or
Roasted Chicken Thigh with Citrus Sauce
Fresh Vegetables
Noodles

Fruit


Coffee Tea

Wine List
Champage
Lallier Grande Reserve Grand Cru

French Red Wine
Fleurie 2011

Spanish Red Wine
Monteabellon 14 Meses en Barrica 2010

Spanish White Wine
Palacio de Bornos Verdejo Fermentado en Barrica 2011

German White Wine
Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Kabinett 2012

20130618-B(2A2B)-857/858

I was quite disappointed with the entrée, as the portion was quite small. There were only two pieces of mushrooms stuffed with shrimp mousse and was too much rice with too little sauce.

For the return flight, I selected a special Ding Dai Fung’s created Beef Tendon and Brisket noodle soup. It was delicious. There were at least four to five other entrées available to be pre-ordered. I highly recommend them. You can do all the pre-ordering on EVA Air website between 21 days and 24 hours prior to your flight.











The beef noodle soup was delicious, and I appreciate that they let you decide how much condiments to add to your noodle soup. The traditional preserved vegetables, green onions and chili were available.

Even the bathrooms can’t escape from the Hello Kitty theme – so if you are not a fan, please avoid them! There is really nowhere to hide from the “Kitty cat”! But if you are a fan, you are in heaven!





Arrival:
Taipei Taoyuan airport was very busy this day especially with the dramatic increased of cross-strait flights from the Mainland China. Descent began at 9:56pm but we circled around a bit before landing on R/W5R at 10:44pm, and we parked at gate B8 in terminal one four minutes later. We are instructed to walk back to Terminal Two for immigration and baggage retrieval. Immigration line was very long this evening, and it took me almost thirty minutes to go through immigration, which was unimpressive. My priority tagged bag was already out though.

The return flight was a bit better. ATC was not too bad at that time of the day. We descent to 35,000fett at 7:48pm and began our final decent at 8:02pm. We landed on R/W7L at 8:24pm. We parked at gate 36 four minutes later.

Conclusion:
Hello Kitty flights were definitely fun to do and EVA Air is doing a pretty good job in merging with the Star Alliance system. All my flights were posted at my TK account within a week after the completion of the flight. My Star Gold status was acknowledged and the purser made an effort in greeting each Star Gold passenger. EVA Air really tries to improve its service in business class, despite catering can still be better. Compared to China Airlines, EVA Air is still not as good in that department. I hope you enjoy this trip report! If you like Hello Kitty, you need to book this flight. Hong Kong might not be the best choice, as the flights are really short and there seems to be frequent aircraft substitution happening. Anyway, the next part will involve a little known regional airline based in Taiwan.

PS. I am sure many of you including those who live in North America and Europe really question how Asians are crazy about Hello Kitty. As Hello Kitty Jet will fly to the US and Europe soon, but will it really work? And will it give EVA Air an additional advantage? This picture should give you a good idea on why EVA Air continues to expand its Hello Kitty operations.


User currently offlineCdnCactus From Canada, joined Mar 2013, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10766 times:

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
There was a last minute aircraft change tonight. The Speed Puff jet that was assigned to Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong flights had a swap with the Happy Music Jet. Speed Puff was sent to Sapporo today.

I watched a video by linjeflyg on YouTube where 3 other Kitty jets were showcased (and ended up with "Häschenparty" stuck in my head; what an earworm!) The whole Hello Kitty thing might look weird for people not understanding what a stranglehold this feline has on the collective Asian consciousness, but it's a successful venture for BR. I've heard of people who worked their travel arrangements around the availability of the Kitty jets just so they can be on them, so...

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Even the bathrooms can’t escape from the Hello Kitty theme – so if you are not a fan, please avoid them!

You forgot the Hello Kitty toilet papers   , unless someone already absconded with them?

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
TransAsia Airways A330-300 B-22101 heading to Singapore,

That's one trip I was trying to arrange when I was in Taiwan in March just so I could try out TransAsia...didn't work out.

Thanks for the trip report. Let's just say I wouldn't want to be stuck in a 10 plus hour flight in a Kitty jet, but it should indeed be heaven for some!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9607 times:

Hello Carfield


Interesting report, especially how much EVA invests in the Hello Kitty brand!
Howver it doens't nearly reach my taste I bet the youngsters would find it just great  

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2086 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9416 times:

Your report had me chuckling at the photos. Is there are a message in their use of the Virgin Clubhouse?   We were in TPE earlier this year and it felt a little unmasculine to let your very boyish 4 year old son loose on the Hello Kitty playground prior to the flight. But what other choice is there?


Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinerichbpor From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8970 times:

Ok I am a guy and a big fan of Hello Kitty I would love to do this flight. Kind of funny even in business class you cannot escape the Kitty.

[Edited 2013-08-29 19:36:44]

User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 782 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8901 times:

Thanks Carfield for this fascinating report from a peculiar trend.

For the forthcoming long haul services, will BR load the IFE with a majority of HK movies ?



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinetommy525 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8775 times:

BR is Taiwanese. Doubt they would be heavy with Hong Kong movies.

User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 782 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8465 times:

Hey tommy525,

Quoting tommy525 (Reply 8):
BR is Taiwanese. Doubt they would be heavy with Hong Kong movies.

My bad for the misunderstanding, i meant to say "Hello Kitty" or (H.K.) movies/cartoons/series and not Hong Kong  



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinetommy525 From United States of America, joined Nov 2012, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8166 times:

Ahhh.. Of course. What was i thinking?  

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

Thanks for all the kind comments!

About Hello Kitty cartoons/movies, I honestly don't know... Other than welcome videos of Hello Kitty jet, I don't think the PTV contents are different. I did not check out the kid's section at all, so I could not report on it. It is pretty safe to say the entertainment program is the same across the fleet, and I will not surprised if there are a few Hello Kitty cartoons as part of the regular KID TV lineup. I don't think they add more Hello Kitty TV/movies/Shows on just the Hello Kitty jets.

Carfield


User currently offlinejohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2594 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7905 times:

I love all your reports Carfield, but this one was fantastic.

I'm quite the Hello Kitty fan and hope they'll fly to San Francisco some day.

But then i'm a flaming homosexual too.  


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic EVA Air Hello Kitty Jet HKG To Taipei J/Class
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
EVA Air's Hello Kitty Ride On TPE-HKE And Back posted Wed Mar 28 2012 21:46:19 by 9V-SVC
EVA Air - Taipei To JFK NO Photo posted Sun Apr 28 2013 22:13:39 by celestar
EVA Air New Business Class: B747 SFO-TPE-HKG posted Fri Mar 25 2011 21:50:52 by sfflyer123
EVA Air - Evergreen Deluxe Class - TPE To BKK posted Mon Jan 5 2004 05:27:42 by Wants2fly
San Francisco To Taipei On EVA Air posted Fri Aug 24 2001 06:16:05 by Alexchao
Lufthansa, First Class - B747-8: HKG To FRA posted Mon Aug 26 2013 03:08:06 by knightsofmalta
BR 11-LAX To Taipei Royal Laurel Class posted Sat Apr 13 2013 23:12:42 by legacyins
Part 2: Hong Kong Airlines And EVA Air HKG-TPE-HKG posted Sat Dec 1 2012 14:57:25 by deltamartin
Delayed! EVA Air BR17 From SFO To Taipei posted Sat Jun 30 2012 15:48:46 by SingaporeAir777
Thai Airways, Old And New J-class HKG To HKT posted Sat Jan 28 2012 14:47:13 by 63Bobster

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format