Flight Review: On board EVA Air’s Hello Kitty Jet – Tokyo (Haneda) to Taipei, Taiwan (BR191)

On our latest Flight Review, we take you on board the Hello Kitty Jet with Taiwanese airline EVA, as Johnny flies from Japan to Taipei. Yes, the flight is full of just about everything a Hello Kitty Fanboy or Fangirl could want and then some… all the way down to the pink, themed cutlery you’re served with your meal…

Airline: EVA Air
Route: Tokyo (Haneda) to Taipei, Taiwan
Seat: 35D (Aisle)
Aircraft: Hello Kitty Jet (Airbus 330-300)
Class: Economy
Flight Time: 3 Hours 20 Minutes
On Schedule? Take off delayed by 20 minutes. Landed on time.

Frequent Flyer Program: Infinity MileageLands is their own program, and they’re part of the Star Alliance Network.
Lounge Access: No
Web Check-In? Yes
Mobile Check-In? Yes
Points and Status Credits Earned: Yes, with Singapore Airlines or any participating Star Alliance partners.

Meal Service:

Meal was served soon after the seat belt sign was off, within the first hour of the flight. No options were provided for the meal, everyone got the same meal unless they’d requested a special meal when booking their flights. The Hello Kitty themed meal came with a teriyaki chicken hot dish with rice, complete with a carrot shaped as a Hello Kitty bow. The appetizer was a fish cake shaped in the airline’s favourite cat. Or girl. Depending on who you want to believe. The cutlery was also themed, as was the cup. We considered trying to sneak off the plane with it but were unsuccessful. Dessert was Chocolate Ice Cream, served in a Hello Kitty box. The moral of the story is, get ready to eat Hello Kitty when you fly EVA Air’s Hello Kitty Jet – and she doesn’t taste that bad.

In-Flight Entertainment:

9 inch Panasonic eXO 2 system, filled with the latest Western, Chinese and Japanese content. There’s more Chinese, because it’s a Chinese airline, than anything else, but there’s still plenty of choice for all guests – especially when the flight is only three hours. A 110V power point and USB port in every seat will give you plenty of power to use your own device, too.

Comfort:

Standard international economy seat with 32 inch seat pitch and 18 inch seat width. The on seat head rest was winged and movable, and the only real difference between this jet and any other are the Hello Kitty pillows on every seat. Hello Kitty is everywhere, even in the toilets. Unfortunately no Hello Kitty toilet seat though. Take with that what you will.

Flight Experience:

It was a smooth flight, you don’t usually get turbulence on this route and this was no exception. Check in was provided with Japanese efficiency. Haneda is an excellent airport for walking around, with a nice garden after you go through security – as well as plenty of Hello Kitty paraphernalia to welcome you to your flight. Good, fast and free Wi-Fi in the terminal, too, with regular announcements in Japanese and English. So it’s a pleasant experience all around.

Customer Service:

Efficient, without being overly attentive. Typical Asian airline kind of service. Difference is they wear Hello Kitty Aprons. And you can’t help but applaud that. Pilot doesn’t meow over the speakers, which is good, nor does he announce himself as Hello Kitty.

Baggage:

One bag at 20kgs/44lbs, plus a carry on, means EVA offers a little less than most (23kg/50lbs being industry standard for an international flight). I was on a special Star Alliance Asia Pass, however, that allowed me 30kgs and also special fares. Ask your travel agent to look into the Asia Pass if you’re planning to do a lot of travel around the region, flying Star Alliance Airlines.

For more details on the Hello Kitty experiences that EVA offer, head to: http://evakitty.evaair.com/en/

The writer flew at his own expense. Article written with Larry Heath. Photos by Johnny Au, except for photo of aircraft, from thesmartlocal.com.