Eva Air is a Taiwanese air carrier that has progressed to be one of the favorite airlines for passengers flying into and out of Asian countries. It is one of the few airlines that has earned the prestigious 5 star rating, a rating held by only 8 airlines. Interestingly, all of the 5 star airlines originate in Asian countries. Eva was awarded the 5 star rating in 2016.
It has also been ranked as the 3rd safest airline in the world to fly. The only other airlines ahead of it are Qantas out of Australia, and Cathay Pacific out of Hong Kong. Here it is important to mention that both airlines ahead of Eva have been in business far longer, and therefore get a boost in rating based on the total number of in-flight hours.
Beyond the technical rankings, the airline was voted into the top 3 of airlines passengers preferred to fly. The survey was taken by Skytrax, who polled travelers from around the world to arrive at the top three choices. The results showed that more than 81% of passengers gave Eva Air an approval rating that launched it into the heavenly ratings and earned the title of being among the world’s Best Loved Airlines.
All these things could be factored in to Eva Air being unique. But the most unique feature is its Hello Kitty themed airplanes, right down to the nose of each airplane fronting the Hello Kitty face.
While many people have heard of Hello Kitty, it is primarily associated with Japanese culture. One of the untold stories is that the concept is reported to actually originate in China, and since Taiwan connects its roots to Mainland China, it is a logical connection to the Hello Kitty theme. Japan has a Hello Kitty bullet train in operation, with similar exterior and interior themes.
The Hello Kitty theme extends beyond the outside of the aircraft to every passenger class in the plane, including its Premium Economy class. Eva was the first to introduce the concept of this class, and passengers who fly Eva know the difference. When seated, you encounter Hello Kitty headrests and pillows. But even before you board there are Hello Kitty luggage tags to get you in the right mindset before boarding.
If you are wondering just how unique the Eva Hello Kitty experience can go, the vomit bags have the Hello Kitty theme on them. (This may actually be a psychological way to avoid people throwing up, as who would want to throw up on a Hello Kitty?) Yes, the safety cards and headphone bag too. And when you go to the bathroom you will find Hello Kitty on the toilet paper, though this does seem more than a bit odd.
Your meals come with Hello Kitty plastic utensils, and many of the available snacks also have the theme. If the ever-present theme begins to wear on you, the dinnerware and some snack packaging are Hello Kitty free.
With all the fuss about the Hello Kitty themed flight, the question is whether it is a distraction from a rather average in-flight experience. The answer is a resounding no. First, at the beginning of the article it was pointed out that Eva Air had achieved multiple awards in a short amount of time. An airline doesn’t get a highly favorable passenger experience rating from providing a lukewarm passenger experience. In fact, the vast majority of passengers rate the flight attendant service as exceptional, citing both the efficiency and friendliness as specific points of the enjoyable service.
But there is at least one criticism of the experience noted by a number of passengers – the food quality. The general criticisms focus on the food being meh in flavor. Maybe this is true, but maybe it is the result of having very high expectations based on everything that surrounds the passengers. It is possible the complaints are the result of Eva achieving such a high standard that anything less is considered to be a fault.
For its future, the airline has 24 Dreamliners ordered. The Boeing 787-10 is one of the largest planes to come out of Boeing, and it has an excellent reputation. Each aircraft will cost roughly $8 billion, so Eva is clearly looking forward to moving up in rankings as one of the world’s best and most unique airlines.