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One of the pilots cleans the windshield of this three-engined beauty

AR Rewind: This story was originally published in September 2015 and is being re-loved.

When I got the invite to head to Hamburg for a few days to check out Lufthansa Technik, I was interested. When I saw that part of the trip involved flying on a Junkers Ju-52 that was built in 1936… I was sold.

The Lufthansa Ju-52 sits at Hamburg Airport.

The Lufthansa Ju-52 sits at Hamburg Airport

Over the years, I have been able to fly on many airliners, but most were built in my lifetime. I haven’t had the privilege on flying on any real classic aircraft like this, and given that it is a three-engined, well-maintained beast, I just couldn’t help but be giddy.

The “Shining Star” livery is currently flying to Chicago (on certain days of the week) – Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

At first glance, Taiwan-based EVA Air and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty are an unconventional pairing. The former is an airline with a reputation for refined and efficient service, while the latter is a lighthearted cartoon character.

But having recently flown one of EVA’s special Hello Kitty long-haul flights, we can confirm that the combo makes for a really fun inflight experience. In our first installment we wrote about the lounge experience in Paris, the Royal Laurel cabin, and the first meal service. And now we’re back with the rest!

Read on as we discuss the sleep experience in EVA’s Royal Laurel business class, discover some unique Hello Kitty amenities, enjoy a Chinese-style breakfast, and more from the second half of our flight. Plus, we’ll fill you in on how you can get yourself on a Hello Kitty flight on EVA Air.

Yup... this IS your grandpa's airline - Photo: David Parker Brown

Yup… this IS your grandpa’s airline – Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter

From time-to-time, my mom will forward me airline stories; it is kind of nice. Recently, she pointed out a new airline named Joon, which is being marketed to millennials. See, she likes to poke fun since I am right on the cusp of being a millennial. Some say that being born in 1980 makes you one, while others debate the exact year. I say that I am NOT a millennial and get insulted being called one. I am a unique indivdual and cannot be easily placed into just one convenient definition. Wait. Damn it.

Quickly reading over Joon’s press release, it seemed to use lots of fancy words, but didn’t provide much actual substance or new ideas. It did, however, make me roll my eyes… hard. Just a taste of the press release:

“Joon is aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35-year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology. This new brand has been entirely designed to meet their requirements and aspirations, with an authentic and connected offering that stands out in the world of air transport.”

“Joon will not be a low-cost airline as it will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France. Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind. Short, punchy and international, the name Joon is designed to address a worldwide audience.”

My head hurts. And that livery. And it is not even a low-cost airline. I just need to breathe… I don’t want to get carried away here complaining about this concept — not what this story is for. (Read a bit more about Joon, on Ben Schlappig’s OneMileataTime).

Anyhow, my mom and I got to thinking. If we are seeing more airlines marketed towards the younger folks, why doesn’t an airline market to her generation: the Baby Boomers? The conversation got fun and I think we came up with some pretty good ideas on what some Baby Boomers might want from an airline. I decided (with her permission) to share. Here is our airline…

Is air travel not whimsical enough for you? Does the inflight experience on most airlines not appeal enough to your inner preteen self? Well, we have good news for you! Taiwan-based EVA Air has what you need: a truly one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty themed service on select routes that will make any other flight seem boring by comparison.

Hello Kitty aside, I’ve wanted to travel EVA Air for a long time. Its Royal Laurel premium cabin is a favorite among the AvGeek elite for its excellent seat and service. Plus, EVA Air is part of the pantheon of elite Skytrax Five-Star airlines. So I included an EVA flight from Paris to Taipei in a recent Star Alliance multi-airline itinerary.

I wasn’t initially aware that my flight was a Hello Kitty service, but when I found out, I was thrilled! Not because I’m much of a Hello Kitty fan (though would I admit it if I was?). More because these Hello Kitty flights are an iconic AvGeek experience and a rare find.

Read on for photos and tales from my trip with Hello Kitty … *ahem* I mean Captain Hello Kitty.

The Hello Kitty Shining Star Jet, which is currently flying from ORD-TPE as BR55!