Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Themed Planes

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Airlines have been pretty good at branding and livery. You know a United Airlines plane looks different from an American Airlines one, and the American Airlines one looks different from a British Airways aircraft. But now plane spotting is more entertaining.

Welcome to the world of themed planes. The Japanese airline All Nippon Airways doesn’t fly to a galaxy far, far away, but the airline does fly specially painted Star Wars planes to Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The Star Wars theme is everywhere including the boarding passes, seats, coffee cups, napkins and of course–the in-flight entertainment.  You can watch all nine Star Wars movies.

In Canada, WestJet has painted special Disney magic planes–with the Disney castle and Mickey Mouse painted on the outside.  Not surprisingly, you’ll find those 737s on its Canada to Orlando routes. And once inside, passengers get to actually eat Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters in the form of in-flight cookies.

If you’re flying on Southwest Airlines during television’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, then look for its great white, hammerhead, mako, tiger and bull shark 737s.

And if you happen to be flying between Taiwan and Chicago or Los Angeles with EVA air, you’d better be a Hello Kitty fan. There’s no escaping this character on its Boeing 777  because it’s not just the outside paint scheme. The airline has more than doubled down with Hello Kitty–you’ll find the pink feline character on pillows, flight attendant uniforms, utensils, and yes, even the airborne toilet paper is Hello Kitty themed. These are long-haul flights. And for me, that’s enough to want to change planes, if not airlines.

By Peter Greenberg for 

For more on unusual planes, check out:

What Pan Am Planes Used to Look Like

Theme Parties at 30,000 Feet

The World’s Longest Flight

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