Topic of the Week: Your Least Favorite Special Livery


A couple weeks ago I asked for your favorite special aircraft livery. Now, let’s hear your least favorite. Mine was no contest. The original America West Teamwork airplane made me cringe every time I saw it. Do you really want to fly an airplane that looks like a kid put it together?

Now it’s your turn. Which one do you hate most?

35 comments on “Topic of the Week: Your Least Favorite Special Livery

  1. Hands down, Eva Air’s (Lovely?) “Hello Kitty” B-777 aircraft has to be the most repulsive of them all… though I’ve yet to see (just heard of) the (narrowbody) plane of a small, Asian carrier that has a parity livery showing a caricature of something called the “Dear Leader Tongue Scrapper” on it’s side.

  2. It pains me to say this because it’s for a good cause but the DL breast cancer plane – I think it’s a 767? – just looks ungainly in that pink.

    1. I think the oversaturation of the pink thing is starting to cause negative reactions in people. It’s like, “yeah, we get it, great cause, but “pink” seems to be the easiest, safest, most ubiquitous cause out there.”

  3. I have two votes. Alaska’s Spirit of Alaska Statehood just makes me shake my head. I know a kid designed it so forgive my insensitivity, but I hate the way it looks on a plane. Also ANA’s special Panda livery. I don’t know if that plane runs any routes to the US but I cringe at the photos. it looks like a cow.

  4. JetBlue Red Sox plane… It looks fine, but I do not care for the Red Sox…
    Or any Sunwing plane with the Oasis sponsor decal. They hurt the eyes

    1. I would feel the same way about a New York Yankees livery. I think jetBlue may have one of those too.

  5. Without a doubt, Southwest’s “Missouri One” has to be the most hideous plane to ever take the skies. While Southwest’s livery as historically been repulsive (the current Crayola primary colors being no exception), the Missouri aircraft is especially awful. I recognize that SW tries to pretend it is still a low cost carrier but trying to dumb down your look to appeal to the masses does little to impress me.

    1. Several of the Southwest state planes are bad. Florida One doesn’t look much better than Missouri One. State flags are often hideous, and wrapping them around a plane doesn’t make them better,

    2. All the Southwest state livery look pretty hideous. I think all the detail from a state flag is just too busy for a plane’s exterior.

    1. OK, you win. That’s worse than the Southwest Missouri One.

      That’s not ultra low cost, that’s kitchen table low cost.

  6. Maybe I don’t understand art, but I never cared for the Peter Max Continental 777, seemed like a kid’s finger painting to me.

  7. Ho-hum. I thoroughly understand that many of my AvGeek brothers and sisters pay close attention to both special and normal liveries. And that’s perfectly OK. Without injecting too much snark here, who really gives a twit? Said and done, does anyone really make a ticket purchasing decision based on an airplane’s exterior paint job? Come on folks, get a grip. While I’m not a huge fan of the ULCCs, I do understand their need to trim costs in every possible way. And then the turn around and design/buy a special livery for one or two airplanes? From start to finish, some of those one or two of special paint schemes can cost twice as much – or more – as the regular paint. Again, who actually buys a ticket based on a pain job? Am I missing something? -C.

    1. I’d say you’re missing two things…

      First, this is an intentionally frivolous thread, and you’re taking it too seriously.

      Second, airlines paint special liveries as a form of advertising: to increase brand awareness overall. The idea isn’t to sell tickets on that particular plane. The idea is to make me think “Wow… Southwest cares about Missouri” (where I live) so that I’m more likely to hit their website rather than just clicking through Kayak.

      1. @Grichard: You are correct, sir. Your first point is spot-on.
        The second, ah, not so much. I was not suggesting a buying a ride on a specific airplane, but the brand awareness that you mentioned. Many flyers have far less brand awareness that do ‘geeks’ like us. That said, I sill cannot imagine a paint job, routine or special, as important to anyone’s buying decisions. at least it should not be so. American buyers and travelers are a unique group and as a whole, probably fly – on average – far more than any other developed country. As such, our buying habits can be expected to be – and are – all over the map. Just saying that the exterior paint makes zero difference to me. When I evaluate and airline for current for future, repeated use, my focus is on the hard and soft products inside the airplane, personal experience with the FAs, safety record, maintenance practices and eventually the final cost. I’ve been around the block enough times to take some safety events with a lot of salt and some maintenance details are often impossible to find. I try, simply because some things are far more important than are others. Do my decisions ever become as simple as a coin toss? With modest shame, I admit that this has happened. Happy flying. -C.

        1. Although special Livery’s are probably helpful for communicating something about the culture of an airline.

          That is how America West, US Airways, and now American use them.

          Alaska has done some similar things to communicate what they’re about. (Alaska, Teamwork, Disney….)

  8. Hate Teamwork? Well you pitiful, whinny baby. If you bothered to think about what the customer service reps at HP had to overcome to keep their airline flying, losing the complete value of the stock they had to buy to work for the carrier, maybe you wouldn’t be so judgmental and fearful. That 757 was an incredible aircraft to fly in as was Battleborne, Arizona CardNULLS, Ohio, Arizona Flag, Diamondbacks and other paint jobs. Beats the hell out of the cattlecar 737-300’s flown by the competition or SkyWest’s murderous sardine can Bombardiar 100 or 200’s United choose to dump on a PHX and LAX. The worst livery was clearly Northwest’s, with DC9-50s always a threat to appear at the jetway you are to use. They along with the very old DC-10s were maintained by unions who were always fighting with Richard Anderson or were non -Union, taking the place of union mechanics who refused to work, so you never knew if your aircraft had been put back together properly. Secondly had to be United as with NWA their aircraft ALWAYS looked dirty and half cleaned. Add in the liberal use of regional jets, old 737s, former TEDs, and A320s, and you could never predict what you were going to fly in that day.

  9. I think like the first person to respond. the ANA and EVA cartoon jets – hello kitty, pikachu, and so on.

  10. The United Airlines (pre-merger) livery with the Oprah crap has to be the stupidest special livery. I guess they were bankrupt and would do anything for money.

  11. Airlines need to concentrate on running their companies as what they are …..transportation companies, not advertising companies or social services !!!

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