‘Must-have for cosplay parties’: Struggling airline HK Express repurposes in-flight trolleys for sale

The struggling airline is selling its in-flight trolleys so that you can recreate your own flying experience at home. Photo: HK Express
The struggling airline is selling its in-flight trolleys so that you can recreate your own flying experience at home. Photo: HK Express

Miss flying? You can now get a literal piece of the in-flight experience in the comfort of your own home.

Well, you could have. Budget carrier HK Express announced Wednesday that it is putting up a limited quantity of galley boxes and waste trolleys for sale on its website, but by the end of the day, they had already been snapped up.

Yes, by “galley boxes and waste trolleys,” we mean the rolling carts that hold your trays of lukewarm meals and are a massive headache if one is coming down the aisle and you really need to use the toilet.

The five items are still up on HK Express’ website, but all of them have a “sold out” tag on them.

“Each plated with our first-generation logo and a unique license plate, these trolleys are the must-have for cosplay parties or movable furniture for home decors!” A description for the Atlas Half-Sized Trolley with 1st Generation HK Express Logo, which went for HK$4,500 (US$580), reads on the airline’s website.

The trolleys would be a 'must-have for cosplay parties,' the airline purports. Photo: Hong Kong Express
The trolleys are a “must-have for cosplay parties,” the airline purports. Photo: HK Express

For good measure, the description adds that “all trolleys are extensively cleansed and disinfected and are in full functional conditions.”

The full-sized version of the trolley, priced at HK$5,000 (US$645), can be a “practical shoe cabinet” or a “fancy champagne trolley,” the airline’s website suggests.

The full-sized trolley offers 'flexibility in home storage ideas,' can can function as a 'practical shoe cabinet' or 'fancy champagne trolley.' Photo: Hong Kong Express
The full-sized trolley offers “flexibility in home storage ideas,” according to its description. Photo: HK Express

The airline’s first generation waste trolley was the most expensive item at HK$6,000 (US$772). A playful description reads: “Completely sanitized and repaired, they are ready for new homes to offer trustworthy ‘rollable’ service, regardless of being a household garbage bin, or a large laundry basket for those who do not want to wash their clothes for a week!”

On Facebook, netizens joked about what else the struggling airline could sell to cover some of its losses.

“Can I buy an airplane wing?” One person quipped.

Read more: Tickets for Hong Kong Airlines sunset ‘flight to nowhere’ sell out in 30 minutes

HK Express, like many airlines around the world, have been left floundering since COVID-19 halted travel.

Last December, the carrier rolled out new employees’ contracts requiring pilots to take pay cuts as steep as 40%.

The Cathay Pacific-owned airline announced earlier this week that it would be giving employees the option to join its updated “special unpaid leave scheme,” whereby they would take six or nine months of no-pay leave and receive one or two months’ salary.


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