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Guide to STARLUX Business Class: Taiwan’s Luxury Airline


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If you’re searching for business class flights to Asia, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to our in-depth exploration of flying with STARLUX business class. From securing your seat to touching down, we’re diving into all the perks, onboard luxuries, and savvy traveler tips to elevate your journey from start to finish.

For me, Starlux has revolutionized air travel. As a travel blogger who’s constantly on the move, I’ve experienced a fair share of flights across various airlines. Yet, Starlux stands out, and I’m here to share why. From their impeccable service to the unrivaled comfort they offer, this Taiwanese airline takes flying to a whole new level.

In this guide, we’re exploring every facet of what makes Starlux business class a top contender for the best airline in the world. I’ll take you through the entire process, from check-in to disembarkation, covering lounges, seats, dining, and entertainment. It’s the comprehensive insight I wish I had on my first flight with them.

Why listen to me? Well, my numerous flights across the globe have given me a broad perspective on what truly makes for a superior air travel experience. Let’s uncover why Starlux business class might just be your next favorite way to fly.

My #1 tip to find cheap STARLUX Business Class tickets

Looking for a steal on STARLUX business class tickets? Before jumping into the article, I first wanted to give you this insider tip to find cheap airfare on business class flights.

For years, I’ve been using this site called Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights), which sends you alerts on airline deals, discounts, and mistake fares. It’s a total game-changer, saving me $10,000+ on flights each year.

Their $49/year premium version is well worth it- just one discounted flight pays for the whole thing. I recommend trying the free trial and using my special discount code JON20 to save 20%!

And if you’re into business/first class, you’ll want to sign up for their Elite version. Last year, this service saved me $2,750 on a first class flight and $1,500 on a business class flight. At just $199 year year, trust me, it’s a small price for massive savings.

Overview of STARLUX

Since its first flight from Taipei to Macau in January 2020, Starlux has been on my radar. Based in Taipei, Taiwan, it’s quickly become a go-to for those of us who look for something special in our flights. It’s not every day you find an airline that makes you think twice about what flying can be.

With a fleet of 22 planes, Starlux flies to 27 places, including favorites like Japan, the US, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. They offer something for everyone with economy, premium economy, and business classes. But if you’re eyeing the pinnacle of luxury, their first-class service on the Airbus A350-900 is where it’s at.

Starlux might be new, but it’s playing in the big leagues, aiming to be one of the best airlines in Asia. And from what I’ve seen? They’re on the right path. Let’s take a closer look at what makes their business class stand out.

Starlux Business Class flight for all types of travelers.

STARLUX fleet

Let’s get into the details of Starlux’s fleet, which, frankly, is pretty impressive.

Airbus A350-900

For longer stretches, including flights to the U.S. from Taipei, the Airbus A350-900 is what you’ll board. The business class cabin boasts 26 seats, each with its own 48.5-inch door and partition for unmatched privacy.  The seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration, lay flat and include a massive 24-inch video screen. Due to its close proximity to the lavatories, I’d avoid rows 7 & 8.

Airbus A330neo

On the Airbus A330-900, the setup shifts to a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 28 Safran Skylounge Core seats. Each of these turns into a fully flat bed, accompanied by a 17.3-inch 4K IFE touchscreen. It’s the aircraft of choice for slightly longer stretches within Asia.

Airbus A321

Starlux A321 business class features eight Collins Diamond seats in a cozy 2-2 setup. These seats are 20.19 inches wide and stretch out into a fully flat bed of 82 inches. Plus, with a 15.6-inch IFE touchscreen at your disposal, boredom doesn’t stand a chance. This aircraft is used for short hops around Asia. It’s quite easily one of the best short-haul business class products in the world.

Starlux Airlines prides itself on having a remarkably young fleet, with an average age of just over 2 years. The newer the aircraft, like the ones Starlux flies, the less carbon they emit. This commitment to sustainability is a big deal, showing that Starlux is serious about doing its part for the planet.

With 18 more aircraft expected to join, Starlux is gearing up for even bigger things. Flying with them, you’re on some of the newest planes that tread lightly on the earth.

The business class on this airline is quite good.
The business class on this airline is quite good.

STARLUX business class baggage allowance

Regarding packing for a trip, we all know the drill: the more, the merrier. But airlines have their rules. Luckily, flying Starlux business class makes this part easy and generous. You’re allowed two pieces of checked luggage, and each can be as heavy as 32kg, which is about 70 pounds.

STARLUX business class ground experience

At Taipei-Taoyuan (TPE), Starlux welcomes business class passengers into the Galactic Lounge. Despite being on the cozier side, it never feels too crowded.

The airport lounge is smartly laid out with a variety of seating options, from comfy sofas to work-ready desks. It’s a calm spot to catch your breath or catch up on emails before flying.

The attention from the lounge staff makes a big difference. They keep everything running smoothly and ensure the lounge is clean.

For food, the buffet area offers a nice selection, including both cold and hot options, alongside snacks and drinks. It’s neat to see meals being prepared behind glass, which makes it feel more personalized. If you’re after something specific, the à-la-carte menu serves up freshly made breakfast or lunch.

A point to note is the absence of bathrooms and showers in the lounge, something to plan around. This wasn’t an issue for me, as they’re just down the corridor. It did feel a little odd, though.

If you’re flying from LAX to Taipei, Starlux uses the Qantas Business/One World Business Class lounge.

This airline never feels overly crowded even though it is on the cozier side.
This airline never feels overly crowded even though it is on the cozier side. | Image Credit: One Mile at a Time

In-flight comfort & amenities on STARLUX business class

Flying Starlux’s A350 on the U.S. to Taipei route, I noticed how the business class experience is tailored to comfort and convenience.

Each seat comes with a sizeable counter, equipped with an elegant lamp offering multiple dimming options. Directly under this counter, a monitor allows you to adjust your seat settings. I loved the “Zero G” option for ultimate relaxation.

What really impressed me was the massive 24″ 4K screen across from each seat. It’s one of the most impressive displays I’ve seen in business class, offering crystal-clear viewing. The addition of bluetooth audio for personal headphone use is a thoughtful touch. You can use the entertainment system with your own headphones.

Upon boarding, the comforts continue with a plush pillow and blanket at each seat, neither too bulky nor too warm, alongside a mattress pad for when it’s time to sleep. The Starlux branded noise-canceling headphones provided are top-notch.

You’ll also receive a BRIC’s amenity kit, filled with Huygens products, covering everything from eyeshades and earplugs to a dental kit and socks.

Pajamas and slippers are also provided, which are very comfortable and perfectly sized. The cherry on top? Free wifi for business class passengers, keeping everyone connected, no matter where in the world we are flying over.

On the A330 and A321, while the amenities largely mirror those on the A350, the seating configuration and the specific seat models differ, as detailed in the fleet comparison.

Regardless of the aircraft, Starlux maintains a high standard of in-flight comfort and amenities across its fleet. It’s one of the best business class airlines in the world, hands down.

The business class experience is designed with convenience and comfort in mind.
The business class experience is designed with convenience and comfort in mind. | Image Credit: STARLUX Airlines

Food & drink in STARLUX business class

On Starlux business class, the food and drink options are standout features. They work with Michelin-starred restaurants and renowned brands to create meals that mix regional flavors with chef-driven innovation. You get a broad menu, offering plenty of choices for your main dish.

For those who like to plan ahead, there’s an option to select your meal online before you fly. This is available until 24 hours before departure for flights to and from Taipei, and 48 hours for flights to and from Taichung.

The wine list includes selections from around the world, perfect for pairing with your meal. BOLLINGER is on offer, along with a variety of cocktails and other drinks like juices, coffee, and tea.

A heads-up for those flying out of LAX: the standard menu is Western, but you can pre-order the Taiwanese menu to mix things up.

Overall, I was impressed with the food and drink on Starlux. I particularly enjoyed my main course of USDA Prime Tenderloin. The cocktails were a highlight, with plenty of unique concoctions available. It’s another reason why I believe that Starlux is one of the best airlines to fly to Asia from the US.

The food and drink selections in business class on this airline are particularly noteworthy.
The food and drink selections in business class on this airline are particularly noteworthy. | Image Credit: STARLUX Airlines

Tips for booking STARLUX business class flights

If you’re looking for cheap Starlux flights, here are some pointers to help you out.

  • Start your search early: The earlier you start looking, the better chances you have at snagging top deals and preferred seats.
  • Leverage miles: With the partnership between Starlux and Alaska Airlines, using your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for Starlux flights is a smart move.
  • Travel off-peak: Choosing less busy travel times can lead to better availability and sometimes even better rates.
  • Flexibility wins: Being open about your travel dates can uncover better deals or seat availability.
  • Explore all routes: Sometimes, alternative airports can offer surprising value, so it’s worth checking different departure or arrival cities.
  • Promotions are key: Keep an eye out for any promotions from Starlux or its partners for potential savings or bonus miles.
  • Save miles for big trips: For long routes like LAX-TPE, you’ll need 165k miles for business class. I recommend planning your miles strategy accordingly.
  • Use travel sites: Platforms like Expedia and Going are invaluable for comparing prices and options across different airlines, including Starlux. They often provide a broader view of available flights and deals, which makes it easier to find what suits you best.

When booking your next adventure, these tips will help you find cheap business class flights with Starlux.

STARLUX business class vs. rival products

Wondering which airline has the best business class in Asia? Let’s take a closer look at how Starlux compares with its rivals, and I’ll share my take on who might prefer each.

Starlux vs. Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines’ business class is known for its extensive route options, including flights to Europe. The unique offering of satay before meals is a delightful touch that I always appreciate.

However, when it comes to seat comfort and the overall luxury feel, Starlux edges out with its modern cabins and superior seating. For those who prioritize a broad network and unique dining experiences, Malaysia Airlines is a strong contender.

Starlux vs. EVA Air

EVA Air’s Premium Laurel Class on the A330 offers spaciousness with its 2-2-2 seating arrangement and impressively large screens. It’s a top choice for those who value comfort and in-flight entertainment. Despite this, I’d say Starlux business class takes the edge. They’re both excellent products, but Starlux feels more premium.

EVA Air’s A321 experience doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by Starlux, especially in terms of cabin ambiance and seat design. However, EVA is part of Star Alliance, which is fantastic if you’re a MileagePlus member. If you’re looking for the best airlines to fly to Taiwan, I’d still recommend Starlux for a more refined experience.

Starlux vs. China Airlines

China Airlines shines on its A350 flights, featuring a bar, high-speed wifi (though not complimentary), and a wide array of entertainment options. Its route coverage is also extensive compared to Starlux.

While these features are appealing, Starlux offers a competitive experience with its exceptional seat comfort and attentive service. If you’re looking for added amenities like a bar and don’t mind paying for wifi, China Airlines could be your match.

Bottom Line

As one of the best business class airlines in the world, my recommendation leans towards Starlux for those who prioritize the latest in seat comfort, cabin luxury, and personalized service.

However, for travelers who are deeply integrated into the loyalty programs of Oneworld, Star Alliance, or SkyTeam, choosing Malaysia Airlines, EVA Air, or China Airlines could offer additional benefits that extend beyond the flight itself. Each airline’s membership in a major alliance can significantly influence your decision based on your loyalty and travel needs.

With its contemporary rooms and excellent seating, this airline shines.
With its contemporary rooms and excellent seating, this airline shines. | Image Credit: STARLUX Airlines

Pros & cons of STARLUX business class

Having flown STARLUX business class, I’ve noticed some clear pros and cons that might help you decide if it’s the right choice for your travels.

Pros

  • Comfort: The seats excel in both sitting and sleeping comfort, thanks to thoughtful design and quality bedding.
  • Privacy and convenience: Private suites with doors, complemented by slippers and pajamas, set the stage for a cozy journey.
  • Tech-friendly: High-quality, large entertainment screens that sync with personal Bluetooth headphones and the convenience of wireless charging stand out.
  • Service & extras: Exceptional service combined with free in-flight internet for a seamless experience.
  • Cabin aesthetics: The cabin’s beautiful design and layout offer an inviting atmosphere from the moment you step on board.

Cons

  • Dining: The food, while good, sometimes falls short of the high standards set by other aspects of the service.
  • Privacy vs. togetherness: The layout is perfect for solo flyers seeking solitude but less so for couples who wish to interact more freely.
  • Storage: A bit more space for personal belongings would be welcome.
  • Internet hiccups: The complimentary internet, despite being a pro, suffers from reliability issues.
  • Limited entertainment options: The range of English-language movies and TV shows doesn’t quite compare with other carriers.
The lovely layout and style of the cabin create a cozy feeling as soon as you enter.
The lovely layout and style of the cabin create a cozy feeling as soon as you enter. | Image Credit: STARLUX Airlines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about STARLUX business class

Are you still curious about which airline is the best to fly to Hong Kong? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help decide whether STARLUX business class is the right option for you.

Is STARLUX a budget airline?

Not at all. STARLUX positions itself as a luxury airline, focusing on premium experiences. From plush seating to exceptional service, they aim for the high end of air travel.

Which alliance is STARLUX part of?

Currently, STARLUX isn’t a member of any major airline alliance. They operate independently, focusing on providing a unique and high-quality service to their passengers.

Travel by air has been transformed by this airline's business class.
Travel by air has been transformed by this airline’s business class.

Does STARLUX serve alcohol?

Yes, they do. STARLUX offers a selection of alcoholic beverages to its passengers, so you can enjoy a fine wine or a cocktail while you fly.

Does STARLUX have free WIFI?

Yes, all business class passengers enjoy complimentary in-flight internet when flying with Starlux.

Starlux Business Class to try right now.
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