Starlux Airlines A350 Business Class: Great, But Not Perfect

Starlux Airlines A350 Business Class: Great, But Not Perfect

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Hello from Taipei! I just completed the 13.5 hour flight from Los Angeles on Starlux Airlines’ Airbus A350-900. This is a flight I’ve been looking forward to ever since the airline was added as an Alaska Mileage Plan partner, and I managed to ticket an award in business class for just 60,000 miles.

As many OMAAT readers know (and often remind me), I seem to have a bit of an obsession with this airline, so I was really looking forward to this flight. After all, in this era it’s not often you see full service airline startups.

I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the experience in this post, and then soon I’ll have a full review. I know what some of you may be thinking — I’m just gonna be gushing all over this airline, and acting like this flight was the best thing since sliced bread.

Well, not quite. Rather, I walked away from the flight feeling conflicted. On the one hand, I think this is one of the 10 best business class products in the world. On the other hand, the experience left me oddly underwhelmed. That’s more a reflection of my very high expectations than anything else, though.

I realize I’m sending mixed messages here, so let me share my initial impressions, in no particular order…

Starlux’s A350 business class seats are incredible

Starlux Airlines’ A350 business class cabin consists of 26 reverse herringbone seats (well, in addition to an awkward row of first class seats, which remain empty on most flights). Reverse herringbone seats are the most common long haul business class seats nowadays, but Starlux’s seat is anything but ordinary.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class cabin
Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class cabin

The airline is the launch customer for the new Collins Aerospace Elements product, which is an evolution of the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat that you’ll find on many airlines. Going into this flight, I wasn’t expecting this seat would be materially different than previous generation ones, so I was very pleasantly surprised.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat

For one, the seat has amazing tech — a massive 24″ 4K screen (the biggest in any reverse herringbone seat), wireless charging, and bluetooth audio. Now, while the screen is great, the entertainment selection left a bit to be desired, especially when it comes to western movies and TV shows. But that’s a personal preference, and also a software issue rather than a hardware issue.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat

The suite also has gorgeous finishes and functional design, including multiple storage compartments, a substantial door, and more.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat door

While that’s nice and all, this seat has one biggest incremental improvement, in my opinion. One issue with many reverse herringbone seats is how tight the seat feels when in bed mode, as you have to place your feet in a small footwell. Us side sleepers often feel like we’re basically wedged into the seat.

I don’t know how exactly Collins Aerospace did it, but this seat feels much more spacious in bed mode. I never felt like my feet were restricted, and could comfortably sleep on my side without constantly bumping into things.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat footwell

This is the reverse herringbone seat of the future, and I can’t wait to see more airlines introduce it (Etihad will also be rolling out this product on some Boeing 787s in the near future).

Now, to be balanced, I do want to mention one criticism of this seat, and one criticism of the cabin. When it comes to the seat, the tray table isn’t at all sturdy. It vibrates while the plane is just cruising (even if there’s no turbulence), as I guess it’s just not very stable. Hopefully that’s something that can be fixed.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat tray table

When it comes to the cabin, I also can’t help but point out that while the seats are spacious, the cabin feels dense. For example, check out the location of the two rear lavatories. If you’re in the pair of center seats in the last row of business class, you’re uncomfortably close to the bathroom, which seems not ideal in terms of light pollution, noise, and odor.

Starlux Airlines Airbus A350 business class cabin

Starlux’s business class amenities are tough to beat

Starlux Airlines has an impressive selection of amenities on long haul flights. The airline has pajamas, among the most comfortable I’ve received on any airline.

Starlux Airlines business class pajamas

There are also amenity kits from BRIC’s, containing products from Huygens.

Starlux Airlines business class amenity kit

Starlux also offers each passenger a comfortable pillow and blanket, plus a substantial mattress pad, which makes this one of the most comfortable business class seats in the sky, in my opinion.

Starlux Airlines business class bedding

Lastly, Starlux offers business class passengers unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi with no data caps. It’s nice to see that this is increasingly a trend at more airlines, as it hasn’t historically been the case.

Starlux Airlines business class free Wi-Fi

Starlux’s business class food & drinks are good

I had really high expectations of Starlux Airlines’ food and drinks based on everything I had heard.

On the plus side, Starlux has a solid alcohol selection, with some imaginative cocktails, plus an extensive selection of wine, including Bollinger champagne.

Starlux Airlines business class cocktails

As far as the food goes, I’d say that fell more in the category of being good rather than great.

Starlux’s flight from Los Angeles to Taipei departs at 1AM and arrives at 5AM the next day, so dinner is served after takeoff, and then breakfast is served before landing. Unless you pre-order (which you can’t do online on a ticket issued by Alaska), the only meal options after takeoff are from the international menu.

There were no canapés or snacks before the meal, but rather it started with a grilled shrimp salad followed by a mushroom soup.

Starlux Airlines business class meal service
Starlux Airlines business class meal service

There were four choices for main courses, including a Chilean sea bass with oyster sauce, fried noodles, and vegetables.

Starlux Airlines business class meal service

Then for dessert there was an apple pecan tart and a fruit plate.

Starlux Airlines business class meal service

Honestly, the food was tasty enough, though oddly it looked better than it tasted, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t memorable, and wasn’t among the best meals I’ve had on a flight in business class.

Where Starlux business class disappointed me

Starlux Airlines markets itself as a “detail oriented luxury airline,” and if I had one criticism of this flight, it’s that it seemed like attention to detail was lacking. Perhaps I was just unlucky, though.

Starlux is known for having great staff, and the crew on this flight was perfectly friendly and well intentioned. On my first ever trip with Starlux, the service was flawless, among the best I’ve had on any airline. I hate criticizing service when it’s well intentioned, but this crew wasn’t of the same caliber.

The crew seemed quite robotic and reactive, rather than proactive:

  • The crew would walk down the aisle frequently, but always seemed to avoid making eye contact, or noticing things
  • For example, I had plastic wrapping from my amenity kit and bedding placed next to my seat for two hours, before I just went to the lavatory to dispose of them myself; at Singapore Airlines, the crew would’ve removed those proactively with the first pass
  • When I’d request a coffee or a bottle of water between meals, the crew would never come back later and see if they could clear it or offer me something else, but rather it would just sit there
  • The service also just felt sloppy; I was never brought a napkin with breakfast, and the crew brought the breakfast appetizer and bread around 10 minutes after bringing the main course
  • During the dinner service (shortly after 1AM), the cabin lights were turned all the way up, rather than using some sort of mood lighting, or creating a calming environment
This sat empty at my seat for hours

The above are just a few examples. Like I said, the crew was honestly friendly, so I’m not trying to say they were bad. It’s just that Starlux sets the bar very high, and I feel like this crew didn’t deliver on that.

It’s not just the crew where attention to detail is lacking, though. A couple of other examples:

  • Starlux has some signature cocktails with unique names, but nowhere in the menu or drink list does it describe what’s in those cocktails; how are you supposed to know what the Summer Sunbeam or Sci-Fi Cosmos 2.0 are?
  • For the mid flight snack, I ordered the angus beef burger, which was just described as coming with a cherry tomato salad; when it was served, it had bacon (which I don’t eat), so you’d think they could have the menu accurately display how the dish is served
It would be nice if the menu were more accurate

For what it’s worth, I’m not the only one who felt a bit disappointed by the soft product. A reader happened to be on the flight, and as we deplaned, I asked him what he thought. He said that while it was pretty good, he was expecting it to be better, and he prefers China Airlines.

Bottom line

I’m delighted that I finally had the chance to fly Starlux Airlines’ A350 business class on a long haul flight. The flight was very good — the reverse herringbone seats are great, the technology is phenomenal, the amenities were high quality, and the food and drink selection was quite good.

While I’d say this is a very competitive product and ranks in my top 10 business class products, I still got off the plane feeling a bit underwhelmed. Admittedly that’s largely due to my high expectations going in, as the airline has set the bar very high. For that matter, Taiwan is probably the most competitive aviation market in the world, as it has three world class airlines.

I’d fly Starlux again in a heartbeat, but based on my experience, this flight didn’t rank in the top three business class products in the world (which is initially what I was expecting). The food just wasn’t that inspiring, and the service left a bit to be desired. Hopefully my experience was just an outlier.

What do you make of Starlux Airlines’ A350 business class?

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  1. Maria Socorro Yu Guest

    I agree on the limited choices of western movies and TV shows. I was looking forward to watching something I'd enjoy during my long flight from Taipei to LA. It's mostly for Chinese audiences.
    My husband and I also found the seat narrow especially in bed mode, making it difficult to sleep sideways. Comparing the seats to Emirates, we had lots of space and a mini bar in Emirates. The bed pads/sheets that they...

    I agree on the limited choices of western movies and TV shows. I was looking forward to watching something I'd enjoy during my long flight from Taipei to LA. It's mostly for Chinese audiences.
    My husband and I also found the seat narrow especially in bed mode, making it difficult to sleep sideways. Comparing the seats to Emirates, we had lots of space and a mini bar in Emirates. The bed pads/sheets that they put on your seat when you're ready to sleep or go on bed mode is not s thick as Emirates. I found Emirate's very comfortable and fluffy, but the Starlux seats have comfortable back rest. Cushions are thick and supports the back well. Wish the seats are wider.
    Food is so so. I wasn't impressed by their choices and the taste.
    Their welcome drinks, pineapple with guava has an after taste which I found not to my liking.
    Over all though, crew are attentive, plane is new and has nice interiors. Wish we had time to explore the Starlux lounge in Taipei.

  2. Paul Carlson Guest

    I thought it was an excellent review and that attention to detail stuff is important to me and I'm a poor boy who only flew business class once in 20 flights,but never grabbing empty cups and wrappers should be automatically done,but hey I can throw away myself,thank you

  3. Karen Guest

    How on earth are you getting 60k Alaska tickets? I’m trying to go from Anchorage to BKZk and they want 350,000 Alaska miles!!!!!

    1. Sharon Guest

      I just snagged SFO-SIN.( business class) 85k miles. SHOCKED and very happy!

  4. Sally Tonkin Guest

    I had the same experience in the last couple of weeks on a flight from LA to Taipei. The seats are great, but service was mediocre. The food was good but we could only order from the International Menu yet the menu we were provided had lots of options.
    The crew just weren't well trained. On the way over, they delivered three beef meals to my husband. On the way back, when I asked...

    I had the same experience in the last couple of weeks on a flight from LA to Taipei. The seats are great, but service was mediocre. The food was good but we could only order from the International Menu yet the menu we were provided had lots of options.
    The crew just weren't well trained. On the way over, they delivered three beef meals to my husband. On the way back, when I asked for a Bloody Mary to arrive before dinner, the attendant seemed confused. I explained: cocktail right away and wine with dinner. They both came with dinner. And, I know Starlux saved money because they never came back around to see if I wanted more.
    But, perhaps the worst aspects were the lounges. Their main lounge wasn't open for either flight so you get shuffled off to another shared space that is more like a cafeteria than a luxury airline lounge. It was crowded, noisy and lacked for much variety in the food. They had a bottle or red wine, no white and no cocktails.
    I'll go back to Cathay; half the fun of a trip to Asia is being pampered in business class.

  5. Phil Fisher Guest

    From what I have seen on the Alaska site for the past month, AS is asking 234,000 miles for a Starlux business class ticket to TYO at the moment from LAX, SFO, or SEA. Considering I was able to obtain two SQ business tickets from LAX to NRT last year same time for 70k miles each, it will be some years before I consider forking out for Starlux.....

  6. Erik Tsou Guest

    I flew in the Business class in June 2023 LAX- TPE, TPE-LAX. For reference, I am Taiwanese. I had flown Air France Business class and the United Polaris during my Europe Trip so that is my point of reference. In terms of technology, I love what Starlux has to offer. However, I did leave with a mixed experience and the blog explained it perfectly. While the amenities, the seats and food were excellent, I do...

    I flew in the Business class in June 2023 LAX- TPE, TPE-LAX. For reference, I am Taiwanese. I had flown Air France Business class and the United Polaris during my Europe Trip so that is my point of reference. In terms of technology, I love what Starlux has to offer. However, I did leave with a mixed experience and the blog explained it perfectly. While the amenities, the seats and food were excellent, I do feel the service is lacking. Don’t get me wrong, it is not bad by any means, but just something left to be desired. The blog explained it perfectly, the staff would often go back and forth the aisle, however, they rarely check on the passengers, or make eye contact. There are snacks in between meals when everyone is sleeping…I had to actively flag down an attendant to order it where even on the premium economy (EVA airline) I remember flight attendant would walk down with a tray of late night snacks for people to enjoy. I don’t even remember if they would walk down the aisle with water or light refreshments. Oh…they have a boba drink that you can order….I didn’t know until like the last hour before arrival. That being said, I would fly starlux again though.

  7. Jeff Guest

    Similar experience with Starlux - flew BKK-TPE RT (Econ for the short flight) and here are some of my issues:

    1. Food - not really edible - both meals including the famous roast pork from Huton just tasted like chewing fat - I am not sure why others love it so much..even the egg in the dish has a strong egg odor and starters have weird dressing.

    2.This has to do with management - has...

    Similar experience with Starlux - flew BKK-TPE RT (Econ for the short flight) and here are some of my issues:

    1. Food - not really edible - both meals including the famous roast pork from Huton just tasted like chewing fat - I am not sure why others love it so much..even the egg in the dish has a strong egg odor and starters have weird dressing.

    2.This has to do with management - has anyone noticed during meal service, the FA's apron were all wrinkly like someone left it in the dryer for days? You would never see that at other premier airline.

    3. Maybe it was the ticket which we paid full price on their website - they still want to charge you for your seats - unless this is something new, I don't recall EVA or China Airline charge you for international seat selection.

    4. Beverage Service - for some odd reason or their SOP - when FA gives you beverage, it will never be more than half full in the already small cup....almost felt like they are rationing or something (not isolated incident but different flight/FAs still less than half a cup of water, coffee, tea or juice)

    Not trying to nick pick here but I was really disappointed. It felt more like an expensive budget air with bells and whistles.

    Hopefully the next flight will be better - also got the Alaska promo so flying to TPE in biz next month on the same route but I know what to expect this time and thank you for your honest review...(I thought I was the only one.........)

  8. Louise Guest

    Seat 7A and I assume 7D would be an issue for me. Aside from being next to lavatories, both windows seem to be substantially covered, the passenger will barely get a view out the window.

    1. Kazuya Guest

      Seats 3A, 3K, 7A and 7K all have partially blocked views. 7D is the seat across the aisle from 7A. Seats are lettered A D G K. I checked seatmaps.com, it showed which seats have issues like closeness to bathroom, galley.

  9. WW Guest

    Ben's enthusiasm is clouding his actual judgement. I recently took a Starlux flight; from SIN-TPE (A350). Found nothing that stands-out from other airlines, however, I found many things lacking. The fare was a LOT more expensive and the flight felt very mediocre. Food is meh and the seats are 'basically' the same as most other airlines. The cabin lay-out is indeed VERY tight and the entertainment-system verges onto the non-existent. Robotic SQ-esque cabin-crew ! I...

    Ben's enthusiasm is clouding his actual judgement. I recently took a Starlux flight; from SIN-TPE (A350). Found nothing that stands-out from other airlines, however, I found many things lacking. The fare was a LOT more expensive and the flight felt very mediocre. Food is meh and the seats are 'basically' the same as most other airlines. The cabin lay-out is indeed VERY tight and the entertainment-system verges onto the non-existent. Robotic SQ-esque cabin-crew ! I actually rate BA better (Horror of horrors! LOL), due to their cheaper fares and their consistently great cabin-crew.

  10. Adrian Guest

    I have to say that I am surprised that they don't have a canape service on the LAX flights. I know it is late night departures but for those who stay up for the meals, they will appreciate a beverage with canape service before being served the meals.

    I just flew my first Taipei to Osaka flight in business too. While the service seems to be one step above China Airlines and EVA Air,...

    I have to say that I am surprised that they don't have a canape service on the LAX flights. I know it is late night departures but for those who stay up for the meals, they will appreciate a beverage with canape service before being served the meals.

    I just flew my first Taipei to Osaka flight in business too. While the service seems to be one step above China Airlines and EVA Air, as the F/As seem to patrol the cabin frequently and offer more beverage refills, the flight was average at best. The meals were nicely presented but honestly EVA Air has a better Japanese meal than Starlux. The airline really hypes the service but just cannot deliver.

    The only clear advantage is the lounge, but the size is concerning especially I can't imagine how they can accommodate both SFO and LAX flights in the late evening. Each A350 can accommodate 26 business class passengers, and if they all travel solo, there is no way that the lounge having 52 booths. I have not even added the amount of elite passengers that they will start accumulating, as the airline operates for another year. The lounge needs to double its size if it wants to expand further.

    Plus I just hate these late night departures and I refuse to spend any money on these LAX/SFO flights, unless they move at least one direction to daytime flights.

    1. FrequentFlyer Guest

      The night time flights are very nice imo. As in you board the plane, take off, eat dinner, and then proceed to sleep. You then wake up, eat breakfast, and land at around 5 am. And if you are a resident of Taiwan you can get through immigration very quickly via e-gate, and catch the first train to Taipei main station at 6am. The planning also negates jet lag due to a “normal” sleep schedule....

      The night time flights are very nice imo. As in you board the plane, take off, eat dinner, and then proceed to sleep. You then wake up, eat breakfast, and land at around 5 am. And if you are a resident of Taiwan you can get through immigration very quickly via e-gate, and catch the first train to Taipei main station at 6am. The planning also negates jet lag due to a “normal” sleep schedule. So flying these routes yearly, I always never have a problem with jet lag landing at TPE from SFO.

  11. JustSaying Guest

    Looks absolutely pedestrian! Don't understand anyone wanting to fly today in this carbon filled shy!

  12. Steve Guest

    Is the menu less limited for a daytime flight? What lounges does the ticket have access?

  13. Ivan Guest

    I'm on this flight Monday morning. Given the departure time I plan on sleeping most of the flight so the bed is must important.

    While I am furious to learn there will be no amuse bouche but at least there is bacon on the burger lol.

    I imagine I'll be able to suffer through the flight;-)

  14. Mapoosi Ann Makrak Guest

    To me, it seems like this is a far inferior product to Lufthansa’s business class, and maybe even their premium economy.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      The "new" business class that hasn't been even introduced yet for 5 years? Or the current old, dated LH business class? Please be specific.....details....

    2. WW Guest

      Maybe he is being sarcastic? Not sure.

  15. Jason Guest

    How about the prices of business ticket compare to other airlines? It will not be reaonable to fly this airlines if the prices are costly and services that lack behind

  16. Randy Diamond

    The housing for that big tech screen blocks the window. Pull out screen like AA has is better, gives a roomier feel if you don't want the screen on.

  17. Damien Guest

    The catering sounds like generic catering out of LAX... but crew attentiveness is something that could be much improved. Good feedback!

  18. Albert Guest

    I am confused by that picture of the footwell: it seems that there is a narrow ledge on the right and a deeper ledge at the back which will be very easy to catch against when turning over, and I can't yet understand why there are there.
    Or does the seat slide into to join up with those ledges?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Albert -- The seat slides into that to create a fully flat and continuous surface.

  19. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Ben, I am very surprised with your review of Starlux compared to your "raving" reviews of Lufthansa and other non-Asian carriers. Your negative bias towards Asian carriers, particurly on the catering is pretty obvious.

    I have seen the other reivews including Sam Chui who I believe is the best in your industry of reviewing airlines as objectively as one get get.

    1. Sara Smith Guest

      Hahahaha. Sam Chui is literally on the payroll of the companies he does marketing for. It has nothing to do with objectivity and everything to do with grift.

      As much as you can criticize Ben's biases, he's not paid by the airlines.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Anthony Joseph -- I'm sorry, but suggesting that I have a bias against Asian airlines is perhaps one of the worst takes I've ever seen on this blog. I'm not sure if you haven't read the blog for long, or if you just process things very differently than they're presented.

      Have you read any of my reviews of All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, etc.?

    3. Mangiafica Guest

      He's just a troll. Anybody who praises Sam "The Clown" can only be a troll.

    4. Eskimo Guest

      Right the Sam Chui who broke the law by breaching the cockpit, along with his co-conspirator and buddy who is the Starlux CEO.

      That sure is as objectively as one get.

    5. 305 Guest

      Sam? Objective?!? HAHAHAHA

    6. Frog Guest

      You meant for your comment on Sam Chui to be sarcasm right?

    7. Sebastian Guest

      Obviously @Anthony Joseph is not as experienced a flyer/consumer as Matt. I have found Matt's reports to be quite accurate and spot on. They guide me on my choice of carrier when I fly to Asia.

  20. Ethan Guest

    My flight is 2 or 3 days earlier than you and I'm even more disappointed, even more meh food, meh service.
    I appreciate the 60K AS ticket, but nothing more and certainly won't go out of my way to take Starlux.

  21. derek Guest

    Not taking the plastic bag up as trash is ok with me. When traveling, I frequently use these and other things a second time, sort of like MacGyver.

    As far as in flight entertainment, on a recent trip to the Republic of China and Singapore on EVA Air, I watched Taiwanese Chinese films and read the subtitles. There weren't too many of those movies. That is my usual custom of watching the movies and culture of my destination country.

  22. Srini Rao Guest

    I flew Starlux from BKK to LAX..i paid for the business class. The flight attendants were among the best.. the definitely were not robotic.. they would see me awake and ask if they could get my something.. they would suggest things for me to try from the menu.

    However Lucky was lucky to get such a good mileage deal.. you can't get any business class to BKK for under 235k using Alaska miles which...

    I flew Starlux from BKK to LAX..i paid for the business class. The flight attendants were among the best.. the definitely were not robotic.. they would see me awake and ask if they could get my something.. they would suggest things for me to try from the menu.

    However Lucky was lucky to get such a good mileage deal.. you can't get any business class to BKK for under 235k using Alaska miles which makes this unusable for mileage. However I would gladly pay to fly this airline to Taipei and I onward connections.

    If they add India routes from Taipei they could give the ME3 stiff competition.

    1. Sara Smith Guest

      Wow, the flight attendants asked if they could get you something? And you only paid 4,000 dollars for that? What an amazing airline!

  23. Sara Smith Guest

    It doesn't cost anything to pick up trash!
    Starlux' cabin crews seem to be consistently lazy, judging by various reviews. Not going out of my way to fly this lazy airline.

    1. Srini Rao Guest

      It's not the consensus. I rank it close or same as Qatar or JAL.

    2. Sara Smith Guest

      Literally who are you, lol. Nobody cares.

    3. Gibbo Guest

      Who are you?
      Some racist red neck?

      Pipe down. Show some manners and be kind.

    4. Pudu Guest

      Sara, judging by your comments on this site you seem to have a lot of problems.

      Perhaps the time you spend acting like an angry lunatic on the internet might be more productively spent in therapy?

  24. Fred Guest

    They serve Isigny Butter AOP, that’s amazing and $$$

    1. Mangiafica Guest

      Is that the artisan French butter? I'm itching to try some.

    2. Andrew Guest

      It's not the only artisan French butter, but it's a "protected designation of origin" product, which means it has significant historical ties to the region, and it's still made in that place today.

  25. Alex Guest

    One thing needs to be considered. Starlux’s capacity has been significantly expanded within Asia region in last 1-2 years, especially Taipei-Japan routes.
    To support such expansion, JX may need to recruit many staffs as new-hire, many of crews on your flight might be fresh from the completion of training. By the training, crews are friendly but need some time to be "matured" thru experiences, I think. Only time will tell.
    I have Insighter...

    One thing needs to be considered. Starlux’s capacity has been significantly expanded within Asia region in last 1-2 years, especially Taipei-Japan routes.
    To support such expansion, JX may need to recruit many staffs as new-hire, many of crews on your flight might be fresh from the completion of training. By the training, crews are friendly but need some time to be "matured" thru experiences, I think. Only time will tell.
    I have Insighter status in COSMILE program via status match in 2 years ago, trying to extend the top tier status for another 2 years by taking 6 flights in CY 2023. So far, took 4 flights (all paid Y/PY) between Japan and Taipei.
    2 out of 4 flights, the cabin managers eagerly wanted to know my feedback how my flight was. On one flight, the cabin manager came by and introduced me a Japanese crew so that I could communicate in my mother tongue during the flight. However, unfortunately there was no chance to communicate with that crew, she seemed to be pretty occupied with just getting her tasks/duty done as a new-hire.

  26. Jeff Guest

    Thanks for the review. I'm excited to try in December. I flew starlux regionally to/from Singapore in May and it was by far the best business class regional experience having flown similar in Cathay and EVA.

  27. Andrew Guest

    Even the US3 can remove garbage or empty glasses sooner than 2 hours...

  28. YULtide Gold

    Hmm... no one has commented yet on the way the seat (at least 7A) blocks the windows. What's the point of a window seat if the windows are blocked by the seat?

    1. gstork Guest

      Yes, that was a disappointment on my TPE-LAX flight back in April. 7A was the only window seat remaining when I booked a couple days prior to departure.

      Besides the seat structure blocking my window, I thought service, seat, bed and food were all much better than other recent long haul business flights I had taken. May be luck of the draw, and departing TPE vs LAX?

  29. Petez Guest

    The number of miles required for the award is also not perfect. But it's great to have a new competitor on the "duopoly" route between LAX and TPE.

  30. InternationalTraveler Gold

    The burger looks so much better than the one United serves in international business class. I experienced the United version just before your dedicated article ☹️

  31. wisetsui New Member

    So where can I find the preorder menu and I'm assuming I can book from that menu (and not special meal) thru chat even I'm on an Alaska ticket?

    1. Cam Guest

      It says in the article that you can’t .

  32. NFSF Diamond

    That seat next to the bathroom is brutal placement

  33. Eskimo Guest

    OMG, what went wrong (or right?) here.

    Not a single mention of the lack of individual air nozzle.

  34. Gaurav Community Ambassador

    Interesting to see all the Dodger branding. Feels like an unusual tie-in for an Asian airline.

    1. Srini Guest

      that was definitely weird..

    2. Brianair Guest

      While I think the Dodgers branding on the napkins and other accessories is a little excessive and makes Starlux appear a little too informal, the partnership does make sense on multiple levels.

      - The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metro area has the largest Taiwanese diaspora in the United States. There is a high concentration of them in the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County.

      - Baseball is the most popular sport in Taiwan.

      - The...

      While I think the Dodgers branding on the napkins and other accessories is a little excessive and makes Starlux appear a little too informal, the partnership does make sense on multiple levels.

      - The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metro area has the largest Taiwanese diaspora in the United States. There is a high concentration of them in the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County.

      - Baseball is the most popular sport in Taiwan.

      - The Dodgers are the most popular professional baseball team, and arguably sports team, in Los Angeles. The Dodger hat is a cultural symbol of Los Angeles just like the Yankee hat is for New York.

    3. WW Guest

      Yes, it's weird and REALLY cheapens the 'branding'.

  35. globetrotter Guest

    Westerners emphasize eye contact as a sign of honesty and respect. On contrary, east asian cultures treat it as impolite. They still look directly at you but not every time you expect them to. You must realize that when Japanese Emperor conceded defeat at the end of WWII, he rode on the horse passing thorough the crowd and the army while everyone bowed down. Nobody looked at him directly.

    1. David Diamond

      Lucky has taken his fair share of Asian airlines, I doubt his lukewarm opinion of this flight is due to cultural differences.

    2. Gregg Guest

      WWII? Really- you are going there??

    3. Andrew Diamond

      @ globetrotter - you might be dating yourself with circa 1945 references. :P

    4. WW Guest

      I was born, raised and traveled a lot in East Asia (Speak fluent Cantonese and a smidgen of Japanese). I can assure you, that your comment is definitely NOT the case!

  36. udo Guest

    My experience is similar to that of others, as well as that of the writer of this brief review. Loved: hard product, pajamas. That's where it ends. Not so great: The inflight entertainment is terrible in terms of options. The wine listed on the menu was unavailable, so flight attendant came with two bottles of other wines that he knew nothing about (neither did I). Some of the menu items listed were not even served,...

    My experience is similar to that of others, as well as that of the writer of this brief review. Loved: hard product, pajamas. That's where it ends. Not so great: The inflight entertainment is terrible in terms of options. The wine listed on the menu was unavailable, so flight attendant came with two bottles of other wines that he knew nothing about (neither did I). Some of the menu items listed were not even served, there's no explanation either (eg soup never showed up). The contract lounge in Taipei was horrible. They served one alcoholic beverage, beer on tap. The showers were closed under the pre-text that they were fully booked, while in reality they were shut down altogether. Agreed re flight attendants not picking up service items. The cocktails... I tried three of them, didn't like any.Honestly wouldn't have been an issue if they had a description on the menu, wouldn't have ordered them then. They were strong, I give them that. I had no issues using the forward bathrooms on either flight. They don't have dedicated first-class bathrooms.

  37. NedsKid Diamond

    Thank you for this. Very informative and clear, and helpful to know your expectations going into it. Sounds like this is a good redemption at 60k miles, but would you pay full board for it?

    1. Omar Guest

      Would he pay full board for any $5k ticket? Probably not so the question is not relevant.

    2. Srini Guest

      They had a good deal from BKK to LAX. Great connection too. I paid around 1800. I flew them mid July and mid August.

    3. Srini Guest

      Impossible to get at that redemption anymore.. it's more like 200k on Alaska.. ridiculous.

  38. Michael Guest

    Hi Ben, I just took this flight from TPE-LAX a couple weeks ago. I think your experience might have been an outlier as my flight was exceptional. The crew were so proactive that my glass never got below half full (and I drink pretty fast). The turndown service was great and every crew member came to greet me before departure (each with a different role such as explaining the menu, how the wifi works, etc.). What a great flight!

  39. Mike Guest

    I took this flight to and from TPE last month. I agree with Ben. The hard product is fantastic. Very comfortable seats that are great to sleep in, pajamas.
    The food was not as good as EVA (or CI), and the service was hit or miss. My crew going to taiwan was definitely better than the ones on return. On thing I disliked was that they come to take meal orders without first letting...

    I took this flight to and from TPE last month. I agree with Ben. The hard product is fantastic. Very comfortable seats that are great to sleep in, pajamas.
    The food was not as good as EVA (or CI), and the service was hit or miss. My crew going to taiwan was definitely better than the ones on return. On thing I disliked was that they come to take meal orders without first letting you go over the menu. Also my outbound flight had maybe 8 passengers in business, and somehow they ran out of the main course I wanted. EVA soft product is definitely superior. I would slot JX below BR and above CI. If BR got new seats it would be on par with SQ or better depending on design.

  40. Uta Guest

    I was also flying between NRT and TPE on 1 week ago.When a flight from NRT,inflight meal was made in TPE. The in-flight food was not fresh, and was made from retort-packed ingredients neatly arranged. The in-flight meals for business class flights between Japan and Taiwan were worse than those of JAL, ANA, EVA, and China.
    Everything except the seat was a disappointment.
    The lounge in Taipei was also small and the quality...

    I was also flying between NRT and TPE on 1 week ago.When a flight from NRT,inflight meal was made in TPE. The in-flight food was not fresh, and was made from retort-packed ingredients neatly arranged. The in-flight meals for business class flights between Japan and Taiwan were worse than those of JAL, ANA, EVA, and China.
    Everything except the seat was a disappointment.
    The lounge in Taipei was also small and the quality of the food was so poor that I felt uncomfortable.
    I think Starlux Airlines is going to be tough unless you put in a lot of effort.

  41. Raj Guest

    Thanks for the review. I am traveling in Feb on Alaska miles and already pretty underwhelmed in terms of their chat support and website. Wanted to reserve seats and so tried chat, takes forever, a couple hours at the very least as it seems like they have one rep. Chat message says log a case as an alternative - did that, no response ever. Hopefully the onboard experience is better. If this is going to...

    Thanks for the review. I am traveling in Feb on Alaska miles and already pretty underwhelmed in terms of their chat support and website. Wanted to reserve seats and so tried chat, takes forever, a couple hours at the very least as it seems like they have one rep. Chat message says log a case as an alternative - did that, no response ever. Hopefully the onboard experience is better. If this is going to be a luxury experience, it needs to feel like one much before one steps onto the aircraft. Also, what's with all the 5 AM arrivals in Taipei, hotels are a hassle with that early of a checkin

    1. gsv Guest

      I called their US customer service number to assign my seat. It just took few minutes to do that.

  42. Bangkokiscool Guest

    I took this flight last month. I loved the Zero G position of the seat, I found it very comfortable for sleeping. The food was OK, the mushroom soup was so oily and salty it was basically inedible. On my flight there were 6 passengers in business class. I think cost cutting is evident in their operation, on the touch points that matter to passengers. For example, the boarding and landing music and uniforms, and...

    I took this flight last month. I loved the Zero G position of the seat, I found it very comfortable for sleeping. The food was OK, the mushroom soup was so oily and salty it was basically inedible. On my flight there were 6 passengers in business class. I think cost cutting is evident in their operation, on the touch points that matter to passengers. For example, the boarding and landing music and uniforms, and lack of TSA Pre. They have some room to go to catch up with SQ, QR, EK. I don't know if they have time to catch up especially with CI and BR as competition.

  43. S_LEE Gold

    Ben, which one do you prefer? Adient Ascent on Qatar 787-9? or Collins Elements on Starlux A350? The latter may be a bit roomier since it's installed on a wider aircraft, but they're in the same league, so it would be worth comparing them.

  44. Klaus Guest

    Hi Lucky, did you receive any additional benefits being a Starlux Cosmile Insighter?

  45. RF Diamond

    Hopefully Starlux and use this as feedback to improve their service standards. Lots of potential here.

  46. beyounged Guest

    Sorry Ben, have to disagree. Just flew it the other direction the day before you did, and it was one of the best J flights I have had. The catering was phenomenal. Seems like TPE departures get full michelin-inspired custom menu on top of the standard menu. Service was very good for my flight as not a single pass of FA's ignored a small detail like plastic wrappings, maybe the crew you had was less...

    Sorry Ben, have to disagree. Just flew it the other direction the day before you did, and it was one of the best J flights I have had. The catering was phenomenal. Seems like TPE departures get full michelin-inspired custom menu on top of the standard menu. Service was very good for my flight as not a single pass of FA's ignored a small detail like plastic wrappings, maybe the crew you had was less competent. The ingredients for the cocktails can be found in the detailed version of the menu in the IFE, not a great solution, but if you look into it, it is there. They also have fully branded items in everything, even their bubble tea straws for classic Taiwanese black sugar bubble tea that you seemed to have missed. But I do think there are quite some room for improvement, it is definitely not as godly as the fanboys claim it to be, but not so bad that it feels disappointing even with a high bar of expectation.

  47. Jay Guest

    Right. I took Starlux 2 from TPE to LAX in business class and was similarly underwhelmed. The food was excellent, but I was followed back to my seat by the purser after I inadvertently used the first class lavatory and admonished for leaving my cabin. I pointed out to the purser that it's unclear they even had a first class cabin. I suggested that if they wanted to keep business passengers out of the forward...

    Right. I took Starlux 2 from TPE to LAX in business class and was similarly underwhelmed. The food was excellent, but I was followed back to my seat by the purser after I inadvertently used the first class lavatory and admonished for leaving my cabin. I pointed out to the purser that it's unclear they even had a first class cabin. I suggested that if they wanted to keep business passengers out of the forward lavatory, they should perhaps segment the cabin so that's clear. Four seats at the front of the business cabin does not a first class make. I found it bizarre that they'd treat a paying biz customer like this, so I won't be back, irrespective of their partnership with Alaska (whose miles, by the way, took about six weeks to post).

    Moreover, the seat in front of me was designated for crew rest, and the pilot using it kept hitting the shades as he slept, so the entire cabin was be bathed in bright light every ten minutes or so. I had to be the one to ask the FAs to lock them so the rest of us could get some sleep.

  48. John Guest

    Ben--looks amazing.

    Unrelated but could use your help: C1 has disabled the "move rewards" feature (which used to permit points transfers between cash back cards and the venture miles cards). Have you heard whether this is permanent? Would appreciate hearing what, if anything, you have heard!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ John -- I've reached out to Capital One, and have been told that it's temporarily down for maintenance. So fortunately it's not permanent, though I don't yet have a timeline for the functionality returning.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Sara Smith Guest

Hahahaha. Sam Chui is literally on the payroll of the companies he does marketing for. It has nothing to do with objectivity and everything to do with grift. As much as you can criticize Ben's biases, he's not paid by the airlines.

6
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Anthony Joseph -- I'm sorry, but suggesting that I have a bias against Asian airlines is perhaps one of the worst takes I've ever seen on this blog. I'm not sure if you haven't read the blog for long, or if you just process things very differently than they're presented. Have you read any of my reviews of All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, etc.?

4
David Diamond

Lucky has taken his fair share of Asian airlines, I doubt his lukewarm opinion of this flight is due to cultural differences.

4
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