OMG, I’m so excited, and need to take a deep breath… whew.
Redeem Alaska miles for Starlux business class
In April 2023, Alaska Airlines and Starlux Airlines announced a new partnership, coinciding with Starlux launching flights to the United States (Los Angeles is the first destination, and San Francisco will launch later this year).
With this partnership, the airlines will offer reciprocal mileage earning and redemption opportunities. While the partnership at first just included reciprocal mileage earning, we’ve now seen reciprocal mileage redemptions rolled out (thanks to @findflightsforme for flagging this).
There’s some great news — not only is award pricing incredibly attractive (at least between Los Angeles and Taipei), but availability is amazing.
At the moment I see Starlux business class award availability on just about every single flight, which is so cool to see. Alaska is Starlux’s first major airline partner, so I suspect Starlux doesn’t realize just how many redemptions are about to be booked.
For example, take a look at the below award calendar in business class between Los Angeles and Taipei.
Alaska Mileage Plan no longer publishes award costs, so what is pricing like? For bookings through August 31, 2023, there’s special introductory award pricing if you’re traveling exclusively between Los Angeles and Taipei (though not beyond there). You can expect to pay the following number of miles for a one-way journey:
- 20,000 miles in economy
- 40,000 miles in premium economy
- 60,000 miles in business class
That’s a phenomenal deal, especially given the lack of surcharges.
What’s pricing like in other markets (pricing is one-way, and keep in mind that Alaska allows stopovers on one-way awards)?
- Awards between the United States and Asia cost 65,000 miles in economy, 85,000 miles in premium economy, or 130,000 miles in business class
- Awards between Taipei and Southeast Asia cost 25,000 miles in economy, 32,500 miles in premium economy, or 50,000 miles in business class
- Awards between Taipei and North Asia cost 10,000 miles in economy or 15,000 miles in business class
- Awards between Southeast Asia and North Asia cost 35,000 miles in economy or 60,000 miles in business class
As you can see, you could actually save miles by booking your two segments separately, at least for a limited time. You’d pay 110,000 miles one-way in business class, rather than 130,000 miles.
Eventually award pricing between Los Angeles and Taipei is expected to increase, and I suspect it will then be more in line with the other pricing.
Why this is such an exciting opportunity
Starlux is still a relatively new airline startup, and the company describes itself as a “detail-oriented luxury airline.” I flew Starlux’s A321neo business class shortly after the airline launched, and was amazed by the carrier’s inflight product. The long haul experience should take Starlux’s product to the next level, and I’m sure I’m not alone in being excited about this.
Furthermore, currently award availability across the Pacific is virtually non-existent, so it’s especially exciting to have an option with plentiful award availability.
Keep in mind that if you don’t have Alaska Mileage Plan miles, you can buy them. Through August 20, 2023, you can buy them for as little as 1.85 cents each. At 1.85 cents each, you could acquire 60,000 Mileage Plan miles at a cost of ~$1,100. That’s a heck of a deal!
Alaska Mileage Plan has finally added award redemptions on Starlux Airlines. This is now Starlux’s only airline partner with redemptions, so this is an incredible opportunity to redeem for Starlux’s premium cabins. I can’t wait to fly Starlux between Los Angeles and Taipei, and I’m sure I’m not alone!
So, who is headed to Taiwan on Starlux Airlines?!