A Look At My Starlux Airlines COSMILE Insighter Gift!

Filed Under: Other Airlines

A couple of days ago I wrote about how I was struggling to control my excitement over a gift that was on the way, and felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. Well, the gift that I was so excited about has finally arrived, so as promised I wanted to share some pictures, along with my impressions.

Starlux Airlines is my favorite airline in the world

First a bit of background might be valuable. I think Starlux Airlines is my favorite airline in the world. That’s despite the fact that I’ve only flown with Starlux once.

Why am I so excited about Starlux? This Taiwanese airline is in a league of its own among startups. While most new airlines are low cost carriers, Starlux bills itself as a “detail oriented luxury airline,” with the slogan “born with luxury, shining like stars.”

I had the privilege of flying with Starlux Airlines in early 2020 from Taipei to Penang, and the experience was incredible.

I can’t wait until the airline takes delivery of A350s, and starts flying to the US. I know there’s a lot of bad stuff going on in the world right now, but as someone who loves aviation and the passenger experience, thinking about Starlux Airlines just makes me smile, and is such a welcome distraction.

When Starlux Airlines launched, it also offered status matches. While I’m not usually a big status matcher, I couldn’t help myself, given how much I love this airline. I’m a top tier Insighter member in the COSMILE frequent flyer program, and the status is even valid for the next few years.

Starlux Airlines’ gift for COSMILE Insighters

On Monday morning I received an email from DHL saying there was a shipment headed my way from Starlux Airlines. That caught me off guard, since I wasn’t expecting anything.

I wondered what they could be sending me, and a morning later that question was answered, as I received a separate email from Starlux Airlines, with the subject line “An Exclusive Gift for INSIGHTER.”

In it, Starlux Airlines revealed the two gifts that Insighter members are receiving (by the way, based on other data points it appears that only Insighter members who have actually flown with Starlux are getting this gift). The email went on to state the following:

Thank you for becoming Insighter of COSMILE and waiting patiently.

STARLUX has prepared an exclusive handmade gift box containing a physical member card and a leather luggage tag engraved with your name.

The gift box has been delivered to your registered address and the tracking number is: XXXXXXX. Estimated delivery time is 5 to 10 working days with possible delay due to the regulation of your local governments. Thank you for your patience. You may track your package at DHL Express Tracking.

The name shown on member card and luggage tag is your registered name in COSMILE. We have checked the quality and member information thoroughly before delivery. If there is any problem, please contact STARLUX Customer Service Center within 10 days of receipt. Thank you.

May the handmade gift brighten your journey with warmth.

What’s the gift? There’s a commemorative membership card, along with a luggage tag.

Unboxing my Starlux Airlines gift

As expected, my gift from Starlux Airlines arrived today. It came packaged in a cool box with all kinds of Starlux branding.

When I first opened the box, there was the commemorative membership card. Here’s how that’s described:

For commemorative purposes only. When accessing airport VIP lounge or any card tier benefits, your current card tier should be applied. Please present your e-membership card or the member ID.

I love the fact that Starlux didn’t actually send a normal membership card, which is kind of an outdated concept when it should be electronic. Rather the airline sent a commemorative membership card.

My gosh, this is the coolest card airline elite card ever. For that matter, it’s cooler than any other credit card I’ve ever seen. Not only is this the heaviest card I’ve ever received, but I also loved the design, with a star in the middle, and a really cool ribbed pattern on top of it.

Underneath the card it said “Let the journey begin,” and then when I lifted that I found the luggage tag.

Here’s how the luggage tag is described:

Made of vegetable-tanned leather, presenting its natural skin and texture. The usage and maintenance of the leather creates its own uniqueness. For any improper usage causing it damaged or mold, return or exchange will not be accepted.

And here are the two items together:

Yes, I’m genuinely this giddy & excited

When I first wrote about my excitement a couple of days ago, some people were wondering if I was being sarcastic. Nope, I was being completely serious.

I totally understand not everyone can relate to my excitement. Heck, that’s kind of the story my household. When I showed the kit to Ford, he looked at me weird and said “I’m so happy for you… I guess?” When I showed the kit to Winston, he was angry I woke him up, and showed no enthusiasm.

I’m a huge avgeek, and while all flying makes me happy, there are certain aviation related things that get me disproportionately excited. Your Super Bowl is my TAAG Angola or Pakistan International Airlines flight.

Starlux is to me genuinely such an incredible brand, from the CEO being an avgeek who is rated to fly the carrier’s planes, to the attention to detail and pride that goes into every aspect of the experience.

Some readers commented “well X airline also sent me a membership card, what are you so excited about?” See, you’re missing the point — Starlux didn’t send a membership card. The airline sent a commemorative membership card that you’re not actually supposed to use for anything, because it believes membership cards should ordinarily be electronic. Is that the most avgeeky gift ever, or what?

I don’t actually plan on using my Starlux Airlines commemorative membership card or luggage tag. Rather I plan on putting them somewhere that reflects the sentimental value to me. Now I just need to wait for Starlux Airlines to come out with super-huge model airplane. I’m sure Ford will be delighted when I turn our living room into a Starlux Airlines shrine.

Bottom line

Starlux Airlines is sending COSMILE Insighter members who have flown with the airline a commemorative membership card and luggage tag. I only have top tier status through a status match, which I’m guessing is how most people have the status, given how few flights the airline has operated due to the pandemic.

I can’t wait until Starlux Airlines launches long haul flights. I think Starlux Airlines might just be an airline I’d mileage run on to maintain status, just because of how much I love the brand. I usually hate material possessions and gifts, but I’ll make a major exception for Starlux.

Can anyone else appreciate my Starlux Airlines excitement?!

Comments
  1. I dont understand why you’re getting so excited about an airline whose existence is questionable?

    Also, I thought you flew them last year?? Not earlier this year? Or did you secretly go to Asia somehow in the last 10 days?

  2. Looks like only people with at least one flight on Starlux received the gift. I participated in the match without flying them (yet) and didn’t hear anything from them.

    Nice surprise though.

  3. I think they do mean vegetable. The tan on the leather is made from vegetables. Imagine a tan made out of beets. I guess you’re reading it as vegan leather that is tanned?

    “presenting its natural skin and texture” makes me think that it’s natural leather and they’re saying that the vegetable tan helps do that.

  4. No, they mean vegetable-tanned leather, three seconds of Googling would have told you that…

    I have no idea what vegan-tanned leather would be; leather tanned in the blood of vegans?

    The luggage tag is nice, the membership card is odd and pointless, like when QR started issuing metal cards to QR Plats.

  5. My mistake on vegan vs. vegetable. Also meant I took a flight in early 2020, not early 2021. I updated the post to reflect these changes.

  6. Not sure why it’s worth that much excitement… It’s sure a nice gesture but to be honest membership card and luggage tag are just uninspiring. Plus, if I understand correctly, the airline confuse you with a Mr Tsai in the email? I‘d say that’s ridiculous considering how “detail-oriented” they claim to be

  7. Is this a paid placement? Honestly, while a luggage tag and a nice card are nice enough, I seriously cant imagine why somebody would be unable to sleep because of it.

  8. This is very disappointing. This seems like a paid posting. While I ‘m an airline nerd for sure, this just seems like they’re paying you to post this. Damaging to your brand.

  9. @ Jason — Thanks for sharing your thoughts (twice), but this isn’t sponsored content. I’m just enthusiastic.

  10. How much money did you make by posting this? I received a card and luggage tag from Turkish Airlines when I became an elite member in their Smiles and Miles program. I don’t remember getting so excited about something like this. Clearly, Starlux is not the only airline doing this to its elite members. Is everything OK with you?

  11. That excited over a card and luggage tag??? Really???

    Wow, I thought maybe they sent you Rimowa luggage or something

  12. Vegetable tanned leather is a tanning process in which the tannins are natural products not which does not use heavy metals and artificial chemicals to tan the leather. The leather is usually the hide of animals such as cattle.

    Vegan leather is a synthetic product usually made from plant based products combined with synthetic products such as pvc or polyurethane. Names used by vegan products include leatherette, vinyl, faux leather and pu leather.

  13. @Ben – thanks for the welcome diversion from daily news, glad to see vintage @Lucky excitement. Pay no mind to the likes of Matt or Jason, my guess is they haven’t seen your much earlier posts, such as the first time you flew Emirates A380 First.

    Or maybe mentioning Taiwan triggered PRC troll response.

  14. I a surprised why you are so excited it is just a luggage tag, it’s not like they are sending you a piece of an old plane or something.

  15. Thanks SBS for appreciating where I’m coming from. No, folks, this isn’t sarcasm, a paid post, or anything else. This is genuine. I know it might sound strange, but I’m a massive aviation geek, and certain things just get me really giddy, like an EVA Air Hello Kitty flight, a TAAG Angola first class flight, and now a Starlux Airlines luggage tag and commemorative card.

    I get that other people may not fully appreciate this, but Starlux Airlines is to me the most exciting airline startup in I-don’t-know-how-long. At a time like this where international travel is largely off bounds, this is a little thing that’s making me very happy.

  16. Totally get it. I love airline gifts, even things that cost a few $ and that I’d never want wihout an airline connection.

    I get a frisson of excitement every time I see the tray of KLM houses.

  17. 4,000 people a day are dying from the bat stew flu in the US alone. The entire world is in a mess. We’re on the verge of a global economic collapse. And dear Ben is excited over a luggage tag most likely made in China.

    The entire planet needs a reboot.

  18. @ Mr G — Right, there are a lot of bad things (as I noted), so I’m choosing to get excited about a small thing. Since when is it bad to find some small sources of joy during tough times?

  19. I know you said it isn’t a sarcastic post but it really really feels like one. Weird you would be so excited for a luggage tag. I was expecting something much more…significant.

  20. @Ben, if it’s worth anything, I can totally relate. Granted, I am Gen X and I grew up in a world where airlines handed out boxed decks of playing cards upon request — so that you could play Solitude on your seat tray and then take them home as a keepsake of your flight. Children were given metal (and then eventually plastic) wings upon boarding to pin on their shirts. Lufthansa handed out really neat Playmobil vinyl cling sheets to keep kids entertained (even on Fifth Freedom flights!)

    Swizzle sticks were sometimes shaped like propellers, or sometimes had a fun decorative piece at the top. In the ’70s, some were even glass. You were encouraged to keep them. We ate off ceramic ware and used metal utensils. We had cloth napkins, even in Y. Everyone had access to newspapers from multiple cities, and there were plenty of magazines to go around. And of course, you’ve heard the countless tiresome stories starting with, “Well in my day, people actually dressed up to fly!”

    What was best — what is the thing I treasure most — is memories of access to the cockpit. The crew flew with the door open, so that if you had an aisle seat on a non-jumbo, you simply had to lean over in order to see the view over the nosecone. And I can’t even tell you how many times I visited the cockpit to look out the windows, review the instruments, and put my hand on a yoke. I was a jaded flier by the time I started elementary school.

    But now I’m almost 50 and I’m left with nothing but a small box of souvenirs. It was a different era. You would have loved it.

  21. Disappointing post. iirc, i received similar stuff for reaching some status with United (and NOT their top tier).

  22. Have been reading long enough to know that this is most certainly NOT a sarcastic post. If you think it is, then you haven’t been reading OMAAT very long.

    With that said, I was certainly hoping they were sending you something more than a luggage tag! Maybe next year you’ll get a STARLUX branded Budaixi-Glove Puppets 😉

  23. @Ben, use the tag. Do you have plastic over your furniture? Do you have a separate drawing room where you never sit? Do you have “good” china you never use?

    The class move is to treat the luggage tag as a luggage tag, just as a Rolls-Royce owner drives her/his car or a L’Occitane user actually consumes the Verveine, crinkling that gorgeous French aluminum tube.

    Oneday, you’ll be in TPE again and having that tag “o so casually” hanging from your well-worn rollaboard will feel o so right…

  24. If you want to show off the tag. A couple of suggestions.

    1. Frame it
    2. Make an art collage or decorate the wall with different types of luggage tags grouped together.
    3. Some people use old trunks for coffee or end tables and you can add it to the handle.

  25. @Ben I get it. It’s the little things that makes one happy in today’s crazy world. I love it when Aman tags my luggage with their special tags when I leave.

    To me a luggage tag indicates, poetically speaking, life well traveled…..whether you traveled just to one or two place(s) your whole entire life or over 100 countries. Given that this is a travel blog, I would like to think it’s that little things, like a luggage tag, resembles what we all love: travel. Can’t wait to experience a different culture in a far flung place again!

  26. Cool = similar to @Tortuga I can relate to the coolness of this Starlux Airlines gift- awesome. Do you have a Starliz Airlines model airplane (or a collection of model airplanes? (I seem to recall you had invested in an Air Belgium model aireplane)). With Best wishes in 2021

  27. Cool = similar to @Tortuga I can relate to the coolness of this Starlux Airlines gift- awesome. Do you have a Starlux Airlines model airplane (or a collection of model airplanes? (I seem to recall you had invested in an Air Belgium model airplane)). With Best wishes in 2021

  28. Everyone goes bat crazy over something that others think is stupid. Thats just life. You don’t have to understand it but everyone does the same but to automatically say this must be a paid endorsement is silly. You not liking something doesn’t mean other people aren’t interested. Hell, right now I’m doing chartwheels because I have a new bidet. Some people will get it and some will think meh. But whatever.

  29. Agreed, Chris, Steve. It comes across as sarcasm, because it’s over the top. Luggage tags, let alone membership cards, have been handed out to top tier flyers for so long, so there’s nothing awesome about this.

    Some say why this would make someone happy, sure I get that. It’s a nice surprise gift. But “awesome”, “can’t sleep” – for something that has been given for free many times before, just comes across as excessively insincere.

  30. Some of you guys have your panties in a tight twist. Ben is giddy and in these shitty times, its a nice distraction. Smile. Enjoy whatever life you have.

  31. BA sent me a membership card and two luggage tags with leather straps last year.

    I guess I should have been more excited!

  32. @Ben good for you both for the excitement and for writing about it. It made me smile reading it. People can say what they want – we are all different and all enjoy different things. After a year that has been 2020, I think it’s great that we can find excitement in small things (so good to be easily pleased and I speak for myself here) while of course not losing perspective. It only makes you more resilient!

  33. Wow I just got an e-mail from DHL that Starlux sent me something. I never had a flight with them but had the status match. God bless them man they didn’t have to do this. However it does make me really want to fly them now so I guess it worked lol. But I have always been interested in trying them out if I ever go back to Taiwan, and I think they fly to my hometown, Penang.

  34. I just don’t get Ben’s enthusiasm, for this airline that has not properly proven itself and has only been in a very limited ‘service’ since the beginning of the pandemic. (Rather like Skytrax, giving Lufthansa a 5 star rating, for a yet to be introduced business class product!)

  35. I don’t know why but I got a gut feeling some of the negative comments are triggered by the word Taiwan lol

    Don’t worry @Ben
    It is only better when you received yours. I just got mine few days earlier, the box, the textures and every thing is just exciting

    Folks out there not understanding, this is different from most airline elite cards you’ve ever received. It worth the excitement. If you are a geek…

  36. I received my Insighter welcome kit today. Starlux sent it via DHL from Taiwan (so it arrived within like 3 days) – which is nice touch. Starlux has a nice online shop for various cute peripheral products; unfortunately it does not ship overseas

  37. I love the excitement and joy in this post and your parents’ vaccination post. Wonderful that this is still a blog, unlike some other points websites….

  38. So many losers in the comment section, if you don’t like it then stop checking this blog. Nobody cares about you.

  39. @WW

    What does “proven” mean? They have an extremely capable founder & CEO who’s well funded and connected (he used to run EVA air, and unlike most other carriers around the world, Taiwanese carriers are profitable, even during COVID), and they’ve been steadily adding routes even during COVID.

  40. Like your enthusiasm Ben! And congratulations on your parents getting vaccinated. Ignore all the negativity – there are many, many damaged people in this world.

  41. I’ll admit, I’m not an aviation geek, but that’s pretty damn cool. You can tell even the packaging was well thought out and a lot of effort went into it. The luggage tag looks super high quality as well.

  42. The kit looks great and I’m really excited for you! You’re really doing an awesome job with OMAAT in these trying times. Although I miss the trip reports, OMAAT really makes my day. Can’t wait to start travelling again 🙂

  43. SQ PPS Club looks very similar. I was excited the first time I got it, then I just get excited about spending the Kris Flyer vouchers that come with it.

  44. The picture of the underwhelmed dog is the best part of the article.

    “You woke me up for something that isn’t food???”

  45. I don’t know why there are so many negative comments under this post… I personally share your enthusiasm for things like this (and the sheer attention to detail) plus, it makes you feel more valued as a customer. Appreciate the distraction from the near ending doom and gloom news cycle. (P.S. I think I speak for everyone when I say I want more posts with Winston in ;-))

  46. This sort of article makes me a little depressed. Here in Australia, we are still not allowed to travel overseas unless we have a good reason, and “having fun ” doesn’t cut it. Having said that, even the domestic flights in business aren’t much fun either. More queues than you can shake a stick at ,and they are at both ends of the journey .Forms, forms and more forms. The lounges are now strictly controlled with yet even more queues . Even the food and drink require queues , and at all times you must wear a mask unless you are lucky enough to score some food or wine if you can bother with the queues . You won’t see a smile even if people could smile .
    That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like a Starlux welcome gift, just that it reminds me of something of times gone by and my longing for a return to when the journey was just as important as the destination. Well at least we don’t have worry about Trump… there is always an upside.

  47. I was charged $27.65 duty and fees for this welcome gift by DHL to Canada, and unfortunately had to decline it!

  48. 🙂 🙂 funny to read and imagine Benjamin jumping around like wild after DHL finally delivered.
    C O O L
    It’s like me getting my very cool (back then in 1989) America West “flight Fund” Card in the mail with that sexy 747-200 plane on it in there cool grey, burgundy and light blue color sheme. With just 1 trip, i made enough miles to not just get the thin paper card, i got the real plastic one. Man was i proud.
    NOBODY would understand, but you Ben, so ENJOY!!!

  49. I got to agree with Winston on this one. You woke me up for this?

    But it is a nice gift, nonetheless. I agree with others regarding the tag. Put it on your rollaboard and let it serve as a symbol of a life well-traveled.

  50. Seriously don’t get why people here are twisted in a bunch over your post over a commemorative tag. Is it a big deal? Probably not. Is it interesting to you? Apparently so. Is it worth readers going off on a tirade or complaint over the content you’re posting? Definitely not.

    Enjoy your gift Lucky and to the whiners, go find something interesting for you to read.

  51. Followed your invitation as I am getting prepared for extensive travel in Asia after the pandemic. My AA Platinum status and almost 3 million miles got me a rejection letter for a Cosmile upgrade.

  52. @Ben, you should see the titanium cards that JAL sends out to the top segment of their emerald members. They are made in airplane grade titanium by the JAL maintenance engineers. They are pretty cool.

  53. I read this post… then sat on my thoughts for a few hours… and eventually came to the conclusion that this post really seems out of touch with reality today… especially with what’s going on in the US right now.
    Sure, it might be a cute distraction, but I really don’t check out luckys site for cute distractions. I am more one into what’s going on today, and what’s relevant in the aviation world. To me there are probably more relevant aviation new stories than this right now, including how capital invaders are being added to the do not fly list.
    Don’t see that news here yet.

  54. Ben,
    I don’t think anyone here is trying to “get” at you.

    It is surprising that you mention your flight with that airline was a “privilege” and that you use a lot of emotional words to describe getting a luggage tag. I guess readers sort of thought you’d already have a cupboard full of luggage tags.

    The other thing that seems to come up in the replies to your stories lately is the question of “Where are you now?” Last you mentioned was you all were in Germany, then radio silence… the radar screen went blank. If you are back in the USA now, the story of how you got back in might be more compelling for your readers than a luggage tag story.

    Your readers show honest care for you. It is really lovely how you have become part of so many people’s lives through this website.

  55. What a world this has become. If the man is genuinely happy about this gift, and you don’t see why, just move on. Why do you feel the need to degrade him or his happiness? There is nothing wrong with him finding happiness in this gift but you should take a good hard look in the mirror to see what you have become.

  56. I get it – it’s something that excites you and I’m happy that it has unleashed such enthusiasm – sort of like when I got my full bar cart full of “stuff” from my local carrier – it did cost somewhat more I feel lol

  57. While I was skeptical before, I get your enthusiasm. I follow the same analogy – your super bowl is my TAAG Angola..

  58. I also wouldn’t get so excited over this, I think, but you did and I am pleased about it. This is a simple story, about a small, classy, and kind gesture which made a customer smile. That makes it uplifting to read.

  59. Thanks Ben, I am relatively new the OMAT and always look forward to your posts. Very informative and some have helped me a lot. Starlux is demonstrating that they are a quality airline, and this gift served a purpose and succeeded as far as I can see. You have already said you are eagerly awaiting the start of long-haul services as will be many other frequent travellers. It also stimulated a lot of discussion here which is always a good sign for any successful marketing/PR activity. None of us have to follow you or participate. I do it because you are a great source of information and highlight some topics which I may have otherwise overlooked. Thanks for the time you take to share.

  60. I dunno about “super-huge,” but Starlux does indeed sell A321neo models on their website! Biggest one I can see is 1:100.

  61. Lucky—great post! I get it….still treasure my heavy “Lifetime Platinum” Starwood card (also sent as a commemorative welcome gift years ago)….Starwood sent a few really cool, unexpected gifts over the years….it does help you bond with the brand…I may be a victim of smart marketing, but I appreciate these types of gestures nonetheless…..

  62. this is an aviation blog run by an geeks and you expect him to talk about the nonexistent aviation news? I mean ben certainly does talk about aviation news but this is also related to aviation. relax, people.

  63. PRC bots, can you send some love my way if too if I write ‘Taiwan’? Truly hilarious. Shades of a commentary about changes at cathay. Bot, please learn a new trick. You are boring us. You cannot arrest everyone…

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