Starlux debuts Seattle flights, its third US destination

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Taiwan’s self-proclaimed “luxury” airline will touch down in its third U.S. gateway later this year.

Starlux Airlines will commence flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) from its hub at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) on a thrice-weekly basis beginning Aug. 16.

The Taipei-based carrier will deploy an Airbus A350-900, which features four first-class suites, 26 business-class pods, 36 premium economy recliners and 240 economy seats, on the route.


This new 6,075-mile is now on sale, with round-trip tickets departing the U.S. starting at around $950 for economy, $2,200 for premium economy, $6,000 for business class and a whopping $10,000 for first class.

Furthermore — and perhaps most exciting — Starlux has released saver award availability for this new route. While availability can change at any time, there seems to be one business-class award seat available for 75,000 miles (and $46) bookable via the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program on some flights.


If you can snag one of these award seats, you’ll likely be in for a phenomenal flight experience. Starlux’s A350s feature Collins Aerospace’s new Elements suite (designed in partnership with BMW Designworks), a product that builds on some incredibly popular predecessors to raise the bar for business-class seating.

The carrier’s catering, personalized onboard service and amenities further elevate the premium experience.

Starlux was the launch carrier for the Elements suite, and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways also introduced this seat on its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries.


Starlux offers a unique four-seat first-class cabin at the pointy end of the A350 as well, but there’s no great way to redeem miles for this experience. With round-trip fares starting at $10,000, I can’t imagine these seats selling too quickly.

Though Starlux offers one of the world’s best business-class experiences — trust me, I’ve tried it — the Seattle-to-Taipei market is hotly contested, even among some other world-class carriers. By the time Starlux launches flights, Taiwan’s two other major carriers, China Airlines and EVA Airways, will already be operating this route.


Furthermore, Delta Air Lines will begin daily flights from Seattle to Taipei beginning in June.

With such stiff competition, it’s possible that we’ll see aggressive fare wars (and possibly more award availability) in the coming weeks and months.

Beyond Taipei, Starlux flies to more than 20 popular destinations in Asia, giving Seattle-based travelers plenty of one-stop itinerary options. The airline also has a codeshare partnership with Alaska Airlines, so travelers can book flights beyond Seattle to cities like Denver and Houston.

Starlux began flying to the U.S. last April with flights to Los Angeles. The carrier then expanded to San Francisco in December.

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