DALLAS — In today’s flight report, Airways gets on board Starlux’s (JX) Airbus A350-900 jet from Los Angeles (LAX) to Taipei (TPE) in Business class to review a much-anticipated airline on its flagship route.
It’s only been a couple of months since JX commenced its flights to Los Angeles and it is the airline’s only long-haul route for the time being. In this nearly fourteen-hour cross-pacific flight, we look into the new experience the Taiwanese carrier has been fostering in the realm of premium air travel offerings.
- JX001 | Departure: Los Angeles LAX 00:50 LT | Arrival: Taipei-Taoyuan TPE 05:40 +1 LT
- Aircraft: Airbus A350-900 | Registration: B-58502 | Seating Configuration: 4 in First, 26 in Business, 36 in Premium Economy and 240 in Economy.
Lounge Access at LAX with Starlux
Business class passengers traveling with JX get access to the Oneworld lounge at LAX’s TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal). The lounge in itself is very spacious, and modern and offers quite a variety of cold and warm buffet options alongside varied seating zones. It does however lack direct contact with natural lighting or a view overlooking the apron or terminal which can feel restrictive.
In a brief stroll to gate 159 located towards the extremity of the concourse, the boarding area was packed. With four cabins to board, time was critical, but here’s where things were a little different.
The setup and signing at the gate were absolutely precise and great, and another key element was the number of staff present at the gate to facilitate it all – by my count, nearly ten.
Boarding and a Glance at the Business Class Seat
The crew was very proactive from the moment I stepped foot onboard and brought me to my seat to get me comfortable and took my order for a welcome drink immediately – this was the beginning of the personalized experience.
Then it starts, exploring the JX business seat – simply put – it’s sharp, elegant, and modern, you want to take some time to look around and figure out how to blend in. A bright orange storage compartment hosts the power outlets, charging, and a fancy set of headsets with ANC.
The seat control is a full-touch unit with a zero-gravity seat positioning option, well come back to that in a bit.
An amenity kit, slipper, and socks were also present. The lamp gave the entire seat a neat finesse. Last but not least, the IFE screen – it’s a massive 24-inch 4K unit, larger than your average desktop screen as well. Exciting and eager to get going is how’d id describe the initial feeling.
A purser drops by once again, introduces himself, and takes your name as he/she takes up responsibility for your service for most of the flight (which did happen), although once in a while you have another attendant attend to you.
A printed copy of the menu was handed out but there was also the menu viewing option on the IFE. Here’s a look at today’s meal service. Two main meal runs with a snack option as all-day dining. Busy LAX, we waited patiently for our turn to make a long heavy departure seabound.
The Starlux Service
Within the first hour, dinner service commenced – first, grilled shrimp with mango salsa as a starter, followed by a cappuccino mushroom soup. Key personal pointer – the bread roll was warm.
For the main, I opted for the braised Chilean sea bass with oyster sauce along with fried noodles and vegetables. To conclude for dessert it was apple pecan tart along with fruit. Pleasant experience with dinner.
My designated crew member then came to offer to set up the seat to a lie-flat for a goodnights sleep. The zero gravity position is rather interesting, it’s got an angle set where you feel the least force possible.
Somewhere over the Pacific, I called for prawn wanton noodle soup from the all-day dining menu, the other option was an Angus beef burger. This was on point in flavor and the wantons were perfectly cooked– balance on texture and softness.
I decided to take a short stroll around the business cabin covering different angles in the cabin night mode on.
The IFE’s standout feature is the screen size at a whopping 24 inches. Conentwise, it’s got a lovely moving map with several features and views with great zoom options. The movie and TV collection is like most other carriers with a good variety but strong Asian content as well.
Starlux has partnered with LA Dodgers for flights from Los Angeles to Taipei, so every time I ordered a coffee, instead of a coffee mug, I received a blue well-paper cup, napkins wet wipes all branded with LA Dodgers imagery.
“Our partnership with LA Dodgers is great. We are having some logos placed on the field for this season so that the fans of the team can get to know STARLUX Airlines. Moreover, we started to provide LA Dodgers amenities on the LAX-TPE route including themed meal packaging, playing cards, eye masks, luggage tags, boarding passes, and passport covers this June and so far, we got a lot of positive feedback.” Starlux CEO, Glenn Chai comments to Airways.
In addition to the partnership with LA Dodgers, we are having a partnership with LA Clippers as well. On the TPE-LAX route, we provide LA Clipper’s amenities so that our passengers can enjoy the vibe of two LA iconic sports teams on their flights both ways.STARLUX CEO, Glenn Chai
Cruising over Tokyo, the crew prepped the cabin for breakfast. I went for the traditional Taiwanese congee option seeking to try local flavors.
The congee was served with accompaniments and a plate of vegetables, eggs, and shrimp. It was a very light and refreshing breakfast, didn’t give you a heavy feel at all. Fruit, cookies, and coffee followed to wrap the last meal run.
After hours of darkness, a brisk sunrise makes a perfect mood as we commenced our final descent into Taipei Taoyuan- TPE.
Let me get straight to the standout, it’s the crew during the meals services. They are alert and constantly walk around the cabin to make sure everything is as perfect as it can be, it might come across as something subtle but is rather unique. Refills, accompaniments, or just a smile, they do it genuinely. The seat is simply perfect, with sufficient space even for your legs all through.
The nightwear provided was of great quality. Meal options, plenty with two themes, international and local, each with sub-options for the main. Absolutely no fatigue after the entire flight. STARLUX, yet in its infancy, is paving its way strong in the premium offering class.
The years of growing with smaller aircraft within Asia have proved to be a solid foundation for its growing long-haul network as a modern, elegant airline. A must-try.
Featured and all images: Author