Review: Starlux Business Class (A321neo)

starlux business class a312neo review featured image

Following our overwhelmingly positive flight from Los Angeles to Taipei on Starlux A350 business class, my wife and I had a short connecting flight to our final destination of Hanoi on Starlux’s regional A321neo service. While the experience was a somewhat scaled-back affair compared to Starlux’s flagship A350 service, the trend of outstanding service, meals, and amenities continued. 

Starlux business class on the A321neo features one of the more impressive business class cabins I’ve encountered on a short-haul regional jet, particularly when compared to the offerings of North American and European airlines for short-haul flights.

After completing two flights, Starlux might just be my new favorite airline. Read on for all the specifics of flying on this premium Taiwanese carrier.

Booking Starlux A321neo Business Class

Business ClassAircraftRouteFlight Duration
Starlux 715Airbus A321neoTaipei to Hanoi2 Hours 55 Minutes

Currently, the only way to redeem points for Starlux award flights is through Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, which is precisely what I did. Due to the way award flights were priced for Starlux flights upon their initial release, it was cheaper for me to make two separate redemptions for our trip to Vietnam. Therefore, this booking was for a single one-way flight from Taipei to Hanoi.

The total cost came to 30,000 Alaska Miles plus $57 USD in taxes and fees, for two people.  

The bulk of the Alaska Miles I had earned were from the now discontinued MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard. However, MBNA has announced its intention to facilitate a 1:1 transfer to Alaska Mileage Plan from its MBNA Rewards program at some point in 2024. Despite the nearly nine months that have passed since this announcement, we remain hopeful for this to eventually see the light of day.

If you are interested in booking this business class product, learn more about how to book Starlux Airlines business class.

Ground Experience

The only Starlux-operated lounge within their network is located at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) Terminal 1, which we had a chance to visit during our two-hour layover. The Starlux Galactic Lounge features many of the futuristic space-craft design elements found throughout their aircraft cabins, creating a cohesive and visually appealing atmosphere.

Because of what I’m guessing is a lack of available space at Taoyuan International, the Starlux Galactic Lounge is rather compact, and lacks some notable amenities. I can’t imagine this is Starlux’s optimal situation for the airline’s flagship lounge, considering their emphasis on delivering a premium experience. It is more than likely that they had to maximize the space available as best they could given the current constraints at the airport.

The lounge is just basically one room with seating for around 30 people. While the seating was certainly in line with Starlux’s futuristic design aesthetic, I thought the furnishings leaned too far towards form over function, as I found most of the available seating rather uncomfortable.

The Starlux Galactic Lounge offers food from both an à la carte menu and a small buffet. Although it didn’t appear all that impressive at first glance, the variety of food available was quite decent, and everything tasted good.

One of the positives about having such a small lounge is that the airline can offer a more personalized service. For example, after checking in to the lounge an agent escorted us to an available seating area, provided us with the dining menu, and offered to bring us a tea or coffee. This isn’t something you’ll experience in many lounges, so Starlux is clearly a standout in this regard.

starlux taiwan taoyuan international airport lounge dining menu

Apart from the à la carte menu, there were various buffet selections available, featuring both hot and cold dishes, along with self-serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

starlux taiwan taoyuan international airport lounge buffet area

Cold items included fresh fruit, chickpea salad, a variety of vegetables, and a couple of salad dressings. Additionally, various breads and pastries, along with some desserts were available.

Hot items included grilled tomatoes, steamed rapeseed flowers, chicken curry stew, and boiled eggs.

As for beverages, a large fridge was stocked with bottled water, juices, iced teas, and sodas.

starlux taiwan taoyuan international airport lounge beverages

As well as a self-serve selection of wine and spirits along with Asahi beer on tap.

starlux taiwan taoyuan international airport lounge self serve bar

As I alluded to earlier, this lounge is lacking in a few amenities, with the most notable omission being its own bathrooms. I think this is the first lounge I’ve ever come across that doesn’t have its own bathrooms, which certainly isn’t ideal. However, considering the space constraints and the proximity to the public bathrooms just outside the lounge, I can understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Cabin Arrangement

The business class cabin of the Starlux A321neo has a total of eight business class seats arranged in a 2-2 seating configuration. This seating arrangement is ideal when traveling with a companion. 

However, as window seats do not have direct access to the aisle, solo travelers may encounter the awkward scenario of having to hurdle the stranger seated next to them if that person has their seat reclined into lie-flat mode.

starlux business class a321neo seatmap

It’s worth mentioning that the seats in the bulkhead row (row 2) feature a more spacious footwell. This is because in row 3, the footwell has to fit between the shell of the seats in front, resulting in a slightly tighter space. Although this shouldn’t be a significant concern, if a comfortable sleep is your priority, you might find the first row of the business class cabin provides a slightly better lie-flat experience.


The interior of the Starlux A321neo maintains a consistent brand image with gunmetal grey finishing and bronze accents, mirroring the design of their A350 cabin. In keeping with Starlux’s positioning as a premium airline, a true business class seat is offered on even short regional flights such as this one. This particular seat is commonly used by numerous airlines across their narrowbody aircraft, such as in Gulf Air’s A321 business class cabin.

starlux business class a321neo seat overview

Upon settling into my seat, I was immediately impressed. The generous legroom and ample storage space in every seat created a sense of spaciousness within the cabin, despite this being a narrowbody aircraft. Additionally, the pristine condition of Starlux’s relatively young fleet of aircraft added to the overall appeal of the cabin.  A pillow, blanket, and a pair of headphones were placed on our seats prior to boarding the airplane.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment consoles

As we were getting settled into our seats, the in-flight service manager approached us to introduce herself and kindly offered a refreshing cucumber mint drink and a warm towel before our departure.

starlux business class a321neo pre-departure beverages

Between each seat in the console are the controls for adjusting the seat recline.

starlux business class a321neo seat controls

A small storage cubby is positioned to the side at shoulder height. In here, you’ll find a water bottle holder and room for a few personal items. Furthermore, there is a connectivity panel for the seat, which includes a universal power outlet, a USB-A port, and a headphone jack.

starlux business class a321neo plugs

The tray table is stored in the console between the seats and can be unfolded to provide a larger surface for meals. I liked the tray table design because folding it up allows passengers to exit their seats without having to stow the tray table completely.

Directly across from the seat is a large high-resolution screen.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment console screen

Although this seat design may have some limitations in terms of privacy, the small business class cabin of the Starlux A321neo, with only 8 seats, creates a fairly intimate space that minimizes distractions throughout the cabin. All said, considering most of Starlux’s routes operated by the A321neo average around 3 to 4 hours, this is a phenomenal seat for such short journeys.


With a flight duration of less than 3 hours, there wasn’t an opportunity to catch any sleep. Nevertheless, I managed to recline one of the seats in an empty row to check out its lie-flat mode. Unlike Starlux’s A350 service, no mattress pad was available, but the same pillow and blanket were provided.

starlux business class a321neo bed

Unsurprisingly, the seat is notably narrower compared to its lie-flat counterparts found in widebody aircraft. Nevertheless, this is just a result of trying to squeeze a business class seat within the confined space of a narrowbody airplane. 

The footwell in the bulkhead row (row 2) provided a decent amount of room, and as I mentioned earlier, offered considerably more room compared to the seats in row 3.

starlux business class a321neo footwell

Amenity Kit

Starlux does not provide an amenity kit on their short-haul regional flights. At this time, amenity kits are only provided on their transatlantic service to Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Moments after taking our seats, one of the friendly flight attendants delivered the in-flight menu. While Starlux does allow for meals to be pre-ordered ahead of time, this isn’t currently possible on flights booked via the Alaska Mileage Plan. As a result, we were unable to pre-select our meals for this flight.

starlux business class a321neo food and beverage menu

The menu consists of the choice of either a Contemporary Asian or an Exclusive International meal. The food menu was as follows:

There was also a long list of beverages, including cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine, champagne, juices, soda, teas, and coffee.

I chose to stick to water and coffee during the flight, mainly because of our 8:45 am departure and the overall lack of sleep from the previous night’s flight. Although I had my eye on the Taiwanese menu, I had just eaten a steak during our previous flight. 

I asked the flight attendant if it was possible to substitute the steak with the chicken from the International menu, and she was happy to accommodate my request. Meanwhile, my wife chose the International menu and ordered the halibut.

Both meals, including the starter, are delivered together on a single tray. Each meal is accompanied by a salad and a variety of bread. The presentation of both dishes was certainly on point, and the exceptional quality of the meals on Starlux continued to impress.

We finished up our meal with some fresh fruit and yogurt along with another cappuccino.

starlux business class a321neo fruit and coffee

I can’t say enough about how impressive the quality of the crew on our Starlux flights were. The service is some of the best I’ve ever experienced, easily rivaling the service I’ve received on first class flights.

Every crew member was incredibly professional and polite, almost to a fault, though it remained friendly and personable. It hits all the right notes of polished and proactive, without coming across as excessively formal.


Entertainment Console

The seat’s entertainment screen is positioned directly in front, but operating it via the touchscreen can be quite a stretch once seated. As a result, I tended to use the handheld remote most of the time.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment console choices

All of the entertainment screen functions can be managed using the capacitive touch handheld controller, and I particularly liked the inclusion of a countdown timer for the remaining duration of our flight.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment console remote

Unlike the Starlux A350 seats, Bluetooth audio connectivity is not available on the A321neo; however, the same high-quality headphones were provided to business class passengers.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment console headset

Throughout most of the flight, I left the interactive map displayed on the screen. However, while I was browsing the movie and TV show library, it seemed to be identical to our previous flight, offering a decent collection of both new Hollywood releases and classics.

starlux business class a321neo entertainment console flight map


Starlux has WiFi available across their entire fleet, which is offered for free with no data caps to all business class passengers. Logging into the free WiFi is as simple as entering your email address, last name, and birthdate. 

starlux business class a321neo complimentary inflight wifi sign in

For economy passengers, free messaging is available through apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage. Purchasing additional data on top of the free messaging is a very poor offering in my opinion. 

The two available plans are:

  • $5 USD for 30MB of data
  • $10 USD for 100MB of data
starlux business class a321neo galactic inflight wifi prices

The WiFi speeds were quite impressive, but I attribute this mostly to the limited number of users. I’d imagine most of the economy passengers aren’t going to purchase a data plan. This is ideal for those business class, as this allocates the majority of the bandwidth available to at most eight people on this particular aircraft.


Following an exceptional experience aboard Starlux A350 business class on our previous flight, the positive momentum continued on their A321neo service. The business class cabin provides a slice of solitude at just eight seats and offers an extensive dining and drink menu, which is especially noteworthy for regional flights. 

As always, being able to enjoy a lie-flat seat on any flight is a luxury, no matter the flight duration. However, where Starlux truly excels is in the quality of its crew, which, in my opinion, ranks among the very best.

Given Taipei’s popularity as a transit airport, I’m confident that I’ll be searching for another opportunity to redeem for a Starlux flight on my next trip across the Pacific or within Asia.

Jeff Jamieson

Jeff Jamieson

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Jeff stepped into the ring of points and miles in 2018, this was during his first trip to Italy where he had only just dipped his toe into what was possible with loyalty programs. After eating pizza twice a day for two weeks straight and taking in all that Tuscany of Rome had to offer he knew he was hooked on “la dolce vita” of points and miles. Always fascinated with aviation, Jeff obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 2006. Now he fuels his affection for travel and aviation by seeking out new strategies while building upon existing opportunities along with the help of his close circle of fellow travel enthusiasts.


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