Alaska Airlines announced this past spring it was teaming up with Taiwanese startup carrier Starlux, taunting travelers that they could eventually use Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book flights to Taipei (TPE) and beyond – at ultra-reasonable rates, to boot. That day has finally come.
The ability to book Starlux flights with Alaska miles officially went online Wednesday. And it's an incredible deal: we're seeing wide-open business class availability on Starlux's nonstop route from Los Angeles (LAX) for just 60,000 miles … almost every single day from late July through mid-June 2024! And that's for two, four, or more passengers, too.
Alaska tacks on nominal fees: Just $18 and change for a one-way to Taipei and $46 for the flight back to the States.
Read more on other great ways to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles!
Return availability for two-plus passengers in business class is wide-open, too. And flying Starlux economy is a steal as well: Just 20,000 Mileage Plan miles each way!
Starlux is a Taipei-based boutique carrier that launched in 2020 flying a handful of routes throughout Asia from its hub in Taipei (TPE), competing with two other top-notch Taiwanese carriers like EVA Air and China Airlines. The airline now flies to 18 destinations from its hub in Taipei.
Its first nonstop flight to the U.S. began in late April with service to Los Angeles, with daily flights running each way today. The airline is reportedly targeting San Francisco (SFO) for its next U.S. route this winter.
At just 60,000 miles each way, that's a phenomenal deal for what looks like a stellar business class experience. They teased that low mileage rate back when the two airlines announced their partnership, but we didn't expect to see this kind of availability right off the bat.
Unfortunately, connecting beyond Taipei isn't quite as good of a deal: Alaska is charging 130,000 miles each way for Starlux business class flights to Japan, Vietnam, Bangkok (BKK), and Singapore (SIN).
Alaska has left the door open to charging more for these flights down the road: The airline used the words “starting at” and “limited time” when it first detailed its framework for Mileage Plan redemptions on Starlux. So if you want to get to Taipei in style, book now.
Starlux's new transpacific route to the U.S. is being flown on its new Airbus A350-900 aircraft with four cabins: First, business, premium economy, and economy. First and business class suites on these planes each have a private space with a sliding door, 4K seatback screens, and seats that convert into a fully lie-flat bed and are equipped with a “zero gravity” feature.
First class is not bookable with Alaska miles, but business class looks like nothing to scoff at. Our Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deal guru Jon flew Starlux between Taipei and Cebu (CEB) in the Philippines earlier this year and said it was a top-notch flight – even on that relatively short flight.
This is a win-win-win for travelers with Alaska miles.
Months after their partnership was announced, you can now redeem those Mileage Plan miles on Starlux flights. At just 20,000 miles each way in economy or 60,000 miles in business class, it's a stellar deal. And best of all, business class availability to book those seats to or from Taiwan is wide-open from now through the end of the calendar next June!
All photos courtesy of Starlux