Starlux A350-900 business class review: Wow! Wow wow wow (holy crap).

Starlux A350-900 business class review: Wow! Wow wow wow (holy crap).

Nope. I’m not going to waste a single watt of mental energy trying to come up with a clever way of starting this Starlux Airlines A350-900 business class review. Instead, I’m just going to tell you that it was the best international business class flight of my life.

Everything about it (from the check in process all the way to deplaning upon arrival) was very well choreographed. They made me feel like a rockstar.

My only criticism? Maybe the cabin crew was a bit too proactive. Their insistence on assisting me with everything even had me having second thoughts about using the lavatory.

I prefer to wipe all by myself, thank you very much.

JX801
Tokyo, Japan (NRT) – Taipei, Taiwan (TPE)
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Aircraft: A350-941
Registration: B-58502
Duration: 3 hours 24 minutes
Seat: 7K (Business Class)

Starlux Airlines A350-900 (B-58502) side view
Starlux Airlines A350-900 (B-58502) side view illustration by NorebboStock.com
jx801 flight track
Our route from Tokyo / Narita to Taipei today as JX801.

My full review of Starlux Airlines A350-900 business class from Tokyo (Narita) to Taipei

If you recall from my Starlux A321neo business class review in 2020, I had doubts about their longevity. It was a phenomenal experience – but launching just months before the Covid pandemic shut the world down was more than unfortunate timing.

I’m happy to report that they survived. Not only that, they have emerged with one of these best long-haul international business class products in the world. EVA Air (the other Taiwanese airline) has every reason to be worried IMHO.

Arrival at the Tokyo Narita Airport (Terminal 2)

Staying the night at the Tobu Hotel adjacent to NRT made the process of checking in for this flight very easy. Too easy, as a matter of fact. I tried to time my arrival to coincide with the opening of the Starlux ticketing counter, but I was premature by about one hour. Oof.

SANspotter walking into Terminal 2 at NRT
I’m kicking off this Starlux A350-900 Buisness Class review from Terminal 2 at NRT. Not because I think it’s better than Terminal 1, but because it’s my only option if I want to fly Starlux today. Funny how that works.
Terminal 2 check in hall Tokyo Narita airport
FYI, Terminal 2 is a really nice place to sit and contemplate all the reasons why one might decide to show up a full hour before check-in for this flight even opened. I discovered many reasons. None of them were good.
Starlux business class check in terminal 2 NRT
During the wait, I discovered that Starlux contracts JAL check-in personnel here at NRT. And because I had nothing better to do, I researched the hex code for that color on the business class sign. It’s #654339.
Starlux business class check in counter T2 Tokyo Narita
The main advantage of showing up so early? Being the very first white boy to check in for this flight to Taipei today. #holla
Inside terminal 2 Tokyo Narita airport
I’m in! The departure gate for this flight is 62 (which is just up over yonder), so my apologies in advance for the lack of terminal pics.

Starlux Airlines business class passengers get complementary access to the JAL Sakura Lounge at NRT. It’s a good lounge (with good food) so that’s where I spent a majority of my time waiting for this flight to Taipei.

Starlux A350-900 parked at the gate Tokyo Narita
There she is. She’s a little late (and a lot wet), but still sexy AF. Is the Starlux A350-900 not one of the best looking airplanes ever?
SANspotter looking at Starlux A350-900 at NRT
Stupid question. “Dat a**!”
Gate 62 T2 Tokyo Narita airport
Gate check. All systems normal. Looks like we’re still a go for launch.
Starlux buisness class boarding pass Tokyo to Taipei
All data confirmed and verified. Commence boarding.

The boarding process for JX801 to TPE

Despite the stormy weather in and around Tokyo on this particular day (and the fact that the aircraft arrived late from TPE), they actually managed to get us boarded right on time. I was not expecting that.

Boarding Starlux airlines flight to Taipei at NRT
Welp, there goes my priority boarding privileges. That’s what I get for gawkin’ at that A350 for so long I guess.
Boarding queue for starlux airlines flight to Taipei
I may have been the very first person to check in this morning, but I very well may be the last one on this aircraft. Oh well. How does that saying about arriving fashionably late go again?
SANspotter walking down jetway at NRT
SANspotter, bringing up the rear (as only he knows how). Also, if you’ve ever wondered what I would look like if I was female…here you go.
Starlux A350-900 boarding door
Hoo boy. My Spidey sense tells me that my day is about to get a whole lot better the moment I step through that boarding door.
Walking onto a Starlux A350-900
Whoa. If the wood floors and abstract wall art isn’t enough to arouse you…
Starlux A350-900 business class cabin
…the sight of this massive business class cabin (drenched in warm mood lighting) surely will. Unless you’re into really kinky sh*t.

Those magnificent business class seats

Having flown Starlux Airlines once before, I already knew that I was in for a treat. This was my very first time on their Airbus A350-900 though, so it was still a very new-to-me a experience. Long story short, the seats (and the entire business class cabin) looks and feels very high-end. They didn’t skimp on anything.

Starlux A350-900 business class seat 7K
Seat 7K? M’kay. They certainly didn’t have to twist my arm.
Starlux A350-900 seat 7K business class last row
I will admit that I was slightly apprehensive about choosing a seat in the very last row of the business class cabin but…God damn!
Starlux A350-900 business class blankets and pillows
Full size blankets and pillows for a three hour flight? I refer you to the crude (yet highly appreciative) profanity in the caption of the last pic for my thoughts on this matter.
Starlux A350-900 business class boarding drink and hot towel
I hadn’t even sat down yet, and they came by with drinks and hot towels. My Spidey sense was right!
Starlux A350-900 business class seat
Not only is this one of the nicest business class seats that I’ve ever sat in, that green drink was otherworldly. Easily 3x better than the Mint Condition you saw me throw down the gauntlet in my recent JetBlue Mint review.
Starlux A350-900 business class legroom
Legroom is pretty good. That green drink (if I didn’t mention it already) was delightful.
Starlux A350-900 business class armrest storage space
This storage cubby sucks (only because it’s too small to contain multiple glasses of that wonderful green concoction).
Starlux A350-900 business class storage space
This storage container (the one right over my right shoulder) does not suck. Not only does it contain a wireless charger, the remote control for the video entertainment system, headphones, and power outlets…there’s easily enough space for 5 glasses of that green stuff. At least.
Starlux A350-900 business class USB charging ports
Enough about the green drink. Looks like there’s both USB-A and C charging ports in here. One of the many instances you’ll see in this review that is proof that they’ve pretty much thought of everything.
Starlux A350-900 business class seat lamp
Well, almost everything. It was two hours into the flight before I figured out how to turn off this lamp.
Starlux A350-900 business class video screen
OMG the size that video screen! (It’s 24 whole inches to be exact)
SANspotter looking surprised in Starlux A350-900 business class
No lie. 24″ is really impressive.
Starlux A350-900 business class seat buttons
Eyelash extensions, a reminder that you could’ve flown Zipair instead, and what looks to be little airplanes being squeezed from the seat. Like I said: they have thought of everything.
Starlux A350-900 business class seat control panel
There were also digital versions of the same buttons. Oh, and that ‘Zero G’ thing? Just wait until I tell you about about THAT little feature.
Starlux A350-900 business class seat privacy
Privacy is excellent! It’s something you’ll be sure to appreciate when you’re messing around with the G Spot Zero G function later in the flight.

The departure

The reality of the abysmal weather situation caught up to us during the taxi out to the runway. We ended up taking off 23 minutes behind schedule despite the on-time boarding process. Honestly though? Considering how rainy and windy (and foggy) it was, I’d say 23 minutes wasn’t all that bad.

Pushing off the gate in the rain in a Starlux A350-900
I had been so mesmerized by the seat that I didn’t even notice that we pushed off of the gate. Being so curious about the G Spot / Zero G thing will do that to a guy.
View of engine and wing in Starlux A350-900 buisness class seat 7K
A decent view of the engine was one of the other reasons why I was apprehensive about choosing a seat in the last row in business class. Other than the rain, this worked out spectacularly well I think.
Starlux A350-900 taking off at Tokyo Narita airport in the rain
“Omg let’s go already – I’ve got a G Spot button to put through it’s paces!”
Starlux A350-900 departing NRT in the fog and rain
Lookin’ a little soupy out there, eh?
Taking off in the rain Starlux A350-900
Aaaaand that’s the last we’ll see of Planet Earth until we reach Taipei. Spoiler alert: it was perma-clouds the entire way.

In flight entertainment

One of the best parts of this entire experience was the in-flight entertainment system. If the huge 24 inch (4k) video screen isn’t enough to impress you, I can almost guarantee that the brilliantly designed user interface will. It’s as gorgeous as it is functional. The best part? It’s highly customizable.

Starlux A350-900 business class video entertainment welcome screen
I can’t read (or speak) a lick of Mandarin Chinese, but I’m pretty sure that translates (loosely) to: Howdy y’all!
Starlux A350-900 business class video entertainment user interface
Stunned. Not only is this the largest video screen I’ve ever experienced in business class, the user interface just might be the best as well. 10/10.
Starlux A350-900 business class video entertainment content menu
From the animated icons to the multiple ways of displaying the catalog of content (icon view, thumbnail view, or list view) – I wasn’t even thinking about that G Spot button anymore. This is so good!

I probably spent more time setting up the UI just the way I like it more than I did actually watching video content. Speaking of which, the catalog of content is pretty good. Nothing I’d call phenomenal, but certainly nothing to complain about either.

Starlux A350-900 business class noise canceling headphones
And the noise canceling headphones? They were spectacular. I can’t even remember the last time I was this well entertained (and aroused) in business class.

The food

Perhaps the only thing that was disappointing about the lunch service was the fact that no physical menus were provided. The flight attendants came down the aisle taking orders one by one.

There were two choices: Asian and Western. I didn’t fly all the way to Asia to eat the same kind of grub I can eat back at home, so I selected the Asian option and hoped for the best.

Starlux A350-900 business class Asian lunch
Feedin’ time. “Asian” style.
Starlux A350-900 business class Asian meal option
No, seriously. This is literally what they called the “Asian” option. Looks awfully Japanese to me (which is a very good thing).
Starlux A350-900 business class lunch main course
The other option was simply “western.” Rumor has it that it was a meatball dish of some kind – which was a no go for me considering I had indulged in “meatball tomato sauce with cheese” in Zipair 787-8 Full Flat business class just the day before.
Starlux A350-900 business class food quality
The quality of this meal was excellent by the way. Let’s just say that Starlux doesn’t need to be worrying about what Zipair is doing.
Starlux A350-900 business class rice bowl
Seasoned rice with edamame. One edamame.
Starlux A350-900 business class miso soup
Miso soup. I’m doing pretty good with the descriptions considering that there were no menus provided, eh?
SANspotter eating lunch in Starlux A350-900 business class
It wouldn’t have even surprised me to find out that the cabin crew had a running bet on whether or not the white guy was going to use chopsticks to eat his rice or not. Hopefully somebody earned some good money from my chopstickin’ skills!
Starlux A350-900 business class dessert
Finally, fresh fruit and cake for dessert. No chopsticks though? Come on. I got this!
Starlux A350-900 business class hot towel at the end of the meal service
Finally (OK I really mean it this time), hot towels were handed out at the conclusion of the meal service.

Seat comfort (and a demonstration of the “Zero G” function)

Of course it’s a fully lie flat seat featuring a sliding door to shut out the world. That’s not what makes it so great IMHO. The killer function is (by far) the “Zero G” position. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Starlux A350-900 business class window tint
Interesting. Either we’re halfway to the moon, or the window tint on the Airbus A350 is a little darker than the window tint on the Boeing 787. There wasn’t a speck of light coming through on the darkest setting.
Starlux A350-900 business class blanket
Here we go. Here I am debating whether or not this ultra thick blanket is going to enhance or inhibit my G Spot / Zero G experience. What would you do?
Starlux A350-900 business class blanket details
Judging how soft (and high-quality) this thing is, I could only assume that it was it was going to add pleasure.
Starlux A350-900 business class door
Closing the door (because there’s just no telling how disgusting this is going to get).

Upon pressing the Zero G button, the seat transforms itself (and you) into a cradle-like position. The seat back is angled approximately 45°, the seat pan is lowered a bit, and the leg rest is elevated. It sounds convoluted AF having your legs at the same level as your head, I know, but it’s so comfortable.

Starlux A350-900 business class zero G position
Oh. My. Gawd. In the ‘Zero G’ position, it’s the most comfortable business class seat that I have ever experienced. It was definitely angled for my pleasure.
Starlux A350-900 business class aisle privacy
I see a lot of shut doors all up and down in this aisle. There’s a whole lot of pleasuring going on methinks!
Starlux A350-900 dark business class cabin
At least I didn’t hear any moaning.

The descent and arrival into Taipei

No lie. I could’ve gone another 26 hours in Zero G. But all good things must come to an end, and we began the descent into Taipei approximately 30 minutes behind schedule. I am definitely not complaining about that 30 extra minutes of pure pleasure though.

Starlux A350-900 business class pre anding snack
I was half expecting them to hand out cartons of cigarettes prior to landing (because it really was that pleasurable of an experience). We got these little candies instead.
Starlux A350-900 approaching TPE in the rain
Looks a lot like it did back in Tokyo, doesn’t it? At the very least, this A350-900 got a really nice wash today.
Starlux A350-900 landing at Taipei airport
Welcome to Taipei!
Taipei airport terminal in the rain
What rain (and gloom)? That’s a really sexy lineup of aircraft!
Pulling up to the gate at TPE
Looks like we’re parking in the “China” section today. Better than getting drenched at a remote gate I guess.
Starlux A350-900 business class seat end of flight
Uh oh. I don’t believe that I’ve ever caught feelings for a business class seat before, but…it was a little hard to let go of this one.
SANspotter walking up the jetway at Taipei airport
That “deer in the headlights” look as you try to process what just happened. I think what just happened was my best ever business class flight. Catching feelings for a seat was an all new-to-me experience as well.

Pros and cons of the Starlux A350-900 business class experience

As I said at the top of this review, this was easily the best international business class flight of my life. It wasn’t quite as polished as my Qatar Airways A380 business class experience, but the seat – and its functionality – put it over the top. This would be amazing for long haul IMHO.

Pros

  • The colors, textures, and materials of the seat are very high class. It it looks and feels like a step above a normal business class seat.
  • The huge video screen is nothing short of outrageous. It feels like having a personal big screen TV inches in front of your face.
  • Food quality is excellent. Very fresh. Very tasty.
  • There was even calming music in the lavatories for the entire duration of the flight for crying out loud.
  • Two words: ZERO. G.

Cons

  • It probably would’ve been more relaxing if the cabin crew didn’t insist on checking on everyone every 20 minutes or so.
  • The video screens are incredibly glossy. Reflections galore.
  • When you’re sitting in a seat this good, every flight (even the 15 hour ones) will feel too short.

Comments (4)

  1. JCC

    June 11, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      June 13, 2024
  2. Peter

    June 12, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      June 13, 2024

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