American Airlines has added Air Tahiti Nui as only the second partner airline where you can redeem AAdvantage miles. This clearly signals that they intend to make premium economy redemptions available broadly.
American launched premium economy awards on their own flights back in January. Then in October premium economy AAdvantage awards were added for British Airways. According to internal documents Air Tahiti Nui awards became available on or about December 6th.
AAdvantage members are now able to redeem miles for award travel in Premium Economy on TN, including connecting travel on American Airlines and airline partners.
I – Award Booking Inventory (Premium Economy) – Air Tahiti Nui
Award space comes up when searching at AA.com.
Awards between the U.S. and French Polynesia cost:
- Economy: 40,000 miles each way
- Premium economy: 65,000 miles each way
- Business class: 80,000 miles each way
Frankly premium economy isn’t a bad option for the late afternoon Los Angeles – Papeete flight. I have a strong preference for business class on overnight returns, however.
And while I almost never see more than 2 business class award seats available on Air Tahiti Nui, I do see flights where there are more in premium economy – so this may be an option if you’re looking to travel as a family.
Bear in mind that if you’re flying coach, Air Tahiti Nui allows Priority Pass cardholders to check in and board with premium economy. Priority Pass also offers access to the lounge at the Papeete (Tahiti) airport.
For many of you French Polynesia is about the destination and not how you get there. But a whole new way of getting there has been opened up to AAdvantage members. Up until now there’s been no competition for premium economy award space – it was available only to Club Tiare members. We’ll see how long availability remains this good now that so many more people can book it.