Business Class Awards Wide Open On New Route To Tahiti

Air Tahiti Nui is launching service to Seattle and partnering with Alaska Airlines. They are already an American Airlines AAdvantage partner.

  • The flight starts October 4 and operates twice a week
  • So far Alaska Airlines redemptions aren’t available, American AAdvantage charges 80,000 miles each way for business class. That allows you to include connecting flights to and from Seattle (including on Alaska Airlines).

Two business class award seats are available a majority of days that the flight operates, between its launch October 5 and the end of the published schedule at the beginning of March. This was first flagged by Straight to the Points.

Awards to French Polynesia in premium cabins can be tough to get – premium economy from Los Angeles is much easier, but business is worth the incremental 15,000 miles AAdvantage charges over premium.

This isn’t the most advanced business class but adequate for the duration, and while 2-2-2 seating doesn’t offer privacy most people traveling to French Polynesia are doing so as a couple.

Bear in mind that this is not an inexpensive destination. Most people want to get off of Tahiti proper as soon as possible. That means a boat to Moorea or buying a domestic flight to an island like Bora Bora. And you’re both remote and in a French overseas territory. That’s expensive. But cutting down on airfare cost makes this doable.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Flew first class on Air Tahiti Nui a while back. Wonderful experience. And yes Tahiti is expensive. Very expensive. Very very expensive. But if you get out of the hotel, it’s bearable. But if it’s on the Bucket list, or you’re getting on the cruise. It’s worth it. Once. Fiji is just as relaxing and much cheaper. Both are worth the trip if you’ve go the miles.

  2. Step outside of the chain hotels and a wonderful world of French Polynesia awaits.
    Its surreal, you only hear American in Bora Bora and perhaps Moorea, while other islands are far nicer.

  3. @Bob what type of accommodations would you recommend other than a chain hotel in Tahiti? B&B? I’m curious. Thanks

  4. @Bob Please don’t let the Americans know there are other islands than Bora Bora and affordable, lovely accommodations and culture outside of a resort. I am American.

    @Munk check Airbnb and Booking.

    I die a little inside when I find out people have traveled to French Polynesia to just spend time at a resort. Imagine renting a house on a beach where you can snorkel around beautiful reefs as fish just a few yards from your house. There is that and so much more.

  5. Gary, love your work! This blog has opened a whole new world for me.
    I discovered ❤ it during the pandemic. As per your recommendation I read that book on the history of U.S. airlines that ends in the late 1980’s(?). Great book, and yes, someone should write a follow up. I suggest a title: The Great Airline Game.
    Sorry, my honest question: You say wide open. How many seats is wide open on all these flights to a small island(s)? And how many people with status (Hundreds? Thousands?)
    will be competing for these seats?
    The airline game, to me (logically), seems to have too many players circling the chairs, wondering if they will have a seat when the music stops. Am I missing something?
    What is the value proposition to this offer (will it be “easy” to fulfill?


  6. @Munk. Go visit other islands.
    Best snorkeling and diving is in Rangiroa and Fakarava for example.

    Or stay in a sterile $1000 night jchain hotel with the bloggers 🙂

  7. At least 80k each way is still on the AA award chart unlike many of the redemptions at AA lately.

  8. I used Qantas points to book 2 seats last year: PPT – LAX 69.5K each way and $300 taxes from PPT. Since Qantas points points partners with Citi and Amex, they’re easy to rack up.

  9. Lol @gene thought same thing. Wish there was an ord flight to Tahiti or Fiji. Would be nice way to get to aus. Back in the day did air Tahiti nui Sydney New York with a stopover on the way there. Also wish I had bought 10m AA Miles with the simply miles. Just did 2 of us in Dallas to syd on Qantas j. $672

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