The Best Ways to Fly To Tahiti With Miles & Points [2020]


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The Best Ways to Fly To Tahiti With Miles & Points [2020]

Update April 14, 2020. 

Redeeming miles to French Polynesia can be challenging. The main island Tahiti is the home of the Fa'a'ā International Airport (PPT) and International flights will have to go through Tahiti first before connecting to other islands on French Polynesia such as Bora Bora. At the time of this writing, these are the airlines that are currently flying to Tahiti: Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and the low cost carrier French Bee.

The Best Ways to Fly To Tahiti With Points & Miles
Magic Mountain Lookout in Moorea, French Polynesia

Best Mileage & Points Programs for Flying to Tahiti

American Airlines 

Air Tahiti Nui flies the 787 Dreamliner daily round-trip between Los Angeles and Tahiti. The flight time is around 8 hour and half each way. American Airlines has individual partnership with Air Tahiti Nui which means that you can use American Airlines' AAdvantage program to book award tickets on Air Tahiti Nui flights.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 40,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)
Premium Economy  65,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)
Business 80,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

You can search and book directly on American Airlines website. American Airlines has award calendar in their search tool, which makes it super convenient to see which date has available flight using miles in all classes of service. Do keep in mind that business class award on Air Tahiti Nui is rare to come across, but it is not impossible.

Editor's Note: Air Tahiti Nui also partners with Qantas. We used to be able to book Air Tahiti Nui flight using Qantas Classic Rewards on Qantas website. However, it appears that Qantas now has disabled this type of redemption on their website. It may be worth calling up Qantas to see if the agent can search and book it on the phone if you want to use Qantas miles. Taxes and fees are low when we were able to book it. 

Air France/KLM Flying Blue 

Air France operates non-stop flight 3 times weekly between Los Angeles and Tahiti. You can use Flying Blue miles to book these flights. Unfortunately, Flying Blue program does not have award chart anymore. They decided to go with dynamic award pricing model, so you'll need to perform the search to determine how many miles needed based on your travel dates. The key here is to be flexible with your travel dates.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy From 25,500 Around $64.58 (LAX-PPT)
Around $104.21 (PPT-LAX)
Premium Economy  From 51,000 Around $64.58 (LAX-PPT)
Around $104.21 (PPT-LAX)
Business From 64,000 Around $206.23 (LAX-PPT)
Around $245.86 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

You can search for availability and book these flights directly on Flying Blue website.

Editor's Note: While Delta and Air France have partnership, currently it is not possible to search and book this specific Air France LAX-PPT route on Delta's website. If you really want to use Delta miles to redeem, try calling Delta and see if they can book. 

United Airlines

United Airlines flies non-stop 3 times weekly between San Fransisco and Tahiti. United operates 787 Dreamliner on this route and the flight time takes around 8 and half hours. You can use United's own MileagePlus program to redeem for United flights. Although United decided to go with dynamic award pricing model; this route so far has not been affected by the dynamic award change. For saver awards, United charges the following:

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 35,000$5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)
Business 70,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

You can search and book these award tickets on United website. United's lowest saver award ticket in economy is easy to find, but business saver award is impossible to find.

United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, this opens up a few other redemption options using other Star Alliance member airline's frequent flyer miles to book United flights.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Within the Star Alliance, you can use Aeroplan miles to book United operated flights including San Francisco to Tahiti route. The good news is Aeroplan does not impose high taxes and fees on United flights, but they charge more miles than United does.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 45,000 $7.85 CAD (LAX-PPT)
$69.67 CAD (PPT-LAX)
Business 80,000 $7.85 CAD (LAX-PPT)
$69.67 CAD (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

You can search and book directly on Aeroplan website.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is also a member of Star Alliance. They have revamped their online booking to allow searching and booking most Star Alliance flights, so you can use Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles to book United operated flight between San Francisco and Tahiti. Singapore Airlines charges much higher miles than both Aeroplan and United though.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 60,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)
Business 117,000 $5.60 (LAX-PPT)
$49.65 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

Search and book directly on Singapore Airlines website.

Hawaiian Airlines

Depending on the season, Hawaiian Airlines flies 1 to 2 times weekly between Honolulu and Tahiti. We actually took this route in economy class and really liked it because the seats in economy cabin are arranged in 2-4-2, so the 2 seats are perfect for couples sitting together. Hawaiian Airlines is also implementing dynamic award pricing, but they still published an award chart that shows the minimum and maximum miles needed for redemption.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy From 27,500 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)
Business/First From 47,500 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)

Editor's Note: If you hold one of the Hawaiian Airlines credit cards (personal or business), you receive exclusive flight award discount for economy class of service. That brings down the miles needed for a saver award between HNL-PPT to just 24,750 miles  each way.

How to Search & Book:

You can search availability and book directly on Hawaiian Airlines website.

JetBlue TrueBlue

Thanks to the partnership between JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines, you can use TrueBlue points to redeem for Hawaiian flights between Honolulu and Tahiti. Taxes and fees are pretty much the same as what Hawaiian airlines charges. JetBlue does not have award chart for their own flights; however, they have an award chart for Hawaiian Airlines.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 30,000 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)
Business/First 70,000 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book:

You cannot search award availability of Hawaiian flights on JetBlue website. Use Hawaiian Airlines website to search. As long as there's a saver award flight available on Hawaiian website, JetBlue should be able to see that same flight. To book, you call JetBlue at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) and follow the prompts to get to the TrueBlue department. Feed the agent with the flight information and book directly with the agent.

For more information, you can read this post Using JetBlue TrueBlue Points on Hawaiian Airlines to Tahiti, but watch out for the missing ticket numbers Lessons Learned: Booking Flights Using Airline Partner Miles & Double-checking Ticket Numbers

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hawaiian Airlines also partners with Virgin Atlantic. This means that you can also use Flying Club miles to book Hawaiian flights between Honolulu and Tahiti. Virgin Atlantic does have an award chart specifically for Hawaiian flights redemption. Taxes and fees are low.

Class of Service Miles Needed (One-way) Taxes & Fees
Economy 27,500 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)
Business/First 47,500 $6 (LAX-PPT)
$50 (PPT-LAX)

How to Search & Book

You cannot search Hawaiian flights on Virgin Atlantic website. Instead, you need to use Hawaiian Airlines website to search. As long as there's a saver award flight available on Hawaiian website, you should be able to book the flight with Virgin Atlantic as well. To do so, call the Flying Club number at 1-800-365-9500 and provide the agent with the flight information that you found on Hawaiian website. Alternatively, you can also text Virgin Atlantic at 97634 from the US. They are generally very good with responding. This method in fact is our preferred method to use for checking award availability with Virgin Atlantic.

Pay With Credit Card Points

If you do not want or cannot use airline miles to redeem for flights to Tahiti, sometimes it makes sense to see if the cost of the tickets is more affordable. There are travel credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserved and American Express Platinum Card, etc. that allow card members to use rewards points to purchase a flight's ticket through their travel portal sites.

Speaking of the cost of the tickets, French Bee is a low cost carrier that flies non-stop 2 to 3 times weekly between San Francisco and Tahiti. This low cost airline does not have ways to redeem miles for their flights, but you can potentially use credit card points to pay for the cost of their already deep discounted tickets.

For more information on how to use credit card points to pay for travel, check out this post on How To Redeem Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Points For Travel
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Posted by: PL

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