Getting to Tahiti

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Dad to GO, Mar 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    I'm looking for some opinions out there on which route I should go getting 2 round trip tickets from LAX to Tahiti in Business class next Feb 2014. I have a lot of MR and UR points as well as about 400K AA miles. I'd prefer to use the least amount of points/miles as possible (as everyone would) but would appreciate some suggestions on which programs you all recommend using to get there. I know Air France, Tahiti Air and Hawaiian fly there but am not sure about possibly using transfer partners for cheaper rewards (i.e. Korean Air, etc.)

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Hawaiian flies Saturdays only via Honolulu. Air France service isn't daily. Air Tahiti Nui has the most service. They partner with Delta and American.

    Sometimes Delta doesn't seem to have access to the seats that Air Tahiti Nui offers OR that Air France offers.

    Tahiti is one of the very toughest award to get because of limited flights and limited partners, any time you secure the award you want be happy...

    There's no question that Korean asks the fewest points, and fortunately Chase points transfer instantly in most cases, you can ring up Korean and if they see space that's available on Air France you can move the points over while you're on the phone. Korean is a pain to book with, if you use miles from your own account you can only redeem for family members (significant others are out!) and those family members need to have their own accounts and the process even involves fax machines...

    Figure out who has seats -- Air Tahiti Nui or Air France. Then figure out who SEES those seats. And only if multiple carriers' programs see the seats are you in a position to decide whose points are best to use, eg Korean for fewest points, Amerian lets you put seats on hold, Amex points might be worth least of the 3 depending on your alternative uses for te points..
     
  3. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Every time I check American award availability it comes up empty, or you have to stay a month. I'm looking at the same trip next fall and right now my plan is to purchase through Amex platinum and get the companion ticket. So I'll pay full fare for one ticket and pay with points. Also business plat still offers 25% rebate on points used for travel.
     
  4. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Another alternative is Air New Zealand to Tahiti from Auckland.
     
  5. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Auckland isn't exactly the easiest award to get, and then AKL-PPT isn't daily, plus it's a ton of extra flying...
     
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  6. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. It's looking like I'll probably have to lock down the hotel first (Hilton Devaluation) and then try to get the flights to match up within a day or two of our reservations. I can get a AA flight through Hawaii for the outbound but nothing inbound yet. Is there an easy way to see availability on Air Tahiti Nui & Air France? Expert Flyer? I assume if I find availability on Air France that I could hypothetically call Korean Air at that point to book and hope that they see/honor the same flights... and then make 2 separate bookings (one for me and one for my wife?)

    I agree with you that if I can use the AMEX points I would prefer to go that route but as you said... any award booking (especially in business/first) I'll be thankful to get.
     
  7. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    It's 20k in J from NRT one way though if one can find availability...
     
  8. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Which brings us to a combined 190k award if someone where to do LAX-SYD-AKL (a possibility on VA using DL SkyMiles for 150k roundtrip) and then find connecting availability AKL-PPT using UA or NH on NZ. Again...completely dependent on availability and likely as a last option.
     
  9. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Gary.
    Does this Korean family member only mean they need the same sir name?
     
  10. ijnk

    ijnk Silver Member

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    Matching surname is not a requirement, but I had to submit some form of proof that I was related. In my case, they accepted my birth cert to link me to my mother and a news clipping showing my parents marriage in order to link me to my step-father.
     
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  11. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    a news clipping showing marriage? holy crap that's nuts that they require that.
     
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  12. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    I got one leg (outbound) put on hold with AA in Business. I was able to add a "free" one way segment for a few months before the flight which will be nice. I'd prefer not to use AA miles and wish I could use my AMEX MR's but I am kind of stuck on dates given that the hotel is booked with Hilton and I don't want to deal with the new devaluation and spending more points. I'm hoping that coming home I can use AF but it looks like they only have Premium Economy available on the dates I need. That leads me to a few more questions...

    1. How far out can we book/see reward space for AF to book from PPT - LAX
    2. Has anyone flown AF premium economy... what did you think?
    3. Are "stopovers" allowed with AF like they are with AA?

    Thanks again for all of the help!
     
  13. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Is that NRT-PPT? Who flies it?
     
  14. ijnk

    ijnk Silver Member

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    Actually that's not entirely correct; I had misremembered the situation. Looking back on my emails, I sent a link to my grandfather's funeral announcement which was finally enough for them to both document my mother's maiden name and her relationship to my step-father. But yeah, definitely nuts!
     
  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    NRT-PPT is 20k saver biz according to United's award chart. I'm guessing it'd be NZ that flies it.
     

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