Tahiti suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by jharkless, Mar 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. So, the GF wants to go to Tahiti and being an avid traveler, I am having such a difficult time traveling 8000 miles and not getting miles towards status (via Air Tahiti Nui), unless of course, I want to pay a minimum 60% surcharge and go on Air France ($1000 vs $1600). Using Delta miles is also not very practical as it would take 100k just for a coach ticket.
    It would appear the only frequent traveler logical thing would be to include Tahiti as a stop-over in a larger award trip (say, going to Auckland), which we're just not prepared to do right now.
    Man I hate the idea of shelling out $1000 for 8000 miles not getting me closer to Platinum status- any ideas are greatly welcome...
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    You've discovered just how difficult it is to get to Tahiti. Sometimes buying that Air Tahiti Nui ticket and foregoing the miles is what you need to do. Sometimes there are 100k mile business class award seats on Air France available. But otherwise....

    Air Tahiti Nui is also a Delta Skymiles partner (and an American AAdvantage partner). Redemption only, no accrual.

    Hawaiian flies to Papeete on Saturdays... LAN flies to Papeete via Easter Island, you'd fly to South America first... Air New Zealand via Auckland...

    Not a lot of great options there!

    And then of course once you get to Tahiti you've got the flights to the other islands, where you can neither earn nor redeem traditional miles.
     
  3. EagerTraveler

    EagerTraveler Active Member

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    I went the long way LAX - AKL - PPT....
     
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  4. Sky King
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    Sky King Silver Member

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    So here's an idea....skip Tahiti and go to Fiji on Continental for 60,000 (in coach) OnePass/United miles.
     
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  5. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    Here's another idea....book a cruise on the Paul Gauguin. Some offer free air from LAX. With the cost of hotels and food in the islands, it might be a less expensive way to make your GF happy!
     
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  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    With the once-weekly HNL flight and the twice-weekly GUM flight?
     
  7. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I know EXACTLY how you feel. Going in there in May after putting it off, exploring the options for YEARS. I finally caved and bought an Air Tahiti Nui ticket through a package deal with hotel, transfers etc.
     
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  8. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    not the same thing, but still a cool destination!
     
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  9. AndreaRH
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    AndreaRH Silver Member

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    My husband and I sailed on the Paul Gauguin last spring and it was spectacular. We cruise a lot and this was one of our all-time favorite trips. The ship is mid-size, service is good, the food was very good (especially if you hedged toward the French or Polynesian menu items), and it's all-inclusive. It's definitely an economical way to see the islands.

    You can read my review here: http://www.luxurycruisebible.com/reviews/paul-gauguin-2010-review

    And see a slideshow of our pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luxury-cruise-bible/sets/72157623966264267/show/

    We want to go back to French Poly this year or next and haven't decided if we'll do the cruise again, stay at a hotel in an overwater bungalow, or do both.

    We used AA miles to get award tickets on Air Tahiti Nui
     
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  10. ken7

    ken7 Active Member

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    Andrea, do you remember how many miles this route is in coach?
     
  11. .

    Andrea, Bonnie- am I missing something here? You both mention "affordable" but this cruise, even at inside room half off & including air is over $4000/ea. I mentioned ATN has airfare for $1000/ea- how would room and meals ever add up to anything close to $6000 (for 2)?

    Having been on a few cruises myself, I fully understand the diference and how it can be good to see different spots and Tahiti isn't quite like Hawaii in terms of size/sights, so the "cruise vs. island hop" debate is not the same and a cruise in the French Polynesian is probably surreal. However, if you do like Tahiti (or Moorea, etc) I think you are missing out on quite a deal
     
  12. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    i want to do http://www.boraboracruises.com/ this summer (especially if its never offered again...) but jeese its a nightmare looking at logistics and insurance.
     
  13. Hey Hula- have you been to both? Curious as to your thoughts on each. That deal is going to be hard to pass up on ATN, however Sky King does bring up an interesting dilemma for me- what one could do for 60k miles on Cont is rather amazing, seeing how they give 1 stop over AND 1 open jaw. If one has the time, pick from Guam, Tokyo, or Honolulu- which all happen to be stops along the way. Which, yeaaahh, after thinking about that, no wonder why so few miles needed- over 30 hours for an 8 hour flight!
     
  14. AndreaRH
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    AndreaRH Silver Member

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    The PG runs good specials from time to time with per person fares that are quite a bit under $4,000. I've seen the pp fare as low as $2,300 and that included coach airfare from LAX. I see that VacationstoGo.coom has a few 7-night PG cruises for $2,747pp.

    There are also travel agents who specialize in luxury cruises who can offer preferred rates, shipboard credits, and rebates. Try Browne & Keene Travel at http://www.bktahiti.com/

    If you are in the travel industry you can get an excellent interline fare from Paul Gauguin Cruises. (I'm not eligible for those fares but my uncle who works for an airline has gotten a great deal on a 7-night itinerary in the past—a little over $1k pp.)

    What I really loved about the PG was the depth of their lectures and shore excursions. They work with several well-known experts (Dr. Michael Poole for dolphin research and Mark Eddowes, who is an anthropologist—he's just fascinating. I'd book a PG cruise just to hear some of his lectures again and go hiking with him in Moorea.)

    Determining if a South Pacific cruise is a "value" depends on your particular situation and what islands you want to see. If you want to island hop to more than two islands, the savings in airfare may be well worth opting for a cruise over a resort on land.

    In the past we've stayed at the IC Tahiti and the Le Meridien Bora Bora. We spent a fortune on food and drinks at Le Meridien. It was fabulous...but expensive.

    However, this is French Poly so you really can't go wrong no matter how you decide to see the islands!
     
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  15. AndreaRH
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    AndreaRH Silver Member

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    I believe the current redemption rates on AA for Air Tahiti Nui are...

    Coach = 75,000
    Business = 125,000
    First Class = 145,000

    Over the past two years AA/ATN have offered discounted awards. I forget the actual discount but I want to say it was 30% off.
     
  16. AndreaRH
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    AndreaRH Silver Member

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    We were looking at that too...maybe doing the shorter cruise and tagging on a stay on one of the islands or going back aboard the PG or Haumana Cruises.

    It sounds like Bora Bora Cruises is catering to charters now but there are a few dates this summer that can be booked per cabin. The suite on the top deck looks spectacular.

    Our mistake on our last trip to French Poly was not booking enough days on the islands. If we're traveling that distance (we're based in NYC), we should stay at least two weeks.
     
  17. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    im not sure they know what theyre doing...

    0 itins last year, 12 itins this year.

    top suite with private deck and tender is 15K/nt =D

    im near DC, and would only be doing 4 nt cruise, plus "mandatory" night beforehand, presumably at four seasons, because i wouldnt want to stay anywhere else. it would be much smoother to do longer stay beforehand. then no concern about missing start of cruise. but even with really high price of cruise, the value is so much better than four seasons etc. and at this point between price/value the longer hotel stay isnt an option for me.
     
  18. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    been to Fiji, going to Tahiti in May.
    On a somewhat related note, I'm really excited about the UA/CO merger because of the strong presence CO has in the western pacific...actually I was blown away when I saw the route map in hemispheres last month. All sorts of new places to explore! +Guam, Tokyo, and Honolulu all seem like great places to stop (I've been to 2/3). I think its worth it- 30 hours for what should be 8.
     
  19. Well, after spending some more time looking into this, looks like I can grab an AF flight for just a slight surcharge over ATN in April- as low as $1200- call me crazy, but I'm thinking the extra $200 is worth the 8000 MQMs on Delta...
     
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  20. Ok, pulled the trigger on the AF flight- GF is extremely happy now!

    I thought I was really going to hit the jackpot as I have 2 Hilton free nights on any category, so I thought Bora Bora, here we come. But for $450/pp extra airfare? That's what a monopoly will do for you... (yes, there USED to be ferrys- not any more from the extensive research I did)

    Oh well, save that for another occasion- Hilton Moorea looks nice as well...

    Thanks to everyone for their input!
     
  21. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    Congratulations on making the decision! And congrats on making your GF happy!! Islands are magnificent....will look forward to hearing about your trip!!
     
  22. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    so i guess my dates are just bad? seeing $1600 and $2000 for LAX-PPT.

    one thing about air tahiti is you can mix business/first with economy.

    air france only lets you mix premium economy with economy.
     
  23. Guess so- I know that their "in-season" starts around June, so would need to be before then. My time is still available for $1200 (April 8-15) and Apr 29-May 6 is the lowest I've seen them ($1100 inc taxes)

    BTW- use Delta to book- $25 cheaper than AF or KLM believe it or not...
     
  24. MightyTravels

    MightyTravels Silver Member

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  25. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    God thanks for this post...been wanting to go to Bora Bora for years but I haven't even had time to do research on the flights available.

    Seems like a huge pain to get there by air, glad someone here knows about the alternatives :)

    I'm single so no GF bugging me to book tickets now!
     

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