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TPG reader DJFlem tweeted me to ask about using points toward travel on his honeymoon:
@ThePointsGuy — “What’s the easiest way to get to Bora Bora for cheap/free for my honeymoon using points?”
Bora Bora is an exotic island paradise very popular for honeymoons. When I think of it, images of blue crystal waters, white sands and over-water bungalows come to mind. In order to get there, you need to fly through Tahiti (PPT), which is French Polynesia’s only international airport on the island. You then need to buy a flight or take a boat to Bora Bora. LAX and Honolulu are the only North American cities with nonstop flights to Tahiti.
Here are some of the options for redeeming miles (all costs below are one-way):
1. LAX – PPT on Air France
These flights operate three times per week on a Boeing 777, which offers business and economy seating, but no first class. You have a few different options for redeeming miles on Air France.
Alaska Mileage Plan:
- Economy — 40,000 miles + $19
- Business — 60,000 miles + $19
Alaska doesn’t let you mix and match partners, so you could get yourself to Los Angeles by paying for a cheap ticket. However, if you live in a city that is served by Alaska Airlines, you can tack on an Alaska Airlines award.
- Economy — 50,000 miles + $5.60
- Business — 80,000 miles + $5.60
This is another situation where you might just want to pay for a ticket to Los Angeles and then get the saver award if you can find it for Tahiti.
- Economy — Starting at 30,000 miles + €168 (about $190)
- Business — 225,000 miles + €218 (about $250)
2. LAX – PPT on Air Tahiti Nui (AAdvantage partner)
Once again, there’s no first class available on this aircraft — only business and economy.
American Airlines AAdvantage:
- Economy — 37,500 miles
- Business — 62,500 miles
3. Honolulu (or Los Angeles through HNL) – PPT on Hawaiian (partner with JetBlue and Virgin America, and you can redeem AAdvantage miles only on flights from Honolulu)
- 27,500 miles between Hawaii and Tahiti
- 47,500 miles between North America and Tahiti
- 47,500 miles between Hawaii and Tahiti
- 55,000 miles between North American and Tahiti
One-way AAdvantage rates (again, only on flights from HNL):
- Economy — 37,500
- Business — 62,500
Keep in mind that getting to Bora Bora from Tahiti will cost about $300-$400 round-trip on Air Tahiti, and you won’t have an option to use points or miles for this flight. (This is because Air Tahiti and Air Tahiti Nui are two separate airlines, and Air Tahiti does not have partner airlines that allow you to use points/miles).
Personally, I can’t wait to visit Bora Bora — I have a ton of IHG points, and I hear the Intercontinental there is beautiful. If you’ve flown any of these routes, please feel free to comment on how the different airlines stack up — and share your Bora Bora recommendations for the honeymooners!
If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, and follow me on Instagram. There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.