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Deal alert: Widespread Air Tahiti business class award space to French Polynesia

Oct. 06, 2022
6 min read
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French Polynesia — which includes the sought-after islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora — is known for its beautiful landscapes, excellent beaches and great resorts. However, finding reasonably-priced, open award availability is difficult, especially in premium cabins.

But if you act quickly, you can get to the bucket list destination of French Polynesia in style. Right now, there's great award space availability on Air Tahiti business class, including nonstop flights from Los Angeles and Seattle. This award space was first reported by AwardWallet.

Let's take a look at the open award space and how to book it with points and miles.

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The deal


Airlines: Air Tahiti Nui.

Routes: The best availability is from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Tahiti International Airport (PPT). You can connect from other airports if award space allows.

Cost: 60,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles or 80,000 American AAdvantage miles, plus minimal taxes and fees.

Dates: Best availability through March 2023.

Pay taxes/fees with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Chase Sapphire Reserve® (3 points per dollar on travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (2 points per dollar on travel) for travel protections on the award flight.

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Related: The best ways to get to Tahiti using points and miles

Sample itinerary

The best availability is from Seattle. I found that many flights have up to four business class award seats.


There was also good availability from Los Angeles, although I could not find space for more than two people at a time.


There is also decent award space from San Francisco.


Of course, you can also connect to these flights for no additional miles if you book with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or American Airlines AAdvantage. For example, you can book this itinerary from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Tahiti for the same 60,000 Alaska miles, and the DEN to PPT leg is in Alaska domestic first class.


How to book

The two best ways for booking these seats are through Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and American Airlines AAdvantage.

Alaska Mileage Plan charges 60,000 miles for Air Tahiti Nui one-way business class from the United States to Tahiti. Alaska also allows free stopovers on their one-way award tickets, so you could have Tahiti be your stopover if you wanted to visit Australia or elsewhere in the South Pacific.

The other option is to book through the American Airlines AAdvantage program. American AAdvantage charges 80,000 miles for Air Tahiti Nui one-way business class.

Related: Maximizing stopovers and open jaws on award tickets

Earning miles for this award ticket

Alaska miles are relatively difficult to earn as they aren't transferrable from programs like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

One of the best ways to earn Alaska miles is through the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card. This card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus miles plus a $100 statement credit plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare; from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account

Meanwhile, AAdvantage miles are considerably easier to earn due to the number of cobranded credit cards. There are four Citi American Airlines credit cards with varying sign-up bonuses and earning structures:

You can also transfer Bilt Rewards points to AAdvantage at a 1:1 transfer ratio.

Related: The 6 best airline award chart sweet spots

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases to pay taxes and fees. This includes cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases for Sapphire Preferred). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Bottom line

It is incredibly rare to see widespread business class award availability to Tahiti, so now might be the perfect time to lock in that once-in-a-lifetime destination trip. Remember, you'll get the best deals with Alaska Mileage Plan or with American AAdvantage miles.

Updated 4/5/23

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.