Deal Alert: US Cities to Tahiti for $486 Round-Trip

Mar 8, 2019

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

Tahiti is calling. French Polynesia offers breathtakingly clear lagoons, top-tier points properties from Hilton, Marriott and IHG as well as tropical temperatures year-round. It’s also prohibitively expensive to fly to, particularly for those situated along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Making the most of a stay there was the topic of our very first Miles Away podcast.

InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea
InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Right now, economy flights between Washington, DC (IAD and DCA) and Papeete, Tahiti (PPT) are pricing at $486 round-trip on SkyTeam partners Delta and Air France. That’s around 3x lower than the usual $1,500 or so that Delta and Air France typically charge. Many dates from the New York area are pricing out at just a few hundred dollars more, or you could grab a train down to DC to catch your flight.

Since the deal was posted, readers are spotting similar fares out of Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN) and Houston (IAH) as well.

The US legs are handled on Delta metal, while the overwater jaunt between Los Angeles (LAX) and Papeete (PPT) is flown on an Air France 777. We reviewed that very trip a few months back in both business class and premium economy.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa - canonball from porch
Not too many rooms where jumping from the back porch is encouraged (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

Unlike most flight deals, availability on this one is stupendous. You can legitimately leave this weekend and only pay $486 round-trip. The price looks to be sticking from now right on through the end of the booking window in January 2020.

Air France flies the LAX-PPT (and back) leg thrice weekly, with the LAX-PPT leg flown on Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday, while the PPT-LAX return flies on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Staying at the St. Regis Bora Bora isn’t cheap, but getting to Tahiti can be (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Once you land in Tahiti, we’d make plans to leave. The main island isn’t the most picturesque, but a cheap ferry to Moorea gets you to paradise in a jiffy. You can add flights on Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui) to other islands like Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupiti and Tahaa for added adventure, and we’ve included reviews of some of our favorite hotels in French Polynesia below.

If you need to overnight in Tahiti, our budget is pick is Fare Suisse. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, check out our reviews of the InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa and Manava Suite Resort Tahiti. Before you leave, be sure to pay a visit to the famed food trucks.

To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.

Airlines: Delta and Air France
Routes: DCA/IAD/ORD/DEN/IAH and possibly others to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT)
Cost: $486 round-trip
Travel Dates: March 2019 — January 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline),  Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Prestige Card (3x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of dates you can book, all between Washington, DC (DCA/IAD) to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT):

March 16 – 22, 2019:

July 2 – 10, 2019:

August 1 – 11, 2019:

December 19 – 27, 2019:

January 4 – 12, 2020:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as 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, Citi Prestige Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

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  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
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  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
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