American Airlines adds premium economy awards to Tahiti

Dec 18, 2019

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American Airlines has offered premium economy awards on its own flights since January 2019, but it wasn’t until the end of October 2019 before AAdvantage added partner premium economy awards, starting with British Airways.

At the time, a spokesperson said that the airline was “actively working to provide even more opportunities to book award travel in Premium Economy through additional partners in the near future.” Now that work is paying off.

As first reported by View From The Wing, American Airlines has now added premium economy awards on Air Tahiti Nui. These awards are now bookable through AA’s website on Air Tahiti’s only U.S. route between Los Angeles (LAX) Papeete, Tahiti (PPT), as well as Air Tahiti Nui’s flights between Tahiti and long-haul destinations Auckland (AKL) and Tokyo Narita (NRT).

Air Tahiti Nui premium economy. (Photo by Zach Honig/TPG.)

Premium economy awards between the U.S. and Tahiti are pricing at 65,000 miles each way. While that’s not a bad price, it’s going to be worth the extra 15,000 miles to bump up to business class — if there’s award availability.

While eight hours in premium economy is pricing at 65,000 miles between Los Angeles and Papeete, Air Tahiti Nui’s 11.5-hour route between Tahiti and Tokyo is pricing at a very reasonable 35,000 miles each way. That’s a very-reasonable 5,000-mile premium to the 30,000-mile economy price. But again, business class is going to be worth the extra miles.

For flights between Tahiti and Auckland (AKL), awards are pricing at:

  • 15,000 in economy
  • 25,000 in premium economy
  • 30,000 in business class

Unfortunately, seat selection isn’t available when booking on AA’s website. So, you’re going to need to get the Air Tahiti Nui flight record locator to log in to select your seat.

If you need more AAdvantage miles to make your dream trip to Tahiti a reality, you should consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® — which is offering a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus for spending $5,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, you and up to two guests get access to AA’s Admirals Clubs when you fly American Airlines.

While it doesn’t have a large sign-up bonus, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is offering 10,000 bonus miles plus a $50 statement credit for spending just $500 in purchases in the first three months after account opening. Then you can earn 2 AA miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores —- including grocery delivery services — and on eligible American Airlines purchases.

If you have a small business, you can sign up for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

The information for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Air Tahiti Nui wasn’t the next airline on which I expected AAdvantage to add premium economy awards, but I’ll take the addition. Hopefully, American Airlines will add premium economy awards on its Oneworld partners such as Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and more.

Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you.  Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Regular APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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