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Alaska Airlines adds awards on Air Tahiti Nui — and it's a good deal

June 28, 2022
4 min read
Alaska Airlines adds awards on Air Tahiti Nui — and it's a good deal
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In March, Alaska Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui announced a partnership that would allow its members to earn and redeem miles on each other's flights.

Up until now, only the reciprocal mileage earnings have been available. However, starting later today, Mileage Plan members will be able to redeem their Alaska miles for Air Tahiti Nui flights. Alaska gave TPG a sneak peek of the redemption rates and we were pleasantly surprised by them.

Here's what to expect when Air Tahiti Nui redemptions go live.

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Redeeming Alaska miles on Air Tahiti Nui

Alaska Mileage Plan redemptions for Air Tahiti Nui flights will go live today, June 28, 2022, at 12 p.m. EST.

Redemptions will be available on all Air Tahiti Nui routes, including flights to its South Pacific hub, Faaa International Airport (PPT), as well as on its fifth-freedom flight between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).

As with Alaska's other partners, Air Tahiti Nui redemptions will follow their own award chart. Here’s a look at one-way award pricing:

Continental U.S. to South PacificContinental U.S. to EuropeIntra-South Pacific
EconomyStarting at 30,000 miles.Starting at 30,000 miles.Starting at 17,500 miles.
Premium economyStarting at 45,000 miles.Starting at 45,000 miles.Starting at 25,000 miles.
Business classStarting at 60,000 miles.Starting at 60,000 miles.Starting at 35,000 miles.

Based on TPG's valuations of Alaska miles at 1.8 cents apiece, the rates for the long-haul flights equate to $540 for economy, $810 for premium economy and $1,080 for business, which is pretty good. Plus, Air Tahiti Nui's taxes and fees are usually minimal.

By comparison, American Airlines AAdvantage, which is another Air Tahiti Nui partner, charges 40,000, 65,000 and 80,000 miles, respectively, for flights between the U.S. and South Pacific. Meanwhile, awards booked through Air France/KLM Flying Blue are fully variable and can range from 30,000 miles to over 80,000 miles one-way in economy.

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

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

However, you'll want to note that these are only starting rates.

Alaska may eventually charge more miles for longer-distance trips, such as between the East Coast and South Pacific or during peak travel periods. Additionally, we might see higher rates when Alaska has access to additional award space not available through other partner airlines. For instance, Alaska sometimes offers enhanced inventory access for Aer Lingus, Icelandair, Qatar and Condor flights and charges a premium for those flights.

It's also important to remember that Alaska doesn’t allow you to mix airline partners, though you can add Alaska flights to a partner itinerary. As per usual, you can add a free stopover in Air Tahiti Nui's Tahiti hub on long-haul itineraries between regions.

Related: Air Tahiti Nui to French Polynesia in premium economy

Bottom line

Air Tahiti Nui isn't a part of any major alliance and its roster of airline partners is somewhat limited, so the ability to book awards through Alaska Mileage Plan is definitely welcome. Even better, unlike some of Alaska's other new redemption partners, the award rates are reasonable — even in business class.

The fact that Alaska is only publishing starting rates, as opposed to fixed prices or price ranges, could be concerning to some. However, based on what we've seen so far with Alaska's other partners, when there’s saver-level availability, you should be able to book awards at the lowest award rate. But there is no guarantee.

Featured image by Getty Images
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.

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    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees