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 Pacific||Continental U.S. to Europe||Intra-South Pacific|
|Economy||Starting at 30,000 miles.||Starting at 30,000 miles.||Starting at 17,500 miles.|
|Premium economy||Starting at 45,000 miles.||Starting at 45,000 miles.||Starting at 25,000 miles.|
|Business class||Starting 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.
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.
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 photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
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