Our First Look at Air Tahiti Nui’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Traditionally, flights between the US and Tahiti haven’t been nearly as glamorous as the destination itself. Aside from Hawaiian’s route to Honolulu (HNL), flights from Papeete (PPT) were limited to Los Angeles (LAX), operated by both Air France and Air Tahiti Nui.
Air France award space is almost nonexistent, and while Air Tahiti Nui offers better availability via its US-based partner program, American Airlines AAdvantage, the Airbus A340s it flies on the route sport angle-flat seats and a dated interior. With the airline gearing up to take delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner, that’ll soon change.
While the first plane isn’t quite ready to fly away, it did just undergo one of the final steps of the production process: a fresh coat of paint. The livery looks very slick, especially near the tail.
The interior’s an enormous upgrade from those dated A340s, too, with 2-2-2 lie-flat seats in business class — the same seat model you’ll find on United’s Dreamliners, which will soon operate flights between San Francisco (SFO) and PPT.
Air Tahiti is also offering a premium-economy cabin, with recliners arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Economy looks decent as well, with a standard 3-3-3 configuration there.
The 787-9 is scheduled to begin flying between LAX and PPT in November — the first flight I’ve found with availability is on November 9, and while business class isn’t appearing through third-party sites on that date, you can book a seat directly through the airline.
As for award flights, your best bet is to search for your desired dates using ExpertFlyer, then call American Airlines to book.
If you are able to find space — and that’s a big if — you’ll need to redeem 40,000 AAdvantage miles each way in economy, or 80,000 miles each way in biz. You may come out ahead by pairing your Tahiti trip with a visit to Japan, too, since award rates are far more appealing there.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- 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.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees