Tahiti is the gateway to most of the islands in French Polynesia. French Polynesia has just one international airport, Faa’a International (PPT), which is located in Papeete. There are limited options on miles, both in terms of award space and the number of carriers who fly there: Air France (via Los Angeles), Air New Zealand (via Auckland), Air Tahiti Nui (via Auckland, Los Angeles, Paris CDG, Tokyo Narita), Hawaiian Airlines (vis Honolulu), LAN Airlines (via Easter Island, Santiago).
All of these airlines are either part of an alliance or partners with a major carrier. Here are some of the ways you can redeem miles to Tahiti:
Fuel surcharges are ridiculously high on Air France flights between Los Angeles and Papeete: around $400 roundtrip! Availability is decent and if you decide to go this route, you can transfer Membership Rewards points to your Flying Blue account at a 1:1 ratio.
- Economy: 60,000 RT
- Premium Economy: 120,000 RT
- Business: 150,000 RT
If you want to fly Air France without the fuel surcharges, use your Alaska MileagePlan miles. Redemptions cost an extra 20,000 roundtrip in economy and 30,000 in business, but taxes are around $80.
- Economy: 80,000 RT (Air France)
- Business: 120,000 RT (Air France)
American is partners with Hawaiian and Air Tahiti Nui. You can search Hawaiian availability online, which is sparse, but you’ll have to call to find space on Tahiti Nui.
- Economy: 75,000 RT
- Business: 125,000 RT
- First: 145,000 RT
Delta’s low-level redemptions are higher than the other major carriers. However, they do partner up with both Air France and Hawaiian Airlines, giving you more redemption options.
- Low: 100,000 RT
- Medium: 140,000 RT
- High: 190,000 RT
BusinessElite, First or Business Class
- Low: 150,000 RT
- Medium: 240,000 RT
- High: 370,000 RT
Hawaiian flies from the mainland to Papeete via Honolulu. There is decent award space online, but your best bet is to use AAdvantage miles and save 20,000 miles roundtrip. Korean Skypass is another option (see below).
- Coach SuperSaver: 95,000 RT
- Coach Saver: 145,000 RT
- Coach Flex: 190,000 RT
- First Saver: 175,000 RT
- First Flex: 350,000 RT
Korean Air has a partnership with Air France and Hawaiian. However, they do apply fuel surcharges on Air France redemptions. Booking partner awards isn’t easy on Korean, but if you can manage a Hawaiian Air award, the rate is much lower than if you were to use Hawaiian Miles.
- Economy: 60,000 RT (Air France)
- Business: 90,000 RT (Air France)
You’ll have to route via Auckland on Air New Zealand, but redemption levels are decent at just 70,000 points for an economy flight.
- Economy Saver: 70,000 RT
- Economy Standard: 130,000 RT
- Business Saver: 120,000 RT
- Business Standard: 300,000 RT
Another Star Alliance member that only has Air New Zealand as a redemption option. While United is a better option for economy redemptions, US Airways offers better value on business class.
- Economy: 80,000 RT
- Business: 110,000 RT
The lowest redemption are offered by Air France and Korean Air (flights on Air France) at 60,000 miles roundtrip, though with fuel surcharges of $400 it’s not worth it. United and American offer the lowest redemption, fuel surcharge-free, at 70,000 and 75,000 miles roundtrip.
US Airways offers the lowest business class redemption at 110,000 miles roundtrip.
Which mileage program do you rely on to get you to Tahiti?
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49