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?
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases