Flying to French Polynesia with Air Tahiti Nui
Air Tahiti Nui is small airline with only wide body aircrafts with homebase in Pepeete in French Polynesia. Far, far away from the five continents. The airline currently flies to Tokyo (NRT), Los Angeles (LAX), Paris (CDG) and Auckland (AKL) and during my around the world in 10 days trip including Tokyo, Tahiti and LA I flew with Air Tahiti Nui between Tokyo-Pepeete-Los Angeles-Paris so I almost tried all their destinations. And I got to try both their brand new Boeing 787-900 and the old Airbus A340. Air Tahiti’s fleet only consist of 6 aircrafts and during my travels I was considering the high costs for them to operate, here we are not talking about any scale of business and location wise they are a bit off the road. So how was it to travel with this carrier? Let me tell you the truth.
Most important, after aircraft comes cabin interior. So let’s begin with the A340. The old aircraft. I was only fortunate to fly in economy but it was plenty of space at all flights and I always got good seats and at least two for myself to spread out at so no problem. The three times 10+ hours flights I mostly slept through. So that gives the seats a good grade.
2-4-2 config in the A340 like I think all airlines operating this plane has in the economy part made it comfortable for the majority of passengers getting an aisle seat.
I was lucky enough to get a window seat at the second economy row at the left side on the 10,5 hour flight from Tokyo and even more lucky on the flight from LA to Paris where I got the four seat row infront of the monument so I had a lot of space for my legs. The pillows were okey and the fleece blankets were comfy. The seats were rather old but well functioning.
And this is my sleeping position when I get two seats in economy. Well, I turn to the right side but I always fall asleep in this position. Quite a skill right? Maybe it is the yoga sessions making this possible. Who knows?!
The dreamliner had a three class system compared to the two class system in the A340. I only flew from Tahiti to LAX with the brand new 787 and also here I was seated in economy. Somehow I always get the emergency exit seats so also this day.
And here was my seat, right next to the emergency exit. I had the whole row for myself. No laying down possible at this position due to the armrests that are impossible to bend up but I fell asleep before takeoff so fair enough.
3-3-3 is the config in econ at Air Tahiti Nui and I am not a fan of that config due to the many middle seats. When disembarking we passed through the economy plus section and the seats really looked comfy there so wouldn’t mind being seated there if I fly with Air Tahiti any other time. Or in business class since they had very comfy covers and pillows there.
Food & drinks
My three Air Tahiti Nui flights were all night flight so I was prioritizing sleep over eating on all three flights. In Pepeete I went into the Air Tahiti Lounge which was great. But best of all were all the macaroons. I love macaroons and had at least 8(!) of them for dinner. when on vacation…
They did though offer a lot of food & bev. onboard. Normal catering i.e hot dinner and hot breakfast and a lot of snack in the galley including cookies, pretzels, candy, sandwiches etc. And in true french customs they also had champagne even in econ and nice wines which I tried.
The first meal I got from Tokyo to Pepeete was dinner. It doesn’t look very delicious but it tasted good.
And this one. Asian breakfast. I can tell that just looking at it for taking a photo almost made me sick. Thanks but no thanks. I returned the tray as is. But either asian weird porrage?!. You had an option of egg aswell but that is not my favorite. At the flight to Paris I had breakfast too but I was to lazy picturing it but it was french toast, croissant, yoghurt and fruit so that meal I finished.
IFE & others
Yes, they had an IFE system. No wifi but IFE. I browsed through the assortment and it was not the variation as Emirates offers but better than SAS and Lufthansa when it comes to the amount of movies. Also the screens seemed to be about four or five years so they were pretty big.
Summing up Air Tahiti Nui
Together with for example United and Air France, Air Tahiti operate to Pepeete and I would rather choose Air Tahiti Nui than United but Air France is my first choice. Actually Air France is one airline I like a lot and Air Tahit felt like a little sister to them. It is not an airline you recommend others to travel with for the experience but you won’t regret the choice flying with them either. In my opinion Air Tahiti is an average long haul airline. Have you flewn with them? any thoughts?
/ Pernilla that loves to check out airlines