After New Zealand, I hopped on Air Tahiti Nui B787 Dreamliner from Auckland to Papeete, French Polynesia. Air Tahiti Nui B787 is the most colorful and the most exotic B787 I’ve flown. The flight was an immersive experience of Tahitian culture.
I literally traveled back in time and gained a day by flying from one of the earliest timezone (New Zealand) to the last timezone (Tahiti) by crossing the dateline on this flight. Tahiti is located in the middle of the South Pacific in isolation. The nearest diversion point is Cook Island.
Air Tahiti Nui currently flies twice a week between Auckland and Papeete, the flight continues to Los Angeles so it provided another transit option between New Zealand and the US.
Weather was gloomy and rainy in Auckland. The flight was operated by B787-9 "Bora Bora" F-OVAA delivered in June 2019. I received a nice welcome when stepping onboard Air Tahiti Nui.
Air Tahiti Nui B787 has 3 classes; Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Business Class has 2-2-2 full flat seating with 30 seats in total.
32 Premium Economy seats with a 36-38" pitch.
232 Economy Class seat in 32" pitch follows. Notice Tahitian landmarks are painted on the bulkheads. Famous Tahitian painter Paul Gauguin's work is also displayed on the wall of each cabin.
After takeoff, flight attendants gave out tiara flowers to passengers.
An amenity kit is also available on this short 4.5 hours day flight.
No welcome drink during boarding but soon after takeoff, we were served a full lunch meal tray.
Flight attendant changed to their favourite Tahitian dress (in red, yellow and blue) to serve onboard.
Free 10 minutes Wi-Fi in Business Class which is fairly restrictive. You can purchase Wi-Fi onboard but I was so relaxed and didn't want to "connect" to the world.
We landed 20 minutes behind schedule at Papeete FAA'A International Airport. There is no jetbridge at this airport. The nice cool breeze of Tahiti welcomes every passenger. There was a nice Polynesian welcome after landing at the airport.
During my stay in Tahiti, I flew on a domestic Air Tahiti ATR72-600 to visit the island of Huahine and Bora Bora which will be featured in another separate trip report.
Papeete to Auckland
I spent 3 days in Papeete, the hotels are quite fully booked which makes it difficult to find accommodation as most people come to Tahiti for their honeymoons. The situation is worst in islands like Bora Bora. There are many local house "Fare" and airbnb type of accommodation available.
Air Tahiti Nui Lounge Papeete
Before my departure to Auckland, I also visited the Air Tahiti Nui Lounge which is located on the 2nd floor of the departures area.
The return flight started the same as how I arrived, walking out to the tarmac for boarding. No issues with photography.
All the people I've met on my trip were extremely friendly. Never say no to a photo!
You can tell, I love taking pictures of the crew in their exotic dresses. It really created a nice atmosphere and relaxing mood.
My Thoughts on Air Tahiti Nui
Air Tahiti Nui B787 is the most colorful and the most exotic B787 I’ve flown. Flight attendants gave out tiara flowers to passengers. The flight experience was immersive to the Tahitian culture. I enjoyed my flights onboard Air Tahiti Nui and would prefer flying them again to Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui will be launching new flights to Seattle from October 4th.
- An immersive experience of Tahitian culture.
- Full-service airline with lounge, proper long haul seating and free meal/drinks.
- 2-2-2 in Business Class - not all seat has aisle access.
- Limited network. Flying from LA, Paris, Auckland and soon Seattle to Tahiti only.