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Air Tahiti Nui Chooses Seattle as Second U.S. Destination

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Air Tahiti Nui is set to launch nonstop flights between Papeete (PPT) in French Polynesia and Seattle (SEA) starting October 4, 2022.

Seattle will join Los Angeles (LAX) as the airline’s second U.S. destination. Building on this move, Alaska Airlines will offer a partnership with Air Tahiti Nui through which passengers can earn miles on revenue flights and use miles on award flights.

Let’s take a closer look at all the details.

Air Tahiti Nui’s Nonstop Seattle Service

Flights between Papeete (located on the island of Tahiti) and Seattle will operate twice weekly. Flights departing Papeete will be offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays with the following schedule:

  • Depart Papeete (PPT) 10 p.m. — Arrive Seattle (SEA) 10:25 a.m. (+1)

Like most Pacific flights, this is a redeye, arriving in Seattle in time for a bank of connections with Alaska Airlines.

Flights departing Seattle will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays according to the following schedule:

  • Depart Seattle (SEA) 12:40 p.m. — Arrive Papeete (PPT) 7:30 p.m.

This daytime flight is very well-timed, arriving in Papeete with just enough time to check in to your hotel and still catch dinner.

These flights will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft which feature 30 lie-flat business class seats, 32 premium economy seats, and 232 standard economy seats.

Air Tahiti Nui 787
Air Tahiti Nui will soon be flying from Seattle to Papeete. Image Credit: Air Tahiti Nui

Hot Tip: Bora Bora, located in French Polynesia, is one of the world’s most desired travel destinations. Find out how you can get there using your points and miles!

How To Book

As of April 1, you’ll be able to earn Alaska miles for revenue travel on Air Tahiti Nui. This will be available on all classes of service and all booking codes.

Earned Alaska Miles on Air Tahiti Nui
CabinPurchased fare classBase milesBonus milesTotal miles earned
Poerava BusinessC, J100%50%150%
D, Z100%25%125%
Moana PremiumW100%15%115%
E, A, P100%5%105%
Moana EconomyY, M, K, H100%0%100%
T, L, N75%0%75%
B, Q, G, V50%0%50%

Over the next several months, you’ll be able to use Alaska miles to book Air Tahiti Nui awards. We don’t yet know the award redemption rates, but considering recent trends with new Alaska partners, the price may be steep.

As of right now, there’s a good amount of award space available on the route, and while you can’t book with Alaska miles until the partnership is officially launched, you can use 80,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a seat in Air Tahiti Nui’s Poerava Business Class.

Why Seattle?

At first glance, you may be confused as to why Air Tahiti Nui chose Seattle as its second U.S. destination. However, Seattle is well-positioned geographically for flights to the South Pacific, and its hometown carrier Alaska Airlines will soon be able to provide connectivity through its Seattle hub, both for those traveling to Tahiti and those traveling to U.S. destinations beyond Seattle.

Final Thoughts

French Polynesia is a popular destination for tourists, thanks to its balmy weather, vibrant culture, and heavenly scenery.

And thanks to a forthcoming partnership with Alaska Airlines, travelers will soon have another option for reaching the beautiful islands of French Polynesia. It’s great to see the 2 airlines work together on both mileage earning and redemption opportunities.

While nothing has been announced, we can’t help but wonder if we’re seeing the emergence of another Oneworld Connect partner, similar to what Fiji Airways did a few years ago.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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