Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Bora Bora is a name and destination that elicits vivid images of white sand, impeccable beaches, and utter calm. This small South Pacific island is situated northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia, and its seclusion, privacy, and untouched nature have made it a huge luxury resort destination.
While Bora Bora and the Maldives are often discussed in the same breath, the Maldives is extremely far from the U.S. Bora Bora, on the other hand, could be as little as 9 hours away from the continental U.S. or 7 hours away from Hawaii. As a result, it is much more accessible than the Maldives.
If enjoying immaculate waters, private beaches, and nature is part of your ideal travel destinations, you’re definitely going to want to pay attention as we outline the best ways to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti with points and miles.
Because of the lack of long, flat, and uniform strips of land in French Polynesia, it’s impossible to fly nonstop to Bora Bora.
Instead, all international flights arrive at Pape’ete’s airport, Faa’a International Airport (PPT), which is interlinked by Air Tahiti via turboprop and other small aircraft that fly to the various islands, including Bora Bora (BOB) (a 45-minute flight away). For this reason, you’ll want to book your long-haul award flights separately from the inter-island segments.
If you’re thinking about flying from the U.S., here are all of your route options:
Of all of these flights, French Bee can be eliminated, as they don’t offer an award chart for flights. Plus, they only have premium economy and economy seats. In order of preference, one should follow this list in order of best-to-worst business class product:
Let’s talk about our booking options!
Hot Tip: If you’re curious about how to get to other islands, check out our guide to flying to the South Pacific with points and miles.
As we mentioned above, Air France operates a nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT) aboard the 777-200ER. Luckily for us, Air France’s 777-200ER operated on this route has an excellent business class product.
The absolute best way to book Air France business class on this route is by using its own currency: Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. Flying Blue employs variable award pricing, which means that flights in business class can be as expensive as 300,000+ miles one-way!
At the same time, you’re going to look out for the “saver” level availability, which basically means the lowest cost in miles. Here are the saver availability award prices for the nonstop flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT):
|Class of Service||Flying Blue Miles Cost (Saver)||Taxes and Fees|
|Economy||25,500||$124 departing ($83 returning)|
|Premium Economy||51,000||$190 departing ($150 returning)|
|Business||64,000-73,500||$227 departing ($267 returning)|
The reason why there are 2 price points for business class is that although the cheapest cost is 64,000 miles, theoretically, the most realistic saver-level price you’ll see is 73,500 miles. In the entire calendar, there are typically no flights available from LAX to PPT for 64,000 miles and maybe 1 or 2 flights available from PPT to LAX for 64,000 miles.
On the flip-side, there are lots of available tickets, particularly from PPT to LAX, for 73,500 miles. There are quite a few available tickets from LAX to PPT for 73,500 miles, but you’ll definitely need to use the calendar search to find those. As a result, the most likely price you’ll end up paying is 73,500 Flying Blue miles if booking a business class flight.
Note: You can technically book Air France business class from between LAX to PPT using Delta SkyMiles, but it’s a terrible deal at 100,000 SkyMiles one-way with the lowest level availability. This means you’ll have to find dates with “64,000 Flying Blue miles” availability, and then pay 100,000 SkyMiles +$51 in taxes and fees one-way for that flight. Aeromexico charges a fortune, so Air France/KLM Flying Blue is definitely your best bet.
Hot Tip: Want some inspiration on other ways to use Air France miles? Check out our best ways to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles!
Once you’ve decided on booking Air France business class, follow these steps to ticket and confirm the reservation:
There are so many ways to earn Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles that you won’t have any problem racking them up quickly.
Chase, Amex, Capital One, and Citi transfer to Flying Blue at a 1:1 ratio. Chase transfers in around 1 hour, Capital One and Amex transfers almost instantly, and Citi takes around 2 business days. Lastly, Marriott transfers in around 1 business day at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.
The best part about Air France/KLM Flying Blue is that Amex and Citi often have transfer bonuses of up to 30%, which could reduce the cost of a business class flight from 73,500 miles to 56,538!
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
If you’re a business owner, see our list of the best Chase business credit cards.
Air Tahiti Nui is the French airline that flies long-haul flights from Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport. Traditionally, they’ve flown the Airbus A340-300, but they’ve since swapped over to the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Historically, they’ve flown to Sydney, Osaka, and even New York City (JFK), but these flights have been discontinued. In fact, their fleet consists of a whopping 4 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and nothing else, so they only operate a few flights to/from Pape’ete (PPT).
Booking Air Tahiti Nui is easiest when using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You can confirm and ticket flights completely online and award availability is most consistent and generous on American Airlines’ online portal.
Although Air Tahiti Nui is airline partners with Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, and other frequent flyer programs, they don’t seem to have anywhere near the same access to award availability.
For example, attempts to verify 10-20 award seats using AAdvantage on Air Tahiti Nui business class with Delta SkyMiles or Flying Blue yielded no results.
If you’re a U.S. traveler, you’re going to be traveling on their sole U.S. route:
The award chart for one-way flights on this route will be:
|Class of Service||AAdvantage Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
This award chart is exceedingly simple, but it shows that flying on Air Tahiti Nui business class is indeed possible using miles. As we alluded to earlier, you can book awards completely online. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow to book your Air Tahiti Nui award with American Airlines AAdvantage miles:
You can easily earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You can put your spend on Citi or Barclays co-branded American AAdvantage credit cards or transfer from Marriott Bonvoy to get a large balance of miles quickly.
Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio and transfers take 2 business days to execute.
Once you’ve accumulated an appreciable balance of AAdvantage miles, you can also get some inspiration on the best ways to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles for maximum value.
The executive summary of the loyalty program is as follows:
ANA categorizes Oceania and Micronesia into a large collection of destinations:
This means that we can use ANA’s generous routing rules to get free stopovers and business class flights even further than Tahiti. We can plan trips to Australia and New Zealand, in addition to French Polynesia.
For flights from North America to Oceania and Micronesia, you will pay the following in redemption prices:
|Class of Service||ANA Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
|Economy||75,000||Variable (dependent on carrier airline)|
|Business||120,000||Variable (dependent on carrier airline)|
ANA Mileage Club is a program where we can use lots of creativity to structure some unique vacations. If you’re happy to visit another destination in Oceania, you can find some amazing value. To plan your travel, you’ll want to find flights that head directly into Oceania.
Here are some great example redemptions you can make for excellent value:
To begin booking flights using ANA miles, you can visit the ANA website and follow these steps:
There are lots of ways to earn ANA miles. ANA Mileage Club is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. With the right cards, you’ll earn tons of ANA miles very quickly.
American Express transfers at a 1:1 ratio, while Marriott transfers at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to ANA. This means that for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you’ll earn 25,000 ANA miles instead of 20,000.
American Express Membership Rewards transfers to ANA take around 3 business days to complete, while Marriott Bonvoy takes around 7 business days to process transfers.
Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)
This card is undoubtedly the #1 card for luxury travel benefits. From the best lounge access (of any card) to statement credits, to complimentary elite status, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the go-to card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants and those who want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is definitely a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are a number of other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
If you’re a business owner, see our list of the best Amex business credit cards.
United Airlines MileagePlus has undergone quite a few loyalty program changes. The United MileagePlus award chart no longer exists, and all award flights are now variably priced, depending on various factors that aren’t made apparent to travelers.
However, if you’re going to fly to Bora Bora, one of the nonstop routes is on United Airlines from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT). With booking on MileagePlus, you’ll enjoy the best award availability for this flight.
Additionally, the saver-level awards will cost as little as:
|Class of Service||United Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
Finding award availability will be extremely challenging, especially if you’re looking for the lowest-level saver awards. Nonetheless, United miles can be a solid choice if you find availability for these benefits:
United Airlines has a stopover policy that is incredibly niche, known as the Excursionist Perk. Unfortunately, there aren’t any partners that offer flights within the same Oceania region because Australia and New Zealand are separate regions.
Once you’re ready to book, you can follow these simple steps to book your United MileagePlus award:
Chase transfers instantly at a 1:1 ratio and Marriott transfers within 2 business days at a 3:1 ratio with a 10,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. This means that if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to United, you’ll get 30,000 United miles.
Hot Tip: Interested in earning one of the most valuable points out there? Check out our in-depth guide on how to earn lots of Chase points fast!
Additionally, you can use the co-branded United credit cards from Chase to earn United miles directly. Overall, United miles are a great currency to use to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti.
If you want to fly on United Airlines’ nonstop flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT) but don’t have a large balance of United miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll be pleased to find out that there’s a cost-effective way to use other points.
Avianca LifeMiles is an excellent frequent flyer program. Although their phone agents and customer service are severely lacking, their online booking engine is good enough to book your awards completely online.
Also, Avianca LifeMiles doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges, and there are many ways to earn LifeMiles. There are also some phenomenal ways to redeem Avianca LifeMiles for maximum value, which is definitely what we love about this program.
You’ll pay the following prices for one-way flights to Pape’ete (PPT) from the U.S.:
|Class of Service||Avianca LifeMiles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
Once you’re ready to book, you can follow this procedure:
Avianca LifeMiles are slightly more expensive than United MileagePlus miles, but it’s a close competition. However, because of frequent LifeMiles transfer bonuses, you can end up getting a flight for even cheaper than United MileagePlus!
The beauty of Avianca LifeMiles are the fact that they have lots of transfer partners, specifically it is an Amex airline partner, Citi ThankYou Rewards airline partner, Capital One Miles airline partner, and Marriott Bonvoy airline partner.
Amex, Citi, and Capital One all transfer almost instantaneously at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott transfers in less than 24 hours at a 3:1 ratio.
Amex, Citi, and Capital One have all historically offered transfer bonuses to Avianca LifeMiles, often up to 30%, which can drastically reduce your miles cost. Furthermore, you can even buy miles at some crazy-good prices, as Avianca LifeMiles often offers promotions of up to 145% bonus miles.
If you put all this together, you’ll discover that Avianca LifeMiles are incredibly easy and cost-effective to earn.
Recommended Marriott Cards
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
If you’re originating in Hawaii, there’s actually a nonstop flight from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) via Hawaiian Airlines! A significantly shorter flight, this ~6-hour medium-haul flight can be an excellent choice for those based in Hawaii. The best way to book this flight is on Hawaiian Airlines’ own loyalty program: HawaiianMiles.
When you fly on Hawaiian Airlines business class, you’ll enjoy a fully lie-flat bed at your seat. Though you don’t get direct-aisle access at every seat, you’ll receive awesome Polynesian service, bright catering, and an experience that’ll put you in the vacation spirit.
Hawaiian Airlines groups their award availability into a series of buckets. Their award chart is as follows for their cheapest level of award space on the one-way Honolulu (HNL) – Pape’ete (PPT) flight:
|Cabin Class||HawaiianMiles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
|Discount Saver Economy||24,750||~$27|
To use HawaiianMiles to book your award ticket, follow these steps:
Amex transfers at a 1:1 ratio almost instantaneously. Marriott transfers in around 1-2 business days at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.
You can also earn HawaiianMiles directly from the co-branded Barclays credit cards: the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® and Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®.
If you’re on the radar for booking the Hawaiian Airlines flight but want to use the fewest points possible, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is your best bet. JAL Mileage Bank employs distance-based award charts, and their round-trip pricing is cheaper than 2 one-way tickets due to the nature of its award chart.
There are lots of other best ways to redeem Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles for maximum value, so don’t overlook those.
The journey from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) is 2,746 miles according to JAL’s distance calculator, so it falls under the distance band of 2,001-4,000 miles for one-way tickets and 4,001-6,000 miles for round-trip tickets.
This means that the following award chart applies for Honolulu (HNL) – Pape’ete (PPT) flights:
|Cabin Class||One-Way Japan Airlines Miles Cost||Round-Trip Japan Airlines Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees (One-Way)|
When you compare this to the lowest possible HawaiianMiles cost of 24,750 in economy and 47,500 miles in business one-way, you’ll see how Japan Airlines miles can save you a small chunk of change.
To book, follow these step-by-step instructions:
There are lots of ways to earn JAL miles. Marriott Bonvoy is the only transfer partner at a transfer rate of 3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred to Japan Airlines.
Transfers to Japan Airlines from Marriott Bonvoy complete in around 48 hours or 2 business days.
Whew! There’s a good number of ways to fly nonstop from the U.S. to French Polynesia. You’ll have to fly to Pape’ete (PPT) before transferring on an inter-island flight to Bora Bora, but the options overall are plentiful.
In this guide, we looked at all your nonstop options, including a flight from Hawaii! We looked at flying on Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, United Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines. You can book all of these products using points and miles. Best of all, there are many different ways to book these products depending on where you have most of your points.
Now, you have an excellent idea of how you can fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti with points and miles! You’ll be enjoying the perfect sandy beaches in no time when you use our detailed, step-by-step guide.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hawaiian Airlines Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
The cheapest cost for using miles to book an economy class award to Bora Bora via Tahiti is to use 25,500 Flying Blue miles to book an Air France flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT).
A Star Alliance option is using 35,000 United miles or 40,000 Avianca LifeMiles for one-way flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Pape’ete (PPT) on United Airlines economy class.
If you want to fly round-trip, you can use 75,000 ANA miles to fly round-trip on Star Alliance economy class.
If you want to fly on Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles (LAX) to Pape’ete (PPT), you can spend 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a one-way flight.
Lastly, those based in Hawaii can qualify for some pretty good pricing on flights from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT). You can pay as little as 23,000 Japan Airlines miles one-way or 37,000 Japan Airlines miles round-trip in economy.
If you want to fly on Air France business class, you’ll probably want to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles. Although you can redeem as little as 64,000 miles for one-way business class, the most realistic price will be 73,500 miles.
If you’re flying Air Tahiti Nui business class, you can redeem 80,000 AAdvantage miles one-way.
If you’re flying on United business class from SFO to PPT, you can redeem 70,000 United miles one-way, 80,000 Avianca LifeMiles one-way, or 120,000 ANA miles round-trip.
Lastly, if you’re flying from Honolulu (HNL) to Pape’ete (PPT) on Hawaiian Airlines, you can spend 47,500 HawaiianMiles for the cheapest awards in business class or 42,000 Japan Airlines miles in business class. For a round-trip flight using JAL miles, you can get business class for 60,000 miles.
Unfortunately, there are currently no first class options from the U.S. to Bora Bora, so you can’t use miles to book a first class award flight directly to Bora Bora.
Fuel surcharges will be very modest on this route. If you want to minimize your out-of-pocket cost, you’ll want to fly with United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, or Air Tahiti Nui.
Air France business class taxes and fees are around $200 one-way, but it may be worth it to try an excellent business class product.
The best rankings for airlines to fly to Bora Bora via Tahiti in business class is:
Air France has a true business class product: lie-flat reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access. Also, Air France’s soft product always receives high marks.
Air Tahiti Nui offers a fun product, but the hard product isn’t as good as Air France’s. This is similarly true for United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
French Bee is a low-cost carrier that doesn’t offer business class. In fact, there’s no real way to use points to fly French Bee, anyway.
Yes! You can redeem 40,000 AA miles for economy flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti, 65,000 AA miles for premium economy flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti, and 80,000 AA miles for business class flights to Bora Bora via Tahiti.
Taxes and fees will run you around $27 one-way.
Tahiti (PPT), which is the main hub airport in French Polynesia, is only 8 hours flying distance from Los Angeles (LAX) and less than 9 hours flying distance from San Francisco (SFO).
After that, you’ll need to transfer on a turboprop plane to Bora Bora on a ~45 minute flight.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.