Lax To Paris Business Class – Darren Murph has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most professional blogger on the planet. An explorer at heart, he has traveled to nearly 50 countries and all 50 US states. He has flown over a million miles on Delta alone and is a senior writer at TPG.
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Lax To Paris Business Class
With new United and French Bee services between San Francisco and Papeete, Tahiti is more connected to the rest of the world than ever before. Additionally, Air Tahiti Nui recently introduced a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner between Los Angeles and Papeete. This has put pressure on Air France, which has operated three times a week from Los Angeles to French Polynesia for several years.
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With more options, we’ve decided to take a look at each of them, so you can be well-informed when booking your trip to paradise. My colleague Zach Honig has reviews of United and French Bee , and I have Air France covered in business class ( this review ) and premium economy.
Those with long-haul travel horizons and sufficient flexibility will find great availability on Air France’s extensive service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tahiti (PPT). The ideal way to earn rewards is through the Flying Blue program. But the reservation time was close so I paid in cash.
In total, I paid $5,524.90 round trip, including flights between Reilly-Durham (RDU) and Los Angeles on a Delta-positioned Boeing 737-800. That’s a tall order: November 1st (the day I left) was All Saints’ Day, which probably led to a mass exodus of French holiday appreciators from Egypt to French Polynesia.
It was not easy to get a ticket. The Delta.com confirmation page failed, and even a call to Delta’s Magical Diamond line was unsuccessful. Apparently, I was trying to book a seat at the price shown by Delta, but when the transfer went to SkyTeam partner Air France, a system inconsistency prevented the ticket from being booked.
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I then joined the same Air France trip to the US. is it. portal where I completed the booking and had all earnings credited to my Delta SkyMiles account. It should be noted that Air France costs about $50 more per trip than what I’ve seen on Delta, and when I decided to book through Air France rather than Delta, I had to factor in mileage earnings. As a current Diamond Medallion looking to maintain top tier status in 2019, I have found Qualifying Medallion Miles and Qualifying Dollars to be very important. When I book my trip through Delta, the MQD calculation is simple: it’s the base fare. Since the base fare is $5,275.00 USD, I wanted to be sure I could earn about that much when I booked through Air France.
I booked a payment with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earned 3x Ultimate Rewards points for all travel and dining. I received 16,574 points for this purchase. That’s $331.48 in revenue based on TPG’s valuation of 2 cents per Ultimate Rewards point.
Wanting to check into the lounge at Faaa International Airport on time, I booked a taxi from the hotel at 5:30am. (Thanks to Air France’s 8:25 a.m. flight time, you can spend your vacation on other islands and
I got to two lines at 5:45 to check in for AF77. Three hours before departure, there were at least 50 people in the economy line, while the SkyPriority line was completely empty.
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The check-in agent processed our passports, marked our unique checked bag as a priority bag, printed our boarding passes, and then printed our Air Tahiti Nui lounge access voucher.
He said that he only welcomed me, not my wife, and he got upset when I asked for a second voucher.
FYI: I am Diamond with Delta (Air France treats it as SkyTeam Elite Plus) and my wife has Silver with Delta (Air France treats it as SkyTeam Elite). On this trip, I was traveling in business class and my wife was traveling in economy class, which was booked separately. (Yes, I felt incredibly guilty for seven hours and 43 minutes, and yes, I wanted to pay you back.)
Anyway, I reminded you that the Air Tahiti Nui Lounge became a Priority Pass partner. My wife was a Priority Pass holder thanks to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, so I figured we’d get my wife one way or another.
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In the morning, the security line was mostly empty, and five minutes later we were on our way to the beautiful outdoor PPT terminal. When we arrived, we toured the hall, which opened at 6 o’clock.
There was only one lounge at PPT: the Air Tahiti Nui Lounge. Because of this, it has agreements with all major PPT carriers: Air France, Air New Zealand, United, Aircalin and Qantas. When I saw the Dragon Pass and Priority Pass logos, I knew my wife would have no problem logging into her account.
But it wasn’t to be: when my wife offered her Priority Pass card, the attendant politely declined and said it would be no problem for her to visit me. (Three cheers for humanity, decency and kindness!)
When we entered at 6:00, there were only two guests inside. The lounge isn’t huge, but it’s much more spacious, airy and modern than other Priority Pass lounges I’ve visited in major international hubs. There were plenty of seats, power ports, and monitors for putting greens and leaving.
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I loved how much natural light came in, and I also appreciated the epic view of the planes provided by the many windows. I arrived early to witness the arrival of an AF76 flying from LA to Papeete, which would be converted to an AF77 within hours.
Two Air Tahiti Nui planes are also parked on the side. Closer to the lounge was the four-engine Airbus A340, which TPG itself recently flew to Bora Bora, Tahiti. But there was something much more exciting behind it: the airline’s new Dreamliner entered service on the LAX-PPT route in late 2018.
When I woke up, I headed for an impressive breakfast. A variety of coffees and teas, chilled water, juices, beer and milk are available.
I resisted the urge to eat breakfast, knowing I would be served a full meal on the plane, but croissants, cakes, macarons and donuts were everywhere (because France) and I even spotted small samples of Poisson Cru (Because Polynesia). There were also the usual suspects: fruit, cereal and small sandwiches.
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Although it’s generally difficult to connect in the remote areas of the South Pacific, this living room had the fastest Wi-Fi I’ve seen in a week.
I’m not excited to leave Tahiti, but I’m dreading settling into Air France business class. (Photo by Dana Joe Photographer)
Due to the lack of jet bridges at PPT, I boarded the Air France Boeing 777-200 via the stairs. The plane had been in service for about 16 years, and the designation F-GSPY looked familiar: I had flown from Los Angeles to Tahiti a week earlier, but in premium economy and overnight. than during the day.
The business class cabin is divided into two sections, with the first seven rows separated from the last three by a door, galley and toilet.
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Air France configured the plane in reverse 1-2-1 and my seat was the last on the left side of the plane. Directly behind me were the hard sections separating business class from premium economy.
In fact, it’s a divider I’m well aware of, as my premium economy seat on the way to Tahiti was the only row in the cabin.
I would have been more than happy to have chosen location 12A. There was plenty of privacy, with my roommate sitting in seat 12E, and the bathroom was close but not too close.
The place itself was wonderful: spacious, well designed and private. The recline and comfort were excellent and despite being half the size of the plane, the business class seat was very good. The design of the shooting tray table was great and I found it much lighter than a regular table with armrests.
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Another benefit of the 12A is the extra storage above the corner of the headset. Given that the 12a rests against a wall, you can place small items on it without fear of it falling back onto the passenger behind you.
There are also Air France headphones in the storage space and there’s even a mirror in the door.
The overhead window storage fits my laptop and a tray table piled high with food.
I am simple
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