Tahiti and Bora Bora in the South Pacific have some of the best beaches and the world and are as close to paradise as you get on earth, but getting there doesn’t have to cost the earth!
In this article, we look at how to get to Tahiti and Bora Bora and the French Polynesian islands with airline miles or points rather than paying $1,000 or more for a ticket.
If you want to fly direct from the U.S., you have three options to Papeete, the international airport in Tahiti:
Los Angeles – Papeete on Air Tahiti Nui (use American AAdvantage or Delta SkyMiles)
Honolulu – Papeete on Hawaiian Airlines (use Hawaiian Miles or Korean Skypass)
Los Angeles – Papeete on Air France (use Air France Flying Blue, Korean Skypass, Delta SkyMiles, or Alaska MileagePlan)
From there you can get to Bora Bora with a quick flight on Air Tahiti, but Air Tahiti isn’t part of any mileage program, so you’ll have to book that ticket with cash or points that turn into cash for travel.
Tickets usually run around $350 roundtrip.
Award space on all flight options to Tahiti is relatively difficult, so you may need to search several options.
You can search for space on Air France flights by setting up a free account on the Air France website. Hawaiian space can be found on Hawaiian’s website, which also involves setting up a free account. Air Tahiti Nui space can be verified by calling American Airlines or using ExpertFlyer.com, a paid service.
Best bets are to use the American Credit Cards; Chase, Amex, or Citi Points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used to book flights on both Air France and Air New Zealand.
Book with United MileagePlus to fly on Air New Zealand for 70,000 miles in economy and 150,000 miles in Business Class (round trip) on a reward ratio of 1:1.
Book with Singapore KrisFlyer to fly on Air New Zealand for 110,000 miles in economy and 195,000 miles in Business Class (round trip) on a reward ratio of 1:1.
Korean SKYPASS* to fly on Air France for 60,000 miles in economy and 90,000 miles in Business Class (round trip) on a reward ratio of 1:1.
Korean SKYPASS to fly on Hawaiian for 60,000 miles in economy (from Hawaii) and 90,000 in Business Class (from Hawaii) on a reward ratio of 1:1,
Air France/KLM Flying Blue on Air France for 60,000 miles in economy and 150,000 in Business Class on a reward ratio of 1:1.
Finally, you can fly using British Airways Avios flying on LATAM for 110,000 miles in economy and 330,000+ in Business Class on a ratio of 1:1.
The most direct option with Chase points is to fly Air France using Korean SkyPass miles for 60,000 miles in Economy and 90,000 miles for Business Class (round trip).
Keep in mind, Korean has a policy that you are only allowed to redeem miles for immediate family members, and you will be required to prove your relation to someone you are booking for (i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.). It’s not as bad as it sounds though.
Also expect to pay about $450 in fuel surcharges roundtrip when flying Air France Business Class to Tahiti, whether you use Korean or Air France miles, and finding award space is spotty. If you want to fly in Economy, fuel surcharges will be a much more reasonable $100 or so.
If you decide to get out your wallet and pay for the flight, it is worth reading my tips on how to find really cheap First or Business Class flight tickets to and from North America for a way to save money on your next First, Business and even Premium Economy flight booking.
The content for this article was written by our friends at MileCards.com.