I already talked about when to go to Bora Bora, so now I’m going to talk about getting to Bora Bora. There aren’t a lot of airlines that service this small island. In fact, there’s only one. Air Tahiti has that monopoly thing going on, and you’re going to pay big bucks for it.
But, before I get into that, you’re going to need to get to Tahiti. It’s the closest International airport. While there aren’t a ton of airlines that service Tahiti, there are a few, and here are some of the big guys:
– Air Tahiti Nui (nonstop to Tahiti from Los Angeles, Tokyo, Auckland, and Paris)
– Air France (nonstop to Tahiti from Los Angeles)
– Hawaiian Airlines (nonstop to Tahiti from Honolulu)
If you plan on using airline points to get here, it’s possible. However, you’re going to be giving up a lot of points, because you’re most likely going to be using a partner airline. I’ll give you some examples:
It’s only about 60,000 points per roundtrip economy ticket to fly to Tahiti from LA on Air France, which isn’t terrible. But that’s only if you belong to Air France’s reward program, and are willing to pay the $400 (give or take) fee per ticket. Most likely you’re not part of Air France’s reward program, but they may be a partner airline with reward program you are part of. Air France is part of the Flying Blue program, and, for example, so is Delta. To use your Delta miles/points, be prepared to shell out at least 100,000 points per round trip ticket.
Air Tahiti Nui is another popular airline that flies nonstop from LA to Tahiti. American Airlines is a partner airline. It’s tricky, and you’ll most likely have to book your ticket over the phone, but it only costs about 75,000 miles per ticket, which actually isn’t too shabby.
The third most popular partnership is between Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin America. Virgin America’s points system is a little weird, and to be honest, I haven’t figured it out yet. I have a bunch of points through them, but not nearly enough to fly to Tahiti, so truth be told, I didn’t even investigate it.
Bottom line, using points on a partner airline, most of the time, is not worth it. It’s most likely your best bet to pay out of pocket for these flights.
We booked our flights, and the weirdest thing happened! I was brought back to a time where travel agents ruled the world. This is probably one of the only destinations left where people still use them.
Still, we did not.
We ended up booking our flight on Air Tahiti Nui, and couldn’t select our seats online. We had to call the airline directly (or have our “travel agent” do so). It’s not a difficult thing to do, and they don’t charge for it, but it’s just odd not to find an interactive seating map online.
Anyway, the real sticker shock comes into play when you book your flight to Bora Bora. While you may fly Air Tahiti Nui to Tahiti, you’ll be flying Air Tahiti (without the Nui on the end, it’s different) to Bora Bora. Air Tahiti connects Tahiti to the rest of the small islands, and it’s the only airline that does this. This is where the whole monopoly thing I was talking before comes in. Expect to pay just over $800 for two people for a round trip 50-minute flight. I wish I was kidding.
Our flight breakdown includes:
$3,151.90: Round trip from New York to Tahiti (with a stopover in LA)
$1,014.04: Inter-island flights on Air Tahiti*
$4,165.94: Total air for two people