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Papeete, Tahiti

Flight to Tahiti Wednesday, January 09, 2008
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2008 French Polynesia - Departure and Travel Day

This will be my fourth trip to Tahiti and the Society Islands. Coming from a very harsh winter, going to a warm tropical paradise is always a great idea.

Departure

We departed Madison, Wisconsin (MSN) at 6:30 a.m. to Minneapolis on a Airbus 319. I love the Airbus - the aircraft are generally newer and wider. Hence, just more space. The Northwest (NWA) 767 and 757 fleet is really aging and not very comfortable. The security line at Madison was long and time consuming, since the other security line was down for some reason. Arrived at MSP and headed straight for the NWA WorldClub's. The airline lounge has been getting more and more crowded in the past years, and it's quite the refuge it used to be from the more public waiting areas.

Packing: I always set out clothes, roll them and rubberband them. Very few wrinkles and allows you to pack efficiently.

I had two roll-aboards that I could use for this trip. The eBags Mini Motherlode and the 17 inch overnighter. Even though the larger 21 inch Motherlode was bigger, it held less than the 17 inch.

After re-packing both bags, the 17 inch eBags was the winner. I was going to travel for 13 days with one 17 inch carry-on.

The B757 flight in business class from MSP to LAX was on time. The international terminal at LAX is the Tom Bradley Intl. Terminal 2 a 10 minute walk from the NWA terminal. Checked into Business Class and cleared security quickly. The flight was crowded and we had to take a shuttle to the remote gate.

LAX to PPT via Air Tahiti Nui

Modern Airbus

After taking the shuttle bus to the remote gate, we boarded our Airbus jet airliner. Air Tahiti has new Airbus aircraft, with all the latest comforts. The flight is divided into First, Business and Economy. We were in Business (Proeva) Class. Seating is 2 x 2 x 2 in very comfortable seats. You are greeted with a Tiare flower and a chilled cocktail. The service on Air Tahiti is the best in the world. The flight to Papeete from Los Angeles takes about 8.5 hours. You cruise at about 39,000 feet, and the temperature outside is a chilly -59 deg F.

(click to enlarge)
2008 Bora Bora St. Regis and Tia Moana Superyacht Movie

Air Tahiti - Business Class - Menu

Air Tahiti - Business Class - Menu

Air Tahiti - Business Class - Menu

Air Tahiti - Business Class - Menu

Air Tahiti - Business Class - Menu

If you have time and you're in Business Class, get a pass for the airline lounge.

Sample boarding pass.

Sample boarding pass.

Business (Proeva) Class is very comfortable. A monitor comes out of the armrest for movies, games, audio and other entertainment.

In Business Class with my travel partner, Sarah.

We arrived to a hot, balmy, humid Papeete at 7:30 p.m. We were greeted by a representative of Tahiti Nui Travel and given inter-island transporation tickets and ground/hotel vouchers.

We arrived at the Intercontinental (Beachcomber) at 8:30 p.m. are were promptly checked-in. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my iPhone worked immediately. Connected to the VINI cellular network in Tahiti. This is the bathroom of seaside room we had.

Beachcomber standard oceanview room.

One of the many pools at the Beachcomber.

The property has beautiful landscape, full of palms and tropical plants.

The main infinity pool. At night it is lit by tiki torches.

On the right side is the infinity pool, left side is the resort lagoon, which has rays and fish you can snorkel and view.

Postcard of resort.

Food prices at the resort were quite reasonable, as we would later find out. $1 USD is 77 XPF (French Polynesian Franc). So, a cheeseburger is about $20 USD and a coke about $5 USD.

Your swipe room key has a paper jacket with the resort map. It's a very big property.

Room key jacket.

Inside of room key jacket.

Beachcomber map.

There is WiFi and a business center for internet access. It is all fee based. Fee is about $20 per hour.

Welcome letter.

General information on the resort.

Postcard of the resort.

Since I had pre-paid for the room, we only had a beverage charge.

Conclusion of Travel Day

The flights to Tahiti started at 6:30 a.m. in Madison, and ended at 7:30 p.m. local time in Tahiti. A very long travel day. Flying Business Class is a great way to get your journey started (and in comfort). It's important to walk as much as you can before the flight and be sure to get up often during the flight. In Business Class, you can easily over-indulge in all the food and beverage, but don't over do it, since you'll have plenty of great dining opportunities once you arrive. I prefer to have maybe one glass of wine or mixed drink while flying, no caffeine, and lots of water. I always wear earplugs during long flights and have aspirin handy for those long flight-hour headaches. Since you land in Papeete at night, you need to do an overnight there, then fly out to the islands on a commuter in the morning. The close proximity of the Intercontinental (Beachcomber) to the airport allows a relaxed overnight stay. There are other resort options that are greater distances, but really not worth the time since you're leaving in the morning.

Related Information

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Tia Moana Bora Bora Cruises and St. Regis Bora Bora Review
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Publications are in PDF format: PDF Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free

| (pdf link) Tia Moana Daily Newsletter 2008 | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Lunch Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Breakfast Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Dinner Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Picture Book (27 mb pdf)
| (pdf link) Tia Moana Daily Newsletter 2008 | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Lunch Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Breakfast Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Dinner Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Picture Book (27 mb pdf)
| (pdf link) Tia Moana Daily Newsletter 2008 | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Lunch Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Breakfast Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Sample Dinner Menu (pdf) | 2008 Tia Moana Superyacht Picture Book (27 mb pdf)

 

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