Qantas has opened up access to reward seats with partner Air Tahiti Nui, enabling Qantas Frequent Flyers to travel to Papeete, Tahiti and beyond to Los Angeles, using their Qantas Points.

Previously members were only able to earn Qantas Points on QF marketed / Air Tahiti Nui operated flights.

Now, for the first time, members can book a classic flight reward seat with Air Tahiti Nui on the following routes:

  • Auckland to Papeete (22,500 points in economy; 50,000 in business)
  • Papeete to Los Angeles (28,000 points in economy; 60,000 in business)
  • Auckland to Los Angeles (40,000 points in economy; 84,000 in business)

By adding a Qantas connecting flight from Australia to Auckland, the cost goes up a bit (e.g. from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to Papeete via Auckland, you’ll need 28,000 points in economy and 60,000 in business).

I had a play on the Qantas website and found a smattering of dates with business class seats available on some routes (with better availability in economy), but there are some glitches with online searches right now.

For example, some results from Australia to Tahiti came back with routings via Los Angeles or with unnecessary domestic connections within Australia. Also, the system wouldn’t accept one-way searches departing PPT. I reached out to Qantas about this and a spokesperson advised they are working on these issues.

If you’re trying to compose an itinerary yourself using the multi-city tool, be aware that this may bring up other problems.

My advice is to call Qantas to book if you aren’t able to do so on its website.

Air Tahiti Nui’s fleet comprises five A340-300s, which are currently being phased out in favour of new 787-9 Dreamliners. The new aircraft will begin services at the end of this year and should fully take over by the end of 2019.

Both types of aircraft feature a 2-2-2 layout in business class (angled, in the case of the A340s, but fully flat on the Dreamliners).

A preliminary design of Ait Tahiti Nui’s new business class seat

Economy in the new Dreamliners will be in a 3-3-3 config, with a standard 31 inch pitch (distance from seat back to seat back).

Customers travelling in business, Qantas Club members and frequent flyers with gold status and above, and their guests, will have access to the Air Tahiti Business lounge in Papeete.

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