10/6/22 Update: These nonstop Seattle to Tahiti flights on Air Tahiti Nui Flights have now started, and are available for just 60,000 Alaska MileagePlan miles each way.
Seattle is Getting New Nonstop Flights to Tahiti (PPT) on Air Tahiti Nui and to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, ideal for those seeking sun or another option for business class to Europe. Here are the details on the new flights:
Seattle to Papeete PPT on Air Tahiti Nui
- Started October 5, 2022
- 2X weekly SEA-PPT on Wednesdays, Sundays and PPT-SEA on Tuesdays and Saturdays
- Departs SEA 12:40, Arrives PPT 19:10 (TN 51)
- Departs PPT 22:00, Arrives SEA next day 10:25 (TN 52)
- Operated by 787-9, with 30 flat bed seats in a 2-2-2 configuration
Reserving Air Tahiti Nui Business Class with Miles
Alaska Airlines partners with Air Tahiti Nui and it's now possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for Air Tahiti Nui flights, for 60K Alaska miles + $19 each way. It's also possible to continue on to New Zealand on Air Tahiti Nui with a stopover in Tahiti, for 80K Alaska miles each way. Keep in mind that at time of writing, there isn't business class award availability for summer 2023, and summer months have the least rainfall, making them a favorite time to visit Bora Bora and French Polynesia.
Another option is with American AAdvantage miles for 80,000 miles per person each way. Fortunately Air Tahiti Nui has its new flat bed business class on its 787-9 aircraft and has phased out old Air Tahiti Nui Business Class, although with the 2-2-2 configuration, these are narrow seats.
Where to Stay in French Polynesia
Keep in mind that, similar to Fiji, the best time weather-wise to visit French Polynesia is in the summer, when there tends to be less rain. See Top Luxury Resorts: Best Places to Go by Month. Our top pick are is The Four Seasons Bora Bora, especially in one of the renovated overwater bungalows with a private plunge pool. We also used to recommend The Brando in Tetiaroa, with just 36 villas and private residences, but sadly that resort is having some service challenges. As lovely as the views and water in Bora Bora are, we more highly recommend the Maldives over French Polynesia for the complete package: incredible resorts, dining, and service, particularly resorts such as Cheval Blanc Randheli and The Nautilus.
Seattle to Istanbul IST on Turkish Airlines
- Starts May 27, 2022
- 4X weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays
- Departs SEA 17:45, Arrives IST next day 15:25 (TK 204, 11 hours 40 min.)
- Departs IST 14:05, Arrives SEA 166:15 (TK 203, 12 hours 10 min.)
- Operated by 787-9, with 30 flat bed business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. For solo travelers, the best seats are 2A/2K, 4A/4K, 6A/6K as these are closest to the window
Reserving Turkish Airlines Business Class with Miles
At time of writing, the new Turkish Airlines flight from Seattle hasn't yet been loaded for award booking into Star Alliance partner sites, but award rates should be similar to what's available for Vancouver YVR to Istanbul IST. Air Canada Aeroplan charges 70K Aeroplan points, while United MileagePlus charges 77K United miles. Aeroplan generally doesn't provide award options to Europe via Istanbul, but United MileagePlus sometimes does, such as this YVR-IST-VIE award for 77,000 miles.
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