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Air Tahiti...What was your experience

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We are considering a cruise 2/28/08 on the Tahitian Princess coming from LAX. I have heard so many horror stories about the experience(airport, luggage and flight) we are thinking about not going. Would coming in and leaving a day before/after solve this or is it always bad?....THX

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We flew on Air Tahiti Nui a couple of years ago and didn't have any trouble with it, although I think a lot of that was assuaged by the fact that we upgraded to Business Class/First Class. Our food was great and the service sparkling.

 

Down side was that we arrived at 12:30 a.m., although the airport was very busy. Our luggage come through with no trouble and the cruise bus was there to meet us.

 

We also made a point of flying in two days early and leaving two days after the cruise to avoid the crowds.

 

I'm not saying that this is everyone's experience, but for us, Air Tahiti Nui was fine and we are booking with them again for our next flight there.

 

Charlie

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We flew Air Tahiti from LA to Papeete in July. The service was great, for an airliner the food was good (two full meals), the drinks (soda, wine, beer, etc) were free and plentiful, and the in-the-seat entertainment was also good. The only downside was the cramped seats. I'm 6' 5" and was jammed in like a sardine. But, our return flight from Honolulu to Chicago on American Airlines was just as cramped. And they offered NO food service on an 8 1/2 flight!!!!

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k .... so we can scratch American Airlines off the list

 

:)

 

thx everyone for their reviews

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My 1st time connecting at LAX is coming up. My bags will be checked thru to Tahiti.

So if they cut off the locks should I zip lock them??

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we have flown twice on ATN, once through Princess and the second time on our own. we like the airline very much. I would go early and stay late if you can, missing the princess crush made it more relaxing. tip, if you get to the counter very early, you can request an exit row or bulkhead. we did this last time, alot more room in the bulkhead than a regular row seat.

we would never book air through pincess again, and don't pay for transfers, you can grab a cab for half the price.

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I just completed a Tahitian cruise with Princess. I had 2 of the worst flights I've ever had, all on ATN.

 

* The plane going to Papeete was 6 hours late.

* We were only updated twice at LAX that there was a 'mechanical' problem- once when the departure was already 1 hour late, another 4 hours later. After 5 hours, they gave us $10 meal vouchers which could only be used in the main concourse - which meant having to go through security again. We never used them.

* Finally on board I found the coach seats the smallest I've ever sat in. My knees were always touching the seat in front of me - I'm 6 feet tall and on the thin side.

* The food and drinks were plentiful.

* The air conditioning was turned up to freeze - and I like cold air - but this was ridiculous. I had an allergic reaction (this have never happened before) and sneezed and sniffeled my way to Papeete. It stopped when I breathed in real air at the airport.

* The return flight to LAX was on time! I secured the middle exit row seats and got a little more room for my legs, not much. If I hadn't, I was willing to pay the $700 airport upgrade to business not to fly coach.

* The a/c was even worse on this flight and the allergic reaction started again. My request to turn it down went unheeded - I wasn't the only one asking.

 

In summation - I wouldn't fly ATN again if I'm coach - pure torture! The a/c probably isn't any better in business class, but at least I'd have some room and my requests might be listened too.

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I flew twice on ATN. Both times no problems at all. It was a bit chilly for me, but they give you blankets. I always travel on planes with a light jacket for just in case. Can't please everyone with the temp! Delays suck, but consider the alternative. Would much rather have a secure, safe plane, even if it meant waiting hours (which also has happened to me before). I had a TSA lock with no problems at all. On another airline, I once had a TSA lock and they kept it (or probably cut it off). I wouldn't even bother locking baggage anymore. Just keep your valuables in your carry-on.

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Exactly who cut off the TSA locks? I doubt that it was in LAX, especially if one is flying out of the International Terminal. We flew to Europe on Lufthansa out of LAX in May and had no problems with the locks.

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We flew from Houston to LAX on Continental and had to retrieve our own bags (no agreement between Continental and ATN) -- our TSA locks were in tact when we checked into ATN at LAX and they were gone when we arrived at Papeete so I assumed ATN cut them off.

 

Our flight was an hour late going to Papeete and 2 hours late on the return. We missed the Princess crush on the return because we had a post-cruise stay, but that was the day the Paul Gaugin disembarked so the airport was crowded anyway. It wasn't unbearable except for the woman just off the PG behind me in the check-in line who kept ramming me with her luggage cart. The main lobby of the airport is open-air and residents were burning brush that day so the airport was extremely smoky. That's the only bad thing about French Polynesia, the smoke from the burning of brush and trash.

 

The flight issues and any other headaches are still worth the effort to get to Tahiti and we plan to go back someday for a land trip. It's a beautiful place.

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Exactly who cut off the TSA locks? I doubt that it was in LAX, especially if one is flying out of the International Terminal. We flew to Europe on Lufthansa out of LAX in May and had no problems with the locks.
Mine was cut off at LAX....years ago after they started requesting these type of locks.

 

What is a TSA lock??
Transportation Security Administration locks. The security at the airport have master keys to these approved locks, and therefore they should not be cutting them off.:mad:

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If you're using TSA locks, I find it hard to believe that the TSA locks were cut them off.

When we flew Lufthansa in May, the red cap brought our bags to the area by the front entrance after we checked in to have them scanned. They asked us to wait. They scanned/ inspected them. They passed and they told us to go. If they wanted to open our luggage, they would have asked for the keys, although they are supposed to have them. Once the luggage passes, no one should open them unless someone was looking for valuables. That could have been the case.

We not only use TSA locks. We have begun to use the straps that also have TSA locks.

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we didnt find ATN any more cramped than the other airlines. ATN was on time for us, as opposed to US airways 2 hours late for defrosting from toronto, then 2 hours late again(US air) engine trouble. each time missed next flight, rescheduled. ATN had great service, drinks and decent airline food!;)

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We are considering a cruise 2/28/08 on the Tahitian Princess coming from LAX. I have heard so many horror stories about the experience(airport, luggage and flight) we are thinking about not going. Would coming in and leaving a day before/after solve this or is it always bad?....THX

 

I hope you join us in Feb.

If you have checked around there are horror stories here on cc on just about everything.

We went on the TP in November 2005. I booked our flights and hotel separate and flew in a day early. Our flight was delayed in Buffalo (AA) and therefore missed our connecting flight in Dallas!!!!:eek: By the time we got to LAX we had 35 minutes before our flight on ATN was departing. I had to fill out the papers as to where to direct our luggage since they didn't think it would make the flight. We really didn't care.....We were on our way to Tahiti!!!....luggage or not. We were one of the last to board the plane and amazingly enough our luggage made it. The flight was fine. Drinks plentiful, food was good and we enjoyed the personal tv screens.

After the cruise we flew home the same day. Our flight was 11:30pm. We ended up purchasing transfers back to the airport and had no problems. Yes the airport was a bit crowded but considering where we were I pretty much expected it. Our flight again was fine and had no problems. Although friends of ours were a few seats behind us and hated the flight:confused: I guess I'm just not as high maintainence.:rolleyes:

 

That cruise was our favorite and planned it figuring it would only happen once. We loved it so much that we are going back on 02/28/08 and can't wait. We are doing it a bit different this time.....2 days in LA, Princess air, and 2 days pre cruise in Tahiti. We are glad we are going next year since it looks doubtful that the Tahitian Princess will return to the FP in 2009

 

Please don't let those stories ruin such a wonderful trip to Paradise:)

 

Everyone has different experiences and different expectations. I just had someone come back a month ago with raving reviews and can't wait to go back.

You would certainly not regret doing a pre/post or both.......not just because of airport/luggage/flight but just to spend more time in the French Polynesia:D

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We did the ATN flights for our February cruise. Flew down a day early and back a day late. No late flights. Going down the plane was maybe 60% full so the four of us were able to stretch out comfortably without a problem. Coming back was a different story. The plane was full and the jerk in front of me had his seat in the fully reclining position before I got into my seat. It remained that way until 10 minutes to landing. It sucked big time. If I were to do it again, I might opt for Air New Zealand which has 3 more inches between seats. We are flying to New Zealand/Australia next February and chose ANZ for this reason (of course prices were less too.)

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Whenyou say Air Tahiti--I gues you mean Air Tahiti Nui--Air Tahitia flys to Bora Bora, etc. from Papette

 

Next March we will be flying for the 4th trip to Papette--

My first trip to French Polynesia was on Air Tahiti Nui--in the 70's--Bloody Mary's was new

 

Our last flight was on Air France--we are using it again in March--nice planes--they leave for at 8 am--arrive in Papette 4 or 5am--which is okay--we take our luggage to the flower shop across and take our small bags to Bora Bora

 

Also--I have NEVER had a tsa lock cut off--not necessary--they can open them easily

 

Take the trip--you'll love it

 

 

Nancy:D

--

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Spate, not to worry. Travelling the day before does mitigate some of the stress of just making sure you get there. Leaving the day after doesn't do much for you, frankly. I would say do 2 days before, if you have the choice--once you're off the ship, you want out of there as fast as possible.

 

Tahiti Faha'a Airport is just not very pleasant. Period. It's not air conditioned except for one tiny area, and the lines can be long, both arriving and departing. It's definitely the worst part of the trip. You can help by arriving in plenty of time when you are leaving, and by trying to sit nearer to the front of the plane on arrival.

 

But, that all being said, French Polynesia is an amazing place, and it is definitely worth it. We've been 3 times on the Paul Gauguin, and hope to do our 4th trip next year.

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Thanks LJ,

 

We made the decision to go today using Princess air from lax. Choosing the arrival times of 6:25am, 6:30pm or 10:55 pm on 2/28 is giving us trouble. We would like the early flight but Princess wants $100pp more RT. Also, I found out that Princess will not pick you up until 10:30am so we would have to wait 4 hrs in the airport.

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That's Great!!!!

We are all staying at the Intercontinental for 2 nights pre cruise.....booked through Princess also. We did this to avoid paying the deviation and it also includes transfers. We will wait until December and see what time our flights are out of LA and then decide what to do.

 

Make sure you join us on our roll call....it's pretty quiet and it would be nice to have someone else.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=507394

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