Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
In summer 2022, I enjoyed an incredible holiday in French Polynesia (Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora). Read my trip reports here:
- Review: Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class from Paris to Los Angeles
- Review: Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class (Los Angeles to Papeete)
- Review: The Brando
- Review: InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
- Review: Air Tahiti ATR 72 Economy Class from Tahiti to Bora Bora
- Review: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
- Review: St Regis Bora Bora
- Review: Four Seasons Bora Bora
- Review: Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class from Tahiti to Los Angeles
- Review: Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class from Los Angeles to Paris (today)
Today: Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class from Los Angeles to Paris
Last September, I flew with Air Tahi Nui from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris to Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti with a stopover in Los Angeles. This is my review of the last leg of my return flight with French Polynesia’s flag carrier (Los Angeles to Paris). I’ve already published several detailed reviews about Air Tahiti Nui’s hard and soft product here (flight from Paris to Los Angeles), here (flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti) and here (flight from Tahiti to Los Angeles). So, that’s why I decided to write this trip report in a somewhat different format, summarizing my flight experience from start to end, illustrated by dozens of photos. Let me know what type of format for flight trip reports you prefer.
- Trip: Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG)
- Airline: Air Tahiti Nui
- Aircraft type: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- Aircraft registration number: F-OMUA (named Fakarava)
- Departure: 2:30 pm (on time)
- Arrival: 8:30 am (+1 day; on time)
- Miles: 5650 miles (9090 km)
- Flight time: 10 hours
- Seat: 1A
- Class: Business Class
I made a YouTube video with my impressions during the flight, which you watch here:
Upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with the Air Tahiti Nui flight originating from Papeete, I had to clear immigration and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in a dedicated room right next to the gate, which made for easy identification and flow. The entire process took less than 10 minutes since I was one of the first passengers to deplane. My carry-one luggage had to be taken with me during transit, while checked luggage stayed on the plane.
After clearing immigration and TSA, I tried to find the Business Class lounge at LAX’ Midfield Satellite Concourse but unfortunately, I could not find it. Signalling in the terminal was confusing and inadequate, and I ended up on a floor where several lounges were being constructed but none was open yet. I gave up after a while since there was only little time left before the scheduled boarding time of my flight.
The flight to Paris was operated by the same aircraft that flew us from Tahiti to Los Angeles (aircraft registration number F-OMUA; named Fakarava).
As a Business Class passenger, I was allowed priority boarding, which allowed me to take some photos before the other passengers took their seats. I entered the plane via the main galley, which featured a stunning floor-to-ceiling photo of Bora Bora island, evoking a tropical ambiance.
Business Class was located in one cabin in the Dreamliner’s front section. The 30 lie flat seats were arranged in a six-abreast (2-2-2) layout; while not a cutting edge hard product, this configuration makes sense, given that most people traveling with Air Tahiti Nui are couples.
The seats featured marine blue fabrics and soft wooden finishes, creating a color palette that evoked the white sand beaches and turquoise water of the Polynesian lagoons. A Tiare motif was printed in the leather headrests of each seat, subtly reinforcing the visual brand identity of Air Tahiti Nui.
Each seat featured its own 16 inch HD touchscreen TV, which could also be controlled by a handset nestled in the armrest. Below the TV monitor was a drawer (large enough to store a laptop) and a footrest (which became part of the flatbed once the seat is fully reclined). The size of this footrest was variable: the bulkhead seats in row 1 offered a much larger ottoman as compared to the other Business Class seats (so make sure to choose a seat in the first row if you can); also, the aisle seats had a larger foot rest compared to window seats.
The center armrest featured a small shared table (for drinks & snacks), a control panel for the seat positions, and a remote handset for the inflight entertainment system.
The center armrest also held a moderately sized fold-out tray table.
Next to the seat, behind the headrest, was a small, somewhat difficult to reach storage compartment with a magnetic adaptor for the headphones.
An amenity kit – designed as a beige toiletry bag – was waiting on each seat.
It contained products made of recyclable materials (cornstarch toothbrush, bamboo fiber sock, organic cotton mask) and a range of cosmetic products made in Polynesia (face and hands cream hands and a lip balm) from the brand “Heiva”.
Noise-cancelling headphones were provided as well.
A welcome drink and a hot towel were offered during boarding.
Following a short taxi, we took off from runway 24L/6R in a westerly direction over the Pacific Ocean. Five minutes after lift-off, the plane turned east, and the great weather allowed for some stunning views after takeoff.
Food service started shortly thereafter. A menu was handed out to each passenger.
The wine list on this flight was pretty impressive.
An aperitif was served with an amuse bouche of sweet potato wrapped in a slice of smoked duck breast
The land/sea starter consisted of marinated shrimp with citrus & fennel, and heirloom tomato with burrata, arugula salad & pesto. The starter was served with a salad and cheese selection.
As a main course, I choose the beef stew, which was cooked in a fragrant broth with seasonal vegetables and served with a ravigote sauce. The dish tasted excellent and its presentation was quite nice too.
The meal service ended with a trio of desserts: Mont Blanc cream, mango bavarois cake, seasonal fruit salad.
After dinner, it was time to explore the inflight entertainment. It featured the latest generation system from Panasonic, and offered a decent (albeit rather limited) selection of entertainment, with 16 movies, 40 music albums, 15 video games and several dedicated TV shows & documentaries channel.
A highlight of the inflight entertainment was Tiare TV, a unique channel devoted to the islands of French Polynesia. Among others, Tiara TV featured a documentary about The Brando, one of the world’s most exclusive private island resorts and former home of the late actor Marlon Brando.
As we started our crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, I decided to have some rest. Each Business Class passenger received a thick pillow and a warm blanket.
The Business Class seat went fully flat (180 degrees recline) and the window armrest could be lowered to enhance the sleeping comfort.
Ninety minutes prior to landing, breakfast was served. All breakfast items were presented on one tray and they comprised the following selection: Bircher muesli made with a mixture of oatmeal, almonds, chia seeds and pear; fresh fruit wedges; and pumpkin and ricotta omelet, chicken sausage, roasted potatoes, and tomatoes.
Following an uneventful, smooth flight (in which the seatbelt sign was not turned on once), we landed at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.
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