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Business Class Award USA-CDG: Air Tahiti Nui 789 vs AA 788

Business Class Award USA-CDG: Air Tahiti Nui 789 vs AA 788

Old Sep 18, 20, 9:26 pm
  #1  
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Business Class Award USA-CDG: Air Tahiti Nui 789 vs AA 788

Taking my wife for her first trip to Europe. Big deal for us, cancelled due to CV and now pushed off to 2021

her first Europe trip, my first international biz class flight.

I have 12 years or hard earned self paid for AA miles to cash in.


I have just enough miles for the 57.5K & 60K redemption level on American Airlines.

We have the choice of flying a 788 (the old alternating front/ rear facing seats) at the 60K miles level on American metal.

or an Air Tahiti Nui 789 for 57.5K miles.

I read reviews of Air Tahiti Nui's business class that described it as one of the worst business class seats in the air..

However reviews of American's 788 show it's also known for having a subpar business class seat... and wishy washy service.

Unfortunately any other flights are much higher point values and we don't have the miles to afford them.

I'm a bit claustrophobic so I'm not as crazy about walls for privacy. But width matters, entertainment, and since it will be both of our first times in business class on an international trip we're so eager to enjoy good service.

I know I'm choosing between two less than ideal products, but after saving up miles for 12 years to make this trip, I want to make the right choice.

If you were in my shoes of having to choose between the two, I'd love to know what you would choose.

I have the 788 on hold until Saturday at 11:59pm hope some of you have a minute to tell me what you would pick and why.
wecnews727 is offline  
Old Sep 18, 20, 9:30 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by wecnews727 View Post
Taking my wife for her first trip to Europe. Big deal for us, cancelled due to CV and now pushed off to 2021

her first Europe trip, my first international biz class flight.

I have 12 years or hard earned self paid for AA miles to cash in.


I have just enough miles for the 57.5K & 60K redemption level on American Airlines.

We have the choice of flying a 788 (the old alternating front/ rear facing seats) at the 60K miles level on American metal.

or an Air Tahiti Nui 789 for 57.5K miles.

I read reviews of Air Tahiti Nui's business class that described it as one of the worst business class seats in the air..

However reviews of American's 788 show it's also known for having a subpar business class seat... and wishy washy service.

Unfortunately any other flights are much higher point values and we don't have the miles to afford them.

I'm a bit claustrophobic so I'm not as crazy about walls for privacy. But width matters, entertainment, and since it will be both of our first times in business class on an international trip we're so eager to enjoy good service.

I know I'm choosing between two less than ideal products, but after saving up miles for 12 years to make this trip, I want to make the right choice.

If you were in my shoes of having to choose between the two, I'd love to know what you would choose.

I have the 788 on hold until Saturday at 11:59pm hope some of you have a minute to tell me what you would pick and why.
I personally think AA has a much better product--1x2x1 Business configuration plus the catering and bedding amenities are of higher quality than Air Tahiti Nui's.

However, Air Tahiti Nui does deliver a far more genuine experience and you feel that you are in the islands the second that you board. The airline got brand new Business Class seats for its 789 fleet--whilst the configuration is 2x2x2, the seats are flat and fairly comfortable, much better than the old angled seats they had on the A340s. On late evening flights, Air Tahiti Nui's catering in Business is pretty weak in my opinion.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 9:34 pm
  #3  
 
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To me, it's splitting hairs. The Air Tahiti Nui 789 has lay flat Rockwell Collins seats they say, which are just fine. I've taken the AA 788 up front and they were great. You can get a good or bad crew on either airline. I'd actually save the miles and take the Air Tahiti Nui flight but also, consider, that airline may struggle to survive depending on how long COVID continues to drag airlines. AA is almost certainly fine, one way or another.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 11:01 pm
  #4  
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I highly recommend the thread Air Tahiti Nui / TN 787-9 “Tahitian Dreamliner” (as of 2018), which has links to several reviews of the Air Tahiti Nui 789 Poerava Business Class product.
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Old Sep 18, 20, 11:57 pm
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TN without hesitation - you feel it's a holiday as you walk to the plane; even better going west with many folks heading to PPT. OTOH flying AA is usually as exciting as visiting DMV even if hardware is good.
TN business is perfectly solid: 2-2-2 config is ok for couples, bed is fine, meals varied from excellent lobster to some generic stuff i dont remember, IFE was not very extensive and internet voucher did not work but i felt giddy just being on their planes.
I assume you'll need to connect with either option - what are considerations there?
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Old Sep 19, 20, 9:32 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by atsak View Post
also, consider, that airline may struggle to survive depending on how long COVID continues to drag airlines..
My thought is, IF that happens to TN, I would get moved to another flight on AA metal, which would be a 788 again or better.
lowfareair and the phoenix like this.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 9:38 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
TN without hesitation - you feel it's a holiday as you walk to the plane; even better going west with many folks heading to PPT. OTOH flying AA is usually as exciting as visiting DMV even if hardware is good.
TN business is perfectly solid: 2-2-2 config is ok for couples, bed is fine, meals varied from excellent lobster to some generic stuff i dont remember, IFE was not very extensive and internet voucher did not work but i felt giddy just being on their planes.
I assume you'll need to connect with either option - what are considerations there?
Yes we're flying to DFW. Nonstop is out, both involve a connection. 788 in PHL and 789 in LAX So 788 would keep us in the air less time. I'm leaning toward the AA 788, I've just heard so many negative things about that seat configuration.

We were booked on TN this year before coronavirus forced us to cancel, we were pretty excited to experience it, loved the bright colors of the cabin, and sitting together is fine for us.

but then we kept reading food was bad and seats were uncomfortable. So when I had the option of the 788 on AA metal for the same price this year I was like I should book this instead.

If only a 789 or 777 with new seats would come up on web special today..... lol
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Old Sep 19, 20, 10:31 am
  #8  
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And I suppose we have one additional choice.... a 777-200 through MIA in Prem. Econ. for 40K miles.

I have flown this seat on the 777 many times domestically and totally love it. but I would imagine meal service might be more on par with the econ. cabin than the biz cabin.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 10:38 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by wecnews727 View Post
And I suppose we have one additional choice.... a 777-200 through MIA in Prem. Econ. for 40K miles.

I have flown this seat on the 777 many times domestically and totally love it. but I would imagine meal service might be more on par with the econ. cabin than the biz cabin.
AA's meals in PE are nicer than regular economy and served on china. However, be advised that on the 772, PE shares the same lavatories as regular economy, whilst on 788/789, PE passengers share two of the lavatories with Business Class.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by wecnews727 View Post
Yes we're flying to DFW. Nonstop is out, both involve a connection. 788 in PHL and 789 in LAX So 788 would keep us in the air less time. I'm leaning toward the AA 788, I've just heard so many negative things about that seat configuration.

We were booked on TN this year before coronavirus forced us to cancel, we were pretty excited to experience it, loved the bright colors of the cabin, and sitting together is fine for us.

but then we kept reading food was bad and seats were uncomfortable. So when I had the option of the 788 on AA metal for the same price this year I was like I should book this instead.

If only a 789 or 777 with new seats would come up on web special today..... lol
Once you mentioned PHL, it's a no brainier. Take TN.

Also PHL-CDG is a short flight. If you want to enjoy the J experience, take the longer route from LAX. East Coast-Europe is barely enough time to sleep. I usually eat in the lounge or a restaurant and decline service and sleep the whole way to avoid being exhausted the next day.

Also is DFW-LHR-CDG not available? the 77W is the best option of them all.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post

Also is DFW-LHR-CDG not available? the 77W is the best option of them all.
The AA 77W J seats aren't the same as the 772 ones; I personally find the latter to be a lot more comfortable.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
The AA 77W J seats aren't the same as the 772 ones; I personally find the latter to be a lot more comfortable.
Yes, the 77W seats are the Zodiac Cirrus seats which CX has on their 777 fleet (and a350 fleet, albeit the newer version).

Personally, the 77W seat is the most comfortable J seat available. It allows you to recline with your knees up and doesn't force your entire lower body into a footwell. I prefer it to the 772 seats, both the Super Diamond ones and especially the Concept D front-back "rocker" seats.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 11:44 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Personally, the 77W seat is the most comfortable J seat available. It allows you to recline with your knees up and doesn't force your entire lower body into a footwell. I prefer it to the 772 seats, both the Super Diamond ones and especially the Concept D front-back "rocker" seats.
That is certainly your opinion; pretty much everyone in my company prefers the 772 seats. Further, in my experience, because AA chose lighter colors for the 77W J seats, many already appear scratched whereas the 772 have darker colors that hide damage better.
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Old Sep 19, 20, 11:57 am
  #14  
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Thanks guys....

Changes today

TN sold out while I waited. If I want it I'd have to leave a day earlier and short ourselves a day in paris

So it's the 788 in biz on the planned day

or

777 in PE on the planned day

or

777 in biz but have to fly to madrid to hop on it the next day.

There's nothing through London at this award level
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Old Sep 19, 20, 12:28 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by wecnews727 View Post
Thanks guys....

Changes today

TN sold out while I waited. If I want it I'd have to leave a day earlier and short ourselves a day in paris

So it's the 788 in biz on the planned day

or

777 in PE on the planned day

or

777 in biz but have to fly to madrid to hop on it the next day.

There's nothing through London at this award level
I'll just give you facts to help you make the best decision.

BUSINESS
AA's 788s have a small Business cabin of just 20 seats but two of the lavatories are shared with PE passengers; AA's 772s have two Business cabins separated by a galley and a really cool inflight standing area that changes colors and Business Class passengers don't have to share lavatories with PE.

Not sure if IB has reopened its Business Class lounge in Madrid but if they do by the time you travel, as a Business Class passenger on AA you will be granted access and it is a very large and spacious lounge with great food options.

PREMIUM ECONOMY
If you choose this option, note that on AA's 772s PE passengers have to use the same lavatories as the regular economy cabin. Seats in the first row of PE have leg rests; all other rows just feature a smaller footrest.
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