Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Award travel to Fiji or Tahiti using MileagePlus Miles?

Award travel to Fiji or Tahiti using MileagePlus Miles?

Old Nov 20, 11, 7:34 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 53
Award travel to Fiji or Tahiti using MileagePlus Miles?

I am interested in booking two round-trip tickets from the US to Fiji or Tahiti. I have around 160,000 MP miles, with the potential to get many more. How early should I try to book if I want to get it with miles? And is it really possible to get the saver rate, or should I realistically be thinking about having to spend the "standard" mileage rate?
liketoflyalot is offline  
Old Nov 20, 11, 7:49 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,126
Because there are no flights on UA or CO metal to those destinations your only choice will be to find the "Saver" inventory if you want to make the trip. You should start looking as soon as booking opens for your desired travel dates and keep checking until you find the seats you are looking for.

That said, those destinations are VERY hard to do on *A as the only option is NZ via New Zealand (the CO flights to NAN are done and the LAX-NAN flight is now TN-operated and a NZ codeshare) and you may run into MPM issues if booking via UA for those destinations. NZ 19 does fly via RAR once a week or so which gets you in the region, assuming you can find the seat, but not NAN nor PPT.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Nov 20, 11, 9:13 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 20,716
There is no reason at all why you should book standard awards.

There is also no reason why you should even attempt to book this via United or United.com

You will be best off booking on continental.com, as routings are more flexible.

You will need to find space on LAX/SFO/YVR-AKL-PPT/NAN on Air New Zealand, but coach should be so hard to find. Try out continental.com and see whats available, and how far in advance.

I've had no issue finding Air NZ space last summer YVR-AKL-NAN/NOU-AKL-LAX, and again for summer 2012 via AKL to RAR.

I think Tahiti will be harder to find, because there are less flights from Auckland than there are to Fiji.
rankourabu is offline  
Old May 11, 12, 11:06 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: AA EXP MM/UA MM/Marriott PLT Premier-LT PLT
Posts: 383
Award travel to Fiji in J

Does anyone how to book award travel between ORD and NAN in J. On *A. Im very flexible and am willing to book 330 days out but never see any availability from UA.com. Perhaps this is only theoretically possible and not realistic in practice to actually book an award j seat. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
unhappyflyer is offline  
Old May 11, 12, 1:45 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 20,716
Originally Posted by unhappyflyer View Post
Does anyone how to book award travel between ORD and NAN in J. On *A. Im very flexible and am willing to book 330 days out but never see any availability from UA.com. Perhaps this is only theoretically possible and not realistic in practice to actually book an award j seat. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Put your route together - ORD-Asia, Asia-NAN via AKL. Call in to book. There is lots of availability to NAN using UA miles via Asia.
rankourabu is offline  
Old May 13, 12, 9:35 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NY
Programs: GP plat, SPG plat
Posts: 289
Redeeming on Air New Zealand for Tahiti/French Polynesia

Dear FTers,

I wanted to get your collective thoughts on the best way to use miles for French Polynesia. Specifically, I am going to Bora Bora.

I currently have award flights from NYC to PPT (via AKL) and from AKL to NYC. What I don't have are return flights from Moorea/PPT to BOB (Bora bora), and from PPT to AKL to close the loop.

I understand that Air New Zealand is the *A partner, but have not been able to get any award flights from PPT to AKL using my MP miles.

Long-winded way of asking this question, but is there better award availability if I book directly from Air New Zealand rather than United (I can transfer SPG points).

I was also wondering whether people know of anyway of redeeming inter-island flights using miles or points (AA/Delta/United, since I can convert using SPG). From expedia, it seems that the only airline flying interisland is Air Tahiti (not the same as Air Tahiti Nui). Anyone know of a way of redeeming miles/points with them or any other airline that serves interisland?

Thanks in advance!
bouncingbug is offline  
Old May 13, 12, 10:11 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Dubai / NYC
Programs: EK-IO, UA-1K2MM, ETIHAD-GOLD, SPG-PLAT LIFETIME, JUMEIRAH SERIUS GOLD
Posts: 5,220
Originally Posted by bouncingbug View Post
Dear FTers,

I wanted to get your collective thoughts on the best way to use miles for French Polynesia. Specifically, I am going to Bora Bora.

I currently have award flights from NYC to PPT (via AKL) and from AKL to NYC. What I don't have are return flights from Moorea/PPT to BOB (Bora bora), and from PPT to AKL to close the loop.

I understand that Air New Zealand is the *A partner, but have not been able to get any award flights from PPT to AKL using my MP miles.

Long-winded way of asking this question, but is there better award availability if I book directly from Air New Zealand rather than United (I can transfer SPG points).

I was also wondering whether people know of anyway of redeeming inter-island flights using miles or points (AA/Delta/United, since I can convert using SPG). From expedia, it seems that the only airline flying interisland is Air Tahiti (not the same as Air Tahiti Nui). Anyone know of a way of redeeming miles/points with them or any other airline that serves interisland?

Thanks in advance!
The AKL-PPT flights are one of the HARDEST to get in the whole *A award group. You may want to count yourself lucky and buy the one way PPT-AKL. these flights only op 1-2 days a week depending on season so the problem you will have is if there is no space on the flight you want, you can't just look at the next day. You have to look at the next week. Years ago I got a R/T BIZ award on NZ to PPT but at the time they had a non stop LAX-PPT so many more flights to choose from. Now that's over

AS far as flights from PPT-BORA BORA. YOU MUST BUY THOSE. THERE IS NO AWARD FOR DOMESTIC TAHITTI FLIGHTS
chinatraderjmr is offline  
Old May 13, 12, 10:47 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. AA EXP for 1 more year. Then, who knows?
Posts: 5,058
Can you get seats RAR-AKL? That would mean forking out less money (e g PPT-RAR instead of PPT-AKL, or you might even find availability RAR-LAX if you don't want to stop over in AKL). It would also mean the opportunity to spend time in another beautiful country (and one that is a lot cheaper than Tahiti).
Passmethesickbag is offline  
Old May 13, 12, 11:09 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA 1K; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K
Posts: 8,237
A couple of things to think about. If you have DL miles, you might be able to book Air Tahiti Nui from NRT to PPT. Also, you might want to look at Circle PAC or Circle Asia fares on *A or NZ. I think these may book into regular fares so you would have much better availability.
5khours is offline  
Old May 13, 12, 11:13 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sun & beach destinations
Programs: UA-lifetime Platinum (2MM), IHG-Amb, HH-Diamond, Hertz-PC, Marriott-Gold, CX-AM
Posts: 1,427
I don't think you can redeem ticket for Air Tahiti that serves inter-islands. The only option is to buy it. But Air Tahiti get a lot of airpasses, it will save you some money if you travel to couple of islands during the trip, or even just the 2 most popular islands, Bora Bora and Moorea. You can check out the website here: http://www.airtahiti.aero/articles.php?id=69
GordonGordon is offline  
Old May 14, 12, 5:36 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: LCY
Posts: 1,167
Originally Posted by bouncingbug View Post
is there better award availability if I book directly from Air New Zealand rather than United (I can transfer SPG points).
Yes - Air New Zealand members can redeem any seat that is available for sale, rather than just those in redemption buckets.

Rather than miles they have 'airpoints dollars' in either NZ$ or AU$, however, I don't know what the exchange rate for SPG points is - or also how they would convert the Pacific-Franc priced ticket into NZ/AU $.
stewardo is online now  
Old May 14, 12, 12:17 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NY
Programs: GP plat, SPG plat
Posts: 289
Thanks everyone for the insightful replies! I think I might just suck it up and buy the tickets.

Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
Can you get seats RAR-AKL? That would mean forking out less money (e g PPT-RAR instead of PPT-AKL, or you might even find availability RAR-LAX if you don't want to stop over in AKL). It would also mean the opportunity to spend time in another beautiful country (and one that is a lot cheaper than Tahiti).
Unfortunately that would probably mean getting another visa for my fiancee...I've had enough fun applying for NZ and FP visas already

Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
A couple of things to think about. If you have DL miles, you might be able to book Air Tahiti Nui from NRT to PPT. Also, you might want to look at Circle PAC or Circle Asia fares on *A or NZ. I think these may book into regular fares so you would have much better availability.
I just called AA about Air Tahiti Nui redemptions and they said there was no availability + or - 2 weeks from my travel dates. I would assume DL would be the same case . Thanks for the tip on the Circle PAC / Asia fares. I'm not aware/familiar with these fares. Are these cheaper fares / package deals? I'll read up on them

Originally Posted by GordonGordon View Post
I don't think you can redeem ticket for Air Tahiti that serves inter-islands. The only option is to buy it. But Air Tahiti get a lot of airpasses, it will save you some money if you travel to couple of islands during the trip, or even just the 2 most popular islands, Bora Bora and Moorea. You can check out the website here: http://www.airtahiti.aero/articles.php?id=69
Thanks. A little expensive for what I want to do. I really just need Moorea->Bora Bora ->PPT that costs ~$500/person. If I had a longer time i would definitely jump on it. Maybe for my 10th anniversary (i.e. 10 years from now )

Originally Posted by stewardo View Post
Yes - Air New Zealand members can redeem any seat that is available for sale, rather than just those in redemption buckets.

Rather than miles they have 'airpoints dollars' in either NZ$ or AU$, however, I don't know what the exchange rate for SPG points is - or also how they would convert the Pacific-Franc priced ticket into NZ/AU $.
Seems complicated...my biggest concern is having transferred the SPG points into airpoint dollars (65:1), and then realizing I cant actually redeem for whatever reason. I'll just fork out the $700-800 per person and call it a day...

Most expensive trip of my life (x2 for to-be-wife) but I'm still very excited to be spending all this money
bouncingbug is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 3:32 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: ORD
Programs: HH Dia, UMP Premier Plat, AA Plat
Posts: 79
I'm going to revive this thread in desperate hope someone has some info.

After some pretty lengthy discussions on the HH board about honeymoon destinations (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...-where-20.html), I decided the Hilton Moorea was the best option. This would require flying into PPT and ferrying over. I have since been disappointed to learn UA/*A only goes to PPT through AKL, and that requires an all-day 12 hour layover on top of the lengthy flights (37 hrs travel time).

Other options I have looked into:
-Obtaining enough AA miles to get there through LAX. (Need 100,000 miles, lots of time and min spend required)
-Flying to HNL on UA and then paying for a Hawaiian Airlines flight HNL-PPT (very expensive, $1100+ per ticket)
-Likewise, obtaining enough HA miles for the HNL-PPT portion (could only acquire enough for one ticket, would still take time and min spend)

Does anyone know of a realistically obtainable way to get to PPT on miles? I have 300,000+ UA miles and 45,000 AA miles. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Edit: Home airport is ORD.
kdw133 is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 3:40 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: ORD, MDW
Posts: 207
If you can swing the minimum spend, getting two Citi AA cards for 50K bonus each will net you the desired 100K AA miles. Lots of posts on how to use two browsers to get those cards. Almost no time required, just some creative spending.

Good luck!
lpatron is offline  
Old Jul 12, 12, 3:45 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA Plat 2MM; AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 34,940
Originally Posted by kdw133 View Post
I'm going to revive this thread in desperate hope someone has some info.

After some pretty lengthy discussions on the HH board about honeymoon destinations (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...-where-20.html), I decided the Hilton Moorea was the best option. This would require flying into PPT and ferrying over. I have since been disappointed to learn UA/*A only goes to PPT through AKL, and that requires an all-day 12 hour layover on top of the lengthy flights (37 hrs travel time).

Other options I have looked into:
-Obtaining enough AA miles to get there through LAX. (Need 100,000 miles, lots of time and min spend required)
-Flying to HNL on UA and then paying for a Hawaiian Airlines flight HNL-PPT (very expensive, $1100+ per ticket)
-Likewise, obtaining enough HA miles for the HNL-PPT portion (could only acquire enough for one ticket, would still take time and min spend)

Does anyone know of a realistically obtainable way to get to PPT on miles? I have 300,000+ UA miles and 45,000 AA miles. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Edit: Home airport is ORD.

DL miles work too -- both AF and TN. We used DL miles last year to take AF.

While Star Alliance has excellent coverage, this is one of the popular redemption destinations that has poor coverage for Star Alliance, especially from North America.
channa is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread