We departed from our home the day before, here is a picture of the view from our living room. We left Toahotu for Faa'a, 65 kilometers away from home. We spent the night at my mothers who lives 7 minutes from the airport.
After a great evening spent with the family and my best friend from childhood who was home for some vacation, he now lives in Sydney. I woke up around 5am the next day for a departure to Tahiti International airport around 6am.
We got at the airport and the lanes weren't too long, we had pre-checked in without difficulties on the AF website and the baggage drop off was just a formality !
After we got our boarding cards and the invitations to the Manuhiri lounge, we go through passport and security checks.
A picture of our aircraft which had just arrived from Los Angeles and is letting the flow of passenger get off.
On our way to the lounge I find the Marara or flying fish that used to ornate the Air New Zealand lounge… it had better days…
Now, to the lounge !
We are welcomed in the lounge by a very charming attendant greeting me by name without looking at my card… the perks of being famous on an island ! She will direct me towards the right hand side part of the lounge which is much quieter.
F-GSPE is continue to empty itself before getting ready to head back home.
Air Tahiti Nui is taking off towards Narita, well, towards Papeete before turning and heading towards Japan !
A painting in the Manuhiri lounge illustrate the arrivals of travellers and polynesian traditions.
What's on offer on the buffet today ?
My selection for today and the day fresh local news.
Trip back to my childhood !
Our crew is ready to board the plane.
We walk down to the boarding gate as my companion has a wheelchair because of his hip surgery. We are now parked on the side with all the people needing a pre-boarding.
We walk up the stairs to board through door 1 left.
We are welcomed on board by a really nice purser, Shirley.
In the cabin, the cabin attendant, Solange help us getting to our seats and welcomes us in the Business Cabin.
Our seats 2K and 2L.
The cabin is still empty, it won't be full with 6 seats left empty.
The legroom on the NEV4 seat, I am 6'2.
Quick glance outside the window, not very clean… Nothing much to see, small traffic at Tahiti International airport.
Our cabin attendant, Solange formally introduces herself and offers the comfort kit. I tell her about me taking pictures throughout the flight, I tell her about FR and she invites me to take as many pictures I want, even of her !
Solange will then come back to offer us a welcome drink, Champagne for me and orange juice for my companion.
We hurry to drink up as the crew starts to spray insecticides in the aircraft, it is imposed by France for all countries where there is dengue fever
Departure of this Air Tahiti ATR to one of our superb islands !
The our departure is upon us, we push back on time. Our giant GE90 start to growl and whine and it won't stop for the next 8 hours !
The safety demonstrations start.
The lighting path and the exits.
Another ATR departs.
The perfect family of Air France travellers.
No, she won't start to sing the Marseillaise, she is just wishing us a Bon Voyage !
And they split for take off !
We taxi towards the runway threshold, Punaauia side before we turn towards Papeete and start to take off.
The GE90 are screaming, the brakes are released and our airplane starts its take off before lifting off and be back in its element, flight !
We are over Papeete.
After 40 minutes of flight we fly over the island of Makatea, which name is used for a geological phenomenon.
Makatea is the only island of French Polynesia where there is a train but no airport or port !
Then it is Rangiroa that we fly over, then nothing, only water until the californian coast.
Something new ! The covers of the menus ! Solange offers the menu and also offers her help to use the seat or the video system.
I will ask if she has any spare menus to have the other covers. We had Hong Kong and Nice and not pictured, New York and Stockholm.
If the menu cover is different from anthonytahiti's, the meal is nearly the same apart the dish of the day.
The drinks, I didn't take any pictures of the wines, anthonytahiti did it.
we start with pre-meal drinks.
I request a glass of champagne and I will add some ginger syrup that I had with me, my partner will go for a Gin and Tonic with ginger too. We discovered that syrup at the Agricultural Fair of Tahiti, a wonderful found made in the Marquesas. Drinks were served with the Mise en bouche.
We are enjoying our drink and we start a movie, I go for the Marsupilami, I need something light to start our vacations !
Solange will walk through the cabin regularly to collect glasses and other napkins.
Solange will then be back to serve the meal. The foie gras and chicken galantine, I didn't really like it, I love smoke salmon, particularly with chive cream. The bread was warm !!!
The service was simply perfect !
A glass of Chablis to go with the meal. I didn't find the wine particularly great but it was OK.
For the hot meal I went for the veal fillet with mustard seeds and my companion went for the vegetable moussaka. The 2 dishes were really good and at a great temperature.
Solange will offer more bread, still warm, and more wine, still chilled !
She will then come back offer cheese.
Where are we in the world ?!
The comes dessert ! The opera cake is excellent just like the mango macaroon. I will also ask for a mango sorbet and a herbal tea, Marchand de rêves from Fauchon.
Solange will offer a hot drink to my companion with his dessert, she will even offer a cappuccino or an espresso.
She will come back to offer more hot water for my tea.
We continue our flight, all alone !
Far from the Hawaiian islands, our nearest refuge if we have a problem…
Another 4 hours of flight.
The toilets were well kept throughout the flight.
I stop at the bar for a few minutes and I ask for a cappuccino and ask the Solange to add a shot of espresso.
Everyone is resting in Business Class.
1 hour 45 minutes before we arrive in Los Angeles, the lights are back on, a little too bright, no mood-lighting on this aircraft, to think that only the ceiling was lit up… Solange will serve us the snack before arrival.
I ask for a Coke and tea to go with my snack. I loved the chicken and wasabi mayo canapé, amazing !!!
The sun is setting, we are getting closer to the USA.
I start to watch Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp.
Only 22 minutes left ! Solange and Shirley are in the cabin thanking each passengers individually and give information about the connections to Paris or from other terminals of LAX. We will thank them and congratulate them for the amazing service.
To spend more time, my ritual, an episode of the Simpsons.
Los Angeles is shining a thousand fires !
We are landing on the runway and our plane F-GSPE says good bye !
Who is this ?! Our next aircraft for the transpacific journey ! China Southern Airlines Airbus 380-800 B-6138, parked at gate 101.
We arrive at Terminal 2 and we park next to this Air Canada Embraer.
We disembark at the same time as everyone and my companions wheelchair is there waiting for him. Immigration is quick as there is a dedicated line for wheelchairs, the bags are delivered rapidly too, special line for customs and we go to Tom Bradley for our next trip !
Papeete - PPT
Los Angeles - LAX
What an AMAZING flight ! I couldn't wish for a better crew !
Departure and arrival on time.
For the comfort it is a NEV4, nothing special, looking forward to the Cirrus seats.
If I could I would have given a 30/20 and it still wouldn't be enough ! These 2 cabin crew were fantastic ! always smiling, attentive, available !
The meal, was rather good, I wasn't impressed by the starter but the main was delicious and the warm bread gave extra points !
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