We live in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and we fly to France 1 or 2 times a year, with Air France via LAX. I’m tired to always fly with the same companie, the same plane, always transiting in LAX.
Here are the Flight Reports of my first round-the-world trip, with my family (2 adults and 1 child 3 years old), in Economy class.
Routing is PPT – LAX – CDG – TLS – FRA – SIN – AKL – PPT Companies will be Air France, Lufthansa Cityline, Singapore Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui
1ST PART : From Tahiti to France : I did it my wayPapeete [PPT] - Los Angeles [LAX], Air France AF77, B772, Economy, January 26, 2014 YOU ARE HERE
Los Angeles [LAX] - Paris [CDG], Air France AF77, B772, Economy, January 26, 2014
Paris [CDG] - Toulouse [TLS], Air France AF7788, A320, Economy, January 27, 2014
CLICK HERE2ND PART : Going East : New Horizons
Toulouse [TLS] - Frankfurt [FRA], Lufthansa Cityline LH1099, CR7, Economy, February 17, 2014
Frankfurt [FRA] - Singapore [SIN], Singapore Airlines SQ325, B77W, Economy, February 17, 2014
CLICK HERE3RD PART : Back to Tahiti : Full Circle
Singapore [SIN] - Auckland [AKL], Singapore Airlines SQ285, B77W, Economy, February 22, 2014
Auckland [AKL] - Papeete [PPT], Air Tahiti Nui TN102, A343, Economy, February 23, 2014
To begin 2014, Air France wishes a happy new year
A glance at the FlightStats website a few days before the first flight, searching possibilities for upgrade to Business class with Flying Blue miles :
On the PPT LAX section, it looks good, 7 seat in class O (for award ticket or upgrade to Business class)
On the LAX CDG section unfortunately, filling rate is much better and so there is no class O available
Finally for a ticket PPT CDG, no upgrade possibility (no class O)
We have a PPT CDG ticket, flight AF77 (considered as 1 flight with technical stop in LAX) which can not be split into 2 sections PPT LAX and LAX CDG .
That means that I can not have a Business class upgrade on PPT LAX despite the availability of these for the sole reason that I continue my flight to CDG the same day.
It's frustrating to see that a passenger who could benefit upgrade awards released by the yield management, can not do for logistical issue : the AF system can not handle two flights with the same number the same day for the same passenger.
Don’t worry about filling the Business cabin on this flight PPT LAX, I saw the registration paper of the check-in hostess at the airport, it was possible to find about ten non-revenue passengers to fill the vacant seats in the front of the plane
Now on to what interests us : the flight itself.
Online check-in impossible for us, but it doesn’t matter
Let’s go to the airport
2 flights this sunday morning : Air Tahiti Nui to Tokyo Narita and Air France to Los Angeles and Paris
Not so many baggage drop or economy check-in counters opened
For us, quick check-in with the SkyPriority lane
Unique boarding pass for our 3 upcoming flights
We go straight through custom and borders and security check
In the departure area, photo exhibition for 15th anniversary of Air Tahiti Nui
Our plane is here
Let’s go to Manuhiri lounge (the only and independent lounge in PPT airport, used by almost all companies here in Tahiti)
Food and drinks are the weak point of this lounge, but I found some sweets good enough
Wifi gives me the corporate picture
On the tarmac, birds wait patiently : A343 ATN named Rangiroa
And our 777 today will be F-GSPD (777-200ER)
I insert here an airplane that I saw during January during one of my business trips in the islands of French Polynesia : Danish Air Transport MD80 with astonishing livery “Fifa world cup trophy tour / Coca Cola (the trophy was exposed in Tahiti in September 2013, but in January 2014 not to my knowledge)
Boarding is then called on time, walking on the tarmac is always a moment of excitement
Smiling stew welcomes us
And here are our 3 seats for this flight, on the left side of first economy cabin, row 23 (I could not have seats in row 20 this time, 20C is offering a larger legroom)
A new red cushion
Stamp size In-Flight Entertainment
Classic legroom for Air France in economy class
Less classic legroom
Air France Magazine and safety card
Air Tahiti Nui is pushed back before us
And take of to Tokyo
It’s our turn to push back, on time
During taxiing, I see the latest plane of Air Tahiti’s fleet, ATR42-600 with the new livery
I can see Tetiaroa (Marlon Brando’s atoll) despite wing and reactor
In a plane with incomplete filling in economy class, some got the perfect seat allocation
Everyone deals with the IFE for the beginning of the journey “Planes” for the kid
“Now you see me” for me
Menu is quickly distributed
Appetizer quickly served, Champagne for me of course
45 minutes later, trays distribution begin, starting with special meals, child meal for my kid
Chicken nuggets and potatoes
Then comes the main meal service, I choose lamb curry
As a starter, pasta salad was a bit bland, it lacks a little taste
The lamb curry later is OK but not exciting, I expected more
Some dairy in a box
For dessert, I didn’t like this apple tartlet does
The meal, without being bad, was a little below what I would expect from an economy class meal with Air France
The flight continues safely over equator, from southern to northern hemisphere
Another film viewing for me, “Rush”, the story of the rivalry between Nicky Lauda and James Hunt
Water is provided by stews at our seat.
I stand up to walk a little bit and comes face to face with the bar in the galley
Economy cabin is quiet
We are now approaching LAX …
And night …
The snack is served 1 hour 30 minutes before arrival, starting with the child meal
The adult tray appears identical but includes a bonus chocolate
Some ice crystals remind me that I am going to a cold area (France in winter)
The sun sets quickly
And it's dark when we fly around Long Beach
We touch down on time and it takes about 15 minutes taxiing to reach our parking stand. I try to take a picture of Qantas A380 despite darkness and movement
We are arrived at Terminal 2
Quick disembarking and we plunge into the bowels of LAX
Next step, US customs & borders
And there, it will be very painful, there are many people and it will take us 50 minutes to get to the TSA agent
And transit is not finished yet …
To be continued …
Papeete - PPT
Los Angeles - LAX
Air France Comfort is in line with what I expected, suitable for a day flight, despite the 10 in a row configuration (3-4-3). Traveling 2 adults with 1 child in 3 seats enhances the experience. Catering was a slight disappointment but not bad, I 've had better with Air France. Great movies choices with IFE, but the screen is really too small.
Manuhiri Lounge Comfortable, quiet, free wifi, staff always smiling but food and drinks is a weak point of this lounge, with reduced choice
PPT international airport Easy access to the airtport, quick check in procedures and controls. The departure area is not very big, nothing to do, only a duty free shop and a bar.
LAX Terminal 2 I hate this terminal : I find it ugly, the transit procedure is often painful . Passport control took 50 minutes due to the arrival of several planes at the same time (VS , NZ and AF). This is long, we are only in transit. And outside the U.S., transit procedures takes only minutes without passport control (only security on a dedicated transit point).
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