Review of Air Tahiti Nui flight Auckland Papeete in Economy

Airline Air Tahiti Nui
Flight TN102
Class Economy
Seat 45D
Aircraft Airbus A340-300
Flight time 05:05
Take-off 22 Feb 14, 15:50
Arrival at 22 Feb 14, 21:55
TN 63 reviews
Published on 2nd May 2014
Hello !

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 way Papeete [PPT] - Los Angeles [LAX], Air France AF77, B772, Economy, January 26, 2014 CLICK HERE Los Angeles [LAX] - Paris [CDG], Air France AF77, B772, Economy, January 26, 2014 CLICK HERE Paris [CDG] - Toulouse [TLS], Air France AF7788, A320, Economy, January 27, 2014 CLICK HERE 2ND PART : Going East : New Horizons Toulouse [TLS] - Frankfurt [FRA], Lufthansa Cityline LH1099, CR7, Economy, February 17, 2014 CLICK HERE Frankfurt [FRA] - Singapore [SIN], Singapore Airlines SQ325, B77W, Economy, February 17, 2014 CLICK HERE 3RD PART : Back to Tahiti : Full Circle Singapore [SIN] - Auckland [AKL], Singapore Airlines SQ285, B77W, Economy, February 22, 2014 CLICK HERE Auckland [AKL] - Papeete [PPT], Air Tahiti Nui TN102, A343, Economy, February 23, 2014

For this last flight, and fly back to PPT from AKL, there is not so much choice. Only 2 airlines operate this route, Air Tahiti Nui (3 per week) and Air New Zealand (2 per week), with a code share on some flights between these 2 companies, and Qantas has a code share with Air Tahiti Nui.

We arrive from Singapore Sunday at noon, so the connection will be with a flight operated by Air Tahiti Nui and also marketed by Air New Zealand and Qantas.

To buy this one way ticket, I choose Air New Zealand for several reasons :
- This is the cheapest : NZ sells one way ticket half the price of return flights, and it would have cost 3.5 times more to buy the same ticket with TN !
- We have a *A Gold status (status match with Turkish Airlines) which should provide us some advantages
- I arrive with a Staralliance companie (Singapore) which should help for transit procedures (I thought… )

So here we are with a NZ ticket (NZ314) for this flight operated by TN (TN102) on a separate ticket of the TLS -FRA -SIN -AKL booked with SQ, because there is currently no possibility of such a routing in a single ticket.

At check-in of the previous flight in Singapore, the hostess confirmed what I feared : she can’t check in for the next flight (what about cooperation between Staralliance companies ?) but could label our luggage to PPT.

You can tell me that I could use online check in. But no! No OLCI with ATN, unlike ANZ, and ANZ do not provide OLCI for this flight because of the code share with ATN (crappy code share, act 1)

That’s why we were forced to make the whole process of entry in the NZ territory at the end of the previous flight, and we'll make all the check in and boarding procedure for this last flight .

We are landside 30 minutes after landing

photo FR103 AKL PPT (1)

The departure table shows flights of the day, our next flight is on time

photo FR103 AKL PPT (2)

A bit tired after a red eye flight, we headed to the Business check-in counter, proudly wearing my *A Gold card

photo FR103 AKL PPT (3)

The agent tells us that we have no right to this privilege because of the share code with ATN (crappy code share, act 2), but since we are here and no one is waiting behind us, she cares for us.

A new concern ahead, that I identified before the flight in the conditions of this particular share code, but I was hoping to get through the cracks. We have 4 checked-in bags (23 kg each) from SIN, well below our franchise of 130kg with SQ for this trip. For this last flight (ticket with ANZ), piece concept applies. We should be entitled to one bag per person (we are 3) plus 1 piece bonus for the 2 of us *A Gold. But no! Despite ANZ ticket, it is the conditions of the carrier ATN that apply to the letter ( crappy code share, act 3). We have one excess bag in these conditions, the check in hostess asks us to pay the fixed price in this situation : 70 NZD

imagephoto )

But this is not done at the check in counter, I have to go to Air New Zealand’s sales counter a little further

photo FR103 AKL PPT (5)

I’m not alone here and it does not move quickly before me. I pay and I get my receipt .

photo FR103 AKL PPT (6)

Back to the check in counter where I must wait 5 minutes in front of the hostess over the phone, and finally get my boarding pass in exchange of payment receipt

photo FR103 AKL PPT (7)

Finally, we can redirect airside. Behind this door, passport control will be long before security checks

photo FR103 AKL PPT (8)

That's it, we are finally airside more than an hour after finishing the landing and entry procedures ! It took us over one hour and 30 minutes from the arrival of the last flight to make this transit procedure in tiring conditions, I thought I was in LAX ! The international transit procedure by the dedicated path takes 5 minutes in AKL normally (see the FR of my travels from Tahiti to Australia, for example, only in french at this time)

Note nonetheless that SQ and NZ just finalized a cooperation agreement on SIN AKL which should enter into force in late 2014, which should avoid this difficult transit in the future (even with a code share ATN ? I don’t know)

Now let’s go for a more enjoyable part of this report. The terminal of AKL is very pleasant with a large duty free area

photo FR103 AKL PPT (9)photo FR103 AKL PPT (10)

Bright area

photo FR103 AKL PPT (11)

And multiple views on the tarmac for a varied planespotting :
B772 Thai

photo FR103 AKL PPT (12)photo FR103 AKL PPT (13)

A little further, my future bird, A343 ATN

photo FR103 AKL PPT (14)

This is Rangiroa, F-OSEA , that will allow me to present the new cabins of ATN (3 planes out of 5 refurbished)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (15)photo FR103 AKL PPT (16)

A332 Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific ) : currently one of the finest livery in my opinion

photo FR103 AKL PPT (17)photo FR103 AKL PPT (18)

B77W Singapore who brought me here and now returning home

photo FR103 AKL PPT (19)photo FR103 AKL PPT (20)photo FR103 AKL PPT (21)

Finally A343 Cathay and A320 Air Calin

photo FR103 AKL PPT (22)

I am surprised to see no Emirates aircraft during our visit, at a time when three A380 should arrive within 1 hour

We now want to have rest in Air New Zealand’s Lounge.

photo FR103 AKL PPT (23)

Will we be expelled because of this code share with ATN (crappy code share, act 4 ) ? I put my boarding pass under the scanner and a red light turns on. Ouch! I give my *A Gold card to the hostess, and we can go in . Phew!

photo FR103 AKL PPT (24)

I don’t think we had access to the lounge but our goalie did not care. Good for us

Here are some general views

photo FR103 AKL PPT (25)photo FR103 AKL PPT (26)photo FR103 AKL PPT (27)

TV corner with a rugby match

imagephoto FR103 AKL PPT (29)

Selection of cold salads

photo FR103 AKL PPT (30)

Hot dishes

photo FR103 AKL PPT (31)


photo FR103 AKL PPT (32)

Finally, I found this vast area fairly quiet, the same level as may be the AF lounge 2E gates K or L for example. It means not unpleasant but not at what should be the flagship lounge of a companie of the highest level.

We go down to the gate at the scheduled boarding time. We will wait here 10 minutes before it will be called

photo FR103 AKL PPT (33)

Thanks to the presence of the kid ( and not because of my *A Gold card) we board first , leaving me plenty of time to make several pictures of this new economy class cabin

First visual impression : it'"/>photo FR103 AKL PPT (38)

In all flights ATN crew distributes Tiare flower at the entrance in the plane

photo FR103 AKL PPT (39)

Pitch (33 announced)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (40)

I notice immediately some poorly designed details :
On the 3 rows on the back of the plane, the attach to the floor of the seat in front is misplaced for my legs

photo FR103 AKL PPT (41)

Central armrests are not completely retractable (but will not be troublesome for the kid lying across the seats)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (42)

IFE is now standard size with good image quality

photo FR103 AKL PPT (43)

View from my seat on the cabin during boarding

photo FR103 AKL PPT (44)

Safety card

photo FR103 AKL PPT (45)

In flight magazines

photo FR103 AKL PPT (46)

In the Air Tahiti Nui’s magazine (Revatahiti), the network map : ATN dessert Paris, Los Angeles, Auckland, Tokyo. Code share with AA to 17 U.S. cities, and with Qantas to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. After this flight a new code share with Korean to Seoul via NRT has been added.

photo FR103 AKL PPT (47)

As I could not make you discover new Business cabin, I only offers the description made in the magazine

photo FR103 AKL PPT (48)

I '"/>photo FR103 AKL PPT (49)

The blanket is turquoise blue fleece, very soft to touch

photo FR103 AKL PPT (50)

We push back shortly before the scheduled departure time, but taxiing is very short and we take off at 4:00 pm local time

photo FR103 AKL PPT (51)

Distribution of an ATN bag with toys for children (the same for several years)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (52)

I explore the IFE :
3 choices of language : French , English and Japanese with respect to the destinations served by ATN

photo FR103 AKL PPT (53)

Commands are placed via the ? button, top right. The screen is tactile

photo FR103 AKL PPT (54)

Home Screen

photo FR103 AKL PPT (55)

Very nice Geovision

photo FR103 AKL PPT (56)

Choice of movies : the weak point of this new IFE, only 14 choices. Once removed cartoons and movies that you don’t like, there is a risk of getting bored for a company that offers 24 hours flights like CDG LAX PPT !

I watch The Prestige.

There are fortunately other choices with a few short movies with the charms of Polynesia

photo FR103 AKL PPT (61)photo FR103 AKL PPT (62)

Quiet cabin during the beginning of the flight

photo FR103 AKL PPT (63)

I stand up and enjoy the mini window of a door to take the picture of the winglet with the Tiare flower

photo FR103 AKL PPT (64)

Hostess wears now polynesian attire (like Air France on PPT LAX line)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (65)

You can guess that the hostesses are also very beautiful, making the myth of vahine alive. I do not have the right to show a non-blurred picture (which would ruin everything), but a public photo in Revatahiti magazine, it’s allowed !

photo FR103 AKL PPT (66)

It’s time to lunch, less than 1 hour after takeoff. No paper menu distribution, everything is on IFE

photo FR103 AKL PPT (67)

Meal with 2 choices of hot dish (beef) or fish (hoki)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (68)photo FR103 AKL PPT (69)

Beverage choice for appetizer

photo FR103 AKL PPT (70)


photo FR103 AKL PPT (71)photo FR103 AKL PPT (72)photo FR103 AKL PPT (73)

I choose the sparkling wine in small individual bottle

photo FR103 AKL PPT (74)photo FR103 AKL PPT (75)

The screw cap looks like a false champagne cork

photo FR103 AKL PPT (76)

Poor quality for this sparkling wine, I prefer the real Champagne (despite a plastic glass) with Air France

Here is the tray

photo FR103 AKL PPT (77)

As a starter, couscous salad and chicken is good

photo FR103 AKL PPT (78)

After I choose the sweet and sour hoki which is good but the rice is too dry

photo FR103 AKL PPT (79)

The dessert is not bad despite the very industrial character of these profiteroles

photo FR103 AKL PPT (80)

Focus on plastic dishes used by ATN

photo FR103 AKL PPT (81)

Full stomach, it is nap time. The kid finds his favorite place, and it '"/>photo FR103 AKL PPT (82)

The viewing angle of the screen is not restricted, to avoid disturbing the neighbors as in Singapore Airlines (see my PREVIOUS FR)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (83)

Quiet and sleepy cabin for the end of the flight

photo FR103 AKL PPT (84)

We arrive soon

photo FR103 AKL PPT (85)photo FR103 AKL PPT (86)

This is time to fill out the immigration forms

photo FR103 AKL PPT (87)

We land at 9.40 pm, taxiing is very short, disembarking starts 5 minutes later.

photo FR103 AKL PPT (88)photo FR103 AKL PPT (89)photo FR103 AKL PPT (90)

Novelty since a few months to PPT, it is this small duty free shop in the carousels area

photo FR103 AKL PPT (91)

This is the end of this journey, we are outside the airport 40 minutes after landing

Final balance of the journey : a real round the world trip with 7 flights, 4 companies and almost 25,000 miles (40,000 kms)

photo FR103 AKL PPT (92)

Long and tiring journey throughout Asia anyway. Make this kind of journey without stop over and in economy class throughout Asia would be too tiring. A remake ? Yes I want, but not every trip to France.
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Air Tahiti Nui

Cabin crew9.0

Air New Zealand International Business Class Koru Club Lounge


Auckland - AKL


Papeete - PPT



Air Tahiti Nui
My rating concerns ATN, and unfortunately can not concern Air New Zealand that issued the ticket, for this code share giving no benefit to passengers despite a Staralliance status.
The new economy cabin is successful on the whole, a great visual. Comfort is OK but I regret a 90° position of the seat that I feel uncomfortable, but it is very nice when reclined and not bothered by the front seat when it tilts
Smiling and pleasant crew.
Catering is average of what I know of ATN, good enough but no extraordinary. After a flight with Singapore, ATN still suffers from the comparison.
IFE is good with a beautiful image, a touchscreen responding well, and finally the VOD that was sorely lacking before the retrofit. What a pity of having savings on the choice of films, really too small , it's cheap

In the end I found the successful retrofit economy class, with some caveats on some details or small choice of movies on the IFE

Air New Zealand Koru Lounge, International Terminal
I have not had the time and the courage to explore it in detail, but food was correct but below what I expected while we were at lunch time. The setting is nice and spacious, not overcrowded at that time. ANZ should do better for the flagship lounge of its hub.

AKL airport
This airport is usually very nice for quick transits. But this time it was not the case with a painful procedure for check in and controls. Because of the lack of agreement between Singapore and Air New Zealand / Air Tahiti Nui. But ultimately the image of the airport suffers. What a pity because apart from that, I find it very pleasant

PPT airport
The airport remains functional for landing but not pretty, would need a facelift

Information on the route Auckland (AKL) Papeete (PPT)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 14 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Auckland (AKL) → Papeete (PPT).


The airline with the best average rating is Air New Zealand with 7.8/10.

The average flight time is 5 hours and 22 minutes.

  More information


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