Finally !!! the time for vacation is finally upon me and I am featuring the first flight of my round the world trip that will last a full month. It will take me on the following route : Papeete-Los Angeles-Paris-Seoul-Busan-Seoul-Hanoi-Bangkok-Chiang Mai//Suhkothai-Bangkok-Taipei-Los Angeles-Papeete ! Pheeww ! That's a lot of future flight report !!
So here is the first one, the Papeete Los Angeles flight.
I live 1 hour and 30 minutes away from the airport and I left my house in the afternoon preceding my departure day. I will sleep at my mother's place, 7 minutes from the airport. A stunning sunset on the island of Tahiti Nui… Magnificent !
During the night I receive a text message from the Air France ROC that tells me that the flight is delayed 3 hours. It is nice to know in advance that you have more time to get ready. I won't have to get up too early to get to the airport.
The next morning I get dropped off at the airport to do my check-in.
I take the e-services line as I checked-in online the previous evening. The Air Tahiti International ground agents check-in all airlines serving Tahiti. This morning there are two flights the AF one and a TN flight to Auckland.
The agent is really nice and will check my bag all the way to Paris confirming the destination by showing me the tag before putting it on my suitcase and sending it away. He will give me my invitation to the lounge and my boarding card.
I exit the terminal to take this picture.
Picture of the Fare Hei where the tahitian mamas sell shell or flower leis that people by to offer their arriving or departing family and friends.
I go through immigration and the security check, it is fast, good point !
The boarding lounge has a new duty free shop which is nicer, bigger.
I will get a carton of cigarettes for my mom and will get a snack at the airport's bar Revanui with some friends who are also travelling on the same flight. A croissant and a pineapple juice for me.
Then I'll pay a visit to the lounge on the upper level. The lounge is emptying itself as the TN flight to Auckland is boarding.
I take a few pictures of the traffic at Tahiti Faa'a International Airport.
A few minutes later, the ATN boarding is finished, they close the doors and push back.
On the other side of the runway, near the runway there is a private 737 registered N737ER.
The Air Tahiti's ATR are awaiting their passenger for their flight to Tikehau, Rangiroa, Aratika, Rurutu, Bora Bora, Huahine… In the background, Moorea.
The ATN A340 did its turn at the end of the runway and is now roaring down and I can now see it as it starts to lift off.
Good Bye F-OJTN Bora-Bora
Shortly after, I see between Tahiti and Moorea a big white bird, it is our Air France plane !
It is now turning bag, levels off and will land in Papeete… Welcome to Tahiti !
After it did it's turn at the other end of the runway, it comes back to the parking area.
Everyone is ready to greet the plane. The marshaller will help guide the plane in.
A few more meters and the GE90 of the giant jet are still screaming for a few more seconds before resting after this trans-pacific journey.
Everyone is working around the plane, the mechanics are here, the security staff, the cleaners, everyone is ready as soon as all the passengers have left the plane.
The stairs are going towards the plane's doors.
They are in place, last few checks before they open the doors, all is good !
The door opens, the passengers start to get off.
Passengers are getting off and everyone will be out within 15 minutes.
The crew is now getting off the plane leaving the aircraft within the hands of the ground team.
I get back downstairs to take a few pictures and meet up with my friends again.
At 8h50, boarding starts and I go to gate 61 dedicated to the Business Class.
The plane is there, waiting for its flight to Los Angeles.
The amazing GE90 are ginormous !!!
2 female cabin attendants are greeting the passengers with the help of the chief purser, big smiles all around. The tell me to cross the galley and turn right, my seat is in the second cabin, 6G.
As soon as I got to my seat a cabin attendant will come and wish me a warm welcome in business class and will offer to take any jacket to the wardrobe, I don't have anything so he takes the hanger away.
The picture of the legroom.
The welcoming message on the cabin's screens.
The steward, very pleasant and smiling !
We will take off towards the East and we are in the air in no time and we now have 7 hours and 40 minutes in the air to Los Angeles.
Air France inflight entertainment.
Our route and the island of Tahiti we just left.
After we took off, the female cabin attendants changed in their tahitian dresses and come back to welcome us individually and give us information about the flight, the seat, the video programs…
I thank her and I start to watch a movie, The Hangover 2.
And two scenes in the movie with airplanes, a Delta 747 and A330
The service starts with the pre-lunch drinks, I will have some champagne today !
My drink with the Paprika wafers and a Grisons canapé.
After the crew cleared the drinks they come back to serve lunch.
The starter's place is a chicken roulade with foie gras, fig and pistachios, a small summer vegetable salad and smoked salmon.
For the main course, I will take the fillet of lamb served with a potato gratin and courgettes. To go with it I will have a Bearnaise mustard created by the Alain Passard, the chef from l'Arpège in Paris.
The crew will come back with bread, wine and water before they come back for the cheese service.
Small detail of the AF logo on the bread plate.
After my tray was cleared, the steward and the air hostess will come back with the dessert cart. I will chose the trop of pastries with a papaya tartlet, an opera cake and a mango macaroon. I will also take a mango sorbet and a herbal tea from Fauchon, Marchand de Rêves.
Lunch and service were excellent ! The cabin crew will come back to pick up the tea cups, table linen and other meal utensils before offering to buy duty-free articles.
I finish my movie and I fall asleep and wake up 2h30 before we arrive in Los Angeles ! I am rather happy as I had a great nap and I am now going to the bar for a small drink.
A soon as I arrive the steward offers to serve me a drink. I decline and help myself to a Diet Coke. He will offer cookies and to make me an espresso or any other hot drinks.
I go back to my seat to watch another movie, I will settle on Super 8 this time and I wait for the snack to be served before we arrive.
1h30 minutes before we arrive in Los Angeles the lights are back on and the snack is served. Fresh fruits, canapés and tartlets, fromage frais, tea or coffee.
We are getting closer to Los Angeles
Soon the californian coasts.
Only 1 hour and 8 minutes before we land.
Now to finish the flight, how about an episode from the Simpson ?
We arrive in Los Angeles and the first part of my trip is over !
Landing is smooth. We are parked at the remote gates and busses will take us back to Terminal 2.
Papeete - PPT
Los Angeles - LAX
Yes we were delayed but I still give a good mark as AF did the things well, sending a text message, an email and the excuses from the crew and ground staff. A voucher was given to every passenger at check-in.
On board, the crew was exceptional, always smiling and pleasant.
The seat was comfortable, the proof is I slept nearly the whole flight and even better on the LAX-CDG.
Both meals were good and the lamb was excellent, perfectly cooked !
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