Flight-Report

Review of Air Tahiti Nui flight Los Angeles Paris in Economy

Airline Air Tahiti Nui
Flight TN8
Class Economy
Seat 16G
Aircraft Airbus A340-300
Flight time 11:00
Take-off 17 Jun 14, 21:05
Arrival at 18 Jun 14, 17:05
TN   #49 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 51 reviews
jeromekl
By 6719
Published on 30th July 2014
Today’s report: a flight between two of the least pleasant airports in the developed world.

I was sent on a business trip to Paris, and the company’s travel people booked the flight for me. I had assumed that they would pick the cheapest ticket, so I went on Kayak and figured out what those flights might be.

Would I be transiting in YUL on Air Canada?

Would they pick United, and have us change planes in EWR?

Oh no, please no US Airways economy. If I can’t sleep, I’ll be completely incoherent during my presentation the next day!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to contend with any of the above options, though connecting in Montréal en route to the métropole would have been quite interesting. To my surprise they booked a non-stop flight on Air Tahiti Nui. If anything, I thought, I’d show up to work relaxed, or as relaxed as one can be after having spent 11 hours in classe éco.

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After fighting rush hour on three separate buses to get to LAX, I needed all the relaxation I could get. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very much until I boarded the plane. TN departs from Tom Bradley International Terminal, which looks quite snazzy now after the recent renovation but remains as dull a place as ever for a traveler with no status and little money with which to go shopping.

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I happily left the “entertainment” area for the new gates, where I was able to snap a few pictures of a Lufthansa plane returning to the Vaterland. Otherwise, this part of the terminal was quite empty. I’m sure it got much busier later in the evening with the numerous trans-Pacific departures.

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Rangiroa was waiting for us outside, while the colorfully dressed TN cabin crew relaxed in the terminal before their long shift ahead.

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Boarding commenced on time, starting with business class and then economy from back to front. As I was in the front of economy, I was among the last to board.

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The A340-300 was laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration. The pitch was acceptable, but I am very much not tall. I don’t understand how anyone larger than me can fit in an economy seat these days.

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The IFE screen was a standard size for economy. The selection of films and TV shows was quite small, but at least they were available on demand and were not simply looped. I entertained myself with a boring Japanese drama and a few documentaries about French Polynesia.

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Dinner was served about an hour into the flight. I got some tough sweet and sour fish, along with a small bottle of sparkling wine. The dessert had so many flavors going on that I didn’t know what to make of it. Chocolate and coconut and fruit?

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Breakfast was served about an hour and a half before our descent into CDG. The industrial egg thing was not terrible, but the smoked salmon plus tuna salad container in the back was incredibly confusing. I must say, the catering was far superior on the way back, so this must be an LAX thing.

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Landing was on time and uneventful. What was quite eventful was my trip to the 7th arrondissement from CDG. I didn’t realize what the CDGVAL tram was for, so I kept following the signs saying “Paris par train” to find the RER train. I kept going, and going, and going, and going… and eventually I made it, but the 35 minute walk could have been avoided! I bought my ticket, boarded the train, and sat there as rush hour commuters squeezed their way in.

After a number of stops, the train started going backwards. At that point, it hit me: the railway strike meant that this train would not be going to the stop I needed! I got off at the next station, and after following some similarly lost Spanish business men, losing sight of them, gesturing at and parlez-vous-anglais-ing the staff, I made it to my hotel in the 7th, a full three hours after the plane landed. Goodness. And I thought LAX was bad!
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Verdict

Air Tahiti Nui

6.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Los Angeles - LAX

3.0/10
Efficiency4.0
Access0.5
Services2.5
Cleanliness5.0

Paris - CDG

5.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

A very nice flight bookended by unpleasant airport experiences. Though LAX will still remain at the top of my list of least favorite airports, CDG is giving it a run for its money.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) Paris (CDG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 61 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Los Angeles (LAX) → Paris (CDG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air France with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 33 minutes.

  More information

7 Comments

  • Comment 113975 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4726 Comments

    Wow, two TN reports in 2 days, what are the odds. Very good report with lots of details and pics!

    LOL @ the two least pleasant airport in the developed world comment. CDG used to be a mess, but it's gotten way better...in AF's Terminals 2E and 2F. From CDG I never bother with the RER; it's often unreliable and goes through some not so nice neighborhoods. I usually opt to take the Air France coaches to the city center for 18 Euros--much more convenient. There's also RoissyBus which is cheaper. Nevertheless the train strike isn't really the airport's fault, which is a pretty accessible airport with a train link to the city. I live in DC, so ANY airport is more convenient that IAD...30 miles from the city center with no easy way to get there if you don't have a car or don't want to pay $80 for a cab.

    Flying in Y for 11 hrs and then having a presentation in the morning?? That's just inhumane! LOL. Luckily it seems that TN offers a pretty decent product from the past two reports. Good alternative to AF on the route. Thanks for sharing!

    p.s. I'll add TN to the flight number for you.

  • Comment 114008 by
    Azureas 106 Comments

    RER from CDG is terrible (and I live in Paris). Even when I was working in CDG I never used it (and now I am working in other place I always use subway).
    Paris should really do something to construct a hight speed train between the city center and CDG but unfortunately for political reasons they always postpone the project.

    It's true that it's confusing for tourist, even for a French, you are not completely sure to well understand the direction and how to use it without mentioning that the train is very low 45mm to 1 hour compare to 30mm by car with no traffic jam (...ok 1h30 with trafic jam) .

    The best to go to CDG are the Air France bus like proposed by KevinDC or the cab (to go to city center it will cost between 45 to 70 euro depending of the trafic jam).
    During the week avoid between 7am to 10am then 5pm to 8pm.
    The week-end avoid between 4/5pm to 8/9pm

    Another solution (I never try) is to share your taxi, a well known taxi company in Paris (taxi G7, I often use them to go to airport) start to propose this service (http://www.taxisg7.com/services/shared-taxi-wecab'tg7=jc80te6orrvrue1537cej932g1). Fare seems reasonable.

    Thank for the report,
    Cheers

  • Comment 114010 by
    Chibcha 425 Comments

    Catering didn't look too pleasing. Even with the hardware to do it, TN seems to be reckless about amusement options on their IFE (right?) that must be terrible for someone doing the Tahiti-CDG run!

    Even when the RER is one of the worst thought of train connections between an airport and the city, it is nowhere as bad as IAD, as KévinDC mentions, or in my case my hometown airport without dedicated airport service...just your regular bus (good luck at travelling there with bags!).

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 114020 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10236 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Even if the catering looks average it is still way better than any US company ;)

    See you soon for your inbound flight

  • Comment 114045 by
    KL651 TEAM 4374 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    I recognize that it must have been a real surprise to find yourself on TN for this flight to CDG, their fare to LAX aren't usually really competitive.

    The meals look ok, better than on US airlines as other said.

    RER B is not so bad and slow if you board a direct one (and not during a strike...)

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