Short because family (my wife and my 3 years old kid) did not want to come with me and stay in France for holidays. But a lonely trip brings a lot of benefits ;)
As this is a business trip, I don’t pay myself the ticket, and as the stay is short, I would like to travel in more comfortable conditions than coach class. I asked for a flexible ticket in Economy or Premium Economy, so a paid upgrade would not be too expensive for me.
1ST PART : From Tahiti to France
Papeete [PPT] - Los Angeles [LAX], Air France AF77, B772, Premium Eco, May 16, 2014
Los Angeles [LAX] - Paris [CDG], Air France AF77, B772, Premium Eco, May 16, 2014
CLICK HERE2ND PART : Back from France to Tahiti : Flying with style
Paris [CDG] - Los Angeles [LAX], Air France AF66, A380, Premiere, May 25, 2014
CLICK HERELos Angeles [LAX] - Papeete [PPT] Air Tahiti Nui TN1, A343, Business, May 25, 2014 YOU ARE HERE
Thanks to AF/TN code share, this flight is an opportunity to change my usual AF flights on this route and introduce the new ATN Business cabin. For the new Economy cabin, you can see my previous report on AKL PPT : CLICK HERE Ticket purchased from Air France, flight number AF676.
My CDG LAX flight in La Première just landed with a consequent delay that jeopardizes my correspondence. Fortunately I am accompanied by a ground staff of the airport, and express connection coupon.
After a very long wait for my bags, I follow my guide for this transit
Luggages quickly deposited on the connecting baggage drop-off
Then a quick stroll outside and again in the TBIT, departure hall
Departures list, I can catch my next plane but no time to lose
Passing security filters is simply hallucinating : there’s a lot of people, my guide opens the way for me in the queue, spreads all waiting pax, until we get to the scanner, stops the pax depositing their hand luggage to allow me to proceed immediately, under dumbfounded look of other pax! I spend less than 5 minutes for security checks that would have taken me 30 minutes under normal conditions I think. Very effective!
Just after I follow my guide through a shortcut which is normally forbidden
And here I am at the gate, on time, while boarding is coming to the end
Mission accomplished. I take leave of my escort who I warmly thank.
Gate’s hostess gives me a new boarding pass for this last flight
I go fast in the jetbridge
To arrive at my blue bird (F-OSUN)
As on all ATN flights and in all classes of travel, a Tiare flower is offered to each passenger
I enjoy the new Business cabin on this flight (3 of 5 aircrafts retrofitted)
Here is the seat
A cushion and a pouch containing the cover are arranged on the seat
I take place in the seat
Seat inspection from every angle :
Before me, besides the IFE are arranged in-flight magazines, safety card, and individual water bottle
Small lockers under the water bottles contain a little extra cushion
Above the IFE on the seat in front, a small tablet which I did not catch the utility because it is available only when you are standing
Under the central armrest is willing the headphone
It is much less efficient than the Bose in AF First class of the previous flight, but better than the current one in AF Business
In the center armrest, besides the headphone, a USB port and a power outlet
At the side armrest, seat control and remote controller of the IFE
The seat control is very simple
The remote controller offers not a lot of features, as the screen is a touch screen
Different magazines available in the pocket
Welcome drink : Champagne
The Tiare flower, symbol of the company can be found everywhere
An amusing anecdote after that : an instructor crew comes next to me and thanks me for the box of chocolates. Seeing my surprise, she understands that she is with the wrong person. A pax offering chocolates to the crew, this is not anybody ;)
The amenity kit is then distributed
I don’t like the presentation cardboard box, a kit is more elegant (and reusable for another use later)
But content with L'Occitane products are of good quality
Different home screens scroll on the IFE
Push back 10 minutes late
Taxiing takes about ten minutes more
The opportunity to meet some beautiful birds Virgin Atlantic B744
Which masks the B777 All Black Air New Zealand
Take-off Century City, Beverly Hills
We quickly reach the Pacific at Marina del Rey
And finally Malibu
Let’s fly over a big blue ocean
The menu is distributed
IFE also shows several different menus, difficult to navigate, no indication which one of them is for our flight
I go to the toilets where L'Occitane products are also available
Distribution of oshibori (I present it like a mop, sorry)
I am now interested in the IFE with a nice touch screen
The screen size is correct
Here is the full choice of films : 26 movies, it’s few (although it is better than 14 in economy)
I benefit from the low filling the cabin (maximum 50%) and the absence of neighbor to take my ease, with Geovision to my left and a movie in front of me
I selected a french movie Chinese puzzle for the beginning of this flight
I take out the tablet from the center armrest
Reminder of aperitif choice, which I find quite varied
The hostess tells me that my choice of a Pina Collada is not available, so I take a Margarita
I do not know why I imagine that I would see a good Margarita prepared at request in the galley, here I am with an infamous ready-to-serve preparation that I did not get to finish. The assortment of various nuts and dried fruits is good.
The table is set, tablecloth with his embroidered Tiare
Reminder of the menu
The plate is served, the bread is hot
Focus on a few elements of service: Embroidered towel with her Tiare
Salt and pepper
The glass is also marked with Tiare flower
Starter Parma prosciutto, pheasant-pork terrine, and sauteed scallops with mango salsa, lime pesto, sauteed mushrooms The combination of meat and scallops is confusing, it's pretty average
The trolley appears for the service of the main course
I choose the seared shrimps and scallops in Cajun-style sauce offerd with saffron rice
It's very spicy, I love it
Cheese is disappointing
The dessert is good
Various sweets are nice: Mini strawberry cheesecake, mini pistachio nougat, raspberry chocolate verrine
Mango sherbet refreshing
I finish with a strong coffee (there’s no espresso)
This first meal is appreciated despite some shortcomings
I keep on my movie session with Ocean's Thirteen
Then I work on the pictures of the previous report, Air France La Première (SEE HERE) while another oshibori is distributed
The cold light meal comes when it’s 7:00 pm in Tahiti and there is less than 2 hours of flight Reminder of the menu
Everything is brought on a single meal tray
I take some wine (St Emilion) which is served in a stemmed glass and is good
Tiare is everywhere
The grilled chicken with Vietnamese salad and dressing is not bad
Cheeses are as disappointing as for the main meal
Fresh fruits are good
I won’t touch the Chocolate espresso Creme Brulee
This is my 5th meal in less than 24 hours, I surrender
I struggled against sleep not to sleep the entire flight, to better fight against the jet lag, but at the end, I collapse. I test the seat into bed position, which I think is his biggest weakness : it is angled bed, 160 °, which is far from new full flat standards of many companies
It’s a good surprise for me to sleep well there and not feel any toboggan effect
The cabin is quiet
We are approaching PPT
We land 20 minutes early, 5 minutes taxiing before stopping at our parking stand
I leave this new Business cabin with nice visual
Disembarking and some views of the bird (F-OSUN, nicknamed Moorea)
Welcome to Tahiti-Faaa
Local welcome as for each international arrival
My luggages comes the first
But I stop here to declare to the customs my new laptop purchased in France during this trip.
It takes a long time, there are only 2 or 3 people before me, and it takes 40 minutes before I left the carousel hall. There’s nobody here except a few other pax also waiting at customs. It disgusts you to be honest !
End of this beautiful journey that made me discover both AF First and TN Business. A good memory
Bonus All Black
To finish, some bonus pictures with Air New Zealand in PPT
ANZ flies to PPT 2 times per week (soon 3 times) with a B763. For the longest vacations in Tahiti, to increase capacity, some flights are operated with a B77W. Air New Zealand announced in early July they will send us the All Black plane or the Hobbit plane, with a tour of the plane for the press during the stopover. Of course I asked ANZ to participate for the purpose of a photo essay on Flight Report. They refuse as you can imagine.
I go to the airport on sunday, July 6 for the arrival of ZK-OKQ, the All Black plane, the most beautiful aircraft in the world for me.
I can attend his arrival behind gates that spoil some fun and photos
Fortunately, an airport staff send me his own pictures, far more successful than mine, thank you Arsene;)
Taxiing on the runway
Arrival hailed as required by firefighters
Thanks to all who took the trip to the end.
Air Tahiti Nui
Los Angeles - LAX
Papeete - PPT
Air Tahiti Nui Discovery of this new Business cabin for which I went to with some negative priori, especially on the seat, but I was pleasantly surprised Cabin and comfort : The visual is stunning. I am pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the seat, I was expecting a disappointing bed position with the angled bed at 160 °, but I'm asleep without difficulty (albeit very tired at this point). However a shame not to go further in the search for comfort at a time when most companies are past the stage above, including the main competitor AF Crew : always smiling, very pleasant and attentive throughout the flight, as almost every flight. A highlight of ATN undeniably Catering : no very noble products but it is well done overall. A good choice in wines although it would be better to replace 1 or 2 bottles with better standing Entertainment: IFE is good with a beautiful image, a touchscreen responding well, the remote is not very convenient. As in economy, shame about the choice of films is so small compared to what other companies offer On time performance : perfectly on time
In the end I find the retrofit rather successful in Business class despite a priori negative initially, but this product will appear quickly overtaken by a few years.
LAX TBIT I unfortunately could not enjoy the new TBIT on transit, but I could greatly enjoy the ground service, I owe to my previous flight in first class. I regret not having more time to enjoy the Skyteam lounge in the TBIT, held by Korean Air, to visit the First class part.
PPT airport The airport remains operational for arrival but not pretty, would need a facelift. A negative point for custom clearance which wastes a lot of time.
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