Just a heads up, Award Expert has been unable to confirm any award space on Air Tahiti Nui using AA miles for the last two weeks.
Air Tahiti Nui is one of my favorite ways to get from the West Coast to Europe. It operates between Los Angeles and Paris five times per week and offers dependable award space in both business (two seats) and economy (many). Of course its primary operations are to/from Tahiti and there is often good space on those flights as well. Here’s a look at Air Tahiti pricing:
- Los Angeles to Paris
- Business = 57.5K one-way
- Economy = 30K one-way (20K during low-season)
- Los Angeles to Tahiti or Auckland
- Business = 80K one-way
- Economy = 45K one-way
Agents (and trust me, we have dealt with dozens) do not see the award space. It’s not that they see the flight and it shows no seats. Rather, the flight does not even show up when searching for award space.
Most agents are lazy and refuse to dig deeper, but I’ve spent long periods on hold with three particularly good agents as they tried to get to the bottom of this. Each time, after consultation with their support desk, they have come back with a final answer that the “systems are not speaking to each other”.
Yesterday, I dealt with a particularly good agent who was aware of the issue and said she would try to find a workaround. She ended up trying a direct sell (also called a long sell or manual request) and the seat still came back unconfirmed. She was angrier than I am and promised this “would be fixed soon”.
Let’s hope so.
No Trouble with Delta
We had a client this week who needed a business class ticket from Auckland to Los Angeles. Not only did Delta have no trouble confirming the Air Tahiti Nui seat, but we used this trick for booking space and it worked like a charm. Note, however, that Delta has never had access to space between LAX and CDG on Air Tahiti Nui.
There are all sorts of issues going on right now with the AA award booking system. Finnair phantom space continues to show online, the USA call center is unable to book most Etihad premium cabin award space and now the link between Air Tahiti Nui and AA appears severed. I’ll keep trying and provide an update once the space is bookable again.