A New (Unannounced) Flying Blue Partner

Air France – KLM Flying Blue, one of the most versatile and valuable frequent flyer programs for American Express, Chase Sapphire and Citi ThankYou credit card holders, appears to have added a new partner airline, while telling no one.

Air Tahiti Nui is one of very few options to get to the French Polynesian Islands. Air France also operates service there several times weekly. Previously, the only widely used frequent flyer program with any redemption opportunity on Air Tahiti Nui was American Airlines AAdvantage, a program with no bank credit card transfer partners.

Sometime between now and the last time I looked for flights to Tahiti — I’ll make a rough guess and say May or June — Air Tahiti Nui’s Los Angeles to Papeete flights became bookable using Flying Blue miles.

Air France Flying Blue Air Tahiti Nui using miles points, credit card points

Air Tahiti Nui flights are now appearing in airfrance.com searches, bookable using Flying Blue miles.

Codeshare Agreement

This change comes after Air France entered into a codeshare agreement, which allows both airlines to sell tickets and share revenue on the Los Angeles to Papeete route.

In-Flight

For now, Air France has a far better business class cabin on this flight, but Air Tahiti Nui will level the field somewhat as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Problems Air France Award Calendar

Air France currently operates Boeing 777s to Tahiti, flying with the airline’s best business class.

The Air Tahiti Nui Dreamliners will eventually replace the Tahitian flag carrier’s aging Airbus A340 fleet, with angle-flat seats. Air Tahiti has installed a version of the B/E Diamond business class seating currently in use on United Airlines’ 787 Dreamliners.

Air Tahiti Nui using points and miles Air France Flying Blue business class

Air Tahiti Nui’s new Dreamliners will have fully flat beds in business class. Image by Air Tahiti Nui.

Upshot

Tahiti is one of the most difficult and frustrating destinations for points and miles hackers. This development should make it much easier to use credit card points to get to Tahiti.

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Comments

    • Hi Abe,
      Yes, Air France has refreshed the cabins used on that route (according to Air France — I haven’t flown to Tahiti on them).
      Cheers,
      John

    • Only Air France has a codeshare partnership with Air Tahiti Nui, Delta doesn’t. Therefore, you shouldn’t be able to.

      Speaking of using Delta miles – I used to see availability from LAXPPT on AF metal on Delta.com. Lately, I cannot find even a single date. Does that mean, I have to call to book this route, or this redemption is no longer possible?

      • This is just a function of waning partner awards. From everything I’ve seen over the past few months, Air France-KLM is releasing fewer of its flights to Delta and other SkyTeam partners bookings.

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