United Will Start Flying To Tahiti Next Year!

Bora Bora Airport, Photo Credit: AJK, via DDF
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Update: This route is now official. Flights from San Francisco to Papeete will operate on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 2:45pm and arrive at 9:25pm. Flights from Papeete to San Francisco will operate on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 11:45pm and arrive at 9:50am the next day.

Those flights are timed to connect to United’s nonstop 787 service from San Francisco to Paris.

Unfortunately the late arrival in Papeete means that you will have to overnight there as there are no later flights to connect to other islands in French Polynesia. That’s a shame.

United teased a new 787 route announcement yesterday on Twitter and today a United employee confirmed on Flyertalk that the new 787-8 route will be San Francisco to Papeete, Tahiti/PPT. He reports that the route will start on 10/30/18.

From Papeete you can take a ferry or short flight to the beautiful island of Moorea, to the stunning resorts of Bora Bora, or to the many other islands of French Polynesia.

Tickets are not yet for sale, but a flight from the US to Tahiti will cost 35K United miles in coach or 70K United in business class each way. You can also transfer AMEX or Starpoints to ANA and book a round-trip ticket for 75K miles in coach or 120K miles in business class. ANA requires round-trip bookings, so you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of using American or Delta miles one-way to fly on their partner airlines and fly one-way on United.

The announcement comes just after French Blue, a France based low cost carrier, announced that they will fly twice weekly from Paris to Papeete via San Francisco starting on May 11.

Currently only Los Angeles has nonstop flights from the US mainland to Papeete with service on Air France and Air Tahiti Nui.

That’s a lot of new capacity in the market and I wonder how the hotels will be able handle it. I’d guess that already pricey rates climb even higher than that are now.

Bora Bora and the Maldives are both are famous for luxury resorts with incredible overwater bungalows. I’ve been to the Maldives twice, but I’ve yet to go to Bora Bora. That’s been partially due to how easy it is to find amazing business and first class awards to the Maldives, the short lived award bargains for hotels like the S. Regis Maldives that I’ve taken advantage of, and the ideal Maldives weather taking place during winter in the US.

Bora Bora has its least rainy weather during the US summer, which makes it somewhat less attractive to me, though its definitely on my bucket list as most people that I know that have been to Bora Bora and the Maldives seem to prefer Bora Bora.

As for point hotel options, IHG has 2 properties in Bora Bora, SPG has 2 properties, and Hilton has 1 hotel there.

IHG has hotels in Papeete and Moorea and Hilton has a Moorea property as well.

Papeete even has a Jewish community and an Orthodox shul, though unfortunately it’s not within walking distance of the Intercontinental Tahiti. There’s little information about it online, so I’d love to hear about it if you’ve been there.

Have you been to French Polynesia? Do you have plans to go in the future?

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30 Comments On "United Will Start Flying To Tahiti Next Year!"

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Great news!!! Expect me back there in the summer of 2019 🙂

Though ihg availability with points is extremely scarce in BOB at either of their hotels.


Any cheaper point alternatives? SQ? AC? A3?


RT flying on United using SQ is 110/195/255 // using AC is 90/135(Y+)/160/220 // using A3 is 100/150/200


This is amazing news! My wife and I wanted to go for our ten year anniversary but since a star alliance airline didn’t fly there we couldn’t go!


As if it were possible to find space before this new route. Is it going to be “real” Polaris?


Welp, time to take the hit and visit a BRM for the 100k cards


Any way to make this a free stopover on an award to, say, Australia?

In the “old days,” Continental used to stop in PPT on the way to Auckland and Melbourne. Off-peak, you could get 2 coach tickets for a total of 75,000 miles, with the free PPT stopover. I think PPT is about the only place in the world that’s gotten harder to get to “for free” in the past 30 years!


From an award availability only standpoint I wonder if this will free up any HI award space which I’ve found to be abysmal.

y k

You’re gonna fly a 2-2-2 configuration on a 787? I mean even 1-2-1 is “cramped” for that terribly narrow aircraft.
Oh, actually, it’s not El Al. So it’s fine. Not sure why I was confused…


We went for our honeymoon back in 2011. We spent two shabbos in Tahiti. There was a French shul that had minyanim and I think even a mikvah. The were very nice and one family hosted us for meals. There was a hotel they recommended near the shul that was a nice hotel for a downtown hotel. We also spent a few days in the Hilton Moorea, the Hilton bora bora, s regis bora bora and the le meridian Tahiti.


dan which portfoilio has the nicest hotel in bora bora your opinion even thought you havent been there? spg ihg or hilton thanks


I found award spaces but it’s 80k in coach and 175k in biz. I hope some will drop to 35k in coach or 70k in biz

Rachel A

What can I do about kosher food in Bora Bora? Can we bring food with us or do any hotels have any kosher options?