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Starting October 30, 2018, United Airlines will launch a new non-stop flight from San Francisco to Tahiti. This is exciting because it gives folks traveling to Tahiti or Bora Bora another option besides departing from Los Angeles!
And the best part is you can redeem United Airlines miles to book an award flight on the new route. Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. So folks who collect my favorite flexible points can use rewards to save money on flights to Tahiti!
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet seen low-level Saver award seats available on the new route. This means you’ll have to book an “Everyday” award seat, which costs a lot of miles! But if you have a large stash of United Airlines miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you might not mind using them if Tahiti or Bora Bora is high on your travel bucket list!
There are alternative ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to save money on flights to Tahiti, too.
You can follow this guide to booking flights to Tahiti using Chase Ultimate Rewards points or United Airlines miles.
Redeem United Airlines Miles for an Award Flight to Tahiti
A nice aspect of booking a United Airlines award flight to Tahiti is you’ll pay the same number of miles regardless of your US departure city. So folks on the East Coast can book an award that includes travel to San Francisco AND Tahiti.
From the mainland US, Alaska, and Canada, here’s how much it costs to book a one-way award flight to Tahiti:
- 35,000 United Airlines miles for a Saver coach award seat
- 70,000 United Airlines miles for a Saver Business Class award seat
- 80,000 United Airlines miles for an Everyday coach award seat
- 175,000 United Airlines miles for an Everyday Business Class award seat
Remember, last year United Airlines replaced “Standard” awards with “Everyday” awards. You’ll pay more to book this type of award ticket. But you’ll always find available award seats as long as a seat on the flight is still for sale.
I mentioned earlier that I have NOT been able to find Saver award seats on the new non-stop route. That’s likely because this a new seasonal route (operates from October 30, 2018, to March 28, 2019) to a very popular destination! And because it’s a new route, the airline is likely trying to sell as many tickets as possible before making Saver award seats available.
Folks wanting to fly Business Class to Tahiti might consider using the United Airlines waitlist strategy. You can book an Everyday coach award seat. Then, waitlist for a Business Class Saver award seat. You’ll actually get a refund of miles if a Business Class Saver award seat becomes available because it’s 10,000 miles cheaper!
Don’t forget United Airlines never imposes fuel surcharges on award flights. You’ll only pay ~$60 in taxes & fees for a round-trip award flight to Tahiti!
Here’s a guide to booking a United Airlines award flight to Tahiti!
Step 1. Enter Your Desired Travel Dates
First, you’ll want to enter your departure city and desired travel dates. Also, when searching for flights to Tahiti, you’ll want to enter “Papeete” as your destination or airport code “PPT.” Papeete is capital of French Polynesia.
Remember, this is a seasonal flight with the first departure scheduled for October 30, 2018. So you won’t be able to book this flight if you’re traveling before then. Also, keep in mind, this non-stop flight only operates 3 days per week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday). Return flights back to the US are on the same days of the week.
Step 2. Enter Your Desired Travel Dates
Next, you can select the award flight option that works best for you. In this example, the only options available are an Everyday coach or Business Class award seat.
Step 3. Enter Passenger Details and Pay Award Flight Taxes & Fees
After you select an award flight, you just enter your passenger details like you normally would. Then, pay the ~$60 in taxes & fees associated with the award flight and you’re all set!
Alternative Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Flights to Tahiti
1. Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Flying Blue
United Airlines is NOT the only Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner that can get you to Tahiti. You can also transfer points to Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program for Air France (and KLM). It’s easy and free to sign-up for a Flying Blue account.
Air France has a non-stop flight to Tahiti, which departs from Los Angeles. Here’s the cost of a one-way award flight:
- 30,000 Flying Blue miles in coach
- 60,000 Flying Blue miles in Premium Economy
- 75,000 Flying Blue miles in Business Class
Keep in mind, the above prices are for low-level Saver award seats. You’ll pay significantly more if you have to book Standard award seats.
You’ll also pay more in taxes & fees for an Air France award flight to Tahiti than you would with United Airlines. For example, a sample round-trip award flight I found costs 60,000 Flying Blue miles plus ~$184 in taxes & fees.
2. Book Flights to Tahiti Through the Chase Travel Portal
If you collect Chase Ultimate Rewards points, be sure to check if you can use fewer points booking flights to Tahiti through the Chase travel portal.
Remember, when you book this way you can avoid blackout dates! And you’ll earn frequent flyer miles at the same time!
Plus, the number of points you’ll pay for flights through the Chase travel portal is based on the cash cost of the flight. So depending on the fare price, you can potentially save points instead transferring points to an airline partner.
For instance, earlier I showed an example round-trip United Airlines award flight to Tahiti, which costs 160,000 United Airlines miles. But you can book the same flight through the Chase travel portal for much less. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get the best deal because points linked to the card are worth 1.5 cents each. So you can use ~100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book the ~$1,503 fare.
Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points or United Airlines Miles
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending Requirements||Our Review|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Ink Business Preferred|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card||$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Ink Business Unlimited|
|Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card||$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Ink Business Cash|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||3% cash back (3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash back||Full Chase Freedom Unlimited review|
|Chase Freedom||$150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account||Full review of the Chase Freedom|
Folks looking to fly to Tahiti with United Airlines miles can also earn rewards directly with these cards:
|Card Name||Sign-Up Bonus||Annual Fee|
|United Explorer Card||For a limited time, earn up to 65,000 bonus miles; 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months your account is open.||$95 (waived for the first year)|
|United Explorer Business Card||Up to 100,000 United Airlines miles:|
- 50,000 bonus United Airlines miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within first three months of account opening
- 50,000 more United Airlines miles after spending $25,000 total on purchases within first six months of account opening
|United Club Card||50,000 United Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||$450|
|United Club Business Card||50,000 United Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||$450|
|United TravelBank Card||$150 in TravelBank cash after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||None|
And check out my series on all the ways to earn and use United Airlines miles!
Beginning October 30, 2018, United Airlines will launch a new non-stop seasonal flight from San Francisco to Tahiti. And you can currently book award seats using miles! Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen low-level Saver award seats for this route, yet. But it’s possible they’ll release some as it gets closer to the departure date.
Or you might consider transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program of Air France. The airline has a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti.
Lastly, folks with Chase Ultimate Rewards points can potentially use fewer points booking flights to Tahiti through the Chase travel portal, depending on the cash cost of the fare. And when you book this way, you can avoid blackout dates!