Redeem American Miles For Air Tahiti Nui Premium Economy

Filed Under: Air Tahiti Nui, American

Historically the “big three” US airlines haven’t let you redeem miles for premium economy on partner airlines. Presumably that’s at least partly because in the past they haven’t offered their own premium economy cabins, so they also didn’t allow those redemptions on partner airlines.

We’re continuing to see positive developments on that front, at least with American AAdvantage, as premium economy awards have now become possible on a second partner airline.

American Airlines’ Premium Economy Rollout

Over the past couple of years American Airlines has installed premium economy throughout a majority of their long haul fleet, including their A330s, 777s, and 787s.

American has rolled these cabins out faster than Delta and United, and overall it seems like the product has been well received.

As of the beginning of 2019 it’s possible to redeem AAdvantage miles for travel in American premium economy. The catch is that it rarely represents a good value, as American’s premium economy award pricing is typically steep.

You Can Already Redeem Miles For British Airways Premium Economy

In late October I wrote about how American Airlines published a┬ápartner award chart for premium cabin award redemptions. Here’s pricing for travel originating in the US:

Initially premium economy awards have just been available on British Airways, though now another airline has been added.

Redeem Miles For Air Tahiti Nui Premium Economy

American has now added premium economy award redemptions on a second airline, and surprisingly that’s Air Tahiti Nui (to me it’s surprising since you’d think they would start with their closest joint venture partners, but rather their second partner isn’t even in oneworld).

While Air Tahiti Nui is generally quite stingy with business class awards (aside from brief periods where they have a fair amount of award space), by comparison they have plenty of premium cabin award availability to & from Tahiti. That’s true both in terms of the number of flights with availability, and also the number of seats per flight.

A one-way premium economy award between the US and Tahiti costs 62,500 miles. By comparison an economy award costs 40,000 miles, and a business class award costs 80,000 miles.

So while this wouldn’t be my favorite use of American miles in the world in terms of maximizing the flight experience, the reality is that it’s a good option for those looking to go to Tahiti, given how hard it can be to find award seats. At the end of the day premium economy is still significantly more comfortable than economy.

Air Tahiti Nui’s 787 premium economy

Bottom Line

Air Tahiti Nui has become the second AAdvantage partner on which you can redeem miles for premium economy, after British Airways.

While 65,000 miles one-way in premium economy between the US and Tahiti is hardly a bargain, realistically this is a good option to be aware of if you’re looking to travel to Tahiti, given the lack of decent options otherwise.

Anyone plan to redeem American miles for Air Tahiti Nui premium economy?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. Sorry I don’t get it… isn’t 65K one way for an 8 hr flight a total rip off? You can spend 70K to go QR business to DOH, CX business to HKG, EY business to AUH (need I say more…)? Seems really expensive.

  2. Just got back from Papeete . Flew the same airline. There were 8 business class seats available. We tried to use our miles for an upgrade and were refused because we were told American was not an alliance member with Air Tahiti nui. We contacted AMERICAN and were told they had no control over ATN seats. The seats were never used. What a shame!!!!

  3. @Sam
    You’re correct, if those are your destinations.

    But on points, getting to French Polynesia is pretty difficult. And your examples above don’t get you to French Polynesia.

    And by opening up redemptions for Premium Economy, that benefits everyone – including less competition for business-class redemptions. Considering there simply aren’t many options for spending AAdvantage miles to get to Tahiti in a premium cabin, every non-economy seat is welcome.

  4. Very helpful. Have a biz award from PPT To Asia via AKL. All segs in biz except the PPT to AKL which was in coach. Agents had no clue how to do this, but I walked them through. Booking Class is “I” and for connecting flights the system is pricing as separate awards. IT fixed it. So prem econ is better than econ. Hoping still for biz to open up. Thanks to you and Gary for covering this.

  5. I recently paid 57,500 miles for a J redemption from CDG-LAX-DEN with TN on the transatlantic segment, and AA domestic. I frequently see this option on AA, so what am I missing with the 80k mentioned? Do TN flights price lower if you add an AA segment?

  6. Papette IS French Polynesia @Jon. These will not get you to MOOREA or BORA BORA, which are either an easy ferry or $50 flight or a $300 flight.

  7. “Anyone plan to redeem American miles for Air Tahiti Nui premium economy?”

    On the surface it might seem like a nice thing but given French Bee’s low low fares to Tahiti right now it doesn’t seem like a good use of miles. True their A350 configuration is not as great as the 787

  8. @Lucky can you please look into AA shutting down accounts of people who have earned too many citi signup bonuses? this includes canceling award tickets for people in the middle of their round trips, stranding them abroad.

  9. Air Tahiti Nui code share with Qantas. Flew there and back on QF flight numbers (from Australia). Managed to get status credits and points as it was QF flight number. Did not fly on one Qantas plane though – Emirates to/From Auckland and Air Tahiti Nui to/from Auckland.

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