Flow­ing bub­bles, French food

Air Tahiti Nui’s Po­er­ava busi­ness class ser­vice from Auck­land to Papeete makes the near five-hour flight whiz by like a dream, says

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

The bub­bles were flow­ing within min­utes and food and top-ups were fast and fre­quent.

Den­nett. The air­line

Air Tahiti Nui.

The route The loy­alty plan

Club Tiare pro­gramme.

The seat stuff Bag­gage al­lowance Kelly

Auck­land to Papeete, Tahiti, French Poly­ne­sia.

The plane

Air­bus A343 Jet.

TIme in the air

The sched­uled flight is four hours and 50 min­utes, though tail winds short­ened that du­ra­tion by some min­utes on my flight.

Up the back or at the pointy end

It can’t get more first-class than row one, and a seat by the win­dow to boot. Very spa­cious and came with a blan­ket, eye mask, and socks. I’m told this is one of the older planes so the seats are not new but they are com­fort­able, and come with their own en­ter­tain­ment sets. Two pieces, up to 32kg each, for busi­ness class.

Com­fort fac­tor

I fig­ured with an early evening flight and a short flight time, there would be no need for me to lie about. But I did, and it was fan­tas­tic. The seat al­most fully re­clines, and it’s roomy enough to cross my legs while sit­ting up­right and watch­ing TV.

That’s en­ter­tain­ment

Six­teen movies, 40 mu­sic al­bums, 15 video games, and ded­i­cated tele­vi­sion and doc­u­men­tary chan­nels. Even more fab­u­lous- there was a dig­i­tal magazine col­lec­tion.

The ser­vice

Fan­tas­tic. Board­ing was ob­vi­ously quick, the bub­bles were flow­ing within min­utes and food and top-ups were fast and fre­quent. The staff were re­laxed and help­ful.

Feed­ing time

The meals have a strong French in­flu­ence. A smoked salmon starter went down a treat with the bub­bles. That was quickly fol­lowed by roast chicken and steamed veg­eta­bles, potato cro­quette, more smoked salmon, prawns, salad, cheese­cake, and my per­sonal favourite – cheese and crack­ers with quince paste. Di­etary re­quire­ments can be ac­com­mo­dated with ad­vance no­tice.

The ver­dict

Be­ing able to lie back and snooze be­tween bub­bles, food, and read­ing my book was noth­ing short of won­der­ful. I ar­rived in Tahiti re­laxed and ready for my next ad­ven­ture, in­stead of tired and ir­ri­tated.

Fre­quency

Air Tahiti Nui flies be­tween Papeete and Auck­land three times a week, it code shares with Air New Zealand for a fur­ther two flights. See air­tahit­inui.co.nz.

The writer flew cour­tesy of Air Tahiti Nui.

Air Tahiti Nui flies di­rect from Auck­land to Papeete, three times a week.

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