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United started teasing us a bit yesterday on social media that they had a big new international route announcement coming today out of San Francisco using the Dreamliner. It was hoped by some that this would be a nonstop flight to Tahiti…and it was!
This seasonal new route will start up on October 30, 2018, and the roughly eight-hour flight to Papeete, Tahiti, will be flown three days per week using the 788 Dreamliner. French Polynesia has been a pretty tough destination to get to from the United States using miles due to limited flight options, so this is big time news if somewhere like Bora Bora has been on your travel wish list.
Pending government approval, this flight will leave San Francisco at 2:45 in the afternoon and arrive in Tahiti at 8:25 in the evening (9:25PM after daily savings kicks in). The return flight leaves Tahiti at 11:45 at night and arrives back in San Francisco at 10:50 the next morning (9:50AM after daily savings).
Flights are being loaded on United.com as we speak, though it is still acting a bit glitchy for me. Right now economy awards start at 80,000 miles each way and paid tickets seem to start at about $700 each way for most of the few dates that are available thus far. Business class awards currently start at 175,000 miles each way for an everyday award.
Assuming saver awards become available, they should price each direction at 35,000 miles for economy and 70,000 miles for business class. Only time will tell how available business class award space will be on this new route, but I would bet on economy saver awards eventually being pretty widely available based on how United prices awards on other routes.
It’s time to brush up on the hotels available using points in that area, such as the Conrad Bora Bora from 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night for a 1,000 square foot suite!
Bora Bora has been on my own travel wish list for a while, so I’m thrilled that it is now more within range thanks to this new forthcoming United nonstop flight to Tahiti from San Francisco!
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