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Travel to French Polynesia with points & miles

This post is also available in: FR

Find out in this article how to travel to French Polynesia with your miles and how to stay there with your points to save a lot of money on your trip!

French Polynesia with points & miles

French Polynesia is a region of the world that makes you dream just like the Maldives, the Seychelles, Mauritius or Bali. But unlike these 4 other terrestrial paradises, it was, until recently, still difficult and expensive to get to French Polynesia from Canada.

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The new flight between San Francisco and Papeete with United

This was without counting the new flight that United has just opened between San Francisco (SFO) and Papeete (PPT).

united tahiti news

And since this American airline is a member of Star Alliance, that means you can book flights with your Aeroplan miles!

united star alliance

Here are the flight times:

Flight Origin Destination Departure Arrival
UA115 San Francisco SFO Tahiti / Papetee PPT 14h45 21h25
UA114 Tahiti / Papetee PPT San Francisco SFO 23h45 09h50 (+1)

This will be operated year-round by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner:

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Boeing 787 – Credit: United

The cost in Aeroplan Miles

The cost in Aeroplan Miles for this flight in the South Pacific region, departing from Canada / USA, is :

Cabin One way Round trip
Economy 45,000 miles 90,000 miles
Business 80,000 miles 160,000 miles

Let me warn you right away: there is very little chance of seeing business class tickets for this flight. However, at the time of writing this article, there are a plethora of economy class tickets available with Aeroplan miles.

Round trip from Canada to Papeete with Aeroplan Miles

Here is an example for a March 2019 round trip from San Francisco – 90,000 miles + $74.40 tax:

sfo ppt

Why look for the flight from San Francisco in the first place? In order to find the availability: rarer on the SFO-PPT flight than YUL-SFO for example.

Here is an example of a fare from Montreal – 90,000 miles and $220 in taxes (plus carrier surcharge on Air Canada):

yul ppt

Multi-destination flight with a stop in San Francisco and/or Vancouver

Due to the length of the trip, we advise you to try to make a multi-destination flight by stopping en route. On this international flight, you are entitled to 2 stops in addition to your destination.

Here is an example with only 1 stop of a few days in San Francisco on the way there – 90,000 Aeroplan miles and $268:

yul sfo ppt

You could also add a stop on the way back, such as Vancouver. At that point, you will need to find availability for each segment and then call Aeroplan to set up this type of trip:

yul sfo ppt yvr

A new option for a mini-tour of the world!

And as Jean-Francois P. mentions in the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia”, this new route opens up a whole new opportunity for a mini world tour!

This type of trip would also cost 90,000 miles in economy and 160,000 miles in business class (with a stop in Papeete, a destination in Sydney and another stop in Singapore for example):

yul sfo ppt akl syd sin zrh

Don’t forget that you can also use other programs as part of your stops like British Airways Executive Club and Avios miles between Sydney and Auckland on Qantas or Latam!

Aeroplan Mileage earning cards

The cards that make it easy to earn Aeroplan Miles in large numbers are the American Express Membership Rewards cards:

Please note: The American Express Cobalt? Card earns Membership Rewards points that are not directly transferable to Aeroplan Miles. That’s why we don’t present it as a direct option.

Hotels in French Polynesia with the points

It’s not all about getting an “almost” free ticket with miles! But you still have to be able to afford the stay on site, which is very expensive! Fortunately, there are options here too with Marriott Bonvoy hotel points.

There are 2 hotels belonging to the Marriott Bonvoy program in French Polynesia:

The St. St. Regis Bora Bora Resort with Marriott Bonvoy points

The most luxurious of all, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is classified as Category 7 through the end of 2018 in the Marriott Bonvoy program. That is, it is available for only 60,000 points instead of over CA$1,200 per night!

the st regis borabora marriott

This is typically the type of hotel one thinks of when one thinks of Bora Bora:

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The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – Credit: Marriott

Don’t forget: for all Marriott Bonvoy hotels paid with points, the fifth night is free!

Le Méridien Bora Bora with Marriott Bonvoy points

The second hotel, Le Méridien Bora Bora, is also classified as a Category 7 until the end of 2018 in the Marriott Bonvoy program. It is therefore also available for only 60,000 points instead of more than CA$700 per night!

le meridien borabora marriott

Another landscape to dream about!

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Le Méridien Bora Bora

Beginning January 1, 2019, both of these hotels will be classified in the new Category 8 (85,000 points per night) and will be impacted by the high season (100,000 points) or low season (70,000 points) rate. Given the destination, it’s a safe bet that the rate will be closer to 100,000 points per night than 70,000!

This is when you realize the great value of Marriott Bonvoy points in order to obtain this type of hotel!

Marriott Bonvoy points cards

The guides to read when traveling in French Polynesia

The Ulysses travel guides have just released a new book: 50 dream itineraries in all seasons: In the sun, in which a chapter is dedicated to French Polynesia.

to the sun ulysse

Otherwise, you can consult
all other publications about French Polynesia on this page
!

Bottom Line

All this was made possible by the addition of this flight between San Francisco and Papeete. Before, you had to either pay for your ticket or use Flying Blue miles to fly from Los Angeles to Papeete (and the availability was not very good).

This post is also available in: FR

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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