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Airfare from LAX to Papeete

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Jul 18th, 2012, 03:51 PM
  #1
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Airfare from LAX to Papeete

Hello,

We were thinking of a vacation to Tahiti. We are a family of four (2 kids of age 5 and 8). Our mileage plan would cover 2 tickets to Papeete and I was hoping to purchase two tickets for the kids. The expedia site lists prices starting from $2000 per person for LAX to Papeete roundtrip so we are looking at 4K for airfare alone, even with two free tickets. Is that typical price range for Papeete? Could someone suggest other options, websites? Perhaps buying a vacation package might be a bit cheaper?

Thanks for helping with this.
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Jul 18th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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That is expensive. But you didn't give much info, such as when you are going, if you were intending to fly economy or business, what mileage program you were using, or why you have decided on Papeete (instead of other warm tropical destinations that are more economical and easier to get to).

Perhaps the cost is high because you are not buying your ticket enough in advance. You pay higher prices if you do not book far in advance--unless you luck out on a last-minute deal, which is not likely in the case of French Polynesia. You also pay more for high season. If you have not yet booked your mileage tickets, I think you will find this harder, too, if you do not do so enough in advance because mileage tickets book up early for popular destinations.

You could check the Air Tahiti Nui, Air New Zealand, Qantas, or the Air France websites. I also like Travelzoo.

I have been to French Polynesia twice and it is beautiful and the water is lovely, but the flights from LAX tend to land very late in Papeete. Then, unless Papeete is your final destination, you will likely have to catch the ferry to Moorea the next morning or catch a flight to one of the other islands. This might be tiring for your children. French Polynesia is also expensive. How is your French? You won't need it so much on Tahiti or Moorea, but it is good to know a little French as it is the "official" language.

If you are looking for a tropical Pacific Island/Oceania destination, and you are not interested in Hawaii, myabe consider the Cook Islands. Air New Zealand flies there at least once a week from LAX (the flight takes 10 hours, but you don't need to travel beyond Rarotonga, if you don't want to). It is family friendly, not as expensive as French Polynesia, and English is the lingua franca. I have also been to the Cook Islands twice; it is smaller than French Polynesia but also beautiful.
http://www.airnewzealand.com/cheap-a...e-cook-islands

Or just put off your trip to FP until fares drop, because they will.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 12:00 AM
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If your mileage is redeemable on Air Pacific, then you could also consider Fiji as a islands destination in the Pacific/Oceania. Air Pacific has direct flights from LAX to Nadi.
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Jul 19th, 2012, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for your responses Diamantia. I was looking in late August. I checked Sept and Nov also. I did find find lower prices in the range of $1300 to $1500 but they were not on Air France. My miles are redeemable on Air France only and would want the whole family travel in the same flight.

I also found package deals with which 2 kids could fly free with two paying adults (adult ticket is $1600-$1700). SO I can get two free tickets either with that package or with my mileage plan.

My mileage plan would cover tickets for all four of us to Hawaii. So air travel to Hawaii would actually be free. From what I have heard and looking at the pictures on web, however, French Polynesia just seem a lot more prettier than Hawaii.

My other option is Caribbean (I can get four free tickets to Caribbean as well) and I checked USVI and BVI but no seats available until May of next year I didnt check other islands in Caribbean though but USVI/BVI is my top choice there.

I mentioned Papeete because I thought all international flights go to Papeete. Our final destination could be some other island. I havent done that research yet. How much does it cost to travel to other islands from Papeete?

The cost of accomodation in French Polynesia seems comparable to Hawaii. Yet, it seems transportation to French Polynesia would cost me an extra $3500 to $4000 compared to Hawaii. That seems too much for just one destination.

I am guessing transportation cost to Cook Islands or Fiji would cost the same as French Polynesia.

As for my French, I have been to Paris so I guess I have little French in me
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Jul 20th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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I have only been to the islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii, though I am currently planning a trip to the Big Island, which, along with parts of Kauai, seems to be awash in tropical wilderness and natural beauty (I will soon find out). In French Polynesia, I have only been to the islands of Moorea, Tahiti, and Huahine (and landed on Bora Bora), three islands that are vastly different.

Based on my limited experiences, I would have to agree that FP is relatively unspoilt: less crowded, commercialized, or developed than most of Hawaii. You won't find the large, spread-out or high-rise hotels, garish shopping malls, or freeways that you find on Oahu, or large condominium vacation rental developments that you find on parts of Maui. In FP, you won't find droves of package tourists attending enormous luaus. The cruise ships land in FP, but overall it is more exclusive, as it is harder to get to, more expensive and French-speaking, which scares off some English-speakers.

I believe there are ways to get away from ugly commercial development and enjoy the abundant natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. There are many folks on the US forum that are Hawaii experts, who can recommend extraordinarily beautiful and serene, out-of-the-way places there.

You seem to be drawn to and curious about French Polynesia, so I think you should try and go there, just put off your trip until you can find cheaper fares (it seems you already have) and can better plan. Late August doesn't give you much lead time--keep in in mind that folks from New Zealand (and sometimes Australia) visit FP at this time to escape winter, so July and August are high season--you pay top dollar and good accommodations book up fast.

Here are some websites with free basic info on travel there:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/tahiti-and-french-polynesia
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/frenchpolynesia/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g2...hen.To.Go.html
http://www.janeresture.com/tahiti/index.htm

Regarding domestic flights in FP. They are more expensive than inter-island flights in Hawaii. But Moorea is just a short ferry ride away from Papeete. I don't know if this chart is up-to-date:
http://www.etahititravel.com/flights...icflights.aspx

Have you considered Latin America or Southeast Asia? Lots of good deals to warm tropical places with beaches and/or rainforests there.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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I forgot to add: There are a lot more vacation rentals in Hawaii besides condominiums. You can rent a house or cottage by the sea or in the mountains that could easily accommodate a family of four. This also gives you the option of cooking for yourselves (I know kids can be picky eaters). You can shop for groceries at Costco, farmers' markets, or supermarkets. This is a good vacation rental site:
http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/hawaii

Vacation rentals in FP are not as plentiful. Though a friend of mine who has a vacation home in Las Vegas did a home exchange with a family who lives in a gorgeous beach home in Huahine. He really lucked out!
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