Although you'll find that getting to Tahiti isn't the cheapest, the adventure over tends to be both easy and straightforward. This is because there are only a few airlines that fly into Papeete's Faa'a International Airport, which serves as a hub for the entire South Pacific. Regardless of which direction you are coming from, you'll be arriving on a huge wide-body jet such as a 747, so even the coach seats tend to be roomy and comfortable, which is a nice thing to look forward to.

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Coming from North America

Specifically from the United States there are only two airports with flights to Tahiti. Los Angeles serves as the more popular and used one, but Honolulu also provides options for those who might stopover in Hawaii along the way.


Los Angeles to Tahiti

8 hours 15 minutes each way

 

Tahiti is south of the equator, but in the Western Hemisphere, it sits in the UTC-10 time zone. Because of this, you’ll find that from November through mid March there’s only a 3-hour time difference from Los Angeles, and the rest of the year (during Daylight Saving’s Time, which isn’t in affect in Tahiti) there’s only a 2-hour time difference.


Air Tahiti Nui

The national airline of Tahiti operates a few different flights per day between Los Angeles and Papeete, which makes it so that you can select which one works the best with your travel plans, especially if you are flying from the east coast.

 

The airline has codeshare agreements with American Airlines and Delta Airlines, so if you live somewhere in the US or Canada other than Los Angeles, you can book one ticket starting on either of those airlines and then on to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui. This helps to simplify the planning process by a good deal.

 

The portion between Los Angeles and Tahiti usually runs around $700 to $900 round trip by itself, and you can add between US$100 and US$300 if you are starting other than in Los Angeles. The high season runs from June through October, and there are frequent fare sales during the rest of the year, so keep on the lookout for those.


Air France

Air France has one flight per day between Los Angeles to Tahiti, also on a very large plane.

 

The airline is part of the SkyTeam Alliance so you can fly to Los Angeles on Delta Airlines, or through a codeshare agreement on Alaska Airlines, before changing planes for the flight to Tahiti itself.


Hawaiian Airlines

Those who are stopping in Oahu, Hawaii on the way will be happy to know that Hawaiian Airlines flies from Honolulu to Tahiti, and also connects Honolulu with all the major cities in the western states of the United States. With this said, the bad news is that the Tahiti flights only run a few days per week, and this is strongly dependent on season, so you’d be lucky if they fit your schedule perfectly.


Coming from Europe

Tahiti and the rest of French Polynesia are very popular with Europeans, and particularly so with the French. Air Tahiti Nui flies daily from Paris to Los Angeles, and then of course on to Tahiti from there. This will often be the best deal if you are leaving from Paris, but for anyone else you’ll probably find better deals starting from London, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam to Los Angeles, and then continuing on according to the flights mentioned above.


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    1. Srijan,

      My best budget recommendation in the Maldives continues to be Meeru Island. It has excellent and large water villas (most with Jacuzzis) at a very fair price. It’s also a larger island so they offer just about everything that all the other islands do, yet it never feels crowded. -Roger