This Flight to Tokyo Comes With a Free Stopover in Tahiti
07.11.2023 - 15:37
/ Bora Bora
One of the best flight deals between the US and the South Pacific has just restarted for the first time since before the pandemic.
On October 30, Air Tahiti Nui relaunched its flights from Papeete, Tahiti to Tokyo, a route that now comes with a free stopover program for connecting travelers. For US tourists, this means they can fly to Japan from one of the airline’s gateways on the West Coast—either Seattle or Los Angeles—and add on a free three-day stay in French Polynesia.
Ideal for honeymooners or other vacationers looking to extend their travels, the resumed route operates twice weekly with the leg from Papeete to Tokyo flying on Mondays and Thursdays, and flights from Tokyo to Papeete running on Tuesdays and Fridays. (Air Tahiti Nui flies into Tokyo’s Narita Airport.)
Travelers can add the stopover on either the departure or return segment of their journey. Since the airline allows passengers to stay in the islands for up to three days, travelers can choose to spend their time on the islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Moorea. But remember: The international airport is located on Tahiti, so visiting another island would require taking a ferry or a short inter-island flight.
All-inclusive round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete to Tokyo, with checked bags and alcoholic drinks, starts at $1,629. Keep in mind that this flight is seasonal—it doesn’t run during summer and flights are expected to pause between May 8 and October 26, 2024.
By and large, airline stopover deals are a good option for travelers to wring more value from expensive international airfares. Typically organized with the help of local tourism boards, stopover programs aim to get travelers to stay a few days in the city where the airline is based before moving on to their final destinations. The airlines and tourism boards benefit by sweetening otherwise cumbersome flight connections and giving new groups of tourists a taste of their destinations—in the process, travelers score “free” airfare for a mini-trip.
The programs can sometimes include free nights in an upscale hotel or discounted sightseeing tours. With Air Tahiti Nui’s stopover, however, travelers are only allotted extra time in Tahiti and must arrange hotel stays at an additional expense. But given the cost of flights to French Polynesia from the US, the stopover could still add plenty of extra value to your vacation.
Since reopening its borders to international travelers in Fall 2022, Japan has been one of the top destinations among US travelers for the last year. Not only has it become one of the hottest honeymoon destinations, but travel search sites also have reported off-the-charts interest in the country from tourists planning trips: This fall, Kayak has seen