Air New Zealand to Tahiti: In Coach to Paradise


The Air New Zealand Auckland Papeete Flight Review is part of the Tahiti Triumph Trip Report. It covers the following cities:

See the Picture Preview here and see how this $60,000 trip cost $1999 here. Be sure to check out TPOL’s Map, the best feature of the blog.

There are worse things in life than flying coach. At the moment, I can’t think of any of them. I did everything I could to get United, Air New Zealand, and the island nation of French Polynesia to upgrade my ticket from coach to business for the AKL-PPT-AKL legs. The original ticket from PVG-AKL-PPT-AKL-PVG was in business but Air New Zealand would not release any business class seats to United points travelers.

When I boarded the plane, the business class was empty. As I walked by the deserted business class cabin and dropped my head in resignation, I came to the realization that this coach ordeal was a small price to pay in exchange for ten days in paradise. Furthermore, the flight was only five hours long so I’m sure I could manage. (see How to Survive a 17 Hour Flight)

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Whatever, it’s a 767 anyway

The Seat 

767’s are old and cramped. It’s hard for me to distinguish one economy class seat from another. This one was certainly more spacious than Allegiant but not particularly comfortable.

The Entertainment 

My ticket said ‘The Works’ which meant that I was able to watch movies for free. So at least I had that going for me. In terms of the selection, there were a few new Hollywood releases and the usual airplane flicks. The rest of the time I started at the flight information, giddy that I would soon be in Tahiti.

AKL-PPT time travel
AKL-PPT time travel

The Food 

When I flew EgyptAir in coach, the food was great. This wasn’t the case on this flight. The saving grace was free New Zealand wine.

Here are the pictures:

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Or beef?


I did it! I survived and am a much better person for it. Overall, I was more annoyed that the business class seats were empty than I was at having to fly coach. I’m sure this flight didn’t have the Air New Zealand PVG-AKL burger on it but I would have appreciated the service nonetheless.



  1. This really told me nothing about flying coach on Air New Zealand, which I’m quite interested in. How did the food taste? Free booze? How was the leg room? What kind of movie selection?

    • The food was awful, there was free wine, the leg room was typical, and the movies had some new blockbusters along with the familiar airplane flicks. I didn’t think anyone actually cared on these points blogs about coach haa.

  2. 5 hours? Really? Sheesh. I won’t even book premium classes from the US-Europe since I’d rather go more often than in style. I do make sure to go on planes with decent IFE, though.

    • I agree. It has to be more than 10 hours to make the points worth it. Here, the AKL-PPT was part of the bigger award business class ticket PVG-AKL-PPT-PVG, they just wouldn’t release seats for this specific portion.

  3. There are worse things in life than flying coach. At the moment, I can’t think of any of them.

    I can. Reading this blog! Hahahaha

  4. It seems kind of petty for NZ to fly with empty seats in J rather than offering the seats to partners. Five hours in economy isn’t too bad, but the annoyance factor for them being unreasonably cheap is substantial.

    • Five hours I can ride in the middle or sit on a crate. Iceland was five as was this terrible flight to LAS. But yes, it’s the principle.

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