Air Tahiti Nui customer review
AKL-LAX-AKL (via PPT) First Class. The service onboard is outstanding and pretty difficult to fault. The crew could not have been more professional or pleasant. Food AKL-PPT and PPT-LAX would have been at home in 5 star restaurant (less good on the return but still acceptable). Seats although first generation lie flat were comfortable and all features worked. There is no screen between passengers but I did not feel an invasion of personal space. Boarding on all legs was efficient and every leg left early . The negatives? Ground crew at all three airports. At the initial check in Auckland I did not get the aisle seat I had requested and had been confirmed with the airline 7 months earlier - and had to kick up quite a fuss - miraculously one opened up. The same thing happened PPT-LAX. On arrival at LAX no bags. They were off-loaded at PPT and could not be traced. They did turn up on the next flight: that isn't good enough on economy but it is completely unacceptable in First. The response of the LAX agents could not havee dismissive. Arriving back in Auckland bags (which had first and priority labels) were the last to appear (perhaps I should be grateful that they appeared at all!). So inflight this is a rival to any airline and competitively priced on the Transpacific route; it certainly would have been a "10". If only they could get their act together with ground crew.
Air Tahiti Nui customer review
The flight attendants told passengers those in-transit to Auckland need not complete the Tahitian immigration forms and we should proceed to the transit lounge. This is what we had expected and made sense. Once off the aircraft though those of us who entered the lane marked transit lounge and walked the short distance to the transit lounge found it locked. No one could tell us why it was locked how to enter the lounge or what to do. We asked the cabin crew as they came off the aircraft and they shrugged their shoulders and walked on. Eventually we realized the only option was to complete Tahitian immigration forms and go into the baggage claim area as it appeared we might be able to enter the transit lounge from there. This however proved not to be true. Again no one seemed to know what we should do even though we kept asking how to enter the transit lounge. I speak passable French so this was not a language problem. Eventually we picked up our luggage and cleared Customs. When we entered the airport terminal I found an Air Tahiti Nui staff and she told us that the transit lounge was not open and we would have to go to a hotel for the night. She seemed unconcerned and disinterested. I then found the security office but they couldn't tell me anything. I returned to the Air Tahiti Nui staff who told me that everyone knows that Tahiti won't let passengers use the transit lounge and we should have known it. We weren't about to spend over $100 to stay in a hotel room for a few hours so along with two dozen other passengers we spent the time in the hot dirty smoky airport terminal. The ATN check-in desks finally opened at about 4-30 a.m. and we were able to get our boarding passes but as Security didn't open for another hour or so we were still forced to wait in the terminal. Once allowed into the departure lounge we found that it was shabby dirty and unpleasant. A small coffee bar sold food but didn't accept credit cards and we weren't about to go back out through Security to find an ATM to get cash in a currency we didn?t need just to buy a cup of coffee. You may wonder why we didn't just go directly to the departure lounge and wait there. Well the ATN staff in LAX refused to give us the boarding passes from Papeete to Auckland. They said that they issue boarding passes no more than three hours in advance. When we arrived in Papeete the check-in counters were closed. Thus we couldn't get boarding passes and couldn't get into the departure area. Three weeks later when departing Auckland I asked an ATN supervisor why they don't let transit passengers use the transit lounge. She said that in their view a layover of that length does not constitute in-transit and that they are unwilling to allow people to use the transit lounge. As ridiculous as this is the worst part is that they don't bother to warn you about it before you travel so you can take this into account when making your travel plans. Upon arrival back in Papeete with only an hour layover we again found the transit lounge locked even though flight attendants assured us we would be allowed to wait in the transit lounge. Instead they simply diverted transit passengers directly into the departure lounge even though most hadn't been issued a boarding pass in Auckland (we had one but only because I went back to the check-in counter and insisted upon it). Obviously they could have done exactly the same thing on the Papeete- Auckland overnight layover had they wanted to do so. I suspect the whole thing is a means of trying to force passengers to spend some money in Tahiti. Whatever the reason it is a shabby way to treat passengers.