Way before the brutal beat down of dr. Dao on a united flight I was no fan of United and would try to avoid flying in their premium cabins as all my business class flights with them ranked as the worst business class experiences I’ve encountered. That has now changed but chill before you start praising United, as all credit should instead be pointed directly towards Air Tahiti Nui.
When I booked my business class flight to Tahiti on Air Tahiti I was well aware that they didn’t have lie flat seats in business class but that didn’t bother me too much as I didn’t think it was that big of a deal considering I would have the chance to fly on an airline I’ve never flown before which always excites me. What I didn’t expect was seats straight out of the era when it was perfectly normal to light up a cigarette on board. In fact as soon as I saw the business class cabin I was waiting for the flight attendants to come out with a full-on Afro, 6 inch platform heels, and ask me if I wanted her to take a picture of me with my Polaroid. I was in the twilight zone.
I figured at least the service would be superb as most 60 and over year olds often brag about the golden age of flying but I soon realized all the golden age of flying stuff is another form of the usuall “back in my days” nostalgia chatter. The service was poor, and inconsistent.
Now, I hate to sound super boogie, I have been on other flights with aged premium cabins like the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 I flew from Bankgkok to Addis Ababa a couple of years ago and been pretty pleased. It was a roughly 6 hour flight and while the seat was horrendous, the food, service and entertainment were decent.
Airlines often use older planes for shorter flights to non major markets so I can understand. My Air Tahiti flight on the other hand was an 11 hour flight from Papeatte to Tokyo so I couldn’t justify why they think it’s okay to fly these seats that belong in a museum on a long route to one of the most iconic and busiest cities in the world. The only justification I could muster up is the fact that Air Tahiti is primarily a leisure carrier and leisure carriers generally don’t put as much effort as most of the customers that fly them only do so once or twice a year thus they don’t have much incentive for providing a better experience.
Regardless the reasoning for flying a dinasuar in 2017, I was aboard an 11 hour flight without a charged iPad, nor any downloaded movies and stuck with a snowy TV screen with four bottons, channel up, chanel down, and volume up and volume down.
When Eszti woke up from her nap, she decided to watch a movie and I noticed her fumbling with the remote control so I asked her what she was trying to do. Her response was classically hillarious, “how do you start the movie from the beginning” she said.
“you can’t babe, you can’t” I repeated. And we both laughed out loud. “Qatar Airways sure has spoiled us” I added.
To be fair, the seats on our outbound flight weren’t that bad, they weren’t lie flight but they did recline to an angle lie, had power plugs and a VOD system, the service and food however were horrible. In fact they ran out of the fish selection when they got to our seats and we were seated in the middle of the cabin on a busines class cabin that wasn’t even half full. I only saw two people ahead of us handed a fish dish so I’m led to believe that they only stocked the flight with 2 fish meals. This was no fun for me as I’m a pescetarian which means that the only meat I eat is fish and seafood thus I couldn’t do much with the chicken dish I was served other than eat the potatoes that circled it.
Most airlines don’t offer a pescetarian dish through pre order services so I either have to chose a bland vegetarian dish or chance it out on board and out of over 100 flights this is only the second time I haven’t been able to get a meal, the other was on a fully booked cabin in wich I was sitting on the last row of the cabin that was served front to back.
In summary, Air Tahiti is now my least favorite Business class carier however please take the review with a grain of salt as the they did accomplish the most important part of the flight that we boogie travelers sometimes forget, getting us to our destination safe and sound.