So, Jess and I have been flying (babyless!) for approximately 33 hours. It was quite a journey and not without its stresses. Still, though it’s only been two hours, the final destination, Bora Bora, seems worth it! Here are some things I’ve learned over the past 33 hours:
1. Award miles can get you to great places for less, but the routings can get crazy!
Now, I enjoy flying quite a bit, but the routing we ended up taking to Tahiti was quite a long one. For separation anxiety reasons on my part, I decided to delay our trip by one day and depart Saturday instead of Friday – but this added a connection on the east coast. So our final routing was BOS-DCA-PHL-LAX-PPT-MOR (Moorea)-BOB (Bora Bora). The last two legs we had to pay with cash because there is no way to do it with miles (though you could use Barclays Arrival miles to pay for it). It is only slightly less crazy than it sounds – the Papeete to Moorea leg was TEN MINUTES, so that wasn’t too bad. But yes, this is definitely not a routing we would have done with Baby M.
2. Extra connections means more stressful travel – especially when in the middle of a storm!
What was supposed to be a non-event on Saturday turned to be a significant enough event to give us a one hour terminal plus a one hour tarmac delay in DC on the way to Philly and a half hour delay in DC waiting for the plane to de-ice. All things considered it ended up being not too bad but it was pretty stressful for awhile there. We also had less time in Tom Bradley International Terminal in LAX which bummed me out.
3. Speaking of which, Tom Bradley is pretty cool
The new Tom Bradley International Terminal is pretty cool. Although check in and security felt a little bit like herding cattle, once you’re in it’s super expansive and beautiful. The food court looks top notch (I missed out on Umami Burger). The one complaint I’d have is the elevator to the lounges was super crowded and there was no stair access, but that’s just nitpicking. Definitely not the worst place in the world to layover.
4. Air Tahiti Nui’s new business class is luck of the draw, and we did not win
So Air Tahiti Nui has a new business class product that they operate on 3 of their 5 planes. Which plane you get is more or less luck of the draw, I tried to predict it but couldn’t really find any rhyme or reason to the pattern. Anyway, we flew in the old business class and my seat was not that great. It definitely beat flying coach, but in order to use my headphones I had to physically hold the connector into the armrest! Hopefully we get one of the newly configured planes on the way back!
5. When you are tired…be extra vigilant about your stuff
So…all international long haul flights land in Papeete, but if you want to go to another island like Bora Bora you need to take another flight. Ours was delayed by an hour, which Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui which operates long haul flights to international destinations) compensated for with a free soda. That might sound sarcastic, but it was actually very welcome at the time! Anyway, after taking a picture of said soda, some genius left their camera sitting in the waiting area and didn’t realized until they had boarded the plane. Thank goodness the airport is so small and I was able to go back to get it – I also fulfilled my life long dream of running across a tarmac while an entire plane stared at me in anger/pity. Good times.
6. Nothing beats being able to get into the ocean from your porch after a 33 hour flight.
Nothing to my knowledge, at least. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
We are tired but happy to be here. Traveling for such a long time and being without Baby M for more than one night for the first time is definitely stressful, but hopefully the trip will be worth it! Stay tuned.
Bonus thought: Conspicuously placed cookies are not free
In fact, they go at the wonderful rate of 6 cookies for $7 USD! Wonderful and information that would have been useful to us YESTERDAY.