Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Air Tahiti Nui Continues to Insult North American Passengers

Air Tahiti Nui AirlpaneThis years tourism arrival figures for Tahiti continue to lag (over 8% down in April) below the terrible 2009 numbers (the worst year since 1996.) Air Tahiti Nui responds by offering a special fare good for stays in French Polynesia for up to four (4) days. Yes, four days for your vacation. If you pay $60 extra you can stay for all of five (5) days.

 Now, if you happen to live in New Zealand you can visit for up to sixty days (60) days on a special airfare. Obviously the 3 million New Zealand market is more important than the over 300 million North American market.

Potential customers of Air Tahiti Nui posted their dismay about this on ATN's facebook page.

Did Air Tahiti Nui listen to what the customers wanted? No, they deleted most of the complaining posts. At least two of the censored posters happened to  be Tripadvisor French Polynesia forum destination experts.

In an argumentative press release in response to the frustrated customer posts they wrote,"The Four Day Tahiti special, with a $60 fee for staying an extra day, provides a low cost opportunity to experience the beauty of Tahiti. Take a day trip to Moorea, shop at the “marché”, a visit to the James Norman Hall museum, a day trip to the world famous teahupoo surfing area, a night at the roulottes, are only some of the wonderful, experiences possible."

Are you really serious ATN? That's what you call a vacation? One day only in Moorea? In the market in downtown Papeete with the traffic and all shopping for made in Bali trinkets? 

As a yet undeleted poster wrote on facebook, "OMG!!! ATN, are you trying to dig yourself a whole [sic] to China?"

I've got to tell you folks. If you haven't been to the Cook Islands, if you haven't seen Rarotonga or Aitutaki then there is no reason at this point not to go. Check out Air New Zealand's web specials.

However, if you want to visit French Polynesia then you've got to let Air Tahiti Nui know that they've got to have a lower airfare for a longer visit. Do post on facebook and let them know how you feel. They'll delete you but they will have heard you.


  1. i completely disagree with you!! My friend works at the tourisme office in Tahiti, and she told me that April 2010 visitor arrivals were up compared to last April... and the weekend of the total solar eclipse, there were almost 5,000 passengers that flew over that weekend. I'm not sure where you're getting your facts.

    Also, ATN on FB is very good to their fans... not long ago, they had a trivia game and they gave tons of prizes to their fans that won the prize drawing, including a free trip!

    I remember there was this one guy on their page who was bullying other fans for writing positive comments...what's up with that?!?!?!?! I don't blame TN for deleting them and their comments!

    Anyways, I'm only trying that I have flown with TN many times, and I have lived in Tahiti for 4 years, and have friends that work in the tourist industry, and they all tell me that 2010 is much better that 2009.

    You're basically the one driving passengers away to other destinations with your nasty comments and awful blog!!

  2. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your post.

    My tourism numbers are from Tahitipresse, July 8th, 2010.

    They wrote: “April tourism figures in French Polynesia are down compared to last year. A total of 10,271 visitors came to Tahiti and Her Islands in April 2010.

    It is 8.5% less compared to April 2009, the French Polynesia Statistical Institute (ISPF) [emphasis mine] announced.


    “For the first four months of 2010, 39,564 visitors came to Tahiti and Her Islands.
    This is precisely 10.1% less compared to the first four months of last year.”

    As far as driving tourists from Tahiti, I’m trying to be honest with my readers. I just discovered that Air New Zealand is offering $100.00 off if you friend them on facebook. That makes a trip to the Cooks even more reasonable. $1,300 for a flight to Tahiti from LAX is plain ridiculous.

    Could you please ask you friend you works for Tahiti Tourisme why North Americans are encouraged to visit French Polynesia for only four or five days? I’d LOVE to go back to Tahiti. That’s why I have this blog. But after working hard all year I AM NOT TAKING A FOUR DAY VACATION.

    Please note that I responded to you not deleted your post like Air Tahiti Nui.

  3. Yes, there were a lot of tourists who went to Tahiti for the eclipse but they are eclipse chasers and would go anywhere to see one.

  4. Hi there, Julie here again...

    Thank you for not deleting my post as I am not bullying you...unlike those other people on TN FB.

    I agree with you that $1300 is very steep for a plane ticket; however the 4 or 5 day is a great deal because it includes hotel and breakfast. I too want to be honest with your readers by saying that...yea ok, 10 days would be fabulous in Tahiti, but hello...you'll be broke by day 4 due to how expensive everything is in Tahiti! Plus, by day 5 you'll be bored because there's not much to do. People don't realize that before booking their trip to Tahiti. Everything there is expensive! 2 or 3 weeks is just way too long and way too expensive...the total cost for 2 or 3 weeks is like $15,ooo per person!

    Anyways, my close friend at Tahiti Legends said that they're getting tons of bookings for the 4/5 day shortstay sale. Their phones are ringing off the hook, and they're getting a lot of leads...so it seems to be working extremely well... I think it's thanks to The Bachelorette show on Monday. Apparently www.letahaa.com crashed the other day due to high traffic on their site...so this is good news for Tahiti :)

    Well, I've said what I've had to say...it's always good to agree to disagree, right? :)

    Thank you again!

  5. Hi Julie,

    It's good to agree to disagree

    I've been to Tahiti three times. For three weeks I'd spend under $3,000 including domestic (not international) airfare. Read the rest of my blog on how to do Tahiti on a budget.

    There is so much to do, so many beautiful islands to visit. You can kayak, hike, snorkel and explore.

    The Tahiti forums that used to be so busy are dead now. The only reaction to this "special" that I've seen is anger and frustration.

    Again, thanks for posting.