On the Ground: Air Tahiti Nui service is located in the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The vast size of the terminal and courteous port employees allayed any concerns I had regarding my long flight to Tahiti. Check-in was fast, thanks to the dedicated business-class stations. The lounge, shared with other airlines, is a peaceful oasis to prepare for the flight. (29/30)
Pre-flight: Business-class service allowed me to pre-board and settle in to my seat. Flight attendants helped me stow my gear, then helpfully told me where everything was in case I needed an item during the fligh. Tahitian music, with the soothing sounds of the ukulele, was playing as we boarded. The cabin décor featured seat coverings, pillows and curtains in a tropical theme in shades of yellow. This, added to the lagoon-blue ensemble of the aircraft’s motif, made me feel like I had already arrived in Tahiti. The pleasant in-flight crew was unobtrusive but available to bring beverages (Champagne mimosas and pineapple juice) and reading material throughout the flight. (29/30)
In-flight: Once the formality of safety issues had been addressed, the crew changed into native Tahiti dress and continued to canvas the cabin and personally welcome each passenger with a gardenia. They discussed all the features of business class (Poerava) and directed us to further instructions on operating the seat, the private viewing console and personal entertainment remote. China-and-linen meal service began with a cheddar-encrusted croissant followed by foie gras, crusty Parisian bread and chocolate-glazed dates. For my main entrée I chose osso buco with pear ragout. After dinner, I enjoyed a selection of French pastries and fruits from the dessert cart. The entertainment service offered a wide range of first-rate, current movies in English, French and Japanese. The audio selection was offered from take-off to landing, which I fully enjoyed when the cabin was darkened and my chair was reclined to its full 180 degrees. (39/40)
The Experience: The courtesies extended by the crew and the many amenities offered by Air Tahiti Nui throughout the trip made the entire trans-Pacific flight both memorable and enjoyable.
Total score: 97/100
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