I was recently invited by Air Tahiti Nui (TN) to experience their Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 on a ferry flight from Boeing’s assembly site in Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) to Los Angeles, California (LAX) with a one-hour layover in Oklahoma City (OKC). Excited by this opportunity, I made my way down to Charleston to see their Dreamliner in person and experience what Air Tahiti Nui had to offer passengers flying from the West Coast of the US to Tahiti.
Air Tahiti Nui’s 787-9 comfortably seats 294 passengers, which is the same passenger count as Air Tahiti Nui’s A340-300, which is being retired next year after over 15 years flying. One of the main differences from the A340 is that Air Tahiti Nui introduced their Premium Economy product, “Moana Premium” on the Dreamliner. Poerava Business is made up of 30 lie-flat seats, Moana Premium has 32 recliner style seats and Moana Economy has 232 standard seats.
Once I had spent some time in Poerava Business and Moana Premium, I decided to check out Moana Economy and see how the seats stand up to other long-haul Economy class seats. There are 232 Moana Economy seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration with 31 – 34 inches of pitch, 17 inches of seat width and a recline of 6 inches. Each seat has a 12” touch screen display, but unlike Poerava Business and Moana Premium, only one USB power port and no standard universal power outlet.
Being 6’3”, I found my legroom in Moana Economy to be generous, especially since I am used to flying in Economy where the seat pitch is 31-34 inches. Having a USB power port is extremely helpful for passengers who will be flying Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliner 8+ hours from LAX to Fa'a'a International Airport, Papeete, Tahiti (PPT).
During my walkthrough of Moana Economy, I chatted with Yves Wauthy, Air Tahiti Nui’s 787 program manager, and he mentioned that bassinets are located in row 18 as well as at seats 32DEF. Heading towards the back of the plane, I was surprised to find out that the seats in the last row had the same amount of recline as all of the other seats in Moana Economy and seat 45A was ideal since there is some additional space between the seat and the wall of the plane.
I would recommend staying away from 31AL since it is much narrower than 31BCJK and is missing a window due to it being right next to the Emergency Exit Door. I also found that the Emergency Exit Door protrusion obstructed some of the extra legroom that is found in this row.
A couple other things I noticed in Economy as well:
- Row 26 has a misaligned window
- Row 31 is missing window
- Row 36 has a misaligned window
- Row 38 has a misaligned window
- Row 42 is missing a window
For those traveling in Moana Economy, Air Tahiti Nui provides a variety of meals that reflect both the Polynesian and French culinary influences that you will find in Tahiti. To match these selections, there is a wide selection of wine available, focusing on the French and New World.
Air Tahiti Nui is able to accommodate food allergy and dietary restriction on all their flights. They strongly recommend reaching out to them when booking or at least 48 hours prior to departure in order to submit your request and choose from one of 11 different alternative meal options.
Just like with Poerava Business and Moana Premium, I was extremely impressed with Moana Economy. Air Tahiti Nui was able to take the comfort and luxury found in Poerava Business and Moana Premium and carry it over into Moana Economy. The emphasis on being comfortable for such a long flight is apparent with the interior of the Dreamliner 787 as well as the level of service that is provided by the flight attendants.
I would like to thank Air Tahiti Nui for inviting me to review an aircraft of which not only they, but the people of Tahiti, are extremely proud. Make sure you read my review of Poerava Business and Moana Premium.