Attention passengers: the flight from Tahiti has been cancelled

Review of Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti
Attention passengers: the flight from Tahiti has been cancelled
Review of Hotel Le Meridien Tahiti Resort
The flight home

I had checked out of the Radisson Plaza Resort and headed to the airport for my Air France flight Papeete to Los Angeles. After passing through passport control, I headed over to the Duty Free shop where one of my favorite indulgences is Milka Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts. I purchased three large bars to take back with me to America. Due to my Platinum status with Delta, I was given access to the Manuhiri lounge.

Stairs leading up to the Manuhiri lounge

Stairs leading up to the Manuhiri lounge

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The lounge was simple yet comfortable. The food selection wasn’t great but just okay.

Snack selection

Snack selection

Wrapped snacks

Wrapped snacks

The lounge area

The lounge area

View of the Air France flight from the lounge

View of the Air France flight from the lounge

About 30 minutes prior to boarding, I headed down to the gate area and waited for them to call for us to board the plane. Ten minutes prior to boarding, no one seemed to be in any rush to board the plane. Twenty minutes past our flight time and there was still no boarding yet. Finally, they announced that there was some technical difficulties and the flight would be delayed by an hour.

I headed back up to the lounge to wait the time there. Looking out the window of the lounge, I saw some emergency vehicles were now next to the plane – that can’t be good.

The emergency vehicles

The emergency vehicles

They all seemed to be gathering and discussing something about the plane.

Discussions about the plane

Discussions about the plane

Problems with the plane

Problems with the plane

As I was taking these pictures, I noticed there was a bunch of liquid that has pooled up right under the plane and seemed to be spilling out pretty fast.

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After another thirty minutes of waiting in the lounge, they finally made an announcement over the loud speaker. “We regret to inform you that due to technical difficulties, the Air France flight has been cancelled.” Everyone stood up in the lounge and walked down to the gate to see what was happening. The staff was telling everyone that the flight was cancelled because of a fuel leakage problem. I had two reactions – the first was, I’m so glad that this fuel leak didn’t happen halfway to the US in the middle of the ocean. The second was – I can’t believe they’re forcing me to stay another two days in Tahiti!

All of the passengers followed each other to a makeshift desk that had been made with the Air France folks behind the desk. Each passenger was asked to show their passport wherein they were given instructions on where to board the bus to go to their hotel. I was far back in the line and overheard them saying the same hotel name over and over to each passenger – a local hotel that I didn’t immediately recognize so I just stopped paying attention just biding my time in line. When I finally reached the table, I was asked for my passport. I handed my passport over. The person was examining her list, looking for my name. She then picked up a second list and said, “Mr. Milesquest – I see that you’re a Platinum Medallion member with Delta. You will be staying at Le Méridien. Please get your luggage, walk through customs, and head out to the bus.”

At this point, I was grinning from ear to ear. Not only was I forced to stay in Tahiti an extra two days, I was now going to get to visit the Le Méridien.

I grabbed my luggage and walked towards customs where I was forced to give them my Milka chocolate bars – as I had purchased them in the duty free shop. The Tahiti heat will certainly melt those, there as good as gone.

I walked through customs and out the door and boarded the Le Meridien bus where there were about twenty other folks on there.

Comments

  1. wow I didn’t know they selected hotels based on status. I should keep that in mind and pick a carrier

  2. So jealous! Hehe! I am planning to go to PPT but couldn’t find any award space on Air France. Any tips? I’m guessing you used DL skymiles on air France?

  3. @Joey – I actually bought the ticket. Award tickets are extremely difficult. I’m trying to go back down using miles, only thing I’ve been able to come up with is using miles on the way is using Air France miles on the way down and using American on Air Tahiti Nui coming back. Not a lot of options in the August at least with Skymiles.

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