The Best Sick Day Ever: Flying Air Tahiti Nui's Business Class
Think about it. You lie down, watch movie after movie, and burrow in soft blankets and pillows while someone brings you food on a tray. Only without the inconvenient illness part. Which is a plus in most ways, but also a minus, since I wasn't sick and therefore restless. So I walked to the back of the cabin and stood in the snack bar area that was set up with cup of soup and had some apple juice, which is something I drink exclusively when I'm sick.
Anyway, as Business Classes go, Air Tahiti Nui's is a nice one. I've written previously about their mid-flight wardrobe change and it was pleasing to see the ladies in their red or pink dresses splashed with white flowers during the flight, and it brought the proper sobriety to the occasion when we landed and everyone was back in their suits. The condition of the cabin itself was a bit shabby -- the seats not the newest, the fabric worn in spots, particularly around the bolts, and stained in others, particularly visible with the bright blue and green color scheme throughout the cabin.
The food was solid, especially the dishes served cold, a box of nuts from Fauchon with pre-meal cocktails, a choice of lobster with caviar or a duck salad for starters, both delicious. The warm dish was pretty much horrible. I had a chicken pot au feu which lacked anything resembling pleasing flavor or texture, but I heard murmurs of discontent from people who made the other entree choices. The after meal choices made amends, with a very thoughtfully selected cheese plate and a dessert course with three flavors of sorbet (framboise, coconut and mango) and other pastries.
I usually hesitate to comment on the service level I experience in an airplane since crews change and personalities are so variable, but this was all unfailingly pleasant and seemed actually caring. When I disembarked into the humid Papeete night, I felt that I'd actually been slowly acclimating to French Polynesia while I was in the air.