Slovacek747
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Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:32 am

Hi, I'll be traveling SYD-NAN-LAX with a stop in Fiji for a couple of days. I was wondering if people could tell me their opinions on Air Pacific.. I don't know much about the airline and don't see many trip reports written on Air Pacific... How is their service, IFE, etc... I went to their website but I want people's actual perspective and not just pics from online. Just trying to learn more about the airline and how it compares to others.. Any additional information on Fiji is welcome too.

Thanks,
Slovacek747
 
TWA902fly
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:37 am

I flew them this summer LAX-NAN-LAX. I would say overall Air Pacific is a good product. I'd say they are a little rough around the edges. But they get everything done. The food was good, but nothing extraordinary, the service was better than most, but fijian people have a reputation for that. The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas. The IFE is not up to par to say european flag carrier status, but you get first-generation PTVs at least on the 747. Nadi Airport is a nice airport, does the job done, and nothing more or less than you would expect for an island in the pacific. Air Pacifc has a professional feel to it, but it is a flight to and from Fiji, so the professionalism is on that level. Somewhat laid back. I liked it, and would fly them again for sure.

'902
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TG992
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:50 am

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
I flew them this summer LAX-NAN-LAX. I would say overall Air Pacific is a good product. I'd say they are a little rough around the edges. But they get everything done. The food was good, but nothing extraordinary, the service was better than most, but fijian people have a reputation for that. The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas. The IFE is not up to par to say european flag carrier status, but you get first-generation PTVs at least on the 747. Nadi Airport is a nice airport, does the job done, and nothing more or less than you would expect for an island in the pacific. Air Pacifc has a professional feel to it, but it is a flight to and from Fiji, so the professionalism is on that level. Somewhat laid back. I liked it, and would fly them again for sure.

I would have to agree
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ClassicLover
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:11 am

Qantas own a 50% share of the carrier, which is why they're one of the healthiest pacific islands carriers (apart from Air Tahiti Nui and Continental Micronesia).

They also fly to Vancouver from Sydney- if you would like to do SYD-NAN-HNL-YVR (a very 1960s routing) with a lot of that on 737s. I'm waiting to see how they go with their new 787s when they're delivered. It is the perfect jet for the airline quite frankly.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
TWA902fly
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:49 am

Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 3):
Air Tahiti Nui

I was under the impression Air Tahiti Nui was nowhere near being healthy?

'902
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chrisa330
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas.

FJ's 747-400s are ex-SQ which were then ex Ansett.
 
aussieindc
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:32 am

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas.

In fact, the two 400's they have (DQ-FJK/FJL) are ex SQ birds with their old IFE.

DQ-FJK was originally delivered to SQ on Nov 1, 1989 as 9V-SMD, then went to Ansett on Sep 14, 1999 as VH-ANB, back to SQ on Nov 6, 2001, then onto FJ on Jun 4, 2003.

DQ-JFL had the same sort of history, delivered to SQ on Mar 18, 1989 as 9V-SMB, onto Ansett on Aug 8, 1999 as VH-ANA, back to SQ on Sep 11, 2001 adn then onto FJ on Jun 1, 2003.

Enjoy your flight!
 
aussieindc
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting ChrisA330 (Reply 5):
Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas.

FJ's 747-400s are ex-SQ which were then ex Ansett.

Damn well beat me... I had to go and grab all the info didn't I??? lol. well done ChrisA330.
 
blink182
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:06 am

I flew them LAX-NAN-LAX two years ago with DQ-FJK both directions.

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
I flew them this summer LAX-NAN-LAX. I would say overall Air Pacific is a good product. I'd say they are a little rough around the edges. But they get everything done. The food was good, but nothing extraordinary, the service was better than most, but fijian people have a reputation for that. The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas. The IFE is not up to par to say european flag carrier status, but you get first-generation PTVs at least on the 747. Nadi Airport is a nice airport, does the job done, and nothing more or less than you would expect for an island in the pacific. Air Pacifc has a professional feel to it, but it is a flight to and from Fiji, so the professionalism is on that level. Somewhat laid back. I liked it, and would fly them again for sure.

This is pretty dead on with my experience. The PTV features a channel dedicated to Fiji tourism. There are even a few good shots of FJ aircraft included in the footage. The program recycles itself pretty often. I thought the FA's could not be any nicer, especially compared to what we get here in the US. Smiles were widespread and the FAs were great. I saw them deal with my non-english speaking Italian seat mates whose PTVs broke down on a full flight. Foodwise, I thought the breakfast was downright horrendous on both ends, yet their dinner (hot sandwich plus sides when I flew with them) was surprisingly good. FAs also come around with hard candies at the end of the flight. I agree with TWA in regards to NAN as an airport. Be forwarned though that their Immigration "hall" is very small and barely handled my 744 flight. For international connecting pax there was a separate line though.
I would gladly fly with them again.
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:26 am

Quoting TWA902fly (Reply 1):
The aircraft was a 747-400, and dont quote me on this but i think they are ex-United or ex-Qantas.

FJs B744s are ex SQ and were also leased by AN. FJ operates 2x B744s, 1x B763, 2x B738s and 1x B73G
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koruman
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:36 am

Air Pacific is a carrier that is not in the same quality league as say Singapore Airlines, or SAA, or Air New Zealand but far surpasses what US legacy airlines have to offer.

It is pretty successful at what it does, which is fly low-yield tourists into and out of Fiji. Qantas owns a large share because pre-Jetstar its costs were too high to make a profit on flights to and beyond Fiji, whereas Air Pacific pay much lower wages, and its operations don't require the airline to pay for crew to overnight at NAN between SYD and LAX.

I don't agree with the comments about Air Tahiti Nui at all: I think it is exceptionally successful. It is an extremely high class carrier with two distinct missions. The first, which it does well, is to make profits flying from Tahiti to Japan, LAX (x13 per week) and Paris. The second - which obviously cannot generate profits - is to act as an arm of government opening routes to new destinations such as New York and Sydney, with the purpose of growing the number of premium tourists to French Polynesia. In less than a year, JFK loads have grown from 28% to 62%, and Air Tahiti Nui has done a sensational job developing a destination which is money-losing trophy for Qantas and which Air New Zealand doesn't even dare to fly to.

As soon as SYD and JFK are fully established, the government of French Polynesia will get Air Tahiti Nui to open up Montreal, Sao Paulo and Vancouver, in that order. Montreal will be online by 2008, unless Air Tahiti Nui take on all of Air New Zealand's AKL-PPT-LAX flights, in which case they won't have the capacity.

If they enter Skyteam, then I would expect them to use the tax advantages they have for Airbus purchases to buy A350s to open Tahiti-Houston-London and Tahiti-Atlanta-Amsterdam too, but that is 5 years (at least) away.

Getting back to the original post, QF own slightly less than half of Air Pacific, but it is effectively their low-cost Fiji unit in the same way that Polynesian Blue is the Virgin group's Samoan unit.
 
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:02 am

FJ are a good small airline... sure they don't have the latest product, but they do have reasonably good service and it is friendly. One thing about FJ is that their product is not in the best condition however... things like broken seats, IFE, trays etc etc roughen things around the edges of the whole experience. Not in the same league as SQ, NZ, QF, CX etc but definantly a good operator and pretty good overall.
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Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:01 pm

Thanks for the information so far everyone. Looks like they have some of the oldest 744's in existance.. and I didn't know they only had 2 744's... interesting

Slovacek747
 
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:08 pm

The 744 with the island logo is in slightly better condition than the other 744. Crew is terrific and food is good (better than QF). Aircraft interiors starting to show their age- half the PTV's channels do not work, and neither do the games (they will load, but not play). Flew on both aircraft in March- no issue with flying with FJ again.
 
joffie
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:19 pm

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 12):
Thanks for the information so far everyone. Looks like they have some of the oldest 744's in existance.. and I didn't know they only had 2 744's... interesting

Yeah

IIRC they recently placed orders for the 787, which will replace the 744 and 763. A few years ago, they were going to order the A330 but that idea was scrapped.
 
koruman
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:26 pm

The only problem I have with Air Pacific is that Fiji suffers from permanent political instability due to its racist constitution, and people who vacation there or fly on Air Pacific do so in the full knowledge that if there is a fourth government overthrow and their travel plans can't be executed then they won't get a bean back from their insurance.

But their have only been 3 coups in the last 20 years, so there is a less than 1% risk of this in any given week. Having said that, last year there was very, very nearly a further coup, so the real risk is probably nearer 5-10%. You pays your money, you takes your chance!
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:52 pm

Man yall have me scared to go there now.. i'll be there for 4 days I believe and 2 of those will be out on a semi-remote island. definitely hope nothing goes wrong..what is law enforcement there like? Would it be really bad to run into problems like in Mexico?

Slovacek747
 
vikinga346
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:54 pm

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 16):
Would it be really bad to run into problems like in Mexico?

Just don't have any run-ins with the local fijian ladies - they're quite seducing!
...you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you shall return
 
CaliforniaMate
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:57 pm

hey, if you want more info, send me a message. I've flown with them a couple times on the LAX-NAN-SYD and return and also their HNL-NAN-SYD products. And don't be scared off at all, Fiji is magnificient, I love it and thats why I keep going there rather than Hawaii. What remote island are you planning your stay at?
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:28 pm

CaliforniaMate,

The first night I will be staying at a hotel near the airport since I dont get in until almost 7pm.. just going to relax and possibly go out to eat and see what kind of nightlife Nadi has.. The next day I'm heading out to Yasawa Islands (May not be all that remote, but not nearly as many people as Nadi) for 2 nights to just relax after studying abroad for a semester before coming back to Nadi to catch my flight to LAX and back to Austin.

Hey VikingA346.... I'll try not to  Smile

Slovacek747
 
CaliforniaMate
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:06 pm

well, the airport and the main town of nadi isnt that far, you can organize a cab to take you into the city, not sure how happening the nightlife would be out in the city, since i was there, it was dominated by restaurants, a couple supermarkets, and a lot of souvenir shops.
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:23 pm

Looks like I'll check out some souvenir shops and buy some things for my family instead of going to clubs. I may end up hanging out with someone I know which will be good because they can show me around but that isn't set in stone yet so trying to get some ideas in case i'm on my own. I just hope that I am safe in Nadi for the couple of days I'm there.

Slovacek747
 
NZ747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:11 pm

Air Pacific are a great airline. I usually travel to and from Fiji over three times a year and they are a fine second choice after air nz. One thing you are going to hate on the leg between Sydney and Nadi is before push pack in SYD when the flight attendants walk slowly down the aisle spraying bus spray (twice!), and then again prior to descent into Nadi. It does cause some passengers to cough and have sore eyes. Never the less, still a nice airline.

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 21):
Looks like I'll check out some souvenir shops

I have lived in Fiji for some of my life and can tell you to be very careful in Nadi. Try not to go into the main township area by yourself. If you have to go by yourself, stick to these places for souvenir shopping [Jacks Handicraft & Nads Handicraft]. If you walk into the wrong shop, chances are they will try and make you buy cheap stuff and then 'take you out back' to show you something. Upon your arrival out back you're likely to get ambushed by several Fijian men with machete who will then take your money and valuables. The Indian shops are more trust worthy than the Fijian ones. This hasn't happened to me, but does happen to many people everyday in Nadi.

When taking a taxi, make sure the meter is running. If it isn't, because you're foreign, he will rip you off. More importantly, never get in any car that isn't a taxi or hotel transfer bus. People often fall for the overly friendly local' trap.

Quoting CaliforniaMate (Reply 20):
not sure how happening the nightlife would be out in the city

Night life in Nadi is crap. Don't even bother. Only decent night life is in Suva.
Don't worry about the comments from Koruman about the Fiji coup, usually only really effects Suva.

The Yasawa Islands are very nice.
If you have any questions feel free to PM me or post on this thread.

Cheers,
NZ747  

[Edited 2006-10-08 15:12:39]
 
CaliforniaMate
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:31 pm

wow, i didnt know about the machete thing, kinda scary. but i guess dont be overly trusting. people know you are tourists and will try to take advantage of you. but if i were you, id just spend most of my times on the islands, that is why you go to fiji, well and the free stopover
 
koruman
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:35 am

Don't worry too much about crime.

It's not like having a trans-Pacific stopover in the Cook Islands or French Polynesia, where the chances of being mugged are basically zero, but if you don't take risks you wouldn't take anywhere else you will be fine. Just be on your guard.

As for the coups, yes of course the actual danger is primarily in Suva and to Indian-looking visitors. But from your point of view the actual risk is of flights being suspended rather than being caught up in violence. Anyway, hopefully it won't happen to you.
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:49 pm

So it looks like it isn't safe to just walk around downtown to see the souvenir shops.. thats kind of a bummer.. perhaps i'll just lock myself in my hotel room until i get on the transfer to Yasawa islands.

Slovacek747
 
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:04 pm

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 25):
So it looks like it isn't safe to just walk around downtown to see the souvenir shops.. thats kind of a bummer.. perhaps i'll just lock myself in my hotel room until i get on the transfer to Yasawa islands.

Slovacek747

being an ex-pat of Fiji I can say its much safer than LA or NYC. There is nothing really to worry about
 
qantas787
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:10 pm

It's amazing that people who in general are so friendly can actually have an extremely high crime rate. There are definitely lots of no go areas but if you are there on a holiday you won't see those areas anyway. I have just done BNE-NAN-BNE YC and NAN-TBU-NAN BC and as usual FJ don't disappoint, really good for a laid back nation. Haven't been on their 744's only all their 737's over the years and the 763. Go and I guarantee you will return. P.S. (Our first flight on a 737-700).
G'day
 
Slovacek747
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:18 pm

Well that is reassuring
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:45 pm

If you can get out of Nadi for the few days you're there, do.

The town's a south Pacific shanty with a bit of crime (not much) motivated mostly by boredom and alcohol. Fijian people are wonderfully friendly and hospitable, but remember that this economy is another of those with a trickle down theory and there are a lot of people who haven't had much trickle down to them yet.

Most of the tourism industry and infrastructure is foreign owned and a lot of it isn't particularly "Fijian", but an internationally flavoured tropical paradise that's conveniently located in Fiji (in this instance). Of course there are some wonderfully "Fijian" resorts among the selection and these tend to be quite pricey and are for the more discerning traveller (with the heftier wallet).

FJ is a great airline. Been going for a long time. Has an enviable: on time record; safety record; in flight service; IFE system (744 only I think); network. What a great way to get to Oz.

I've flown them: AKL-NAN then NAN-NRT; AKL-TBU-SUV; and NAN-APW.

Regards
MH
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:28 pm

Back in 1991, I was with my grandparents in Suva and two locals forced my Grandparents to purchase a piece of stick with local designs on it. One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.

Yes I was young but I remember it well. Just be careful about those sort of things, as they blocked the rentel car in so we couldn't leave intill it was purchased.
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VHVXB
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:42 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 30):
One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.

lmao the same thing happened to my cousin who to Fiji recently
 
nzrich
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:37 pm

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 21):
Looks like I'll check out some souvenir shops and buy some things for my family instead of going to clubs. I may end up hanging out with someone I know which will be good because they can show me around but that isn't set in stone yet so trying to get some ideas in case i'm on my own. I just hope that I am safe in Nadi for the couple of days I'm there.

Slovacek747

I have been to nadi more times than i could ever count..I have even crewed one of the first flights into Nadi after a coup..I have never felt unsafe at all and basically every major hotel and resort are NOT in Nadi township so i would not worry at all.. My main recommendation is buy gifts from one of the main gift stores prouds/tabua/jacks i think the names are and you wont be ripped off you may pay extra but what you will buy will be in top condition.. I have no problems at all in staying in any hotel in Nadi and if its just for a night im sure you wont see any problems at all on your travels.. Just sun sand and friendly locals..

Have a wonderful time , sorry i cant tell you anything about air pacific as i work for Air NZ but i do know the staff are very relaxed and friendly on board enjoy the vacation and relax..

One other thing if your meal/drink takes a bit longer than in the usa it will be because the locals will be working on island time..In other words slow and relaxed, dont complain just join them on island time !!!!
"Pride of the pacific"
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:06 am

Quoting 777ER (Reply 30):
Back in 1991, I was with my grandparents in Suva and two locals forced my Grandparents to purchase a piece of stick with local designs on it. One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.

Did they spell your name right? But seriously, things like this are extremely rare, just don't sit in the back few rows of the plane.

MH
come visit the south pacific
 
777ER
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:19 pm

Quoting MotorHussy (Reply 33):
Quoting 777ER (Reply 30):
Back in 1991, I was with my grandparents in Suva and two locals forced my Grandparents to purchase a piece of stick with local designs on it. One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.


Did they spell your name right?

Considering I never told them how to spell my name, they actually got it correct.
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nzrich
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:04 am

Quoting MotorHussy (Reply 33):
Quoting 777ER (Reply 30):Back in 1991, I was with my grandparents in Suva and two locals forced my Grandparents to purchase a piece of stick with local designs on it. One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.

Did they spell your name right? But seriously, things like this are extremely rare, just don't sit in the back few rows of the plane.

MH

This scam is not rare even i got done in Nadi with this exact same scam ..Never ever give your name over in a gift store unless its one of the major ones ...I thought i was the only one to get done untill back at the hotel i heard other guest also had the carved sticks as well...
"Pride of the pacific"
 
blink182
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:31 am

Quoting 777ER (Reply 30):
Back in 1991, I was with my grandparents in Suva and two locals forced my Grandparents to purchase a piece of stick with local designs on it. One of the men heard my Nana saying my name when telling me not to talk to them, so they carved my name on the stick so they had to purchase it. I've still got it somewhere.

This is hilarious. That same thing happened to me in 2005! I was caught in a bad moment, seeing as I had been on Koro Island(gorgeous, and locals are the friendliest I have ever met) and was culture shocked a bit by Suva's metropolis. My guide book (Lonely Planet's Fiji warned me about this.

Stay away from the city-dwellers--I've gotten repeatedly hassled by them (changing my nationality also didn't help either). If you're near Proud's or Jack's or any of the well kept stores(there's one department store that escapes my memory) you'll be fine, seeing as there will be plenty of westerners and responsible people around. If you get away from those areas, you'll need to raise your guard.

The great thing about the country is if you make it into any local villages that are away from Nadi, you'll see an entirely different populace. Fijian villagers are among the nicest, caring, and most welcoming I've experienced.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
tundra767
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RE: Air Pacific Information

Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:02 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
I don't agree with the comments about Air Tahiti Nui at all: I think it is exceptionally successful. It is an extremely high class carrier with two distinct missions.

I think the point here is TN doesn't make money. When has TN had a profit? In fact a good friend in the Tahitian government says they have looked at taking TN into receivership. Ok back to FJ.