Being close countries both geographically, as well as politically you’d expect getting from Samoa to Tonga and visa versa to be really easy right? Sadly wrong, with traveling anywhere in the Pacific being a bit like solving a Rubik’s Cube.
Well it turns out we love a Rubrik’s cube, so that is exactly what we did for our Least Visited Countries Tour.
Are there scheduled flights from Samoa to Tonga?
The only scheduled flights to Samoa are the very infrequent ones from Apia to one of the boony islands of Tonga, rather than the capital with Talofa Airways.
Alternatively you can fly via Auckland, Australia,Nauru or Fiji. But if none of these floats y9our boat then you could just charter your own plane, which is exactly what we did.
How do you charter a plane in 2024?
At the end of the day and much like a bus, or a van even internationally it boils down to just paying a fixer.
And of course in this part of the world we at least have our fixer, with Jeremy of Talofa not only running scheduled flights, but chasers potentially to some truly whacky places, such as Nuie
So having taken care of Sails Restaurant, and Apia we were ready to jump on plane.
Want to charter a plane? Size matters……..
Want to charter a plane in 2024 or any time for that matter then you need to realize that size matter and perhaps not in the way that you might think.
Essentially when it comes to a chatter flight it is all about weight and by weight we mean gross total weight of people and bags, not just bags….
This means collecting peoples weights, as well as that of their bags which can prove a little awkward. How you then manage this is up to you. Do you give lighter people more baggage? Regardless of what you do should you end up overweight and the flights will simply not be able to fly.
And this is a point I have always found that guests simply do not understand, with us always having to quite literally lie about total weight. Sadly many do not realize that on a charter you can’t simply “pay” for being overweight….
Samoa to Tonga 2024 the flight
And it is here with the flight that the pure beauty of a charter comes in, at least when it comes for getting from Samoa to Tonga. Not only do you have an 8 seater prop plane to yourself, but someone even gets to sit up front with the pilot.
Something I was tempted to do after the lessons I had in Cambodia.
It is though the view that makes it, with every seat being both a window and an aisle seat and the view being quite frankly stunning. Said view consists of Samoa and American Samoa, before you end up 2 hours later with the breathtaking scenery of the atolls and islands of Tonga.
All of which is made all that bit more weird with the pilot (Jeremy), literally shooting the shit with you while the plane is on auto-pilot – surreal to say the least.
Arriving in Tonga on a charter flight
Leaving an airport on a charter flight is very cool, but arriving is even better, with your bags almost ensured bo chance of being lost (although we almost managed it), but the immigration process being sublime to say the least.
I am not gonna lie having immigration open just for the 7 people on your flight is a pretty damned cool thing.
And that is how you charter a flight from Samoa to Tonga….