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Anyone flown with Condor Airlines?

I’m going on the GAS tour on October 1 and have just started looking around at flight options. I have Alaska Airlines miles and one of the options is flying to Seattle from LAX on Alaska Air then picking up a Condor flight from Seattle to Frankfurt. Who’s flown on Condor before? I’m looking for any feedback, positive or negative. Thank you!

Posted by
444 posts

Hi Claudette:

In late September 2017 I flew from Seattle to Berlin: Seattle to Frankfort on Condor, and Frankfort to Berlin on Air Berlin. What I recall about the flight on Condor:

They only provided two free movies; one was "Rio" and the other I forgot. You had to pay around 8 euros to see any other film. The person sitting next to me elected to see Will Farrell's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which was about three years old at the time of the flight. For 8 euros I would have expected a much more current menu of movies. Bottom line: bring your own entertainment.

Condor provided a no cost dinner which I call the "starch special". I got two different rolls, one of which was tasty, plus something that I thought was a meat lasagna. However, when I lifted the top layer I found that the filler was macaroni instead of meat. I mentioned this on a previous posting about Condor, and one of the people who responded said that the entree of his dinner consisted of chicken nuggets. So bring your own meal if you want something exciting. I also got a pudding and something else - fruit or a salad.

Other than these two things I didn't have a problem with my flight.

BTW: The third leg of my trip was from Berlin to Volgograd via Moscow on S7 Airlines. So on this trip I flew on one airline who had one of its pilots go bonkers and crashed the plane killing everyone on board, one airline that just declared bankruptcy and cancelled all of its international flights, and one airline which had a plane accidently shot down by a Ukrainian surface to air missile and another plane blown up by terrorists and a third plane that crashed when it overshot its landing strip resulting in everyone getting killed. That is what you get when you fly the little known airlines. Choose carefully.

Posted by
7202 posts

You might want to check out Iceland Air and their flights from either Portland or Seattle. You have a short layover in Iceland, but the flight there is less than 7 hours. Quick layover in Iceland, usually just an hour. Then the flight to Frankfurt is 3.5 hours. I fly this route at least once a year round trip from Frankfurt to Sacramento and find it to be a decent way to get to the W.Coast from Germany and back again. Bring your own food on the plane and your own earphones. Lots of movies to watch, and with just 1 aisle, you deplane quickly.

Posted by
2170 posts

Several things:

Condor already code shares with Alaska so that might make more sense than booking 2 tickets. Note that geographically the Condor flights from LAS look a lot more direct for you.

Condor will book you thru Calgary on Westjet for $60 more (one way) on one ticket so that's probably better than using miles.

Also, Condor's owner Thomas Cook Airlines will fly you from LAX to the UK and transfer you to Germany.

I would fly Condor again but it is not a treat, legroom tight and food not great.

Posted by
1617 posts

I fly them often and like them very much. I've flown all three classes with them - Coach, Premium Economy and Business. If you're redeeming miles you get way better value redeeming for Business Class at 55K each way vs. Premium Econ at 45K each way. Coach is tight but the fares are good. I have stopped flying Coach with them though - I can't do a flight that long in such a tight space.

Posted by
686 posts

I don't understand Condor, I thought they were supposed to provide cheaper flights? Anytime I check from Toronto to Frankfurt, it is no cheaper than major airlines for my dates and usually more expensive. The website is horrible.

Posted by
10575 posts

A couple of comments. That review in joe’s link is mine, flying business class last August home from Europe to Seattle. We were quite pleased, and the cost (we paid $1122 each for business class; less than we pay to use our BA Avios to fly British Airways!)

I have noticed that their flight prices for this summer are much higher than expected. I have no idea why. But Claudette is thinking of using Alaska miles to fly on Condor, so the price does not come into play. It is a good value with Alaska miles.

My son and his family used Alaska miles last summer to come to Switzerland to meet us. The booked one way at a time, all in Economy, and used Condor to go Boise—Portland—-Frankfurt, and then IcelandAir to fly Zurich-Reykjavik—-Seattle. They arrived late evening and spent the night at an airport hotel (walkable from the airport) which I paid for with my hotel points. They then flew home to Boise the next morning on Horizon, booked separately. All worked well.

Posted by
10575 posts

Taking a look at the Alaska website for miles options, I see Condor connections from LAX to FRA through either Portland or Seattle, with the Portland flights usually being better, time-wise.

The offerings on IcelandAir are even better, schedule-wise, but are considerably more expensive.

Whatever you choose, if you are using miles, consider booking one way at a time, as that gives you the most flexibility.

Posted by
8412 posts

We flew home (when we relocated back from Italy after 5 years) on Condor via Frankfurt. One reason we selected Condor was we had a cat and there are precious few airlines that allow animals in the cabin over water. The flight was fine. We upgraded in flight to premium seating as economy was so tight I could not maneuver at all and the cat ended up between my feet. Premium was good, food not bad, and we used our own entertainment.

We took IcelandAir in 2017 and liked their Business Class very much, but we are using Business Class Condor in April and May for our next trip as the fares are attractive and prices on IcelandAir have gone up significantly.

Posted by
870 posts

Thank you everyone! I’ve looked at options and I can also fly British Air but I have to pay about $200 each way on top of using my miles. Using the Condor Air option is the cheapest. I still have alot of time so I can look at my options before I decide to book.

Posted by
2191 posts

A word of caution on the “I still have lots of time” thought. There are limited award seats made available by partner airlines on any given date. When those are gone, they are gone.

Posted by
10575 posts

Be sure to look at the options and price both ways. The return flights from Europe cost around $100 more in airport departure fees, even when using miles. This is true with both British Airways and Condor. So the roundtrip cost on British Airways is 65K miles plus $600 dollars $236 + &366). That is not a good use of miles, as it is not much more to just buy a roundtrip ticket. Most of us who regularly fly British Airways with miles use them to go in Business Class or Premium Economy.

Also note Carol’s comments. When using miles, the earlier you book the more choices you will have, as the award seats are limited. And unlike ticket prices, which can go up or down, the cost of miles awards does not fluctuate.

Posted by
2170 posts

the cost of miles awards does not fluctuate.

Yes it does! On what airline does the award cost not escalate? BA, American, Delta, Southwest all fluctuate (rise).

Posted by
10575 posts

I have seen awards go up (needing more points) on Alaska (for their own flights), but not the other airlines. They remain constant at each tier level.

If you see a higher points cost for an award than you did earlier, it is because the lower award level is booked up, so the next tier is higher. Example would be Saver (low) versus Anytime (high) points costs on American Airlines.

British Airways has two award level based on the flight date (Peak and Off-Peak) but within each class the number of Avios needed to book a particular date does NOT change over time.

Posted by
556 posts

Only speaking about Delta, but their mileage redemption's can go up or down. They no longer publish a chart showing their rates, and use dynamic pricing. There are still redemption tiers, but unless you have some inside info (there's a poster over on Flyertalk who has access to the various tiers and will post them when someone makes a specific inquiry) you don't know what they are, and Delta (of course) isn't supplying the algorithm they're using to determine which tier gets applied to which ticket at what time. If you want a good laugh, check out Delta's award rates to Australia or Johannesburg from the US, especially in business (their DeltaOne.)

Posted by
10575 posts

One of many reasons we like our Alaska miles and have never used Delta.

Posted by
870 posts

I’m looking at the website now and the flights that combine Alaska with Condor have a total flight time of over 30 hours! This is leaving Sat Sept 28. I leave LAX at 3:30 pm and arrive in Seattle at 6:29 pm. The flight for Frankfurt doesn’t leave till the next day at 6:05 pm. This is crazy! The cost is $57. Now if I fly British I can get there in 15 hours but costs $236 one way and I only have enough miles to do roundtrip in economy so I’ll be spending almost $500 and using most of my miles if I book a roundtrip ticket. I may have to save my miles for another trip.

Posted by
4665 posts

Why not leave Friday the 27th? Condor has options for a 16 hr trip using Alaska FF miles

Posted by
10575 posts

Are you looking on the Alaska website? I see 9 different one-stop options from LAX to Frankfurt with a stop in Seattle ( or Portland) Sept. 27. Some depart too early in the morning, but you could leave LAX at 9 am, 10, 11, or 12:05 pm and have plenty of time to connect to the same-day flight on Condor (departing at 5:35 pm).

Posted by
870 posts

Wow, Lola, what a difference a day makes! It will mean I’ll have to take an extra day off work but that may work. Now if I fly round trip to Frankfurt I’ll spend less than $100 but if I fly home from Budapest I’ll have to spend $311 to fly BA for that leg. So I have to consider if it’s worth going back to Frankfurt or spend that money with my miles.

Posted by
870 posts

And Joe 32F as well! Thanks for suggesting looking at Friday.

Posted by
10575 posts

Yes, it is Joe who deserves the credit for suggesting looking at Friday the 27th.

The award seats on the Condor flight from Seattle departing on the 28th must be all gone, so they have you overnight in Seattle (adding cost for a hotel) and fly out the next day. You wouldn’t get to Frankfurt until Monday, the 30th. But if that Monday arrival date is OK, you could depart LAX on Sunday the 29th at 9 am and connect with the Condor flight departing at 6:05 pm that day, arriving FRA at 1:30 on Monday.

Posted by
193 posts

BTW: The third leg of my trip was from Berlin to Volgograd via Moscow on S7 Airlines. So on this trip I flew on one airline who had one of its pilots go bonkers and crashed the plane killing everyone on board, one airline that just declared bankruptcy and cancelled all of its international flights, and one airline which had a plane accidently shot down by a Ukrainian surface to air missile and another plane blown up by terrorists and a third plane that crashed when it overshot its landing strip resulting in everyone getting killed. That is what you get when you fly the little known airlines. Choose carefully.

Which were the little known airlines that you flew on? You mentioned Air Berlin (which went bankrupt, but was a major international carrier with a fleet of 100 planes, transporting around 30 million passengers per year), S7 Airlines (of which a plane was shot down, but with around 10 million passengers per year, they are not exactly small either), and Condor (the smallest of the mentioned airlines, with only around 7 million passengers per year - they lost planes in accidents in 1958, 1960, 1970, and 1988). But none of them had a pilot "go bonkers and crash the plane killing everyone on board". Which incident are you referring to?

Posted by
556 posts

The only flight that comes to mind where a pilot purposely crashed a plane was Germanwings 9525, in 2015.

Posted by
1830 posts

Just wondering - is a plane being shot down the fault of the airline?

Posted by
444 posts

Sorry folks about the errors in my statement. I thought Condor was a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and that a subsidiary of Lufthansa was the one that was crashed by its pilot. Air Berlin declared bankruptcy at the time of my flight to Frankfort and there was real concern by passengers going on to Berlin via Air Berlin they they would have to seek another airline to complete the trip. As it turns out only the international flights were cancelled. As far as S7 concerned they had their share of bad luck: plane being accidently being shot down by a surface to air missile, being bombed by terrorists, and overrunning a runway.

Again, sorry for post. I will do more research before posting again. However, the statements about the quality of food and lack of entertainment are correct.

Posted by
11292 posts

It was a subsidiary of Lufthansa, as such it was known as a "Tochtergesellschäft" of Lufthansa. I flew with Condor six times SFO-FRA r/t in the 1980s and 1992.