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Condor Airlines, any advice?

I can’t believe we’ve been flying to Europe since 1982 and almost every year since 1995 and have never flown Condor. Maybe it took our move to the Sacramento region to see that this could be useful to us. We have a monthlong trip planned to Germany for May 2022, sticking to one country this time. We see that we can fly from Sacramento to Seattle then on to Frankfurt on one ticket. It is cheaper than flying directly from Seattle to FRA.

My questions are in the general area of experiences, pre Covid, for reliability and quality of overall experience. We have tried to read all the fine print regarding restrictions, class of flights and cancellation/rebooking policies.

Anyone a fan of Condor or have warnings for us?

Posted by
3198 posts

They are primarily a charter airline operating flights to holiday destinations for package tours operators. So their aircraft use high density seating.

Posted by
1078 posts

We flew them FRA-BWI in July of 2019 and they their service was equal to a legacy airline flying economy.

Posted by
3110 posts

I think the Seattle to Frankfurt route uses 767-somethings that are a 2-3-2 seat pattern in economy and premium economy which is ok with me.

Posted by
218 posts

Condor is a budget airline in my book. Business class has lie-flat seats but are not the same as the larger "pods" you would get on a carrier like Delta, United, BA, Lufthansa, et. al. Not certain what you would get with Premium Economy or vanilla Economy. I would definitely check any proposed flights with Seat Guru (https://www.seatguru.com), which would give you specs on the plane, seat pitch, seat width, etc.

Posted by
248 posts

A friend and I booked (separately, but same flights) with Condor for May of 2020 to Germany. The last segment of the journey was cancelled (no longer available) early on at the beginning of covid. Numerous phone calls to them resulted in lies about the status. Then customer service saying several times it was being refunded in a few days but didn't happen, then told to request on line. Could never get any confirmation or acknowledgment in writing for me. My friend did get one email saying it would be refunded. I don't remember exact details at this point but it was months before I got my refund. My friend ended up having to go through her credit card company. The credit card company refunded because she had the email from Condor. Condor was going through bankruptcy at the time. I had documented it all and was about to file claim with EU appropriate agency when the credit came through after about 5 months. I would not book with them again. There were numerous threads on Facebook about not getting refunds.

Posted by
12883 posts

Hi,

Ages ago granted...I flew Condor three times, 1984, 1987, and 1992, all SFO to Frankfurt, non-stop, Economy class, the cheapest possible regardless of comfort. It was all right as long as you know what to expect.

Posted by
13068 posts

Unfortunately, the difficulty with refunds for a cancelled May 2020 flight was a common problem during the pandemic, and people experienced this with many of the major airlines as well. I personally would not blame Condor for this, as every thing was very confused at that time. And so many people were trying to contact their airlines that communication was difficult or impossible. I saw many complaints about similar problems with the legacy carriers ( Lufthansa, American Iberian British Airways, you name it) on FlyerTalk, TripAdvisor, and here on Rick Steves.

I just waited 2 months for a refund from British Airways for a flight I canceled myself on August 30— it was fully refundable and they did not dispute my entitlement to a full refund. They just did not refund my credit card until after I escalated my issue to the VP of Customer Care. It appeared on my credit card online statement on November 2. So the problem is still going on.

We flew Condor back to Seattle from Our 2018 Tour du Mont Blanc trip and it was fine—-on time, etc. we flew in business class and it was very inexpensive. And while it was not up to the level of British Airways, it was fine. I would use them again.

Posted by
10053 posts

We are fans of Condor. Have flown 4 times, once in Premium Economy and 3 times in Business. I love being able to fly west coast to Europe without changing planes on the east coast. While the seats aren’t as flat as other “lie flat” seats, the food and service were far better than BA or AA Business Class.

We almost flew economy on our first Condor flight in 2016. We were relocating from Rome to Portland and traveling with our cat, who was at my feet. It was tight quarters and once in the air, when the passenger in front of me reclined her seat even slightly, I could not move or even lower my tray table successfully! There were two PE seats and we paid for an upgrade on the spot.

I did have to request a refund in 2020 and while I had to call 3 or 4 times to get through and insist on getting my money back (they pushed a credit, of course) I received it promptly. We already plan to fly them in 2022 and as award tickets seem to be non-existent in Business Class, we’ll buy tickets.

The only admonition I have is to avoid changing planes at FRA. It’s fine to arrive and fine to depart, but changing planes there is a nightmare of long treks and multiple buses.

Posted by
3652 posts

It's very tight in coach, make sure your will is up-to-date in case the person in front of you reclines.

Food is pretty bad, and I normally like airline food. At least it's free.

You got 1 movie and 1 TV show for free in coach.

You board in Frankfurt in a second class area of the airport, feels like remote third world experience.

On the other hand, for many it's the only nonstop to Germany at the local airport.

Posted by
3110 posts

Thanks for your experience and/or knowledge everyone. We with throw Condor into the consideration mix with all of the other mainline airlines we usually consider as we watch airfares carefully this winter, hoping for a good May 2022 fare!

Posted by
43 posts

I flew Condor MSP-FRA in 2019 and wouldn’t do it again. Definitely read the fine print. Relative to domestic US travel, they were generous on checked bags (1 free) but the carry-on/personal restrictions were not doable in terms of weight, and my ticket (I discovered belatedly despite using a travel agent to book this so I wouldn’t make a rookie mistake…) did not allow me to purchase any add-on carry-on allowance. As previous posters have noted, coach was very tight. I don’t remember the food as good or bad. As a budget airline, they don’t (at least in 2019 from MSP) fly daily, so any travel disruption is likely to involve more inconvenience vs a bigger airline. FWIW, my future trips to Europe will be on Delta.