Alaska & Condor Announce A New Partnership!

Ah, well this makes me sort of nostalgic. Growing up I lived in Tampa┬áwhile all our relatives lived in the Frankfurt area, so every summer we’d fly back to visit. At the time, German low cost carrier Condor flew nonstop from Tampa to Frankfurt, so we’d always fly with them.

This was back in the day when they still had a smoking section on the plane. My mom is a smoker, so she thought she was doing me a favor when we sat in the first row of the smoking section. She’d point to the smoke and say “see Benny, zhe smoke goes backwards.” What she also failed to account for was that just about every other German on the plane — including those in the non-smoking section — smoked, so after takeoff they’d stand in the aisle right at the first row of the smoking section to light up.

But hey, I got to fly, and that made me happy. Though perhaps this was also the motivating factor that got me into miles & points. ­čśë

Anyway, it has been over a decade since I’ve flown Condor, though it now looks like this is all coming full circle.

Alaska Airlines & Condor announce a new partnership

Condor and Alaska Airlines have just launched a new partnership. Alaska Mileage Plan members can now earn miles for travel on Condor, and soon should be able to redeem miles on Condor as well.

lufthansa-business-class-a320-10

Alaska Mileage Plan members can earn the following number of miles for travel on Condor:

Condor-Alaska-Mileage-Plan

As is the norm when Alaska establishes new partnerships, they first introduce reciprocal mileage earning, and as of now are starting that award travel options are “coming soon.”

Where does Condor fly?

Condor is based in Frankfurt, and flies to all kinds of leisure destinations.┬áTheir footprint of U.S. destinations has grown substantially┬áthe past few years. By this summer Condor’s U.S. destinations will include Anchorage, Austin, Baltimore, Fairbanks, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle.

As you can see, the partnership between Alaska and Condor is pretty useful, given how many overlapping cities they have. Alaska has hubs in Anchorage, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego, which very nicely complement Condor’s destinations.

What is Condor’s business class like?

While not super luxurious, Condor does now have a “legitimate” business class product on their 767s. They have angled business class seats, which is a lot more than they had back when I flew them a decade ago.

Condor-Business-Class

Condor has some really attractive business class fares, especially for one-way travel (which is ordinarily priced higher than roundtrip travel on international flights, but in the case of Condor is priced at half the cost of a roundtrip).

For example, you can fly one-way business class from Austin to Frankfurt for $879, which is pretty awesome.

Condor-Business-Class-Fare

Business class fares on Condor earn 200% elite qualifying miles, and 300% redeemable miles. If you’re an MVP Gold 75K, for example, you earn an additional 125% mileage bonus, for a total of 200% elite qualifying miles and 425% redeemable miles. For an MVP Gold 75K that’s┬á22,500+ redeemable miles for a one-way ticket. At a valuation of ~1.8 cents per point, that’s like earning $400+ worth of miles on a one-way ticket. Very impressive.

Condor-Business-Class-1

Bottom line

While Condor isn’t the most luxurious airline out there, I’m very excited to have them as an Alaska Mileage Plan partner. Condor consistently has attractive┬áfares, so it will be great┬áto earn Alaska miles when flying with Condor. Perhaps it’s time to review Condor’s business class soon.

Comments

  1. If you do review them, you HAVE to fly the flight from Frankfurt to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. It’s really one of the most random lines on the map, and I’m really curious why on Earth Condor flies that route? Are that many German tourists interested in seeing the Canadian arctic?

  2. Any way of combining the 50% biz plat rebate on any of these business fares? Condor doesn’t seem to show up on the amex travel website

  3. I flew Condor last summer from BWI to Frankfurt and connected onwards to Barcelona. I needed a one way ticket and as you point out – their one way pricing is good. I splurged for business class and it was great. Service on board was nice, food was good. Seats were tight for business, but they were comfortable. We were nearly 4 hours delayed leaving BWI due to a late inbound flight. I had scheduled a 4 hour connection in Frankfurt and I just barely made it. The issue with Condor was this – they are CHEAP. The check in agents in the US are only given a computer system that lets them check in passengers. they cannot change anybody’s tickets. So literally the whole plane was going to misconnect (or let’s say 80%). The agents at BWI had NO POWER to reaccommodate them on later flights at Frankfurt – all the misconnecting passengers had to wait until they got to Frankfurt to be reaccommodated. It was a mess upon arrival. Also, to note – even though I bought a business class ticket, they sell connections in Frankfurt to Lufthansa as Economy. So I was in Economy from FRA to BCN. Not a big deal, as intra-European business on LH isnt anything to write home about, but something to be aware of. That said, the price was right, and again, food was great in business, service was good, and the entertainment system was solid. I’d recommend them.

  4. @John-
    Condor will sell you connecting flights to any destination Lufthansa and partners flies to. When I flew them BWI – FRA last summer, the whole plane was connecting. There must have been 20 people on my ongoing flight to Barcelona on Lufthansa. The whole thing is seamless. If you go to condor.com to book a ticket, you just type in your origin – BWI (in my case) and destination BCN. The itinerary will include BWI (or wherever) – FRA on Condor and then FRA – XXX on Lufthansa. It’s easy – Condor interlines with and sells tickets with everybody from Frankfurt. Word of warning – if you buy business, Condor only puts you in Business on them from the US to Frankfurt. It’s economy on Lufthansa for the connection. That happened to me last summer, as I mentioned above.

  5. Condor used to be owned by Lufthansa. I think ‘charter airline’ is more appropriate than ‘low cost’.

  6. Hi Ben, I flew Condor Business Class a few month ago, in a B767 from Frankfurt to the Seychelles, and I loved the experience. You have to try them out again. The food was some of the best I ever got in Business Class (on the level of Austrian Airlines & Singapore Airlines). I published a review on my blog (http://wp.me/p4d1XU-GmI). You should fly them to the Seychelles, a blind spot on your travel map. The scenery of the island is stunning, and North Island is the most amazing resort in the world (even better than the St Regis Maldives, which you recently reviewed and where I stayed as well). Best, Jan

  7. @Lucky You mention they used to fly TPA to FRA, which you used. You also mention flying to leisure destinations, but I see no mention of any Florida destinations. What gives?

  8. This single change makes me interested in flying with Condor now. Good work expanding your partnerships Alaska.

  9. Anyone know if there’s any route restrictions on the Alaska/Condor partnership ? As in is it just for US routes or could I use this on say the DE flights between FRA and CPT ? Also anyone else figured out how to add a frequent flyer number during the Condor booking process cos I couldn’t spot it. Unless I’m being thick ­čśë

  10. @ lucky – Thanks for that ! So I guess with that, the connecting Lufthansa flights that Condor sells don’t count towards AS earnings ? Say for me to fly from my home airport of NCE to FRA in order to connect with the CPT leg ?

  11. Your readers should be aware of the manual nature AS miles get credited on Condor. I just booked tix from Prague to San Diego – the one way biz fare was very good.
    In speaking with Condor I was told that the only way to obtain Alaska miles credit was to show them your MP card in Frankfurt when transiting in Frankfurt. Seems a bit of a pain so we’ll see how it goes.

  12. Just FYI according to Condor’s website they have fully lie flat seats in their new upgraded cabin. Could be interesting to check out

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