Condor Launches Flights To San Diego And New Orleans

Condor is a German leisure airline owned by Thomas Cook Group. The big difference from other airlines in the group is that Condor sells tickets individually, and even reasonably priced one-ways.

If you live in the biggest US cities such as Los Angeles and New York, chances are you aren’t familiar with Condor since their US network is quite unusual.  They fly to Anchorage, Fairbanks, Portland and Baltimore, among other cities.

A Condor 767 after arriving in New Orleans.
A Condor 767 after arriving in New Orleans.

I like that they choose to go into underserved markets, as opposed to launching flights to destinations where they have half a dozen competitors. Last year, the airline announced new flights to San Diego, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. The first two just launched this past week, and I had the pleasure of joining one of the inaugural flights.

Condor Inaugural Flights to New Orleans

The seasonal flights operate thrice weekly to San Diego and twice weekly to New Orleans, with different schedules every day. My flight from New Orleans was scheduled to depart at 8:00pm local time and arrive in Frankfurt at 12:45pm the following day.

My aircraft after its first arrival in New Orleans.
My aircraft after its first arrival in New Orleans.

All the routes will be operated by their 767-300 with 259 seats. Flights can now be booked from $349 one-way in economy and ~$880 in business. I’ll be posting my review of the flight in Condor Business Class shortly, so stay tuned for that.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these new routes for those of us who are miles and points geeks is that Condor recently partnered with Alaska’s Mileage Plan. Flights in business earn 300% redeemable miles without elite status. That’s an incredible return, especially since the flights are relatively cheap. While it’s not yet possible, we should soon be able to book award tickets on Condor through Alaska as well. Three new destinations and 1000+ new seats per week will certainly be helpful when looking for award space.

Have you flown Condor before? Will these new routes be useful to you?

Comments

  1. Really looking forward to your Condor business class review. Wee will be switching to Alaska next year as primary airline, and I’m very interested in the redemption/earning rates for Europe compared to Air France.

  2. Plenty of Thomas Cook scheduled services from the UK – transatlantic ops from Manchester and Cape Town from London Gatwick among them

  3. I flew condor business last summer bwi- fra. Then connected to lh to bcn. Service on condor was excellent. Food delicious. Worked for me!

  4. Can’t wait for the review. Definitely worth connecting through San Diego if business class fares stay under $1,000 each way!
    Thanks Daniel!

  5. MSY would be useful. That’s a short, cheap connection from DFW. Maybe one day I’ll fly out to Frankfurt via MSY, fly back to Yellowknife, and find a creative way home from there 🙂

    Very much looking forward to your review, especially to see how it compares to DY Premium Class.

  6. wow u really think an $880.00 one way ticket is cheap? are you bill gates or warren buffett? or some russian oligarch? what about a reasonable business class fare of 300-400 dollars that normal people can afford to purchase and fly

  7. Yes, both of those airports would be more convenient to me than LAX or JFK, which is where I usually transit through to get to Europe. Plus, these economy fares include meals and a checked bag, which Norwegian’s cheapest fares do not. Actually, I’d prefer not to check a bag. But Concord only allows you 6kg of cabin baggage total, and I travel with pretty much everything I own, so my bags usually weighs almost 3 times as much.

    Still, I can certainly work with that. I hope to try the flight out of NOLA in mid-July. This is very welcome news, indeed.

  8. Error in this article. Please correct. TCX fly schedule services. CPT, JFK, to name but two.

  9. @daniel
    you need to get your math better aligned with what you are saying. Let’s say you make $100K/year.
    We’ll use $10M/year for Gates & Buffett, we could easily use $100M/year. If $880 is Gates & Buffett territory that would make your territory $8.80. It’s all about the zeros.

  10. will condor fly from phoenix or las vegas. can i get miles on lufthansa (miles and more).

  11. The best thing about Condor is that they also fly from other “minor odd” airports like YVR and SEA.

    The only problem at this time is that their web site does not work very well (at least the last time I tried a few weeks ago) and you could not book a thru fare from YVR to CPT. You could only find the YVR-FRA flight and the FRA-CPT flight.

    So when they get their act together this will be a very attractive option for west coasters. The unfortunate thing is that J appears to be angle-flat. But at the price?????

    Also will be very interested to see how the points on AS compare with CX with their 62500 points for J (YVR-JNB). Wish CX flew to CPT!

  12. Wow! Great business fares under 1K! Excited for your review. I just hate the name “Condor” for an airline, sounds so cheap and old school. But anyway, thanks for the article!

  13. Flew Condor from MAD-FRA-AUS Business last week. First leg was LH Economy (they tell you that in the small print but still let you use LH lounge) and then J Class to Austin. It’s all about the price of a one-way J ticket for my wife and I . . . less than $1900 for two OW. Of course with these “low” prices one needs to manage their expectations as you would normally do on SWA. Our inflight service ad food was very good, the IFE slightly below average and the one year old that cried loudly (screamed) two rows in front of us really distracted from the expectations of Business Class travel. I suppose one should expect infants/children in Bussiness when the mother pays $900 and the infant travels for free. Can’t say I blame the mother for wanting the extra room as I doubt a Y seat would have been comfortable for her even without the child in her lap. I know many readers feel that infants and children should be welcomed anywhere at any time … I have reservations about that attitude. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should and if you do, have a supply of ear plugs to pass out. Perhaps DE needs to have Bose noise cancelling headsets instead of the inexpensive headsets they passed out. (You might say “when didn’t you bring you own.” Well, we went over F on BA and we pack light, very light.)
    All that being said, will I consider DE again? Certainly! While I can definitely afford F or J class full fare travel, just because I can doesn’t mean I should, especially when it’s almost $4,000 per person less than any other airline’s one way fare as one way tickets appear to be the only way most of us can burn our miles.

  14. BTW, I didn’t know I could credit the miles on DE to AS. Is it too late (we traveled May 4) and if not, how do I go about getting the miles credited to my Alaska account.

  15. Nice pics of the Condor plane and event.
    Hope to see you post more often.
    Thanks Alastair Majury

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