The Complete Guide to Flying Condor

Going
June 9, 2023
12 min read
Going
June 9, 2023
12 min read
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Condor is a German airline that has been in business since 1955. It was formerly a subsidiary of Lufthansa but is now owned by investment firm Attestor Capital. While Condor’s service is designed for German leisure travelers, many of the airline’s North American destinations have significant origin traffic bound for Europe, meaning its flights from North America are more evenly split between Europeans and Americans. 

Long popular among North American vacationers, Condor offers peak-season European fares that are often lower than other major airlines. However, considering the airline is a German company designed for German outbound travelers, some of its policies may be more familiar to European travelers, like the fee structure and some of the check-in options. 

What’s Condor?

Condor is a leisure-focused, full-service airline based in Germany. With affordable fares and routes through a dozen US airports, Condor is also popular among North American travelers. 

What we love about Condor: 

  • Affordable nonstop routes from US cities to Germany (including flights from cities without many alternative flights to Europe)
  • Premium cabin fares are often lower than other major carriers between the US and Europe
  • Tasty, generously portioned meals in all classes of service

What we don’t love about it:

  • Membership in US frequent flier programs is limited
  • Some extra fees can be a surprise (e.g., special dietary meals in Economy)
  • Baggage allowances and fees can be confusing (e.g., for Business Class fares, the carry-on weight restriction is 35 lb, but no single carry-on can weigh more than 22 lb

Some examples of deals Going has found on Condor

  • Business class Chicago, Dallas, and Newark to Frankfurt, Milan, and other European cities starting at $2,232 roundtrip (including summer)
  • Business class Boston, Dallas, Miami, and NYC to Doha around $2,800 roundtrip
  • Several US cities to Frankfurt, Munich, and Rome starting at $510 roundtrip
A Condor plane sits at an airport gate waiting to board

About Condor

  • Founded in: 1955
  • Hub cities: Condor operates bases in seven German cities, but virtually all North America service is from Frankfurt
  • Fleet: 48 narrowbody and widebody aircraft. Flights to North America are operated by Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 equipment
  • Subsidiaries: None
  • CEO: Ralf Teckentrup
  • Alliance: None
  • Nonstop routes: 0 domestic, 201 international
  • Safety rating: 7/7 in general
  • On-time rating: 35%
  • Nationality: German
  • Domestic classes of service: N/A
  • International classes of service: Narrowbody aircraft have Premium Economy and Economy; Widebody aircraft have Business, Premium Economy, and Economy
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • Customer Service 
  • Condor Flight Status

A brief history of Condor 

Condor was founded in 1955 as a joint venture between several German transport companies, including flag carrier Lufthansa, to operate leisure-oriented flights. Condor was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa from 1960–2000, when travel company Thomas Cook began buying shares, ultimately becoming the majority owner. When Thomas Cook collapsed in 2019, Condor was bought by an investment firm, Attestor Capital. The airline has long operated a mixture of medium- and long-haul leisure flights from Germany.

Where Condor flies

Condor currently flies nonstop from 18 North American cities, including: 

  • Anchorage
  • Baltimore/Washington
  • Boston
  • Cancún
  • Edmonton
  • Fairbanks
  • Halifax
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • New York (JFK)
  • Phoenix
  • Portland (PDX)
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle/Tacoma
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Whitehorse

Because of the leisure nature of the flights, many of them operate only during peak seasons (which varies by destination) for outbound travel from Germany to the North American destination. For example, Anchorage and Whitehorse are served during the popular summer months but not at all during the rest of the year.

The airline serves 81 destinations total, but opportunities for connecting flights are generally only via Frankfurt to a select number of top destinations and generally through flights operated by Lufthansa. Condor’s outbound flights from Germany to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean and Africa are largely timed for the Germany-originating passenger—departing first thing in the morning—rather than inbound connections from North America. 

Because Condor’s flights don’t operate daily, it helps to be flexible. For example, if a Seattle/Tacoma nonstop flight is not available on the day that you’re looking for, you may have luck finding another Condor flight that transits through Frankfurt that same day and for a similar fare.

Condor’s hubs

Condor’s intercontinental hub is at Frankfurt International Airport, where virtually all arrivals from the Americas and Asia will disembark. For short- and medium-haul flights, Condor also has operating bases in: 

  • Düsseldorf
  • Hamburg
  • Leipzig/Halle
  • Munich
  • Stuttgart
  • Vienna
  • Zürich

Condor's new livery

Condor’s fleet is rapidly being repainted in its catchy new livery of vertical stripes alternating between white and one of five colors that evoke the spirit of vacation: Condor Island (green), Condor Sunshine (orange), Condor Sea (blue), Condor Passion (red), and Condor Beach (sand). 

The stripes are meant to be reminiscent of beach towels, umbrellas, and ice cream shop awnings. 

Tips for booking a Condor flight

Condor offers a number of fare types for each class of service with varying inclusions—from baggage and assigned seating to ticket flexibility. 

Condor fare types

On Condor flights between North America and Germany, there are three classes: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy. Within each class, there are typically several fare types (such as the Economy Light fare type, which falls within Economy class); each fare type offers different restrictions, like on refunds and flight changes. The experience in each cabin is generally the same regardless of the fare class you’ve purchased. 

Baggage fees on Condor

Condor’s free checked baggage allowance for flights between North America and Germany is as follows: 

  • Economy Light: None
  • Economy: 1 bag up to 50 lb (23 kg)
  • Premium Economy: 1 bag up to 70 lb (32 kg)
  • Business: 2 bags up to 70 lb each (32 kg each)

Excess baggage fees vary by piece: 

  • First bag (Economy Light only): $180 up to 50 lb (23 kg)
  • Second bag: $120 up to 50 lb (23 kg)
  • Third bag: $175 up to 50 lb (23 kg)

The baggage allowance can get confusing as fees apply based on the total number of bags, including any bags checked as part of a free baggage allowance. For example, an Economy passenger checking three bags will pay the second and third checked bag fees. However, a Business class passenger checking a third bag will pay the third checked bag fee of $175 (the first two bags are included in the fare).

If you have overweight or oversized baggage, you’ll run into another fee. Overweight baggage, which weighs more than the fare’s bag allowance but not more than 70 lb (32 kg), will incur a fee of $120 per overweight bag in addition to the flat baggage fee. Oversized baggage, which is more than a combined length to width to height measurement of 158 cm, costs an extra $240. If a bag is both oversized and overweight both surcharges apply.

Baggage fees are per flight for flights operated by Condor. Passengers checking in with another airline and connecting to Condor on the same ticket will pay fees according to the first carrier in their itinerary.

Carry-on bags are also limited on Condor. Passengers traveling on all fares may bring a small bag to stow under the seat in front of them free of charge. Allowances for additional carry-ons vary by class of service and fare type: 

  • Economy Light: Not included, bookable for about $32 up to 8 hours prior to departure with a weight limit of 17 lb (8 kg)
  • Economy Classic: One included with a weight limit of 17 lb (8 kg)
  • Premium Economy: One included, with a weight limit of 22 lb (10 kg)
  • Business: Two included. A single piece must not weigh more than 22 lb (10 kg), and the combined total must not exceed 35 lb (16 kg) 

Seat selection fees on Condor 

Seat selection on Condor from North America to Germany is $35 per seat per flight in Economy and Premium Economy. Condor doesn’t charge for seat assignments in Business class, except for the Prime Seat at the front of the cabin, which goes for $240 per flight.

Extra-large seats in Economy with extra legroom are located in the exit rows and can be purchased in advance for $115 or at the airport for $120.

Standard seat selection fees are waived for the following passengers: 

  • Families traveling with an infant under 2 years old who is occupying a seat using a car seat
  • Passengers with disabilities (call Condor for assistance)
  • Passengers using wheelchairs
  • Unaccompanied minors

Fees on Condor 

  • Carry-on bag: $32 for Economy Light, $110 if the weight limit is exceeded on flights between North America and Germany
  • Checked bag: $120–$180
  • Seat selection: $35 for standard, up to $120 for an extra-legroom seat in Economy
  • Food: On inbound and outbound North America flights, standard meals are free. In Economy, special meals for dietary restrictions are available starting around $22. Alcoholic beverages are available in Economy starting around $3. In Premium Economy, alcoholic beverages are free with meals, and they’re always free in Business. 
  • Wifi/Entertainment: There are headsets for sale for about $3 for Economy passengers. Premium entertainment is available for pre-purchase and onboard for about $9. 

What it’s like flying on Condor 

Checking in

A Condor check-in counter

Condor allows online and airport check-in. Passengers checking in online can get a mobile boarding pass or have it printed at the airport ticket counter. For passengers departing from select German airports, there’s also late-night check-in, where you can check-in during a certain time window the evening before your flight and even drop off your checked baggage. 

Online check-in is free for all classes. Airport check-in is free for all classes except Economy Light, who can book airport check-in in advance for $12. If you don’t book in advance, you can still check in at the airport, but the price goes up to $30. 

Late-night check-in is free for Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class passengers paying the highest fare. For Economy, it’s $12 per person, and for Economy Light, it’s $30 per person. If you are an Economy Light passenger and have already pre-booked airport check-in for $30, it includes late-night check-in.

Lounge access

Although Condor does not operate its own lounges, Business Class passengers have access to a lounge at most European and North American departure points. However, if you are on a flight that departs before lounges open or after they close, you may not have lounge access; Condor will let you know if that is the case. 

In the US, Condor passengers are often directed to third-party lounge operators—branded “The Club” at many airports—although, in some airports, the airline may contract with another carrier’s lounges. For example, Condor passengers have access to Lufthansa Business lounges in Frankfurt. At other German airports, they generally use airport-operated (non-airline) lounges. 

If you do not get lounge access through your fare class, you can purchase it through Condor’s partnership with Lounge Pass.

Boarding

Condor boards passengers in a traditional fashion—families with small children, passengers with disabilities, Business and Premium Economy, then Economy passengers. Condor does not sell access to priority boarding on a standalone basis; you must purchase a Business or Premium Economy ticket to enjoy this benefit. 

Carry-on size and weight is strictly monitored throughout the boarding process on Condor. 

Flying Condor in economy class

Condor Economy class

Condor’s Economy class has modern seats with 30” of pitch. There is seatback entertainment available for a fee (there’s a slight discount for pre-booking). Standard meals are free, as are non-alcoholic beverages. Special meals, including those to suit dietary restrictions, can be preordered for a fee. 

On long-haul flights between Germany and North America, Condor offers a hot or cold snack (depending on the length of the flight) prior to arrival, which is also included in the fare. 

Seats have USB power ports, and on A330neo aircraft, Wifi is available for about $7 for unlimited chat, about $13 for two hours of basic coverage, or about $20 for four hours of high-speed internet suitable for streaming music or connecting to a VPN client.

Condor Premium Economy class

Premium Economy offers a larger seat with more legroom and space to recline, as well as an upgraded meal that includes alcoholic beverages during mealtimes. Also included is an amenity kit, pillow, blanket, headset, and entertainment, plus niceties like priority boarding.

Flying Condor in business class

Condor Business class

Condor’s Business class comes in two different flavors on long-haul flights, depending on the aircraft. Seats are lie-flat on both aircraft, but the lie-flat seats on the Boeing 767-300 are somewhat older in design and angled slightly toward the floor (the idea is that the seat is flat because most aircraft fly angled slightly nose-up, but many users report slippage toward the front of the seat). Entertainment screens, while large, are also older generation. 

The Airbus A330neo aircraft has a more modern “pod”-style lie-flat seat (without the angle), a large in-seat monitor with 4K resolution, and USB-A and USB-C ports for charging devices. The beds are also slightly longer on this aircraft than the 767-300. 

Entertainment screen, snack box, and headphones in Condor Business class

In Business on the A330neo, Condor also sells the Prime Seats separately. Located in the first row, these seats are more private, with the most room (they’re wide, with more legroom, and there’s even room for a companion seat and a larger monitor), and they’re provided with some extra amenities, like pajamas, a prime travel kit, and an extra snack basket. These seats can be selected for an additional fee if available after the initial purchase of a Business class ticket. 

All Business passengers receive a gourmet menu with a choice of three main dishes to choose from, served on china settings with glassware; plus, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the fare. 

Condor reviews

The airline rating website SkyTrax rates Condor a 3-star airline with a 4/10 rating, which is consistent with many of its competitors flying the same routes. Many reviews noted complaints with seating (particularly with last-minute aircraft changes), delays, and seat comfort, including legroom. Other reviews complimented Condor flights for having clean aircraft and low fares.

Tips for flying Condor

How to use a credit/voucher on Condor

Voucher or loyalty codes can be applied on the credit card payment page when purchasing flights. Look for the “Got a Voucher/Loyalty Code?” box in the upper right corner. 

How to change your flight on Condor

Condor flights booked with travel agencies should be changed by the booking agent. Condor flights at changeable fares booked online can be changed online; fare differences and additional fees may be applied. Flights on changeable fares can also be changed via the call center, but fees will still apply.

How to get a refund on Condor 

Refunds not required by EU 261 regulation are subject to the fare purchased. You can request a refund at the time of cancellation if you’ve booked a refundable fare or if portions of your mixed-fare ticket are refundable. 

What if Condor changes your flight day or time? 

As Condor is certificated in an EU member state, the bar for changing flight dates and times is higher than in the US. If Condor wants to make significant changes to a flight more than two weeks in advance, the airline has to demonstrate that operational requirements are unavoidable. As such, changes are much less common on EU carriers. Within two weeks of departure, EU 261 regulations regarding delays and cancellations apply, meaning passengers are entitled to cash compensation for significant delays or changes to a flight’s departure time.

What if Condor cancels your flight?

EU 261 regulations apply to all canceled flights operated by carriers certificated in the EU, including Condor. EU regulations require carriers to pay cash compensation based on the length of the delay, including the delay if passengers were ultimately rebooked on other carriers. 

How can I contact Condor? 

If you are calling from the US or Canada, Condor’s 24-hour toll-free hotline is 1-866-960-7915. You can also reach their customer service center via the airline’s website.

Frequently asked questions about Condor

Is Condor a good airline?

Yes, Condor is a good airline. It is a German leisure airline with decades of experience in jet passenger operations.

Is Condor a safe airline?

Condor is certificated in Germany, which has aviation oversight programs the US Federal Aviation Administration and international governing agencies of aviation have determined are consistent with international standards. Condor has not experienced a major hull-loss aircraft accident in over 35 years.

Is Condor air still flying?

Condor is still in operation as of June 2023.

How strict is Condor with carry-on sizes?

As with many European airlines, Condor is strict with carry-on sizes at both the ticket counter and departure gate.

Can you change a Condor flight for free?

Depending on the fare, some Condor fares may be changed without a fee or at an additional charge. Be sure to read the fare rules prior to purchase, and select the fare with the level of flexibility required to meet your travel plans.

What’s the average legroom on Condor?

Economy legroom on Condor is at least 30”. Additional legroom seats are available for purchase.

How can I contact Condor?

If you are calling from the US or Canada, Condor’s 24-hour toll-free hotline is 1-866-960-7915. You can also reach their customer service center via the airline’s website.

Last Updated 
June 9, 2023
Going
Going Team

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