Condor 757-300 Business Class EVN-FRA
In looking for options to get to Western/Central Europe from the Caucasus, I found that Condor has a flight from Yerevan, Armenia (EVN) to Frankfurt. When I checked the prices; I was able to book Flight 847, a one way ticket in Business Class, for €285.
Condor is an Alaska Airlines partner airline, so I would be able to earn Mileage Plan miles for the four hour trip. The EVN-FRA flight is 1860 miles. For Business Class, you get an extra 100% Elite Qualifying Mile bonus and an additional 100% Redeemable Mile bonus. As an Alaska Airlines MVP Gold, I receive another 100% Redeemable Mile bonus. In other words, I earned 7440 Alaska Airlines miles for the trip; 3720 miles that count towards elite status.
At the Airport
My flight was scheduled to depart at 5:05am from Yerevan. I arrived at the airport at 3am and headed towards the Business Class check in. There was no one in the line, but the couple at the Business Class desk were having to re-pack their luggage so another agent helped me check in.
I received my boarding pass as well as a pass to enter the airport lounge.
While I already had access to the lounge, the pass also allowed access to the Fast Lane which allowed me to the front of both the passport control and security line in Yerevan. Unfortunately Business Class priority benefits ended there; there was no Business Class boarding line and no Business Class benefits on the ground in Frankfurt.
The Converse Bank Business Lounge offered a place to relax before the flight with a view of the terminal.
The flight was delayed about 90 minutes. When it was time to board, the process was a mess with everyone being called to board at the same time for a 757 aircraft. Even once boarding passes were scanned, we spent another 20-25 minutes waiting on the jet bridge to actually enter the plane.
The Condor 757-300 is all Economy seating; starting from Row 1. Typically if Business Class seats are sold on a flight, they simply block the middle seat of the front row(s) and make that the Business Class. I picked seat 1A to have the bulkhead. When I arrived at my seat, I was greeted by the head flight attendant and was offered Row 3 instead so I could stretch out more. Row 1 had immovable arm rests while Row 3 would allow me to lay down so I accepted. They also clearly wanted to use Row 1 for the flight attendants to sit during the flight. Even though Row 3 offered less leg room, it was nice to be able to spread out. The flight was not very full. There was only one other Business Class passenger who was located in Row 2.
Once settled in my row, I was offered a couple of pillows and a bottle of water. I was also given a welcome kit that included a hand wipe and an empty packing cube. It seemed like a strange amenity but was nice quality and something I might actually use in the future.
We finally pushed back around 6:30am.
Once airborne, I was offered the option of the breakfast croissant I had pre-ordered or an English breakfast. Feeling like I wanted something a little more substantial, I went for the English breakfast which was served with some mini muffins in a tray placed on a Condor branded placemat.
I was able to sleep a bit of the flight. Just before landing, a small box of candies was delivered to my seat and I was offered another bottle of water.
Upon landing in Frankfurt, we were at a remote gate and had to take a long bus ride to the terminal. Unfortunately it was then another hour wait to get through passport control.
Condor’s European Business Class is inline with other European carriers like British and KLM. The seat is no different than Economy, but the ground experience and in-flight amenities are an upgrade. The upgrade to Business Class for my flight was about $100 more than Economy. The biggest benefit for me was the increase in Mileage Plan miles. I would not hesitate to fly Condor again in the future given their partnership with Alaska Airlines. I hope to try out their new A330-900neo Business Class from Seattle in the future.