Alaska Airlines and Condor are teaming up to allow customers of each Frequent Flyer program to earn miles on each airlines. Mileage Plan members can earn miles immediately on all Condor flights and will be able to redeem miles for flights at an unspecified date. This is good news for long-haul leisure flyers as Condor expands their presence in North America.
Earn Alaska Miles on Condor Flights
Germany’s third largest Airline and primary leisure carrier is making a splash in the North America market. The airline already flies to destinations such as Alaska, Seattle, Tampa, Portland, and several east coast destination, but the airline is making a large expansion in 2017. In the last several years, Condor has added cities such as Minneapolis, New Orleans, Austin, San Diego, Las Vegas, and beyond. Although many destinations are seasonal, such as Alaska, Baltimore, and Seattle to Munich, other Condor destinations are available year round. In addition, many cities only offer service a couple of days a week. Very few of Condor routes are daily.
Starting immediately Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn 50% to 200% elite qualify miles per flight, depending on class of service. Condor cheapest tickets will earn 50% of miles flown, whereas premium economy will earn 125% miles. All miles are elite qualifying. Business class tickets will earn 300% miles flown, but only 200% of the mile will qualify for Elite status. Which is still an amazing way to earn miles!
The only catch to this partnership, is it does not cover Thomas Cook Airlines’ flights. Thomas Cook Airlines owns Condor and is a major leisure carrier in Europe. Be careful and know, Condor does sell Thomas Cook’s flights. Flights from Orlando and Las Vegas to Belfast, London and Manchester are all Thomas Cooks flights, not Condor. Ensure you are booking Condor flights and not Thomas Cooks if you want to earn Alaska miles. Only flights designated at DE 0001–2999 will qualify for Alaska Miles. Thomas Cook flights carry the code HQ or MT. Condor does sell tickets on several other partner airlines including Thomas Cook, Lufthansa, JetBlue, and Volaris. To accrue Alaska miles, pay attention when booking flights to book DE flights only.
Alaska Likes Low Cost Partners
Condor is another low-cost/hybrid airline that fits into the list of Alaska Airlines Global Partners. Alaska does have some of the best airline partners in the world such as Cathay Pacific, but they also have some mid-tier carriers. Currently, Alaska collaborates with lower cost hybrid carrier Iceland Air. Condor and Iceland Air have similar business strategy and on-board products. Both Condor and Iceland air offer cheaper flights to Europe on slightly older planes. Neither airline offers lay flat seats in Business, but they do offer comforts and free amenities that sets them apart from ultra-low cost carriers such as Norwegian and WOW.
Condor is better than an ultra-low cost carrier. Not only are they a cheap and comfortable way to get to Germany, but they offer meals, free luggage, and more depending on class of service.
“All Condor passengers receive complimentary checked baggage, beverages and meals and in-flight entertainment. Condor’s business class features reclining seats, a personal in-seat, premium touch-screen entertainment system, power and USB ports at every seat and gourmet, five-course meals with complimentary wine, beer and cocktails. Business class passengers also have access to priority check-in and business class lounges at most airports. Premium class features seats with added legroom, leg rests and adjustable headrests, a premium in-flight, in-seat entertainment system with an extended program, USB ports at every seat, premium meals and complimentary beverages.”
For travel to and from Germany, and the random connections on Condor’s partners, Condor will be a great way to earn miles. I attempted to find connections within Europe on Condor, but found most connections to be on Condor’s partner Lufthansa. These connections will not earn Alaska Airlines miles. It appears that the Condor/Alaska partnership will work for earning and burning miles to and from Germany, but not beyond when starting travel from the United States. Once the ability to use Mileage Plan miles on Condor is allowed, destinations beyond Germany will likely require an overnight stop. Better yet, use an Alaska Airline free stopover to maximize one’s vacation and explore Germany for a few days!
Condor may not be Lufthansa, but I gladly welcome another partner to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Award space on partners across the Atlantic can be difficult to find. British Airways has steep surcharges, Iceland Air requires a stop, and KLM/Air France rarely release space. Therefore, the addition of Condor should allow for some more unique awards that previously were not available. Furthermore, with the loss of Delta as an Alaska Partner, a new partner is needs to fill the void on transatlantic routes.
Have you ever flown Condor? What was it like? Would you recommend it to other readers?