Alaska Airlines reached out with a tip yesterday that they’ve loaded award charts for their most recent partner, Condor Airlines. Condor is a German carrier owned by tour-operator Thomas Cook. Anyone can book a ticket — you don’t have to be on some kind of package vacation — but they do have a greater focus on leisure travelers. Rocky covered the introduction of the Condor partnership in March.
Low, medium, and high awards are based on relative demand, not seasons. They work similar to Alaska’s variable pricing for domestic flights. When demand is weak, you can fly for as few as 25,000 miles. When more people want to fly, the price might increase to 40,000 miles. Premium Class and Business prices do not vary.
Check out this review of Condor’s SEA-FRA business class by local Seattleite David Parker Brown, who runs Airline Reporter. Award space for economy and premium economy look pretty good right now if you’re willing to tolerate a connection. I easily found several dates with Condor flights from different U.S. gateways, and these had very low fees. However, I have not yet found a business class award.
A few things about the Condor partnership are great news for Alaska Airlines customers. First, it creates a new option for getting to Europe. Awards on British Airways are relatively easy to come by but packed with expensive fees. Awards on KLM/Air France are a little harder, and American Airlines has lately been almost impossible.
Second, Condor isn’t just a convenient option to get to Europe; it also introduces a new gateway in Germany. If you were trying to get to Frankfurt from Seattle, you previously had to go outside Alaska’s partnerships and fly Lufthansa to go non-stop. While I like Lufthansa, I wouldn’t earn Alaska miles.
U.S. cities served by Condor include Seattle, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Portland, Minneapolis, Anchorage, Austin, San Diego, and New Orleans. Prices for award travel are consistent with Alaska’s other partner airlines.