Are Condor’s “Prime” Business Class Seats Worth It?

Are Condor’s “Prime” Business Class Seats Worth It?

26

In a previous installment, I reviewed Condor business class on the Airbus A330-900neo. Not only does this plane have an all-new business class product for Condor, but it even has a special “premium” business class, known as Prime seats. What are these seats, and are they worth it?

What are Condor’s Prime seats?

Recently we’ve seen several airlines introduce a special product in the first row of business class. The logic is that most modern business class products efficiently use the space to the side of the seat in front in order to minimize each seat’s footprint. When you’re in the bulkhead, that doesn’t apply, so airlines can use that space to do something special.

In the past, airlines kind of just wasted that space, while nowadays airlines are sometimes maximizing this by creating an exclusive product that can be booked at an extra cost. That’s exactly what Condor has done on the Airbus A330-900neo, which is its newest aircraft, and will eventually be the carrier’s sole long haul plane.

Condor Airbus A330-900neo

These planes feature a new business class product. Condor now has fully flat beds and direct aisle access from every seat, which is a massive improvement over the carrier’s old Boeing 767 business class.

Condor Airbus A330-900neo business class cabin

In addition to that, the airline has introduced Prime seats. Specifically, the four seats in the first of the cabin are special seats that come with significantly more space than standard business class seats, and also come with some extra amenities… at a cost.

Condor Airbus A330-900neo Prime seats

This is the same general concept as Virgin Atlantic’s Retreat Suites, which are in the first row of the carrier’s new A330-900neo Upper Class.

What’s different about Condor’s Prime seats?

What makes Prime seats different than regular business class seats? If you look at the seats themselves (rather than the ottoman), they look like pretty standard business class seats.

Condor Prime seat Airbus A330-900neo

What makes them special is when you look in the other direction. As a reminder, below is what the footwell situation is for a regular Condor business class seat in this configuration.

Condor business class seat Airbus A330-900neo

Meanwhile below is what it’s like in the Prime seats.

Condor Prime seat Airbus A330-900neo

Rather than having a small footwell in which you have to place your feet, these seats have huge ottomans, which are in a completely different league than what you’ll find at the other seats. Not only do these ottomans make the seat much more comfortable if you want to sleep, but they can even double as buddy seats, so that you can dine face-to-face with a travel companion, if you’d like to.

Condor Prime seat Airbus A330-900neo

Furthermore, rather than having 17.3″ personal televisions, the Prime seats have 24″ entertainment screens, so they’re way larger (they’re also farther away from you, due to how much space you have).

Condor Prime seats Airbus A330-900neo

On top of that, the seats have a storage compartment next to the ottoman, which you won’t find in other seats.

Condor Prime seats storage Airbus A330-900neo

Admittedly one concern that people may have when seated in the front of the cabin is the proximity to the galley and lavatory. For what it’s worth, on the A330-900neo, two lavatories are behind the cabin, and only one lavatory is in front of the cabin, and it’s all the way up by the cockpit. Sitting in one of the Prime seats, I didn’t notice any noise issues.

Another cool aspect of the Prime seats is that Condor tries to differentiate the soft product in some subtle ways. Passengers seated in Prime seats receive pajamas, slippers, and a snack basket, which other business class passengers don’t receive.

Condor Prime seat amenities
Condor Prime seat amenities
Condor Prime seat amenities

How much do Condor’s Prime seats cost?

As it currently stands, the Condor Prime seats can be booked by anyone with a confirmed ticket in business class. You can reserve these seats anytime between booking and departure, and currently the price seems to be a $360 upcharge for most markets. It doesn’t matter if you booked your ticket with cash, or upgraded, or redeemed points, as you can assign these seats at that cost no matter what.

The cost for all four of the Prime seats (2A, 1E, 1F, and 2K) are identical.

Condor Airbus A330-900neo business class seatmap

Are Condor’s Prime seats worth it?

Condor’s Prime seats are really excellent, and exceeded my expectations. While Condor’s new business class seats are great in general, the Prime seats are particularly spacious, and will almost make you feel like you’re in a first class suite.

Are they worth the money, though? At a cost of $360 over a standard business class seat, the pricing is definitely on the steep side. That’s especially true when you consider that Condor is a value oriented airline, and generally has very attractive pricing.

While expensive, I do think Prime seats could be worth the upgrade. A few thoughts:

  • Personally I found the window Prime seats to appear more spacious than the center Prime seats, so I’d much rather pay that amount to upgrade to a window seat than a center seat
  • Another consideration is which other seats you can assign; when I booked, there were no “true” window seats left in business class, so I would have been at one of the business class seats closest to the aisle, making the Prime seats a more attractive alternative
  • If you’re someone who struggles to sleep on a plane when you have to place your feet in a small footwell, reserving a Prime seat could be the difference between getting a good night of sleep and not
  • Personally I’d probably be more likely to pay for a Prime seat again on a daytime flight than an overnight flight; for example, I don’t think I would have paid this fee on a seven hour overnight flight from New York to Frankfurt, while on a 10+ hour daytime flight from Frankfurt to Seattle, I thought the value was there
  • I redeemed miles for my flight, so the way I rationalized the upgrade cost is that I was still paying less in cash than I would have paid if redeeming miles with an airline that has steep carrier imposed surcharges, as you’ll sometimes find across the Atlantic

So I guess in conclusion, I think it’s a great product, but the pricing is also steep. I’m curious how Condor Prime seat pricing changes over time.

Bottom line

It’s great to see more airlines creatively taking advantage of space in the first row of business class, to create special new products. That’s exactly what Condor has done with its A330-900neos, in the form of new Prime seats. Not only do the seats offer quite a bit more space, but they also offer a few extra amenities.

I flew in one of these from Frankfurt to Seattle, and found it to be an excellent product. The pricing is a bit steeper than it ideally would be, but we’ll let the market decide whether it’s fair or not.

What do you make of Condor’s Prime seats? Would you pay for one if flying Condor business class?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Tammy Guest

    Question - can someone from back in economy come up and sit with you in the extra seat in Business Prime seat?

  2. churnobull Guest

    For our '24 April LAX-FRA, these are now up to $600/person. For $350 i'd do it. Anything more than that, I think we're out.

  3. Patrick N. Guest

    When I initially booked my standard business class seat for my FRA-CUN-FRA, they were offering the prime seats for an additional € 499 per trip. Today I wanted to check in for the CUN-FRA portion of the flight and they offered the prime seat for just € 99. So it might be worth it to look out for a bargain once check-in is open.

  4. Patricie Rehackova Guest

    Can the person in the visitor seat get some refreshments? Could be used even if the visitor travel in economy and not in the bussines class?

  5. FlyerDad Guest

    We are traveling to Europe in Condor business class next month. Yesterday I received a discount code for 20% of prime seats in both directions. At that price, I would definitely do it. Unfortunately, it is not valid on award bookings. I spent several hours with Condor and Alaska reps and they could not figure out how to apply it (even though there are no limitations in the T&Cs for award bookings). I don't know...

    We are traveling to Europe in Condor business class next month. Yesterday I received a discount code for 20% of prime seats in both directions. At that price, I would definitely do it. Unfortunately, it is not valid on award bookings. I spent several hours with Condor and Alaska reps and they could not figure out how to apply it (even though there are no limitations in the T&Cs for award bookings). I don't know if they always send them out. The discount code said it only applied to the first 100 persons who responded.

  6. Jenny Guest

    Does Condor allow to select a seat for business class? I booked an award business class via Alaska, I can't find anywhere on the Condor website about selecting seat when I manage my booking.

    1. Holly Guest

      On your award confirmation from Alaska there is also a different confirmation number from Condor. Go to the Condor Air site and enter that confirmation # and your last name to manage your flight and choose your seat.

  7. Trevor Guest

    I booked this flight in biz for Sept 2023 from BRU to JFK. They wanted 500 EUR for the "prime" seats. Absurd.

  8. Dwondermeant Guest

    Ben Appreciate this timely excellent review I decided to bite the bullet and book SFO Frankfurt route seems the San Diego route is history
    If one needs to cancel their award booking is the Prime Seat 360 dollar fee refundable?
    My understanding is that it is
    Thanks

    1. STEFFL Gold

      IF YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR SURE:

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      IF YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR SURE:

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      Österreich
      +43 (0) 720 20 40 84 (Ortstarif)

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      0,11 CHF/Minute
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  9. STEFFL Gold

    ... adding on . . . so YOU got . . . . "Lucky"! on your upgrade! :-) :-)

  10. STEFFL Gold

    quick update @Ben:
    That upgrade for the 1st row on the new CONDOR seats on A339 are just so "cheap" to the US, if you try booking those seats to other destination, no matter what C-class fare you booked the ticket in, will be MUCH higher,
    e.g. FRA-MRU=EUR999,-
    FRA-CUN=EUR499,99
    FRA-MLE=EUR999,99
    FRA-JFK=EUR499,99
    FRA-BGI=EUR499,99
    FRA-GND=EUR499,99
    FRA-YVR=EUR499,99
    FRA-CPT=EUR999,99
    FRA-MBA=EUR499,99
    FRA-PUJ=EUR499,99
    FRA-SEZ=EUR999,99
    no matter what the...

    quick update @Ben:
    That upgrade for the 1st row on the new CONDOR seats on A339 are just so "cheap" to the US, if you try booking those seats to other destination, no matter what C-class fare you booked the ticket in, will be MUCH higher,
    e.g. FRA-MRU=EUR999,-
    FRA-CUN=EUR499,99
    FRA-MLE=EUR999,99
    FRA-JFK=EUR499,99
    FRA-BGI=EUR499,99
    FRA-GND=EUR499,99
    FRA-YVR=EUR499,99
    FRA-CPT=EUR999,99
    FRA-MBA=EUR499,99
    FRA-PUJ=EUR499,99
    FRA-SEZ=EUR999,99
    no matter what the fare is in Business and going to the Indian Ocean or to Southern Africa, these fares are MUCH higher then going West over the Atlantic!
    So the upgrade (direction across teh pond to America) is a BARGAIN compared to some routes CONDOR is selling these seats otherwise!
    While the fares to the Indian Ocean or South Africa are already MUCH higher then to any US or Caribbean destination in any (paid) C-Class booked.
    Just a littel UPDATE to your post!

    1. Edward Guest

      I recently flew from MLE to FRA using alaska miles. The upgrade to the first row was $360.

    2. Rick Guest

      9/17/2023 Update cost to upgrade to Prime Business class seats
      JFK to FRA 5/6/2023 $600
      FRA to SFO 5/21/2023 $600
      :(

  11. Grey Diamond

    Is it just me or does the snack basket feel cheap? Just say they can get anything from the buy onboard menu for free...

    1. STEFFL Gold

      ... just think of ANY other airline in Business Class, what Snack Basket do you get there? Even at the self service bar at some airlines, the selection is NOT as good!

  12. Andrew Reiser Guest

    A little more room, a basket of candy and a larger tv for 300+ more? Not worth it for me, but I am also short.

    1. STEFFL Gold

      you better DON'T fly Swiss then, they cahrge a premium for there single Bsuiness Seat, and DON'T offer anything special to those passengers that already pay a premium price to HAVE to fly with that Airline, NO pJ, NO snack basket, NO slippers, NO oversized screen, NO seat by the window, . . . . so some people pay for such seats, and still get NOTHING but a single seat, you get that with CONDOR...

      you better DON'T fly Swiss then, they cahrge a premium for there single Bsuiness Seat, and DON'T offer anything special to those passengers that already pay a premium price to HAVE to fly with that Airline, NO pJ, NO snack basket, NO slippers, NO oversized screen, NO seat by the window, . . . . so some people pay for such seats, and still get NOTHING but a single seat, you get that with CONDOR and much more, so that's a bargain!!! Compare the US$ 499, FRA-PDX for such a seat to an added price for a Business Seat reservation with Swiss!
      . . . . then the CONDOR seat is well worth it! But i need to say, if you fly for instance, FRA-MRU on the A339, those seats sell for EUR999,- ~USD 1100,- EXTRA! So FRA-SEA is a BARGAIN!

    2. Loretta Jackson Guest

      If you must make a million random comments, could you at least have the decency to spell check for two seconds?

      Stop YELLING AT US IN ALL CAPS, too.

    3. Dominic Kivni Guest

      You don't have to pay on Swiss if you have the right level of status, the fact that some passengers have to pay is to restrict the better seats to customers who spend more on the airline. Leisure airlines like Condor don't really rely on loyalty from frequent business travelers the way that business traveler-oriented airlines like Swiss do

  13. Stefan Guest

    I git an account with Alaska Milage Plan - though I’ve never used it so far.
    I am planning on buying miles with the current promotion they have.
    I wanted to check for award space for FRA-CPT on Condor but Alaska always gives me an error saying “try another city pair” - any ideas what I am doing wrong? Before I buy miles I want to see if I can make use of them.

    Stefan

    1. STEFFL Gold

      AS sucks if you depart anywhere else except from US!! Does NOT work for 99% of the CONDOR flights.
      It's a lousy programm, if you are NOT departing ex US and even if you want to fly CONDOR SEA-FRA-CPT . . . . if won;t work on AS!
      Just give up, it's a lousy program! (at least still is in 04-2023!)

  14. Motion to Dismiss Gold

    I’d probably do it but it would make the value proposition feel even better if there was some F&B enhancement like a nicer Champagne. But then again it would just become a first class I guess!

  15. Mick Guest

    I think I’d be keen to give it a go. It’s almost first class on some airlines (jal, Singapore non a380).

    Gee I wish it was easier to click the “x” above those pop up video things on every article on omaat and live and let fly these days. Maybe because I’m old and have a iPhone mini but it’s almost disingenuous how many times I seem to open then (when I never want to). Just saying.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

STEFFL Gold

you better DON'T fly Swiss then, they cahrge a premium for there single Bsuiness Seat, and DON'T offer anything special to those passengers that already pay a premium price to HAVE to fly with that Airline, NO pJ, NO snack basket, NO slippers, NO oversized screen, NO seat by the window, . . . . so some people pay for such seats, and still get NOTHING but a single seat, you get that with CONDOR and much more, so that's a bargain!!! Compare the US$ 499, FRA-PDX for such a seat to an added price for a Business Seat reservation with Swiss! . . . . then the CONDOR seat is well worth it! But i need to say, if you fly for instance, FRA-MRU on the A339, those seats sell for EUR999,- ~USD 1100,- EXTRA! So FRA-SEA is a BARGAIN!

2
STEFFL Gold

quick update @Ben: That upgrade for the 1st row on the new CONDOR seats on A339 are just so "cheap" to the US, if you try booking those seats to other destination, no matter what C-class fare you booked the ticket in, will be MUCH higher, e.g. FRA-MRU=EUR999,- FRA-CUN=EUR499,99 FRA-MLE=EUR999,99 FRA-JFK=EUR499,99 FRA-BGI=EUR499,99 FRA-GND=EUR499,99 FRA-YVR=EUR499,99 FRA-CPT=EUR999,99 FRA-MBA=EUR499,99 FRA-PUJ=EUR499,99 FRA-SEZ=EUR999,99 no matter what the fare is in Business and going to the Indian Ocean or to Southern Africa, these fares are MUCH higher then going West over the Atlantic! So the upgrade (direction across teh pond to America) is a BARGAIN compared to some routes CONDOR is selling these seats otherwise! While the fares to the Indian Ocean or South Africa are already MUCH higher then to any US or Caribbean destination in any (paid) C-Class booked. Just a littel UPDATE to your post!

1
STEFFL Gold

... just think of ANY other airline in Business Class, what Snack Basket do you get there? Even at the self service bar at some airlines, the selection is NOT as good!

1
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