A New Trick for Cheap Flights to Europe

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  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    A New Trick for Cheap Flights to Europe

    Carriers like Germany’s Condor Airlines are launching discount international flights at smaller U.S. airports

    In his most recent column in The Wall Street Journal, travel columnist Scott McCartney describes how to save big on long-haul travel: take a "non-big" airline such as Condor (a unit of Thomas Cook Travel) out of a smaller airport, such as TF Green in Providence, RI to travel to Frankfurt, Germany. The rates? How does $700 r/t for coach and $1400 r/t for business class sound? Too good to be true? Read the WSJ article here:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-trick-for-cheap-flights-to-europe-1438790462?tesla=y

    If you don't subscribe to the WSJ, simply put the headline of this article (above) into a search engine, and you should be able to read the article with one-time access.
     
  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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  3. MSPeconomist
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    However, Condor business class is likely to be difference from longhaul business class on a legacy full service carrier. AFAIK PVD doesn't have lounges and Condor might not pay for lounge access for it's business class passengers at FRA. Plus, if IROPs happen, it could hard to be rebooked to arrive close to the scheduled time.
     
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  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    All good points. But you must admit that $700 coach/$1400 business class seating (if delivered in a safe and timely manner) is quite a bargain over the legacy air carriers.
     
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  5. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    Looking at random dates, legacy carriers, using Boston and Frankfurt as endpoints (ain't likely I'd be starting from Providence), random dates a few months out, I see most coach rates at $700, plus or minus a little. (Sorry, the table's messy after cut-and-paste). I only fly coach, so business fares don't interest me. I'm guessing the airport taxes are a bit higher in Boston than Providence, which may account for part of the disparity.


    ↓ Depart Return →
    Mon 11/9 Tue 11/10 Wed 11/11 Thu 11/12 Fri 11/13 Sat 11/14 Sun 11/15
    Fri 10/30 $780 $939 $780 $780 $780 $780 $780
    Sat 10/31 $1013 $780 $1013 $992 $780 $780 $1053
    Sun 11/1 $906 $721 $708 $712 $712 $722 $722
    Mon 11/2 $722 $698 $715 $712 $722 $722 $722
    Tue 11/3 $722 $694 $710 $712 $712 $721 $1013
    Wed 11/4 $722 $715 $722 $722 $722 $721 $722
    Thu 11/5 $806 $891 $722 $806 $806 $722 $722

    Factor in my cost of getting to PVD, the lost points and status, the diminished airport amenities, the IROPs, and I'm not tempted.
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Lots of lounges. Incl. LH Business Class lounges at FRA

    https://www.condor.com/us/flight-info/business-class/lounges.jsp

    Here in the PNW they team up with AS to provide feeder flights to, say, PDX.
     
  7. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    The 2+ hour wait for customs kills it for me. I wouldn't really be in the market at all considering I live in LA, but still. Time is worth something too!
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Just book business class, so you aren't the last one off the plane. If I were to fly Condor to Europe (and I might give it a try next year from PDX or SEA), I'd just use Global Entry (not an option in Providence).

    Also noteworthy: Condor has a premium economy offering. https://www.condor.com/us/flight-info/premium-economy-class/special-service.jsp

    And you can earn a few M&M miles :) https://www.miles-and-more.com/online/portal/mam/rs/earn/flight/offer?nodeid=2508915&l=en
     
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  9. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Looking at this year, outbound on 25-Aug and inbound on 1-Sep, it is $1597 round trip LAX-FRA via PDX on DE, and $1523 roundtrip via CLT on US.

    If my destination is somewhere other than FRA things get much more complicated booking with DE - and more expensive whereas I could just fly direct to many European destinations on another carrier. Try LAX-DUS via PDX and FRA and the price is nearly $400 more than AA for economy and still north of $3500 for J, with a 2-hour layover at PDX and 9 (!) in FRA. This is still a bargain compared to $7000 on US, but the travel time? If one does as suggested and book J or W, it becomes more reasonable compared with obscene J fares on most carriers, but you still have to contend with the layovers. I don't really mind, but my partner would run me out of town on a rail. :eek: On the other hand, customs at PDX or SEA would be much more tolerable than a place like PVD, and I suspect they have GE.

    This is definitely a boon for people living in cities DE actually serves that have no airline loyalty, and hopefully it will encourage other airlines' prices to go a bit lower too.
     
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  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    YMMV, but as the article provides an example of FRA-bound flights out of PVD, this deal may provide an alternative for TATL for many of us "East Coasters"!
     
  11. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I 100% see the value of this for people in the Boston area. That's a heck of a deal. I wish it made more sense from out here - or that anything of the sort was available for Asia!
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I think Condor's focus is really on getting German tourists to North America, not giving US travelers a cheaper option to get to Europe. Or are there so many people in Whitehorse, YT that want to escape their precious summer and fly to rainy Germany? ;)
     
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