WednesdayÂ newslettersÂ always feature aÂ hotelÂ orÂ flightÂ review.
I recently enjoyed a terrific holiday in Zanzibar, the famous spice island in the Indian Ocean off the coast ofÂ Tanzania. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review:Â Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class from Vienna to Dar Es Salaam
- Review:Â Park Hyatt Zanzibar
- Review:Â Essque Zalu Zanzibar
- Review:Â &Beyond Mnemba IslandÂ (phenomenal resort!!)
- Review: Hideaway at Nungwi Resort & Spa
- Review: Condor B767 Business Class from Frankfurt to Zanzibar (today)
- Review: KLM B777 Business Class from Dar Es Salaam to Amsterdam
Today (February 28, 2018): Trip report:Â Condor Boeing 767-300ER Business Class from Frankfurt to Zanzibar (via Mombasa).
On January 12th 2018, I flew Business Class in a Condor Airlines Boeing 767-300ER from Frankfurt (Germany) to Zanzibar (Tanzania). The flight made a scheduled, short stopover at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport (Kenya) to drop off travelers who booked a holiday on the white beaches of Kenya. Condor is Germanyâs second largest airline based on fleet size and passengers flown. It is a subsidiary of the British Thomas Cook Group, but still partners with its former parent Lufthansa through the use of the Lufthansa Groupâs Miles & More program (the flight earned me 3000 miles) and its business lounges at Frankfurt Airport. Although Condor hasÂ a reputation for offering European holiday makers inexpensive vacation packages to long-haul destinations, it offers a good Business Class product (although the seats don’t go fully flat). What makes Condor stand out, is its delicious onboard food, which IMHO ranks among the best food offered by any airline (and often much better than the food offered by legacy carriers). The flight departed with a delay of one hour because of an aircraft swap due to a technical problem, but I was pleasantly surprised by the extreme short time it took to find another aircraft to fly us to Zanzibar (I guess nothing beats German efficiency).
- Trip:Â Frankfurt (FRA) via Mombasa (MBA) to Zanzibar (ZNZ)
- Airline:Â Condor Airlines
- Aircraft type:Â Boeing 767-300ER
- Aircraft registration number: D-ABUT (built in 1999)
- Flight Number:Â DE2278
- Date:Â January 12th, 2018
- On time departure: no (9 pm; + 1 hour)
- On time arrival:Â no (9 am; +1 hour)
- Miles:Â 4157 (FRA-MBA) & 152 (MBA-ZNZ)
- Flight time:Â 8 hours (FRA-MBA) & 40 minutes (MBA-ZN)
- Seat:Â 3A (both legs)
- Class:Â business (D)
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Price of my ticket
- Condor fleet
- Lounge at Mombasa’s Mo International Airport
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (+ best & worst seats)
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences (views, crew, lavatory)
- My verdict (score)
Click to view slideshow.
*** GetÂ the mostÂ outÂ of your (luxury) trip to Tanzania with my onlineÂ Tanzania travel guideÂ ***
1. PRICE OF MY TICKET
I paid 750 euros for a one-way ticket from Brussels to Zanzibar via Mombasa (the return flight was with KLM Royal Dutch Airline, on which I will report next week). Condor is one of the few airlines that allows you to book online one-way journeys for half the price of a return ticket. The flight from Frankfurt to Zanzibar was in Business Class, although the Brussels-Frankfurt leg (operated by Lufthansa) was in Economy. Condor still partners with its former mother company Lufthansa to transfers passengers to its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, but when you book an intercontinental Business Class ticket with Condor from a connecting point in Europe, you will always end up in Lufthansaâs Economy Class for the intra-European leg.
2. CONDOR FLEET
Condor currently operates the Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-300, Airbus A320-200 and Airbus A321-200 aircraft types.
- 10 Airbus A320-200 aircraft and 5 Airbus A321-100 are used for Condor’s shorthaul and mediumhaul flights to the most popular vacation destinations within Europe, as well as to North Africa. Up to 24 seats in Premium Economy Class are available on the A320/A321 (but no Business Class).
- Like the Condor Airbus fleet, 13 Boeing 757-300 aircraft are used mainly for shorthaul and mediumhaul flights within Europe and to North Africa. This type of aircraft also has up to 26 Premium Economy Class seats available (but no Business Class).
- The 12 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft are used mainly for longhaul flights. 18 or 30 Business Class seats and 35 Premium Economy Class seats offer a more relaxed flying experience.
To the best of my knowledge, Condor has not made a decision yet when and how it will replace its aging Boeings.
3. LOUNGE AT MOMBASA’S MO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTÂ
When flying from Frankfurt to Zanzibar via Mombasa, Business Class passengers have access to two lounges: one in Frankfurt before the flight’s departure, and one during the short stopover in Mombasa (where all passengers have to deplane, also those that continue to Zanzibar).
Condor does not have its own lounge at Frankfurt International Airport but its Business Class passengers have access to the business lounges of its former parent Lufthansa. Lufthansa has more than 10 lounges at its hub, and during this journey, I visited the lounge near gate B24 in Terminal 1 (non-Schengen area), which is close to the Condor boarding gates. I have previously reviewed this loungeÂ here.
In Mombasa, Business Class passengers have access to the airport’s only lounge, which is probably the least inviting lounge I have ever visited in my life. The large but depressing space featured everything you need though in a lounge: comfy seats, TV, air con, tea, coffee, soft drinks, cake, yogurt, croissants and jam, computers, papers and toilets. Alcoholic drinks could be purchased.
4. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
Condorâs Boeing B767s come in two versions. TheÂ most common versionÂ has a total of 214 seats â 30 in Business Class, 35 in Premium Economy, and 180 in Economy. These aircraft are mostlyÂ deployed on routes where demand for Business Class seats is high (e.g. Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles). TheÂ less common B767 variantÂ (operated on this flight) features a higher density 259 seat configuration, with 18 seatsÂ in Business Class, 35 in Premium Economy, and 206 in Economy.
No matter what version you fly in, the Business Class seats in Condorâs B767s are always located in one single cabin in the front of the plane, and are spread over either 5 or 3 rows with 30 or 18 seats respectively. Although they donât have the youngest fleet in the industry, Condor completed a fleet-wide refurbishment of its Business Class cabins a couple of years ago and it shows: the B767 Business ClassÂ features a bright, airy and modern white look, nicely contrasting with the marine blue of the seats. During the retrofit, some of theÂ cabins were equipped with LED mood lighting, albeit that was not the case on the aircraft that flew us to Zanzibar.
The seats, arranged in 2-2-2 configuration, are contemporary capsules that all face forward. All seats offer aisle access, except for the window seats where you will have to crawl over the legs of your neighbour if you want toÂ reach the aisle.
ClickÂ hereÂ for a seat map of the most common version of Condorâs B767, and here for a seat map of the less common version.
5. THE BUSINESS CLASS SEAT
Although still comfortable, the Business Class seats on Condorâs B767s represent a dated product. While many airlines now offer flatbeds, Condor opts for angled lie-flat seats with a 170 degree incline. This isÂ probably due to the fact that Condor mainly caters to holiday destinations and therefore somewhat lacksÂ steep competition from other airlines, hence allowing them to maintain a somewhat inferior Business Class seat product.
Manufactured by Zodiac Seat France and nicknamed âMajestyâ, the seatÂ has a 152 cm (60 inch) pitch and is 48 cm (19 inch) wide. The seat layout is quite simple, with the seat and entertainment system controls located in one arm rest, while the moderately sized tray table is located in the other arm rest and needs to be pulled out for any use (after which you are kind of blocked in your seat).Â In front of the seat is the entertainment screen (more on that below), with some storage space on top of it and a large compartment below for your feet (or legs when you transform the seat into a bed). The seat has USB ports and electrical outlets if you wishÂ to use your own electronic devices rather than the seat built-in complete system.
With a press of the button, the seat reclines toÂ an angle of 170 degrees, hereby creating a bed of 180 cm (70 inch) long, whereby your legs disappear in the box below the entertainment screen. Although I am 182 cm (6 ft) tall, I found the seat to be comfortable enough and was even able to snag a fewÂ hours of sleep along the way (something that does not happen often to me on a flight).
What are theÂ best Business Class seatsÂ on Condorâs B767? UseÂ this seat mapÂ for more information.
- All seats in the cabin, except for the first and last row, are quiet good, especially for couples. Make sure to prebook your seat online (which can be done free of charge) to avoid disappointment at the airport, since Condor flights are often fully packed.
What are theÂ worst Business Class seatsÂ on Condorâs B767? UseÂ this seat mapÂ for more information.
- The 2-2-2 Business Class layout does not make the cabin very attractive for solo travelers, since you will always end up sitting next to a stranger. There is a small screen though between seats that can be raised for added privacy.
- Window seats donât offer direct aisle access.
- Passengers seated in the first row may be bothered by the noise of the galley and passengers going to or returning from the lavatories.
- I also suggest to avoid the last row of Business Class, which is close to Premium Economy bassinet seats.
- Window seats in the last row of Condor’s most common B767 aircraft version are missing a window.
Upon boarding, your find aÂ comfortable blanket and pillow on your seat to enhance your sleeping comfort. In the shelf above the TV screen, you find the amenity kit, which comes in the form of a bright yellow etui. The kit’s content contains the bare essentials: an eyeshade, earplugs, socks, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
UponÂ boarding, I was offered the choice between a glass of Champagne, water, or orange juice. I choose the latter since drinking alcohol on a plane gives me headaches. Shortly afterÂ take-off, I received a refreshing hot towel to wipe my hands and face.Â I was also servedÂ a soft drink (with ice and lemon) and a small bag containing an assortment of cold nuts.
Soon thereafter, dinnerÂ was offered. Food was terrific and amongÂ the best I ever enjoyed on a flight. The quality, quantity, presentation, and service were all top-notch. The menu read as follows:
- Starter: combination of
- Sliced breast of guinea-fowl, yellow radish salad, cashew nuts, served with grape and mustard dressing
- “Nori” salmon filet on fennel & apple slaw, wasabi crÃ¨me fraiche served with cauliflower tartlet and salmon tartar
- Seasonal greens presented with mango balsamic dressing
- Main course:Â Brazilian fourper in a curry cream sauce, steamed mangold, and Jerusalem artichokes
- Cheese: Morbier, Normandy Brie and ComtÃ© accompanied by fig chutney
- Dessert: Elderflower mouse with rhubarb sauce
Ninety minutes prior to landing in Mombasa, breakfast was served. It featured:
- Freshly sliced fruits
- Croissant with butter, ham and Gouda cheese
- Scrambled eggs with chives, local veal saucage, and steamed tomatoes
- Bircher muesli
- Bread roll â croissant â chocolate Danish pastry
- Butter â jam â Nutella â honey
During the short flight from Mombasa to Zanzibar (40 min), drinks were served but no meals.
Each Business Class seatsÂ has its ownÂ 15-inch monitor, which is located in the back of the seat in front of each passenger. Â The in-flight entertainment system, utilizing Zodiacâs Rave system, can be controled by touching the screen or by a tethered remote. The program itself is not the most extensive one around, but still offers around 30 movies, 50 TV series and documentaries, and a good selection of music. As mentioned above, each seat is also equipped with a power outlet if you want to use your laptop or tablet above the clouds.
9. ONBOARD INTERNET
Unfortunately, WiFi is currently not offered by CondorÂ at the moment.
10. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
# CREW: The crew was welcoming, attentive and efficient.
# PILOT REST AREA: On Condorâs 767s pilots have a special resting place located in the Business Class cabin. There are thick curtains that separate this space from the passengers.
# BAR: The Condor B767 does not have a walk-up bar in Business Class.
# LAVATORY: This B767 aircraft featured one lavatory for Business Class passengers, located behind the cockpit.
# FLIGHT PATH: The flight path took us over Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya. Watching the sunrise above the African continent from 40,000 ftÂ was a great spectacle.
11. MY VERDICT
- Lounge (Lufthansa): 7/10
- Lounge (Mombasa Airport): 2/10
- Seat comfort (upright): 7/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 7/10
- Food (quality):Â 9/10
- Food (quantity): 9/10
- Inflight entertainment : 7/10
- WiFi: 0/10 (not available)
- Service: 9/10
- Cabin design: 7/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8/10
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