May 31, 2023

In the course of the peak summer time season, tens of flights function between Germany and Corfu every day. Because the trade sees a powerful restoration, these flights have been in robust demand, that means costs had been pushed excessive early. As probably the most cost-effective technique to attain the island, I opted to e-book Condor’s early morning flight from Dusseldorf. Right here’s what I discovered.

Reserving the flights

I booked my flights in early Might to journey to Corfu in mid-August. By this level, costs had been already getting moderately excessive with most carriers. Condor had one of many cheaper flights, clocking in at €287.98 ($285.84) for 2 individuals (€143.99 ($142.93) every). Curiously, I regarded on the reserving engine on the morning of my flight and located that purchasing a ticket would’ve been cheaper than what I had paid three months earlier.


Condor operates as a leisure provider, providing economic system and enterprise class fares on its short-haul providers. Condor gives varied fare classes for economic system class bookings, together with Financial system Mild, Financial system Class, and Financial system Greatest. We opted for Financial system Class which included a 20kg checked bag and an 8kg carry-on bag.

You’d be forgiven for considering you had been touring with a low-cost provider through the reserving course of. The web site supplied the next add-ons on a number of pages of the reserving course of between deciding on your flight and fare and inputting passenger information,

  • Versatile rebooking – €10
  • Seat choice – from €12.99
  • Extra maintain baggage – from €49.99
  • In-flight catering – from €4.49
  • Precedence at check-in, safety, and baggage reclaim – from €16.99
  • Sports activities gear – from €54.99
  • Deutsche Bahn Rail & Fly – from €29.99
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On July twenty eighth, I acquired an electronic mail from the airline with the topic “CONDOR”. The physique opened with the textual content, “We’re sorry to inform you that we have now needed to make some adjustments to your upcoming flight.” Initially, I feared that my flight had been canceled. Fortunately this wasn’t the case, and the unique departure time of 06:10 had been shifted again simply over an hour to 07:20. Confusingly, the outdated flight particulars had been proven instantly below a “new flight particulars” heading.

The presentation of the brand new flight particulars was complicated at first look. Photograph: Easy Flying

Attending to the airport

Attending to Dusseldorf Airport from Frankfurt in time for an early morning flight isn’t as simple because it sounds. The most suitable choice would’ve been to journey to the airport the night time earlier than and e-book a lodge. Sadly, this wasn’t an choice for us on the time of reserving. As a substitute, we booked a late practice departing from Frankfurt.

Usually the ICE 920 departs from Frankfurt Central Station at 23:24, arriving at Dusseldorf Airport at 03:01. Sadly, the day we traveled, the cease at Dusseldorf Airport was omitted on account of engineering works. As a substitute, we needed to go one cease additional to Duisburg after which leap again to the airport on a continuous regional practice. Ultimately, this labored out in our favor. We arrived at Dusseldorf Airport station at 03:40, round 5 minutes earlier than the suspension railway reference to the terminals started.

A loooooong check-in course of

Each the web and terminal check-in processes appeared to take longer than needed. As was the case with reserving, there have been many pages to go by, together with some upselling alternatives,

  • Who do you need to verify in?
  • Would you prefer to improve to enterprise class for €109 every?
  • Are you certain you don’t need to improve to enterprise class?
  • Do you need to pay to pick out a seat?
  • What’s your nationality?
  • Verify that the knowledge offered was appropriate and that you’ve got all of the required paperwork.

Every of those steps was undertaken on a brand new web page. Fortunately, I used to be rewarded for my endurance with the elusive sequence primary. Getting into Terminal B, we noticed {that a} sea of individuals had already overwhelmed us to the airport. Condor had eight flights departing inside three hours of our arrival, and all eight of those flights had been largely being checked in by simply eight of the ten open counters.

4 had been out there for passengers who had been but to verify in in any respect. 4 extra had been open for many who had checked in on-line and wanted to drop a bag. One was out there for passengers requiring particular help, and the ultimate desk was for enterprise class passengers. Each of the latter two hardly ever had a queue.

Lengthy queues greeted these arrivng at Dusseldorf Airport. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

As we had checked in on-line when check-in opened 24 hours earlier than the flight, we joined one of many three prongs emanating from the bag drop queue. These three prongs stretched throughout the terminal from the purpose the place the queue boundaries ended. All in all, it took us an entire hour, from becoming a member of the queue to strolling away from the check-in desks.

There was by no means a watch for the particular help or enterprise class strains. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

The precise means of dropping our luggage was speedy, although I used to be irritated that the agent produced two paper boarding passes for us though we already had digital boarding passes. I continued to make use of my Apple Pockets boarding go for the remainder of the airport expertise, rendering my undesirable bodily boarding go a waste of paper.

I used to be utilizing my Apple Pockets boarding go, that means the paper one I used to be given was pointless. Photograph: Easy Flying

Dusseldorf Airport safety

My expertise with the safety verify at Dusseldorf Airport was blended. The queue size and administration of the queue weren’t good. Nevertheless, like check-in, the precise means of the safety verify wasn’t unhealthy.

Let’s begin with the queue. Regardless of three computerized boundaries being in place on the entrance to the verify, these had been all closed, with one workers member manually scanning every boarding go. As such, a protracted line snaked again into the terminal, which some had been becoming a member of mid-way alongside. As soon as the preliminary boarding go verify was accomplished, there was little to no-queue administration earlier than the x-ray machines and physique scanners. This meant that some had a for much longer wait than others, as no one actually knew the place the queue went.

The verify itself was nice as these checks go. I’d commend the airport on the scale of its x-ray bins. Small bins are an actual bugbear of mine, as touring with a spread of electronics means I recognize all of the area I can get my fingers on. I solely wanted two trays, versus the three I normally find yourself taking. When you go the safety verify, it isn’t instantly clear the place the entire gates are as they’re positioned on two ranges.

Terminal B has nice views throughout the apron that includes every part from the Airbus A220 as much as the large A380. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

The departure lounge within the B pier of Dusseldorf Airport wasn’t a lot to put in writing residence about. Alongside the compulsory duty-free store, there was additionally a bookshop on every stage and a restaurant providing cold and hot drinks and sandwiches. The redeeming issue of the terminal was its views over the apron. Every thing from the airBaltic Airbus A220 to the Emirates Airbus A380 could possibly be seen on the airfield.

Condor’s “Wir Lieben Fliegen” Boeing 757 additionally made an look. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

Boarding wasn’t a lot better…

Condor boards its flights in teams like many carriers, although policing these boarding teams didn’t appear too strict. As we solely traveled with carry-ons that may match below the seat in entrance, we didn’t rush to be first on the aircraft. As soon as the queue began to die down, we proceeded to scan our boarding go and located ourselves ready on a staircase. It shortly turned obvious that we might be boarding the flight by bus.

The queue began to maneuver once more, and as we obtained to the entrance, the bus doorways closed, and we had been instructed to attend for the subsequent bus. In whole, it took round quarter-hour between scanning our boarding passes earlier than we set foot on a bus. As soon as the bus began transferring, we found that the plane was parked on probably the furthest stand from the terminal.

Boarding was solely by way of the entrance door. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

Boarding was solely by way of the entrance of the Airbus A321 regardless of being on a distant stand. As we had been seated in row 32, it was a protracted stroll down the already packed cabin. Crew mentioned good morning as we boarded, although there have been no handouts just like the anti-septic wipes given if you board a Lufthansa flight.

Condor’s onboard expertise

There’s not a lot to be mentioned in regards to the seating on the plane. The whole aircraft had a regular 3-3 format with the center seats blocked in enterprise class. The legroom was okay, and the seats had leather-based covers. The aircraft was eight and a half years outdated, which confirmed within the seat. The place 1000’s had sat in 32A over time, the seat’s padding had moved, making a ridge on the again. This meant sitting proper again on the seat was uncomfortable, with a slight slouch proving far more comfy.

Every armrest had a radio that was switched on. It’s unclear if anyone truly used it, although. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

Surprisingly, the armrests supplied an in-flight radio service that gave the impression to be working, although I didn’t have a headset with which I might check it. The plane had sat on the bottom in Dusseldorf for 17 hours since its final flight, although I wasn’t satisfied it had been given an intensive clear. Whereas the plane had a shiny new inside, the inside seemed to be drained.

The realm below the seat in entrance seemed to be a little bit bit soiled. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

As we pushed again, the crew accomplished a guide security demonstration and secured the cabin. The one good thing about our plane being parked so removed from the terminal was that the taxi for departure was brief and candy. Earlier than we knew it, we had been climbing out over town of Dusseldorf with spectacular views. I have to admit that the white and purple striped wingtip, although missing the blue, stored making me suppose that I used to be on an American Airways flight.

There have been spectacular views available climbing out of Dusseldorf Airport. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

As soon as they had been ready, the crew left their seats and commenced getting ready the cabin for the meal service. Meals will not be usually included in economic system fares, although two completely different choices can be found for these wishing to dine in-flight. Full meals may be pre-ordered for an extra value forward of departure. In the meantime, a menu of snacks and drinks is obtainable onboard the flight.

Forward of the flight, I opted to purchase two Full English Breakfasts at €9.99 every. As quickly because the meal service commenced, these had been instantly delivered to us earlier than the trolley was pushed by your entire cabin. After bringing our meal, the crew returned and supplied us complimentary water or orange juice.

A plastic bowl coated with tin foil was delivered to our seats shortly after departure. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

As quickly as our orange juice had been poured, it turned clear that one thing was taking place within the cabin. The drinks trolley was swiftly saved, and the crew ran to the cabin’s heart. Seconds later, an announcement was remodeled the cabin asking any docs onboard the flight to proceed to the center of the plane. At this level, roughly six passengers lept up and moved to the incident. Luckily for the ailing particular person and the flight, it appeared the medical emergency was efficiently resolved, and the flight proceeded to Corfu as deliberate.

The Full English Breakfast

The breakfast was served in a plastic bowl coated in foil. Together with the meal was a set of bamboo cutlery and a small field containing a few tiny truffles, which I didn’t attempt. The primary meal consisted of the next elements,

  • Potato cubes – had been fairly dry and starchy, not good to eat multi functional go.
  • Sausage – smooth, moist, and filled with taste.
  • Bacon – A thriller meat that wasn’t conventional English again bacon. It had a number of flavors, however I wasn’t certain if it was actually all too pleasant.
  • Scrambled egg – Surprisingly, the egg was the very best a part of the meal. It was moist and attractive due to the herbs and wasn’t overdone.

The meal was total surprisingly tasty although the potatoes had been fairly dry. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

In my view, the portion dimension was good. Nevertheless, the value appeared a little bit excessive for the meal, with €6.99 seeming barely extra affordable for what you bought. As soon as I completed my meal, my waste was collected, and there was sufficient time for an upright nap till the highest of the descent.

The field with small truffles. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

Method and touchdown

On the high of the descent, the captain got here onto the intercom to elucidate that we might be beginning our descent into Corfu and offering the usual spiel in regards to the climate at our vacation spot. Slightly bit later, she additionally gave a little bit bit extra details about our method to the airport, way over would sometimes be anticipated from a pilot.

The plane flew across the Island of Corfu earlier than touchdown at its airport. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

We flew south alongside the island’s coast, giving excellent views from the left-hand aspect. After a few left turns, we had been lined up with the runway and on our closing method into Corfu. Sitting on the left-hand aspect whereas touchdown gives beautiful views of the island, and in direction of the top of the method, you are feeling virtually stage with a number of the accommodations. The touchdown was fairly uneventful, although as soon as the plane began its taxi, a wave of applause crammed the cabin.

We noticed an awesome lodge for avid aircraft spotters. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

The taxi to the terminal was fairly brief, and we parked subsequent to a few easyJet Airbus A320s. Not like boarding the flight in Dusseldorf, deplaning the plane was achieved by each the entrance and rear exits. As we had been leaving the aircraft by way of the rear, I famous that the final row of seats on the left of the plane was reserved for the crew to relaxation through the flight.

Corfu has no jet bridges, that means we needed to stroll throughout the apron to the terminal. As we had arrived on an intra-Schengen flight, there was no passport management, and we got here straight into the luggage reclaim corridor. Keep in mind from above that I didn’t pay further for precedence baggage dealing with. Regardless of this, our suitcase was the fifth one to seem on the belt.

Our plane basked within the Greek solar after arrival in Corfu. Photograph: Tom Boon – Easy Flying

As soon as we grabbed our bag, we proceeded by the blue EU arrivals customs channel. Corfu Airport is operated by Fraport. The terminal has a light-weight and ethereal really feel and offers a contemporary and contemporary impression, in contrast to the dated Heraklion terminal over on the Greek island of Crete.

The flight particulars

Our flight, DE1612, was operated by D-ATCG, an eight-and-a-half-year-old Airbus A321. Carrying the brand new purple and white Condor stripes livery, the plane had accomplished 12,750 flight hours (1.45 years) throughout 4,678 flights as of December thirty first, 2021. Its present estimated market worth is listed on as $31.09 million.

Flight DE1612 was scheduled to depart from Dusseldorf Airport (DUS) at 07:20, with a deliberate Corfu Airport (CFU) arrival of 10:45. On August fifteenth, the plane obtained airborne with a delay of 18 minutes at 07:38. The aircraft made up a while within the air through the two-hour 14-minute flight, touchdown simply seven minutes late at 10:52. The grand circle distance between Dusseldorf and Corfu is 1,651 kilometers.

In abstract, the airport expertise in Dusseldorf was nicely beneath par, primarily because of the lengthy waits at every stage. Regardless of this, the onboard expertise was nice, and I’d select to fly with Condor once more sooner or later.

Have you ever flown with Condor on the Airbus A321? How was your expertise? Tell us what you suppose and why within the feedback down beneath!