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What Was It Like to Fly Condor’s Inaugural Transatlantic Route in Business Class?

Full review of the German carrier's inaugural flight from San Antonio to Frankfurt onboard a brand-new Airbus A330neo

Photo: Business Class, Airbus A330neo. Courtesy of Condor

On May 17, 2024, Condor Airlines inaugurated San Antonio International Airport’s (SAT) first-ever long-haul flight—a milestone eagerly anticipated since the German leisure carrier announced the addition of San Antonio to its growing North American network in September 2023. According to Condor, considerable effort went into making this historic occasion a reality.

Given Business Traveler‘s close following of Condor’s expansion into the U.S., the airline graciously invited us to join the inaugural flight to San Antonio, a momentous event in both the airline’s and the airport’s history.


The airline’s website and mobile app are user-friendly, with clear instructions for booking flights, selecting seats, and checking in. However, due to a minor glitch with my passport, I couldn’t complete the check-in process online and had to wait until I arrived at the airport.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Upon arrival, I was somewhat surprised to find that the airport’s check-in area lacked decorations to mark the inaugural flight. Condor’s check-in desk was centrally located next to Spirit Airlines, divided into two sections—Business Class and Premium Economy/Economy Class.

I was warmly greeted by a charming senior lady wearing a cowboy hat, who escorted me to the business class lane. She cheerfully reminded me that this was the inaugural flight, expressing the airport’s excitement for its first-ever long-haul flight.

At the check-in desk, the agent seemed slightly nervous, likely due to the pressure of handling an inaugural flight. The station manager stepped in to assist smoothly, and I soon had my boarding pass in hand. My pre-selected seat, 8A, the last in the Airbus A330neo’s Business Class cabin, was confirmed.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

One of the advantages of flying from a smaller airport is the quick and efficient TSA screening process. I breezed through security in under three minutes and found myself at Gate A6, centrally located in the terminal.

The gate area was a charming display of celebration adorned with vibrant balloons, blue Condor airplane models, and an enticing spread of German delicacies. The selection included pretzel bread with mustard and cheese dips and a delightful apple-based dessert. The gate area was being entertained by a German music ensemble called Beethoven Damenchor and Männerchor.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Shortly after arriving at the gate, I received an invitation to descend to the tarmac to witness the Airbus A330neo’s arrival. This particular aircraft had been delivered to the airline just two months prior.

As a member of the press, I was thrilled to witness the brand-new airliner’s arrival—a career highlight enhanced by the palpable excitement from the airport staff.

Photo: Condor Airlines inaugural ceremony in San Antonio. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Though the aircraft did not receive the traditional water cannon salute due to water conservation efforts, the atmosphere was still electric.

Once the aircraft was securely docked, I returned to the terminal for the inaugural ceremony. The airport’s director, San Antonio’s Mayor, Condor’s North American sales executives, and local dignitaries participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebrating the launch of this significant route.

Photo: Courtesy of San Antonio International Airport

The flight is expected to have an economic impact of $34 million over its first two summers of operation.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

When the flight attendants and cabin crew arrived at the gate, they were greeted with enthusiastic applause. The female Airbus A330 captain delivered a few remarks, expressing her gratitude to all passengers for being part of this historic occasion.


Due to the inaugural celebrations on the ground and a few protocol hiccups with the airline’s check-in software, boarding commenced almost an hour behind schedule. However, passengers remained understanding and kept their excitement high throughout the process.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Boarding was conducted via facial recognition technology. As soon as passengers were scanned, the group of senior ladies with cowboy hats handed out souvenirs to each passenger.

I was fortunate enough to board first, and upon entering the immaculate cabin, I was warmly greeted by the smiling flight attendants.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Upon boarding the aircraft through the L2 door, passengers are immediately greeted by a striking “Welcome to Condor” blue panel, beautifully highlighted by chic striped walls and the aircraft’s signature mood lighting.

This thoughtful design element sets a warm, inviting tone, offering a first glimpse of the airline’s unique character. Condor strives to stand out, and the consistent stripe motif throughout the cabin ensures a memorable impression.

The Seat

Condor’s business class seating features an all-aisle access configuration in a 1-2-1 layout, ensuring every passenger enjoys direct access to the aisle without bothering neighbors. This strategic choice sets Condor apart from many competitors, providing an exceptional passenger experience comparable to Lufthansa’s recently launched Allegris product.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class. Courtesy of Condor

The seats in Condor’s business class are a customized version of the Safran Skylounge Core seat. Each seat measures 50.8 cm (20 inches) in width and can recline into a fully flat bed of 1.99 meters (78 inches).

The seats feature a 17.3-inch 4K high-resolution touchscreen and a cabled touchpad remote control, which includes a small display showing the remaining flight time. Passengers have access to a universal power outlet, USB, and USBC outlets, ensuring all devices can be conveniently charged during the flight.

The airline’s designers have employed a variety of textures to enhance the cabin’s appeal: the seats are upholstered in rich navy fabric, the armrests are finished in leather, and the seat shells combine plain hard plastic with a textured carbon fiber look. When reclined, the seat shells reveal a soft suede lining, adding a touch of luxury.

A standout feature of the seat is its innovative table design, which allows the table to slide back and forth, enabling passengers to leave their seats without stowing the table away completely. When not in use, the table is neatly tucked under the personal screen, maintaining a clean and uncluttered space. This was my favorite element of Condor’s business class product.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class seat. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

While the seats are comfortable and offer decent privacy, they are somewhat narrow when fully reclined. Larger passengers might find it necessary to sleep on their side, and the inability to lower the armrests, as some other seat designs allow, is a missed opportunity.

Additional storage space for personal items, personal air nozzles, and wireless charging capabilities would be welcomed enhancements.

The overall cabin design is striking and cohesive, with the striped bulkhead at the rear tying the look together. The use of a deep slate blue color palette, combined with the A330neo’s mood lighting, creates an ambiance reminiscent of an upscale club.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

This clever use of color and lighting transforms the space into an impressive and vibrant environment despite its predominantly monochromatic scheme.

For those seeking the best seating options, the window seats in this staggered configuration are ideal, particularly for solo travelers desiring more privacy. At the forefront of the business class cabin, Condor offers its exclusive Prime Seats.

Photo: Prime Seat, Business Class, Airbus A330neo. Courtesy of Condor

These seats come with a premium price tag but offer a range of additional amenities and significantly more space. The window seats in this section are particularly desirable, featuring larger ottomans compared to the center pairs, making them perfect for dining with a companion or simply enjoying the extra room.

On my flight, my seat 8A was situated closer to the window and positioned as the last seat in the business class cabin, providing ample space and legroom, creating a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

The Flight

Once settled into my seat, I waited another hour as the remaining passengers boarded and all necessary documentation was completed.

Our A330neo pushed back from the gate at 9:23 pm amidst cheers from the media and airport staff. The engines roared to life, and we were escorted to the runway by a convoy of firefighters and police. The A330neo then executed a powerful, rocket-like takeoff into the dark Texan night.

Shortly after takeoff, our head flight attendant handed out menus for dinner and breakfast, and later came back to confirm our selections. Amenity kits were also distributed, containing basic items such as socks, an eye mask, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and, upon request, earplugs, all designed in line with the airline’s stripe theme.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class, Amenity Kit. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

I opted for a beef tenderloin with barbecue sauce for dinner and an omelet for breakfast.

About 90 minutes into the flight, the captain signaled that the flight attendants could commence service. However, some heavy turbulence delayed the crew from attending to passengers sooner.

When service began, the flight attendant set my table with Condor-branded linen, followed by the appetizer. The hearty starter included sliced chicken breast with cucumber and tomatoes and a side dish of salmon with shrimp and potato salad. Typical German pretzel bread with butter, a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and a delightful cheese dish rounded out the starters. I paired this with a delicious Spanish red wine and sparkling water.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class, appetizer. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Following the appetizer, the main course arrived. Although the beef was slightly overcooked, it was still enjoyable. The tenderloin was served with carrots and broccoli, all of which were flavorful and rich.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class, main course. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

For dessert, Condor provided a moist and satisfying dulce de leche cheesecake.

New aircraft come with new technology, and the entertainment offering in Condor Business Class lives up to expectations. The entertainment system is easily navigated using the touchscreen or the remote control.

Many movies and TV shows are available, including German and English content. Children’s entertainment is also provided. There are no games, but aviation enthusiasts can enjoy the Condor Insights section, which includes behind-the-scenes information on the airline.

Each Business Class seat comes with noise-canceling headphones, and Wi-Fi is free; however, on this inaugural flight, Wi-Fi remained unavailable. Additionally, onboard duty-free sales are still offered through the Condor Bordshop.

I enjoyed watching one of my favorite movies during the dinner service, Walk the Line. I was able to pair my own noise-canceling headsets via the system’s Bluetooth option—a feature I quickly became a big fan of.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class seat. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

After dinner, I changed into my own pajamas in the lavatory—essential for a long-haul flight. I then prepared my seat for sleeping, arranging the plush mattress, cozy pillow, and striped cover.

I slept for almost seven hours, waking up remarkably rested and ready for breakfast.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

With 1 hour and 45 minutes remaining in the flight, the flight attendant woke me with a hot cup of black coffee. Shortly afterward, breakfast was served: a delicious citrusy omelet with spinach and cheese.

Photo: Condor Airlines Business Class, breakfast. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Overall, I was very pleased with the catering service on this inaugural flight. Condor has partnered with gategroup in San Antonio to cater its flights, so understandably, the food’s quality was high.

Considering it was Condor’s first-ever service from San Antonio, this inflight service was an utter success.


After breakfast had been cleared, I returned to the lavatories and changed into my clothes.

The head flight attendant made her way through each seat in Business Class, bidding farewell to every passenger.

After nine hours and 45 minutes in the air, our A330neo began its descent and smoothly touched down in Frankfurt. A very gentle landing marked the end of our inaugural flight from central Texas.

Photo: Condor Airlines Airbus A330neo. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

We landed at 2:35 pm, one hour behind schedule.

Following our disembarking, we walked through the maze that makes Frankfurt one of the most complex airports in the world, reaching customs and immigration, followed by baggage claim.

Photo: Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Our bags were delivered swiftly, marking an end to a successful and memorable inaugural flight.


Condor Airlines has introduced a groundbreaking product, providing customers with a more affordable business class option to destinations where competitors are not as prevalent. The airline’s service is efficient and focused, offering a seat that surpasses those of most other airlines in the industry. Additionally, their brand-new A330neos are designed to deliver a comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable experience.

Best For

Crossing the Atlantic in a new aircraft, comfortably, with a top-notch business class experience.

Editor’s Note: Condor Airlines provided Business Traveler with a round-trip ticket for the inaugural flight. The opinions expressed in this content are solely those of the author.