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Not many people are familiar with Condor, a German airline focused on leisure routes. Condor isn't a part of an airline alliance and, until recently, you could only book Condor using miles through the airline's partnership with Alaska Airlines.
However, Condor and Emirates just struck a new partnership agreement that allows Emirates Skywards members to earn and redeem miles on Condor-operated flights. Let's take a look at what this means going forward.
Emirates–Condor Partnership: What We Know
The two airlines are launching codeshare flights. That means Emirates will be able to sell Condor tickets on its site and vice versa. The main benefit of codeshare flights is that itineraries involving both airlines will be smoother. Additionally, travelers now have another option to earn and redeem miles on Condor-operated flights. Condor doesn't have its own loyalty program; thus, the only option to earn and redeem miles was through Condor's partnership with Alaska Airlines.
Skywards members' mileage earnings will be based on the class of travel, fare type, and distance flown. Members will earn based on the following rates:
- Economy: Up to 1 Skywards mile per mile flown
- Premium economy: Up to 1.25 Skywards miles per mile flown
- Business class: Up to 2.15 Skywards miles per mile flown
Crediting paid flights on Condor to Emirates will yield slightly higher mileage earnings on business-class fares than when crediting to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Alaska's Mileage Plan earnings for Condor-operated flights are listed below:
Alaska Mileage Plan members earn based on the following rates:
- Economy: Up to 1 Alaska mile per mile flown
- Premium economy: Up to 1.25 Alaska miles per mile flown
- Business class: Up to 2 Skywards miles per mile flown
Prior to this partnership, the only way to redeem points and miles for Condor flights was through Alaska Airlines' loyalty program. However, Alaska miles are hard to earn since they don't partner with any of the major flexible points rewards programs. Typically, the best way to earn Alaska miles is through the airline's co-branded credit cards or transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy.
Emirates' award table for Condor-operated flights is distance-based with 10 different zones. Award redemptions are available for economy class and business class.
With 13 routes to the United States from Condor's hub in Frankfurt, only two destinations fall into Zone 6, four destinations are in Zone 7, and the rest are in Zone 8. Most of the routes are seasonal and don't operate during the winter months. The two U.S. routes that operate year-round serve New York (JFK) and Seattle (SEA).
Condor's U.S. destinations by zone:
- Zone 6: New York (JFK) and Boston (BOS)
- Zone 7: Anchorage (ANC), Baltimore (BWI), Miami (MIA), and Minneapolis (MSP)
- Zone 8: Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), San Antonio (SAT), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA)
The award pricing can be seen under “important information” on the partnership page, and the table is as follows:
You'll pay 32,000 miles one-way for economy flights in Zone 6, 38,000 in Zone 7, and 44,000 in Zone 8. For business class, the per-passenger rate is 64,000, 76,000, or 88,000 miles, respectively.
While not the best rates for transatlantic award flights, it's good to have more options. Emirates mileage rates to Europe are higher than what Alaska Airlines charges, albeit the Skywards currency is easier to earn.
Related: Do Emirates Skywards Miles Expire?
Condor award flights have generally been easy to find because earning Alaska miles is harder than earning flexible credit card points. However, with this being a new partnership, we haven't seen the routes populate. At the time of publishing, the only availability we've seen to North America is for flights to Cancun, which clock in at 5,356 miles and fall into Zone 8, costing 88,000 miles for business class.
It's typically good news when airlines announce new partnerships. This newest partnership between Emirates and Condor is exciting because it finally allows travelers to redeem flexible credit card points for award redemptions on Condor-operated flights. Travelers will be able to check bags through to their final destination when connecting between these two airlines, and this partnership provides a new option to earn and redeem miles when flying Condor.
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