Gone are the days when airlines invested in exclusive first-class cabins.
Although a handful of international airlines are still committed to delivering first class in major business and leisure markets, most carriers opt for business class instead.
And, as airlines roll out cutting-edge business class products, a new cabin class is emerging, commonly referred to as “business class plus”.
These products typically occupy the first row of the cabin and provide additional space, storage and amenities that take advantage of the unique bulkhead configuration. Although JetBlue was among the first to popularize this concept with the presentation of Mint Studioseveral airlines have since unveiled something similar.
And, the latest airline to jump on the “business class plus” bandwagon is one that might surprise you. German leisure carrier Condor officially launched what it calls “Prime Seats,” the airline’s version of a plus business-class offering, on Monday.
Located in the first row of Condor’s all-new Airbus A330-900neo, you’ll find four Prime seats which are very spacious and offer even more amenities than the other 26 seats in the Business Class cabin.
On the one hand, these seats do not include footrests. Instead, they have an open space to rest your feet in, allowing for a more comfortable sleeping experience.
If you’re traveling with a companion, the ottoman even doubles as a passenger seat, meaning you can dine with a loved one or collaborate with a colleague during the flight.
These seats also feature a larger tray table than you’ll find in other business class pods.
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Every seat on Condor’s A330neo is equipped with a 4K entertainment monitor with Bluetooth wireless support, but those in the Prime seats are the largest on the plane: 24 inches compared to 17.3 inches in business class and 13.3 inches in premium economy class and coach.
The central Prime Seats, 1E and 1F, are ideal for couples. Although they don’t convert into a double bed or offer sliding doors, they offer incredible privacy from the rest of the cabin.
In addition, the absence of luggage bins above these seats makes them more spacious.
Rest assured there is a large privacy divider which can be deployed between the two center seats if required.
Meanwhile, the two Prime window seats, 2A and 2K, are ideal for solo travellers. They feature all of the same upgrades as the middle seats, plus they offer unobstructed views with access to two windows.
Apart from the aforementioned “hard product” upgrades, the Prime seats are identical to the remaining business class pods, all of which feature a beautiful new design.
That said, Condor is rolling out a high service offering for Prime Seats. This includes an upgraded Rituals amenity kit, pajamas, slippers and a premium snack basket.
Suffice it to say, if you’re looking for the best way to travel with Condor, flying in a Prime seat is the way to go.
In fact, I just flew from Frankfurt to New York on Condor’s inaugural A330neo flight to the United States and the carrier’s PR team assigned me a seat in Prime class. (I was traveling with a free ticket provided by the airline.)
While the full trip report will be out shortly, I landed in New York incredibly impressed with the new Prime Seat. It may not be as spacious as the JetBlue Mint Studio or the Virgin Atlantic Retreat Suitebut it is definitely an amazing way to cross the pond.
Some people might even prefer Condor’s main headquarters to Virgin’s retirement suite. The UK-based carrier has only installed two plus business class seats on the A330neo, and they don’t come with all the extra amenities you’d find on Condor.
To reserve an Award seat, you will first need to receive a ticket in Condor’s Business Class cabin on the A330neo. Condor flies to up to 16 North American destinations seasonally (four of them are year-round), and you’ll find the A330neo flying on all of the airline’s long-haul flights through 2024.
Condor’s introductory Business Class fares start at $949 one way, and upgrading to Prime Class will be charged in addition to the normal biz fare.
Prime Seats will be available for purchase from Wednesday, February 15 and will start at 199 euros (or approximately $215) per ride. This seat assignment fee will be in addition to any cost to reserve a ticket in the business class cabin.
Note that Condor’s Prime seats are debuting in a “soft launch” as the carrier works through supply chain delays to get the extra amenities on board. The inaugural flight didn’t feature the upgraded amenities kit, so just beware that the next few weeks’ experience might not be entirely up to the brand’s standards.
Condor is in the midst of a transformation project that includes a bold new livery and the introduction of 18 modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A330-900neos. These jets have brand new cabins from nose to tail, bringing major improvements to the passenger experience.
But, perhaps the most exciting innovation for travelers is the introduction of the new Prime Seat, so stay tuned for the full recap of what it was like to fly in one of these at aboard the inaugural A330neo flight to the United States.