Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Introduction: A New Era Of German Business Class

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Welcome to my next trip report series, which will include reviews of Lufthansa’s 787-9 business class, Condor’s A330-900neo business class, and Alaska’s 737-900ER first class. I’ll also be reviewing several lounges and a couple of airport hotels.

Why I took this trip

This was a “pure” review trip, which is to say that I took this trip exclusively to review some airline products, hotels, and airport lounges, that have been on my radar. I know many OMAAT readers enjoy the reviews on the blog, so as a new parent I’m trying to keep that going while being away from home as little as possible.

This trip lasted for just several days (I was gone Tuesday through Friday), so wasn’t nearly as intensive as my first two review trips of 2023, including my whirlwind Aeroplan adventure, and my four trips across the Atlantic.

The goal with this trip was pretty straightforward — it’s an exciting time for German aviation, with both Lufthansa and Condor having recently introduced new business class experiences. I wanted to compare these two products head-to-head, with a quick trip to Frankfurt.

I got to fly Condor’s Airbus A330-900neo

The airlines I flew on this trip

On this trip I flew a total of 13,144 miles, spread across just five segments. To kick off my review trip, I positioned from Miami to Detroit via Charlotte, though I won’t be reviewing those American Airlines flights, since there’s not all that much to talk about.

The routing for my review trip

For the first portion of my review trip, I booked Lufthansa’s new Boeing 787-9 business class, available on select routes. The airline acquired some Boeing 787s secondhand (they were intended for Hainan Airlines), and they feature reverse herringbone seats, which is a new product for Lufthansa. It almost felt surreal to be flying Lufthansa business class while having direct access to the aisle. Note that this is different than the Allegris business class product that will be introduced later in 2023.

I booked the following in business class for 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles plus $51.70 in taxes and fees:

2/28 LH443 Detroit to Frankfurt departing 4:15PM arriving 6:20AM (+1 day)

Lufthansa Boeing 787-9 business class

For the return to North America, I booked Condor’s new Airbus A330-900neo business class. Condor is completely reinventing itself with a fully refreshed fleet, and is going head-to-head against Lufthansa in many markets, with a very competitive product. I even paid to upgrade to Condor’s “Prime” seats, which are the first row business class seats that offer more space and some extra services.

I booked the following in business class for 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles plus $170.95 in taxes and fees:

3/02 DE2032 Frankfurt to Seattle departing 1:55PM arriving 3:55PM

Condor Airbus A330-900neo business class

Lastly, to return home I booked Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 first class from Seattle to Miami. My goal was to fly Alaska’s new 737 MAX 9 (and that’s what I initially booked), but Alaska seems to constantly swap between the 737 MAX 9 and 737-900ER. In the days leading up to my flight, the aircraft type was swapped a handful of times, and in the end my flight was operated by the 737-900ER. Oh well. I figured it was worth reviewing nonetheless.

I booked the following in first class for $699 in taxes and fees (there was no reasonably priced points availability, and besides, this allowed me to earn American Loyalty Points):

3/03 AS305 Seattle to Miami departing 7:35AM arriving 4:28PM

I’m sure those from Miami (and/or those who have heard a song from Pitbull) will appreciate the flight number Alaska chose for this service. 😉

Alaska Boeing 737-900ER first class

In addition to flight reviews, you can expect reviews of the following lounges:

  • The Lufthansa Lounge Detroit Airport (DTW)
  • The Lufthansa Welcome Lounge Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • The Alaska Lounge Seattle Airport (SEA)
  • The Amex Centurion Lounge Seattle Airport (SEA)
Alaska Lounge Seattle Airport

Unfortunately there wasn’t much interesting to review in Frankfurt otherwise, as Condor uses the Lufthansa Business Lounge for its passengers, which I recently reviewed.

The hotels I stayed at on this trip

This trip wasn’t particularly exciting on the hotel front. I had a total of two nights in hotels during this trip, and both were near airports, as I had one night in Frankfurt and one night in Seattle.

In Frankfurt, I decided to stay at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport. I’ve recently reviewed the Marriott Frankfurt Airport and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, so I thought it would be worthwhile to look at one of the other options within walking distance of the terminal. I paid cash for my stay, and the rate was around $180.

Hilton Frankfurt Airport

In Seattle, I was very tempted to stay at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington (per reader recommendations), as it seems like a great alternative to the hotels near the airport. However, since I was planning on being at the airport by around 4AM (to be able to review the lounges), I figured it was worth staying as close to the airport as possible, so I booked the Marriott Seattle Airport. The rate was around $200.

Marriott Seattle Airport

Bottom line

I recently flew to Germany and back to be able to review Lufthansa’s new Boeing 787-9 business class and Condor’s Airbus A330-900neo business class. Along with that, you can expect several lounge reviews, as well as a couple of hotel reviews. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

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