As a Phoenix native I must say this is long overdue. Phoenix just took away the 5th position from Philadelphia for overall city population in the US. Yes, Phoenix is now the 5th largest city in the country. Mind you this is not metro population, but within the city limits, to which Philly would win. The city in the Valley of the Sun is also the largest capital city in the country.
Where is the love?
By joining the ‘top 5 ranks’ with New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, one would assume that Phoenix would offer many choices for long-haul international flights. Not to stop there, Maricopa county, where Phoenix resides, is now the fastest growing county in the country.
So where is the love? Well, Condor is showing Phoenix some love after having many fees waived by the city.
Currently, there is one, yes one, long-haul international flight out of PHX. That is flight 288/289 on British Airway’s dated 747 into London Heathrow. The 5th largest city in the country and the former home of US Airways, has one flight off the continent. (clearly I’m salty)
For comparison, now 6th place Philadelphia, also an American Airlines hub, serves well over 10 European cities. Condor has finally given Arizonans a way to get to Europe without stopping on the East Coast or in London. Yay!?
Twice weekly to Frankfurt
Starting in May 2018, Condor Airlines, a leisure carrier, will be running twice weekly flights between Phoenix and Frankfurt. This transatlantic route will be operated on their Boeing 767-300ER wide-body aircraft, seating up to 262 passengers.
These Monday and Friday flights can be booked on Condor.com NOW with the first flight departing May 18th, 2018. I was able to find June and July flights at $889 round-trip, that is a bit steep even for a 12 hour non-stop between Arizona and Germany.
One thing to keep in mind is the seat reservation fees with Condor when booking economy class. I posted about Condor’s recent partnership with Alaska Airlines which is awesome! In that recent blog post, I detail the “optional” seat fees as well as directions for booking award flights to Europe at just 25,000 miles one-way.
Condor does offer Premium Economy as well as business class, the former of which can be had for $1,109 round-trip on this route. In addition to more baggage allowance, Premium Economy grants you a free seat reservation, 6″ of added leg room, premium movies, an amenities kit, and your seat has a small foot rest.
Condor Airlines routes to over 70 destination, many of those direct from their Frankfurt hub. The perk when booking Condor award flights using Alaska Miles is that Alaska allows a stopover in each direction. In theory, you could fly Phoenix to Frankfurt, stay a week in Germany, then connect onto Split, Croatia for no additional miles.
You can also book open jaw meaning you could fly into Croatia but return from Greece. There is no additional cost or fees to return from a different country/airport, however you’d be responsible to get yourself from Croatia to Greece. I love the site Rome2Rio for booking trains and boats between two cities.
On the return home you could book Corfu, Greece to Portland, Oregon with a layover in Frankfurt and a stopover in Phoenix. On the return legs you could book Corfu to Portland, Oregon and have your Phoenix to Portland flight scheduled three months later. (or whatever you want)
Basically you’d be getting a free one-way from Phoenix to Portland to use later, even though it is “technically” a continuation of your one-way flight from Corfu to Portland. (just with a three-month stopover in Phoenix). Starting at 25,000 one-way, that is a great redemption of Alaska miles!
Note that Alaska only allows you to book 331 days in advance, ironically that is May 18th, the launch date of this route. Did I mention Alaska allows free changes to your award flights up to 60 days before departure?