Gone are the days of airlines investing in exclusive first-class cabins.
Though a handful of international airlines are still committed to offering first class in key business and leisure markets, most carriers are instead going all-in on business class.
And, as airlines have been debuting cutting-edge business-class products, a new cabin class is emerging, commonly referred to as “business class plus.”
These products usually occupy the first row of the cabin and offer additional space, storage and amenities that take advantage of the bulkhead’s unique configuration. Though JetBlue was among the first to popularize this concept with the introduction of the Mint Studio, several 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 debuted on Monday what it’s calling “Prime Seats,” the airline’s take on a business-class-plus offering.
Located in the first row of Condor’s brand-new Airbus A330-900neo, you’ll find four Prime Seats that are extra spacious and offer even more amenities than the other 26 seats in the business-class cabin.
For one, these seats don’t feature footwells. Instead, they have an open area in which to rest your feet, making for a more comfortable sleep experience.
If you’re traveling with a companion, the ottoman even doubles as a buddy seat, meaning that you can dine with a loved one or collaborate with a colleague during the flight.
These seats also feature a larger tray table than the one you’d find in the other business-class pods.
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Every seat on Condor’s A330neo features 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 and coach.
The center Prime Seats, 1E and 1F, are ideal for couples. Though they don’t convert into a double bed or offer sliding doors, they do offer an incredible amount of privacy from the rest of the cabin.
Plus, the lack of overhead bins above these seats makes them feel extra spacious.
Rest assured that there’s a large privacy divider that can be deployed from between the two center seats if needed.
Meanwhile, the two Prime Seats at the window, 2A and 2K, are ideal for solo flyers. They feature all of the same upgrades that you’d find the center seats, plus they offer prime views with access to two windows.
Other than the aforementioned “hard product” improvements, the Prime Seats are identical to the remaining business-class pods, which all feature a gorgeous new design.
That said, Condor is rolling out an elevated service offering for the 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 aboard Condor’s inaugural A330neo flight to the U.S. and was assigned a Prime Class seat assignment by the carrier’s PR team. (I was traveling on a free ticket provided by the airline.)
While the full trip report will be published 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 Suite, but it’s undoubtedly an incredible way to cross the pond.
Some people might even prefer Condor’s Prime Seat to Virgin’s Retreat Suite. The U.K.-based carrier only installed two business-class-plus seats on the A330neo, and they don’t come with all the additional amenities like you’d find on Condor.
To book a Prime Seat, you’ll need to first be ticketed 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 by 2024.
Condor’s introductory business-class fares start at $949 one-way, and the Prime Class upgrade will be charged on top of the regular biz fare.
Prime Seats will be available for purchase beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and will start at 199 euros (or roughly $215) each way. That seat-assignment fee will be on top of whatever it costs to book 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 in getting the extra amenities onboard. The inaugural flight didn’t feature the upgraded amenity kit, so just beware that the experience in the next few weeks might not be fully up to brand standards.
Condor is in the middle of a transformation project that includes a bold new livery and the introduction of 18 modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A330-900neos. These jets feature all-new cabins from nose to tail, bringing major improvements to the passenger experience.
But, perhaps the most exciting flyer-facing innovation is the introduction of the new Prime Seat, so stay tuned for the full recap of what it was like flying in one of them aboard the inaugural A330neo flight to the U.S.