Condor Airlines Service & Flight Review
Fresh on the heels of constant negative feedback via TripAdvisor regarding issues with Condor service, space on long haul flights and vacation package problems with partner company Thomas Cook; we decided to reach out to them to offer an independent review as we have done previously in the past.
As we were booked early on one of the negatively reviewed long-haul flights (Barbados – Frankfurt), we decided to contact Condor a few months before the flight. Our initial email was in December 2016 for a flight due in April 2017. Over the course of the following 4 months and being given 5 different email addresses from their Facebook team, NO ONE from their Sales & Marketing Department had the courtesy or professionalism to reply to any emails. One email was answered by someone in the Brand Marketing department and she indicated that she’ll forward the email and someone will get back to us. Again that never happened.
We opted to call the direct number of our previous contact and this was answered by someone who, as he stated, “was sitting at his desk” and our previous contact no longer worked with Condor. I personally explained the situation and was told to send the email (again) to their reservations department (never given his direct email) and he’ll take a look at it. A week passed once again without a reply. By this time it was now early April and the flight due in 3 weeks.
Rather than continue with the unprofessional service an email was addressed to ALL previous contacts regarding their unprofessional and appalling service to potential customers. Needless to say this was responded to in a matter of minutes by a phone call where she explained that marketing is no longer handled by their USA office but was now out of Panama and she would forward the email. Could this not have been done or indicated 4 months prior?
An email was forwarded that same day and we were included in the copy. This was answered as well the same day stating it was received but they’re on vacation until the 18th April and will try to contact her supervisor for more details. Without any surprise, once again they never replied.
Having a query addressed to the Sales & Marketing Department could have included an interest in group sales, chartering an aircraft or any other number of items that could be a potential income source for the company, however it’s clear that their staff haven’t been adequately trained in A) Customer service, and B) Tourism Management.
After the worst customer service in the industry, how was the actual flight? With shared seating from St. Lucia, this service DE2254 left Barbados completely full on the way back to Germany. First things first, pack light. Even though it’s a long-haul international flight, economy allowance is only 20kg + 6 kg carry-on. Not-withstanding the fact that that most carry-ons are 3-4 kg empty, you’ll be able to take that and a few light shirts floating around in the empty space. The aircraft itself was well prepared and each seat in economy included a complimentary pillow and blanket.
Now to a point worth mentioning. If Condor took 6 to 8 rows out of the economy section and re-spaced the remaining seats it would be a pleasant experience. However, as they are now, if you’re 5’6” or less you’ll be “ok” but any taller this has proven to be a nightmare. At 6’1”, I had just about 1 inch between my knees and the seat in-front, not the best seating for a 9 hour long-haul flight. This room is drastically lessened if the person ahead decides to recline their seat. Another important point worth mentioning is the overhead bins on their Boeing 767 could have come straight out of a small commuter / regional aircraft. Standard 20” / 21” carry-on luggage do not fit “wheels in” as with most mid-size to large aircraft, and need to be placed lengthwise drastically reducing each bin space. So if you’re unlucky enough to not have space available and thereby need to place your carry-on under the seat….with the reduced legroom… well, you get the picture.
Now onto the FEW things that Condor surprisingly got correct. Each seat comes equipped with a touchscreen In-Flight Entertainment system. These conveniently provide a host of options; flight map, wide choice of music, premium movies (starting at around €8.50 for a passcode), kids channels, Condor short films / documentaries and economy movies. The standard economy however only includes 2 movies…. On this flight Aloha & How To Train Your Dragon. There’s also a USB access port so if you’ll be travelling in the cramped section, bring along a few movies of your own and your headphones.
For an economy section they provided more than most airlines in the same class. Just after our 19:20 on time departure, they offered a full dinner including pasta, cheese, bun, carrot cake and choice of drinks. Following that they provided free bottles of water along with your choice of tea, coffee and Baileys…yes free Baileys (I was just as surprised). About an hour and half before landing, they served a cold breakfast (bun, butter, jam, fruit spread and juice, coffee or tea). On arrival the flight attendants also provided complimentary chocolates on leaving.
Condor has potential if some of its issues are address and a great portion of this needs to be worked on internally. As an airline and a tourism industry business, senior management and the Human Resources department need to focus on re-training their staff, especially those with direct customer contact. This can make or break any customer service organization, and as simple as we were looking to contact them with regard to reviews, this could have been a client with a major profit generating request.
Condor could be best attributed to child taking medicine for the first time, it’s not a very good experience but you have no choice. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more we’ll definitely advise you to take a more trusted carrier as you’ll definitely get what you pay for with Condor.