Toronto Pearson Airport tends to be chaotic but once I crossed the threshold of the airplane door and approached my seat the noises stopped. The open cabin and private space are a major perk of business class. This personal cabin, equipped with shelving, storage, and a flat-lay bed, becomes your home for the duration of the flight. In this case, the flight was 8+ hours to Frankfurt and the cabin is a primp new pod of Condor Airline’s A330neo wide-body airliner (powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine, take from that what you wish).
The flight was sponsored by the Condor, which did not review or approve the story.
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I heard many exciting things about this new plane during the announcement earlier this summer: One of the top aircrafts currently, a more spacious, whisper-quiet cabin, and impressive fuel efficiency (25% lower than average) making it one of the most sustainable aircrafts out there. One of the main draws to the traveler, however, might be the price which proves to be comparatively lower to similar Airlines, especially when it comes to business class (I did some research personally, see the price table here).
Since I was already planning a trip to Europe this seemed like a perfect opportunity to give Neo a test drive (sorry, I couldn’t help it 😅, there’s also a short video here).
A certain number of business class perks also impacts your airport experience but given that both airports (YYZ, FRA) during my trip were understaffed and some teams were striking my experience was atypical, so we won’t spend time on it. But see the complete list of business class inclusions on condor.com.
The cabin & entertainment
There are 30 seats in business class, all comfortably spaced out in a typical zigzag manner. The front row seats are Prime Seats: more spacious and allow for a shared dining experience. The marine blue interior with wood decor and new Condor signature stripes make up the cabin. This temporary home is set up with a blanket, cushioned seat liner, a quick snack, a bottle of water, socks, a travel organizer, slippers, a toothbrush, an eye mask, and comfortable headphones (with cushion covers).
The table opens down from the seat in front of you and slides quite far out easily accommodating the different seat angles. The footrest area is spacious and conveniently situated, you can easily prop up your feet without moving the seat an inch. The seat does go completely flat and is quite wide. With the cover on and blanket, I had plenty of space to roll around and get a good night’s sleep on my overnight flight to Germany.
The 17” seat monitor serves like a mini movie theatre in 4K resolution. In-flight entertainment is the usual selection of movies, shows, music, and games, in addition to the interactive journey monitor. I found the selection of movies quite robust and at the beginning of each flight would create a favourites collection for quick access later on.
Tip: Frankfurt Airport can be confusing so just in case: check-in desks are on the far side from Lufthansa, business class desks are 773/774.
The food & drink
Once seated a flight attendant greets you with a choice of sparkling wine or fresh orange juice (get both, make a mimosa?). In both directions, there were two meals: a 3-course gourmet dinner and a snack (or breakfast when flying red-eye).
The menu booklet promises fresh, high-quality ingredients, “combined with exquisite taste, swirled in pleasure and refined with our extra pinch of passion”. A fairly bold statement I’ll admit. But all things considered, especially knowing that we were literally soaring through open air in the middle of the night, this meal was a true delight.
The red-eye flight tasting menu began with an appetizer platter: tuna tartare, turmeric chicken breast, seasonal salad, a cheese selection (Swiss, alpine, cheddar), and bread rolls with butter (get the garlic bread, I promise). The main meal was a choice of miso ling cod, lasagna, or braised beef short ribs (I chose fish). The meal ended with a delicate lavender cake. I am rather picky about cakes but this one was a pleasant surprise, not too sweet, balanced, with delicious layers of creamy sauce.
The return daytime flight had a similar agenda but a completely different menu. The appetizer platter included curry dip, green sauce tartlet, Ikarimi salmon, baby greens salad, a selection of cheese (alp, Bergader Edelpilz, and red pesto gouda), and bread rolls. The main was a choice of cajun chicken, cod (different preparation), or tagliatelle pasta. Once again, I chose fish, but the decision was a tough one. For dessert, we had a delectable chocolate and lemon tartlet with meringue topping. Another tasty surprise with the cake.
On the beverage menu are pop, coffee and tea, fresh pressed orange juice, beer (including non-alcoholic), vodka, rum, gin, Jägermeister (I have questions about this one), whisky, brandy, cognac, and port wine. The wine selection was quite nice so during my evening meal I basically had a wine tasting ☺️. From sparkling wine all the way down to port this traveler broke all the rules of preventing jet lag.
A few notes on lounges
In Toronto, the flyers are invited to take advantage of the Plaza Premium Lounge. This spacious second-floor lounge has a stunning view of the airport so you could spend hours (though hopefully not) watching the planes go by. The lounge has a wide range of seating (big chairs, little chairs, tables, high tops, etc.) and a hot kitchen bar. The dinner spread was quite impressive with various snacks, a salad bar, and multiple options for hot mains. There of course were also fries and chips. Plaza Premium bar inclusions are rail liquors, beer, and white and red wine.
In Frankfurt, the lounge partner is Lufthansa Business, terminal A, area B located across gate B44. Here once again the view is quite lovely, only partially interrupted by another building. There is plenty of sun and mixed seating spaces from dining tables to casual lounges. The menu is nice (soup, salad, hot meals) and the bar is even more impressive with a great selection of wines, liquors, and a make-your-own Spritz station.
In the gear bag: In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens.