If you’re looking to travel Halifax to Europe this summer or autumn and have flexibility with your dates or destination, it’s worth checking for low fares on Condor. This German leisure airline can be the key to scoring a cheap trip with their well priced round-trip and one-way tickets to or from various European cities.
Skip Google Flights
For some reason, the lowest Condor fares do not show up for me on Google Flights or ITA Matrix. They do appear on Skyscanner though. Regardless, it’s a good reminder to check an airline’s own website when searching for airfares. For Condor flights, their site is the best place to search and book.
Cheap Flight Finder
To quickly learn which airports are cheapest to fly into or out of is to go to Condor’s “Cheap Flight Finder”. Make sure you’re on the US/Canada version of the site and select “Book & Plan” to see the link under “Offers”. Search by month or let it just show you the lowest fares whenever to wherever. Switch from USD to CAD. Then, once you have a lead on the least expensive one-way destinations, you can check out round-trip or multi-city fares.
Note that Condor partners with several different airlines for their European connections. Condor itself flies primarily to leisure destinations in the southern part of the continent, but you can reach a variety of places via other airlines on a Condor ticket connecting in Frankfurt.
Standalone one-way fares cost more when not part of a round-trip or multi-city booking.
For example, here are some fares for the first half of a round-trip booking departing from Halifax…
…compared to one-way fares from Halifax which are higher…
At a difference of $100 or more, it’s obviously better if you can book your whole trip on Condor. For instance, you can get an open-jaw ticket Halifax to Belgrade – Bucharest to Halifax for only $600 in June. Or a round-trip to Florence in September for $740.
Yet, in my opinion, the one-way fares coming home are often the most interesting.
As you can see, there are one-way Condor fares in the low $300s from an assortment of European airports to Halifax with one connection. Cheaper than its non-stop flight home from Frankfurt.
Therefore, unlike mainline carriers such as Air Canada, Condor presents an opportunity to mix and match one-way fares. You might decide to book your outbound flight with Aeroplan points then fly home on a bargain Condor ticket. That’s what I did in 2019 when fares from Warsaw to Halifax were under $300. I used Aeroplan for a flight to Gdansk (the primary destination), but it made no sense to use them on the homebound journey when I could get such a cheap one-way ticket back from Poland.
With WestJet also offering reasonable one-ways, you could potentially put together a creative multi-city itinerary by combining a cheap fare to London or Dublin, a low cost carrier ticket to the continent somewhere and an inexpensive Condor flight home.
Economy vs. Economy Light
You’ll see when you search Frankfurt flights that, like many airlines, there is an option to book a discounted fare that comes with restrictions. Instead of the commonly used “Basic Economy” moniker, Condor has an “Economy Light” fare. Read the terms carefully if you choose to book this type of ticket. Note that if you book a flight that includes another airline, there will be no Economy Light option. That’s just as well I guess, because it’s probably better to avoid the heavily restricted fare anyway.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Condor has a partnership with Alaska Airlines so remember to add your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number so you can earn some miles on the flight (and be prepared to follow up if the miles don’t post in a timely fashion).
Unlike Eurowings Discover, which also flies a seasonal non-stop to Frankfurt from Halifax, Condor offers service into late October. And, in contrast to the competition, Condor has decently priced one-way fares that give you more flexibility to assemble an affordable trip. The Cheap Flight Finder is a quick and easy way to see the best bargains. My only concern would be the rebooking fees if plans change. At the moment, WestJet and Air Canada have flexible booking policies at no extra charge but Condor apparently only offers a “Flex Option” for a fee.