More Direct Flights to Europe From PDX

In the last month there has been some positive news for PDX based travelers.  For those of us who use PDX as our home airport our options for direct flights for international travel are limited.  PDX has only one direct flight to Asia, on Delta to Tokyo, and one direct flight to Europe, on Delta to Amsterdam.  Next summer that is going to change.

Direct Flights to Iceland

Starting in May 2015 Icelandair is going to start direct flights from Portland to Reykjavik on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is great news for us locals, for two reasons.  One, Iceland is cool.  Second,  Icelandair is a great airline for connecting to the rest of Europe.  Check out their route map.

As you can see, Icelandair has a lot of destinations in Europe.  But, that is not what makes Icelandair good for connecting to Europe.  What is cool about Icelandair, is that they allow stopovers in Iceland for up to 7 days at no additional cost.  The flight from Portland is also short at about 7 hours.  From Portland you can take a relatively short flight to Iceland, stopover for a few days, then continue on to your destination.  It is two vacations on one ticket.

Direct Flights to Germany

Starting in July of 2015 Condor will operate direct flights from PDX to Frankfurt on Tuesdays and Fridays. Lufthansa used to operate direct flights on this route until is was discontinued in 2009.  I’m happy that Portland will have another flight directly to continental Europe.

For those of us that also geek out about frequent flyer miles, this flight is also an award flight gem. Condor is a member the Miles & More frequent flyer program.  A one way ticket from Portland to Frankfurt is only 25,000 miles in economy.  How can you get Miles & More miles? Currently the Lufthansa credit card has a 50,000 mile sign up bonus. Lufthansa is also a member of the Miles & More program, meaning the miles from that credit card can be redeemed on Condor.

The bottom line here is that more direct flights to any destination is a plus for those of us who fly out of PDX.  I’m doubly excited that PDX is increasing the number of direct flights to Europe.  I hope these are a commercial success for the airport so more airlines may be encouraged to add routes.

Update:  Looks like flights on Condor will start June 19th.  

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