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Flight Review: Polish Airlines LOT – First Impression of the Polish National Carrier

Polish Airlines LOT flight review

I didn’t know a whole lot before flying the Polish Airlines LOT – Poland’s national airline – but they sure left a big impression! Read on to find out more or watch the video on my YouTube channel!

Flight Details

Airline: Polish Airlines LOT
Route: Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) to Prague Vaclav Havel Airport (PRG)
Date: January 20
Aircraft: Embraer 195
Duration: 01:25 hours.
Seat: 14A (Economy – Emergency exit)

 Have you watched my full review? 

Check-In

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

I checked into both flight legs at Amsterdam Schiphol – AMS to WAW and WAW to PRG – so cannot give a full review on what the check-in experience was like at Warsaw Chopin Airport.

Amsterdam Schiphol check-in staff were prompt and efficient, letting me check in a few minutes ahead of opening time as I had been milling around the terminal after arriving quite early after spending the night in Rotterdam.

I checked my bag on the whole way to Prague and opted to take anything I needed for my overnight stay in Warsaw in my carry-on.

At the time of writing, check-in for Polish Airlines LOT at Amsterdam Airport is at Departure 1.

Have a layover in Warsaw? Check out these airport hotels!

Warsaw Chopin Airport

I did experience immigration in Warsaw as I stayed overnight at the Rennaisance Warsaw Airport, located just steps from the airport.

Perhaps it was just the time of day I visited or some other reason but I found immigration to be confusing. Upon lining up to clear customs at the B/C Gates where I’d been advised to go, abruptly, we were told to move to a different security screening area.

Not speaking Polish I was a little confused and followed the trail of people moving across the airport to the new security clearance area.

Aside from this little false start, my experience at Warsaw Chopin Airport was a breeze. In fact, I think it’s a great transit airport!

There are plenty of food outlets (including a Johnny Rockets – don’t judge me!), shops to peruse and areas for kids to play and huge floor to ceiling views of the tarmac. There is complimentary (fast!) WiFi throughout the airport.

Boarding

Warsaw Chopin Airport is a ‘silent’ airport. A silent airport means there is limited calls and only ‘final calls’ for flights are announced via the PA system. I didn’t know this and despite sitting one gate over from my boarding gate, I almost missed the final call – whoops!

We boarded the flight by bus. After sitting on the tarmac for around 20 minutes with no updates on what was happening and with the doors of the bus open (it was winter in Poland and about 0-degrees Celcius outside!) Finally the driver headed off to the plane and we boarded the Embraer by stairs.

Aircraft

While I was boarding the cabin manager told me it wasn’t going to be a full flight that night. By the time the flight had boarded it was only at around 50-60% capacity, which was similar to my flight from Amsterdam to Warsaw.

I’m going to assume it’s because these flights were mid-winter and post-holiday season, but I’m curious to know your experience!

Seats

On this particular flight, the Embraer had only two rows of Business class seating (8 seats total). A cabin crew member has since informed me that this isn’t standard but can be adjusted to suit the airlines needs. Since seats are standard across the aircraft, Business class passengers have their neighbouring seats blocked off to allow for more space, and a few other perks.

In standard configuration, Polish Airline LOT’s Embrarers come in a two-cabin configuration with 20 Business class seats, 12 Economy Plus seats, and 80 standard Economy Seats.

From what I could gather, the Economy Plus seats were simply seated at the front of the aircraft, directly behind Business Class, and cost around 30 per cent more than normal economy fares. Maybe there are some benefits on their long-haul flights, however, I didn’t notice a huge difference between the two classes on these smaller Embraers.

Across all three cabins, seats on Polish Airline Lot’s Embraer have a pitch of 31″. In standard Economy, seats have a width of 17.3″.

Food

When I booked my ticket I noticed that the fare type mentioned that I’d get ‘drinks & snack’. The previous night, when flying on a dinner service, I had expected to get a small meal, like what Qantas offers passengers travelling domestically. This didn’t materialise!

Drinks and snacks is a choice of water (still or sparkling) or juice and a Prince Polo chocolate bar. On this particular flight, they offered complimentary soft drinks as well.

As the flight was under two-hours, this was perfectly acceptable in my mind. There was also a range of reasonably priced snacks for purchase on the flight. It seems that if your flight is less than 90-minutes snacks will not be sold.

If you can get food onboard do consider it. For 25 Polish zloty (under AU$10) I got a large sandwich, Pepsi, and a packet of gummy bears on the Amsterdam to Warsaw flight.

In-Flight Entertainment

If you choose to fly with Polish Airline’s LOT be sure to bring something to pass the time as their Embraers don’t come with inflight entertainment systems.

I wasn’t particularly fussed on such a short-haul flight. I simply plugged my headphones in and listened to music and read my book.

Crew

From check-in at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to touchdown at Prague airport, I had a great experience with the Polish Airlines LOT crew.

Service onboard began a little slow but the staff smiled and seemed happy when I asked for a drink post-meal. They were also attentive throughout the flight.

The crew did four laps of the main cabin at regular intervals after service to ensure everything was cleared away. They were also happy to talk when able and taught me a few words in Polish when I showed interest.  (I can now say ‘Dziękuję’ – thank you! – and used it a few times during my layover in Warsaw)

It’s these little things that I appreciate and what sets apart an okay airline from a great airline.

Unpacking

I knew little about Polish Airlines LOT before flying them but they made a big impact. Their service is efficient, comfortable, and their aircrafts clean. Being part of Star Alliance gives me plenty of good reasons to choose them over the competing low-cost airlines in the region.

The only area that they let me down was in the lack of in-flight entertainment, but for a two-hour or less flight on such a small aircraft, I guess I can forgive them though.

I found that most flights from Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) to Prague Vaclav Havel Airport (PRG) cost a small fortune, even during the middle of winter, so I opted to save more than €100 with an overnight stop in Warsaw.

Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) is a compact but comfortable airport. While it lacks fancy lounges, it does offer plenty of cafes, play spaces for kids, and great plane spotting opportunities. They also have a great range of hotels at many price points should you have a long layover. I stayed at the very cool Renaissance Warsaw Airport Hotel just steps from the terminal and had a great nights sleep!

I’m looking forward to trying out Polish Airline LOT’s 787 Boeing Dreamliner or a long-haul route to see if the Polish national carrier continues to offer a competitive product in a region teeming with choice.


Read this next

What to do on a stopover in Warsaw, Poland
(Coming soon!)

The Best Hotels near Warsaw Chopin Airport

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1 Comment

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