As a child, I had flown LOT with my grandmother when we visited Poland from the United States. It was the only airline to provide a direct flight between Warsaw and Newark, where we travelled from at that time.
That was before Lufthansa became the airline of choice. And a lot of Polish people found something to complain about. Despite that, I always had some fond (and interesting) memories of my time with LOT, and wanted to fly again with them.
Because, really, is someone’s opinion of the airline going to stop me from taking the flight? How wrong can they really be?
Truth is, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but one thing that put this airline to the top of my list was that they have direct flights (on certain days) leaving from EWR. So in November of 2018, I booked a flight with them from EWR to WAW.
Suddenly, due to a strike, my flight was cancelled, and we had to re-book the flight to leave the same day but from JFK. Upon my arrival to JFK, we found out that the flight was delayed some hours. Ultimately, I did leave, but it was additional and unnecessary stress.
When the opportunity came up for me to fly to Warsaw again, this time business class, for work, I considered my options. Did I really want to take a chance on an airline with which I didn’t have a good prior experience, and which had bad reviews that seemed to be consistent?
But looking at things logically from the pricing perspective, I couldn’t deny the fact that LOT was offering cheaper flight options than all the competitors, and for a direct flight, while the competitors required a transfer. I had decided to go for it, and specifically chose to fly out of JFK this time around so that I could fly out on a specific date.
This time, my experience was different because of several factors: a) business class customer, b) outright purchase of flights out of JFK, and c) (most importantly) no strikes going on.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting was them providing me access to any lounge, but LOT seems to have partnered with British Airways, and business class customers get access to the British Airways lounge in JFK. It has self-serve drinks and alcohol, as well as a buffet of food.
Getting onto the airplane, I had a first chance at checking out my seat. I had changed my seat from sitting next to someone, to having a standalone chair in the back of the business class. To my surprise, the chair space was large, and spacious. Part of me wondered if it was bigger than the chairs in business class in Delta.
Once I was settled in, the Stewardess brought by the menu, which included a first plate (salad and ahi tuna), and second plate (included three types of meats) and breakfast. What really stood out was that once everyone boarded, another Steward came around to ask us for our food option and whether we also want to be woken up for breakfast. This was different than my experience with Delta, where they woke everyone up for breakfast. We were also handed a pair of slippers.
We took off from JFK without any incident, and I couldn’t tear my eyesight away from the view of the city. I loved how it began to spread out from around us, becoming smaller and smaller, like a toy. Lucky for me, business class has an larger arm rest/ cubby that allowed me to put my iPad, and camera within easy reach. Furthermore, to my utter surprise, the seats in this airline had the option of giving back massages. Of course, I couldn’t deny myself the opportunity to pamper myself just a little bit. Furthermore, the stewardess surprised me with slippers to wear around the flight–I have never, up until now, had slippers handed out to me on a business class flight. It caught me off guard, but it was a present surprise that for this service, LOT gets a additional brownie points.
Upon reaching cruising altitude, we were fed. I was very much disappointed with the food, as the chicken was dry, so I didn’t even dare to try the potatoes on the plate. I do enjoy sashimi so having that ahi tuna as an appetizer was great, except that I definitely killed off some cells in my nose while eating the wasabi. I made the oh so smart decision to finished the last bite of the tuna with about 2/3rds of the wasabi that was on my plate. This resulted in me feeling like a dragon about to spray fire out of its maw, and left me in a fit of coughs while I reached for the glass of wine.
In any case, once that was all settled, I finished doing some personal items for a part of the evening, while the stewards cleaned up. Then, I decided to grab some zzzz’s. I flatted the bed to 180, and opened the bag containing my pillow and blanket. Once settled, I instantly fell asleep.
The pillow was fluffy, and the blanket was double-sided, with one side being a warmer, fuzzy blanket, while the other was a quilt.
With the exception of the one time I woke up during the flight to use the restroom, cool down and click in my belt, I slept soundly. Half an hour to arrival at WAW, the steward woke me up, so that I could get my things in order before landing. I didn’t have much, so I just straightened things out and made sure that my seat was upright. Otherwise than that, I looked out the window to catch the first sight of beautiful Warsaw.
The views are a drastic change from NYC; even though both cities are so called metropolitan areas.
Ultimately, I would recommend flying business class or any class in LOT simply because it is just a direct flight to Warsaw; however, besides having a good night’s sleep, there isn’t much to rave about. For me, this flight serves its purpose of getting me from one point to another, without additional fuss and stress, so I wasn’t really looking for things other than having a good bed that will take me between two cities. And for that, LOT delivered. In other ways, LOT has a very simplified package for business class travellers (no lounges, no in-flight wifi, etc). Although, I think more than anything, those slippers delighted me in many ways, and up until then, I didn’t even know I needed them.
I’m looking forward to talking about my experience with LOT on my flight back!
Have you flown with LOT? If so, let me know your thoughts below!