Welcome to this FR covering the flight from Warsaw to Vilnius onboard Nordica/LOT hybrid.
To be honest I didn't plan this trip to take place this year as I've already been to Vilnius just a year ago. Somewhere in July my parents started talking they would like to go somewhere in October for their 37th wedding anniversary and as they usually take package tours and don't travel on their own, we decided with my partner to take them somewhere near that they haven't been to. Vilnius was a natural option because we both fell in love with the city last year and wanted to come back. My parents were also thrilled, so there is nothing better than to make everyone happy at once. There was of course one more thing: the fact that most of the LOT flights to Vilnius are now operated by the Estonian airline Nordica that partially belongs to LOT and flies daily from WAW to Tallinn, Vilnius, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Gothenburg. As I haven't flown Nordica yet and the view of its CRJs in very nice livery flying constantly over my head (I live next to the airport) kept reminding me about it, the trip to Vilnius was a double joy to me.
AT THE AIRPORT
Our flight was scheduled to depart at 10:50 a.m. and despite travelling with hand luggage only and being already checked-in online, we arrived to the airport around 09:00 a.m. expecting long queues to security. There was some time for some spotting too in a very nice and sunny autumn weather.
Austrian E95 to VIE
Blue Air 737-800 operating flight for LOT and a helicopter in the background
LH A321 arriving from FRA
LOT E75 and SU Sukhoi Superjet departing to Moscow
Finnair E90 to Helsinki
The water drinking point
And our gate
Boarding was quick, I would say even too quick as the gate staff was approaching the nearby seating passengers and saying them to go immidiately to the gate. It didn't change the fact that we needed to wait a little in the bus before we headed to the plane.
There are at least 3 different liveries of Nordica/LOT CRJs and as there were at least 3 different aicrafts waiting for baording we had no idea which one we will fly. The funniest thing was the bus stopped first near to one of the CRJs but then decided to go to another one and that made everyone onboard laugh.
Finally here we are, our CRJ900 has the white livery (the one that in my opinion looks worse than the blue one).
Estonian and Polish flags together. We don't have much in common with Estonians but our airlines do :)
A possibility to leave the hand luggage. I love it as it makes boarding much easier.
BA A320 passing by
We are greeted at the door by a female Nordica flight attendant. The crew is 100% Estonian.
Passing by the businnes class front section
and getting to the economy with very nice headrest covers with airline logo
This seat pocket seems full of various staff… I'm so excited. And the legroom is very good.
The cabin looks nice, not very new but definitely well maintained
View from my window. There is LOT symbol on the inside of the winglet.
Some spotting during taxi. We pass a blue sister of our CRJ and a Privilege Style 757
Taking the runway 15
And here we go. Take off is really powerfull as always on the CRJs
Time for the seat pocket. Let's see what we have here… There are both LOT and Nordica onboard magazines and BOB catalogues
Nordica offers quite a wide range of regional products, something that should ashame LOT that some time ago started to serve Heineken instead of very known Polish beer Zywiec.
Rather poor LOT BOB to compare
Nordica fleet and route map
The safety card with Regional Jet name (a company Nordica's jets belong to)
Complimentary service is a standard LOT one with a chocolate bar, water, tea or coffee. Both Estonian FAs are very nice and professional. Tea is awful, it tastes terrible but what did I expected on a 40 minutes flight? I think tea bags were removed from the pot after a minute or so. Good it had some colour, otherwise I would think I drink unfresh hot water.
Time flies fast and after flying for 20 minutes or so over a thick cloud layer we begin to decent
Flying over Galve lake with Trakai castle that is hardly visible on a small island on the top of the peninsula
Passing Neris river
and northern suburbs
Looks like we are going to overfly the old town, I haven't landed in Vilnius yet from this direction.
Here it is :)
On short finals (the airport is really close to the city center)
Hello again Vilnius!
Our aircraft after deboarding is completed
Going through a very small and cosy terminal
The arrivals hall that looks like a railway station!
Thanks for reading. I will post some bonus pictures from my stay in Vilnius in the report covering the flight back.
Warsaw - WAW
Vilnius - VNO
The Nordica/LOT hybrid seems a very nice and happy marriage. The CRJ aircraft are nice, well maintained and much faster that the Q400 normally used by LOT on this route. The Estonian cabin crew was nice and professional, there were also some announcement made by the captain. The only thing I didn't like was my tea, but maybe I should learn having water instead?
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