Flight-Report

Review of Ukraine International flight Warsaw Kiev in Economy

Flight PS 804
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 01 May 19, 06:00
Arrival at 01 May 19, 08:30
PS   #127 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 69 reviews
loukas
By SILVER 308
Published on 10th May 2019

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the new series of flight reports covering my latest trip to Moldova with a day stopover in Kiev with Ukraine International Airlines.

01.05.2019 - FLIGHT PS804, WAW-KBP, B737-800
01.05.2019 - FLIGHT PS897, KBP-KIV, B737-800
05.05.2019 - FLIGHT PS898, KIV-KBP, B737-800
05.05.2019 - FLIGHT PS801, KBP-WAW, B737-800


BACKGROUND


I wanted to go to Moldova for a long time. It is the least popular country in Europe, the one that still looks as if time stopped there 30 years ago…. but what tourists may expect there is a very warm welcome from the locals, low prices, great wine, genuine nature and atmosphere of the times that are long gone, let's say it's a kind of a journey back in time - something much more attractive at least for me than a weekend in Paris or London.
In Poland we have bank holidays on the 1st and 3rd of May, we usually take a day off on the 2nd of May and if, like this year, we can combine it with a weekend, then we obtain a 5 days holidays. Of course, everyone wants to travel somewhere in this period, so the prices are usually higher and the offer is limited. Happily Moldova is still not very popular, so we managed to get rather standard prices for this destination.

There are direct daily flights from Warsaw to Chisinau by LOT, but the price is usually high as there are not many seats available cause the flights are operated by Q400, so 1:30 in turpoprop is included in the price. No, thanks! Especially when the other popular option -> Ukraine International Airlines seems significantly cheaper if we decide to fly with hand luggage only, offers all the flights on 737-800 and a possibility to visit again the beautiful city of Kiev during 11 hours stopover.

Having already bought our tickets, I realized that we would need at least one big bag that has to be checked-in and decided to buy one piece of luggage up to 23 kg both ways. The price of 40 euro one way a little bit shocking as I was used to the price of 20-30 euro in most of the airlines. Anyway I had no choice. LOT ticket without checked in luggage would still be more expensive.


THE FLIGHT


Every time I buy a ticket for an early morning flight I say to myself I don't care waking up early. Every time I wake up at 3:00 a.m. for an early morning flight I seriously consider going back to bed and forgetting about the whole trip. I used all my forces this time not to do that. A flight departing at 06:00 a.m.? I must have been insane while buying the ticket!
The airport seemed quite empty at first when we got there at 04:15 a.m. but it happened to be quite crowded due to some charter flights and the early morning scheduled ones.


photo img_6894

We headed to UIA check-in to drop the prepaid luggage. A very important thing is you have to have your boarding pass printed or downloaded to your phone as UIA charges 20 euro for printing it at the check-in desk (they provide no self check-in kiosks). So after the very high price for checked-in luggage, there is another thing you have to be aware of. Our boarding passes were happily printed at home. .


photo img_6895photo img_6897

Both safety and passport control were very fast, so we had plenty of time. I was wondering what would the ground staff do if I went inside this LOT plane… ;) Actually I was quite happy to do that but my friend warned me it may be designed for a little bit less than my 70 kg, so the idea was abandoned.


photo img_6898photo img_6899

Our boarding area was quite empty


photo img_6903

I had no idea there are direct flight to Marrakesh, would like to come back there one day


photo img_6905photo img_6909

Our 737 that arrived form Kiev the previous evening and will soon be going home


photo img_6906photo img_6907

LOT 737-400 seen from our jetbridge. Its service will be a little bit longer than initially planned as the 737MAX8 are still grounded.


photo img_6910

The nose of our 737


photo img_6912

As a result of UIA seats policy, we would need to pay if we wanted to change our seats, even during online check-in. I decide not to and wait for a luck with empty window seat. At least our assigned seats for both flights were next to each other, but I must admit I hate both the aisle and the middle seat. Our fellow passenger finally appeared and she didn't want to change her seat, so I took these photos when the seat was still empty



UIA is well known for limited legroom, yet it may always depend on the aircraft and row. This time we have hardly any legroom


photo img_6917

The cabin. This particular 737-800 must be one of the oldest in the fleet after all the classic 737s were finally removed. Flying UIA has always been like a box of chocolates (as Forrest Gump used to say), you never knew what you gonna get. Now, when the old 737-300s and -500s are finally gone, there are not so many options but as the airline's 737-800s come from different times and sources, you may either fly a brand new or a quite old, as this one.


photo img_6922

After a long taxi, we finally got airborne. I took this one and only inflight picture thanks to my fellow passenger that seemed to understand my hobby. She was generally quite a strange girl, coming from Charkiv in eastern Ukraine, she tried to talk with us but spoke a very limited English, ordered a small bottle of wine, emptied it within a while, told me that the UIA meals and generally the service have deteriorated lately and that her favourite airline is TK, then tayed silent for the rest of the flight.


photo img_6923

If you can't look outside, let's focus on what's inside. UIA has lately introduced new safety cards that are much better than the almost ancient ones


photo img_6933photo img_6934

New fleet facts from the inflight magazine with addition of 777-200 and no classic 737s. The 777-200 has been a great improvement for the long-haul fleet that used to consist only of old 767s. The new aircraft has 3 classes, IFE and I will seriously consider trying it on my next trip to Asia. 


photo img_6924photo img_6928

UIA destinations


photo img_6931photo img_6932

And BOB menu with complimentary cup of water. Thr crew on this flight was very efficient, professional and smiling. I have always had good experience with UIA crews, but this and next flights leave the impression that the level of service has, contrary to what my fellow passenger said, improved


photo img_6942

There is quite a wide range of things for purchase but the flight is short and I'm not really hungry at 06:00 a.m..



There is also a wide range of pre-ordered meals that I will try on the next flights in these series ;)


photo img_6929

The flight lasts only 1:10 and soon we descend to cold and rainy Kiev


photo img_6948

The cabin during deboarding


photo img_6951

These hooks say it all - this cabin is not the newest anymore


photo img_6950

Deboarding in heavy rain and blowing wind is not funny at all


photo img_6953photo img_6954

I'm seriously worrying how we are going to spend a whole day in Kiev in such weather conditions (8 degrees Celsius and rain that doesn't seem to stop) but we decide to give it a try. I will post some bonus pictures in the next report. Many thanks for reading!

See more

Verdict

Ukraine International

6.0/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Warsaw - WAW

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Kiev - KBP

7.4/10
Efficiency6.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

After two years break in flying with UIA I must say the airline has improved many things, while it becomes less and less passenger friendly becoming more and more low cost airline. The prices of additional services (luggage, boarding pass, seats) are extremely high and the hand luggage policy (only one piece, next piece, even a small one or anything bought at duty free for 15 euro) seem exaggerated. A good thing is the airline no longer flies the old classic 737s. The crew on this flight left very positive impressions.

Information on the route Warsaw (WAW) Kiev (KBP)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 15 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Warsaw (WAW) → Kiev (KBP).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is LOT Polish with 7.0/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 25 minutes.

  More information

9 Comments

  • Comment 502482 by
    Shisdu SILVER 648 Comments

    Awwww... poor Moldova. Not the most popular, but as you said, destinations like that can be much more intersting than Paris or London. Nothing like destinations off the beaten path!

    I can't believe UIA charges 40 euro for a suitcase! Not even corrupt Flybondi would fall so low!

    The cabin looks dull, hard and cold. I wonder if it somehow reflects the local weather.

    The preordered meal choices look great!

    If the stairs had had a canopy at least!!! Too bad you ended up under a deluge. Well, it just adds to the adventure, doesn't it???

    Thanks for sharing! You have no idea how I envy you, taking a flight and being in a whole different country in 90 minutes!!

    • Comment 502708 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 287 Comments

      Hi...Shisdu!?! Where has the old good Nechus gone?!! ;) The price for the luggage is crazy and that's why I told myself I would not pay a single penny for a window seat. Yes, that's great in Europe, everything is so close, some other capitals like Vilnius, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen are reachable even within 50 minutes from Warsaw (good to be in the centre). Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

      • Comment 502749 by
        Shisdu SILVER 648 Comments

        Where has the old good Nechus gone?!!

        Hahahah. I'm being asked that a lot. The name Nechus was not very meaningful to me. I had been thinking of changing it for some time. Then some days ago I clicked on my avatar, selected "Open image in a new tab" and the "name" Shisdu was in the address bar of the web browser. And I thought "Oh! It sounds nice" and I adopted it. That's it. XDDD

  • Comment 502490 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 269 Comments

    Saw them offering some cheap fares several times from Amsterdam and dusseldorf to Bangkok and always tempted to book them, but always ended up with a different airline. Their product to me seems to improve from what I've seen with lower fares and better connections through Kiev. (Though I wouldn't call a 11 hour break, a good stopover ;p).
    **

    UIA is well known for limited legroom, yet it may always depend on the aircraft and row. This time we have hardly any legroom

    Now I am not sure how tall you are, but that legroom is definitely more generous than I've had with Thai Vietjet and Myanmar airways International.
    **
    Thanks for sharing and it seems their product is worth trying out for once.

    • Comment 502709 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 287 Comments

      Hi, their product has been improved but the fact you need to pay for everything is quite annoying. Anyway UIA is worth trying. I'm 1,76 m, had worse legroom too but believe me this one was very limited too. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 502785 by
    fiftytwo 388 Comments

    Czesc lukasz

    Speaking of UIA and KIV , i was considering going to chisinau with them last year but i had to postpone

    This year i changed my mind as they raised prices and now they are only 300zl less expensive than aeroflot

    Now you convince me that i definitely havent loose anything by not flying with them

    waiting for next segments

    Pa

    • Comment 502907 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 287 Comments

      Hi, their prices became indeed much higher, but for me flying to Moscow to fly back to Chisinau, especially while Aeroflot can't enter Ukrainian airspace and needs to fly over Belarus, Poland, Slovakia and Romania, wouldn't make any sense. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 502885 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4726 Comments

    Hi Loukas!

    Well this is an unexpected and exotic routing! At first I thought, why would you go to Kiev to connect to Moldova? But then I saw on the map that they're much closer than I thought and Kiev isn't really out of the way as a connecting point. I love geography, but I'm not super familiar with Eastern Europe.

    It seems Moldova is still a hidden gem (so few places left like that), so you are right to go there before it gets crowded. A little further east, Georgia is now on the radar and getting a lot more tourism--I've had 4 different groups of friends go there in the past year. I remember when Iceland wasn't overrun with tourism...you could be by yourself at a waterfall! Now you have to fight your way past hundreds or thousands of tourists!

    As a result of UIA seats policy, we would need to pay if we wanted to change our seats, even during online check-in.

    Wow, even during OLCI? That's a crappy policy! I get before OLCI, but during is very stingy and not very customer friendly

    The 777-200 has been a great improvement for the long-haul fleet that used to consist only of old 767s.

    Yes indeed! The new cabins are waaaaay nicer!

    And BOB menu with complimentary cup of water.

    Hot water eh? How fancy! Hahaha...well the free service is very minimal to say the least, the BoB menu does look very extensive and the prices seem ok

    Deboarding in heavy rain and blowing wind is not funny at all

    True...but you got that nice shot of your bird so there's that 🙂

    Beautiful pics as always. Thanks for sharing Loukas!

    • Comment 502912 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 287 Comments

      Hi Kevin! Moldova is great because it is still unknown, but I can tell you that we met there even a guy from Japan and one from China! I would like to go to Georgia one day, before mass tourism spoils everything as it happened to Iceland. It was mineral water but served in a hot water cup :) I didn't try the BOB but had two preordered meals on the next flights, so I will write more about it in the next reports. Thanks for stopping by!

Login to post a comment.