The airline with the best average rating is LOT Polish with 7.0/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 35 minutes.More information
Report No: 2019-505E
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this new series where I would try LOT Polish Airlines for the first time after finding a sweet deal on their Premium Economy cabin. As my final destination would be Washington DC and LOT Polish Airlines doesn't fly to the DC area, I would fly to Chicago with LOT and then take an American flight down to DC. Also, in this series, I would have the opportunity to visit the signature lounges of two different Star Alliance carriers.
The first report of this series would be on the LOT 90th year retro jet from Istanbul to Warsaw. I really wondered what LOT offered on Premium Economy on a short flight less than 2 hours. Also before this flight, I was able to visit the Miles&Smiles Lounge of Turkish Airlines for the first time and you could see a detailed review of that as well.
So the routing for this series would look like this;
Pax for this flight:
Business Class: %0 [ Business Class until row 2 ]
Premium Economy Class: %25 [ Premium Economy class only row 3 ]
Economy Class: %90-95
I have completed the online check-in process, 24 hours before departure on the LOT website.
For the first flight, I had selected seat 4D while booking the flight. I have sticked with that seat.
For the second flight, I have also sticked with my pre-reserved seat.
Early in the morning, I was dropped to Istanbul Airport. To enter the airport, I have used entrance 5, which is the priority entrance for Turkish Airlines. Despite all checkpoints being empty at that time, I had used this checkpoint as it was the closest the LOT check-in counters. I had access to this checkpoint via my Miles&Smiles Elite card.
I have passed the initial security check in a very short time. FIDS.
There were two check-in desks open for this flight. One was reserved for Business Class, Premium Class and Star Alliance Gold passengers while the other one was dedicated to Economy Class passengers. After the aviation security agents checked my passport and visa, I have headed to desk K37 and I was handed the paper versions of my boarding pass and given my baggage receipts. I was told that I could use the Turkish Airlines Lounge's after security.
I have noticed that my seat for the first flight was changed to seat 3A instead of 4D. This was because the curtain had moved one row forward.
LOT doesn't offer priority security or priority passport control at Istanbul Airport so I have used the regular lanes where there were no wait, early in the morning.
I was in the airside within 5 minutes. FIDS one more time.
Unlike Atatürk Airport, Turkish Airlines has 3 different concepts for departing eligible international passengers. Star Gold passengers traveling in Economy/Premium Economy are invited to use the Miles&Smiles Lounge.
As the e-gates does not work for LOT boarding passes, I have went to the service desk and an agent registered my boarding pass. After that I was able to enter.
The lounge had a huge breakfast bar, similar to the one in Atatürk.
The personalized omelette service is also available at this lounge.
Peperonni-cheese sandwiches were offered at that time
Simit and butter from countryside Trabzon
Lentil soup was offered early in the morning
Gözleme ( Turkish Style Flat Pastry's ) offered that morning.
Tea selection - This is new compared to the Atatürk lounge.
Cake selection in the main area
I was seated in the southern part of the lounge were nuts, fruits and some cakes were available.
The map of the lounge
There is a movie room ( cinema ) in the lounge as well.
They have also thought the kids
The TV area which was crowded
Sleeper sofas are available for those who are not eligible for the sleeping rooms.
However, there were some passengers who slept in the seating areas. Mac computers are available for the use of passengers and lockers are present at the lounge.
There are also conference rooms available at the lounge which can be reserved through the front desk.
A view of the terminal before leaving the lounge
30-35 minutes before our scheduled departure time, I have left the lounge and headed to gate E4.
Our aircraft was visible from the gate.
As the arrival of the crew was delayed, boarding had started a little bit later. There were no special line for Priority eligible passengers so priorities were not respected. However, two Star Gold passengers had cut the boarding line and the ground staff was OK with that. I have decided to enter the regular boarding queue. After passports and visas were checked one more time. I have boarded the aircraft.
After being welcomed by the crew, I had took my seat 3A. The seats were standard Embraer seats, which were comfortable and had decent legroom. In addition, the seat had a power outlet.
Our neighbor was TC-JUI which was going to head to Cluj that morning.
Shortly after boarding was completed the safety demo was made by the crews, and a welcome drink was offered to me. The options were orange juice and water. Newspapers were also offered but there were only Polish ones. I was the only one seated in the Premium cabin and nobody was seated in the Business cabin.
Slightly later than our scheduled departure time, we had pushed back. Meanwhile, this A321 was waiting for his flight to Skopje.
On the way to the runway, this Sichuan A330 had appeared. Sichuan had recently started flying from Chengdu to Istanbul.
The Presidential terminal
And, we had took off after a 15-20 minute taxi.
Shortly after departure
The Black Sea Coast
After the seatbelt signs had been turned off, a blanket and pillow was handed to me.
For the most of the flight, I have slept, however, I was awake during meal service.
The tray contained a hot dish, cheese and dried fruits, breakfast plate, butter, jam, cookies and I have taken a croissant from the bread basket that passed by.
Surprisingly the hot dish was a pastry filled with chocolate. As the aircraft arrives from Warsaw, the night before our departure and LOT doesn't cater food from IST, this is what they serve in Premium Class. However, the pastry tasted good, especially when warmed.
I have asked for a tea with the meal.
After I have finished my meal, I was asked for any other drinks. I have opted for another cup of tea.
Meanwhile, I have visited the lavatories which were clean during my visit
The seat pocket had the safety card
And, the LOT Kaleidoscope magazine
And a photo from the air before I slept.
I have waken up just when we had parked to our gate in Warsaw. Even though the cabin crew closed the curtain behind me there were passengers who had rushed to the front so I was not the first one to exit. However, it was not an issue as I had a longish layover. Here is the last view of our aircraft after arriving to Warsaw.
Gates for connecting flights are posted on the screens after entering the terminal. My onward flight was going to depart from gate 17N. After looking at the screens, I have headed to transfer security.
This report has came to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
Arriving at Istanbul Airport was painless as usual; public transportation options to the airport are also available throughout the night but being dropped to the airport had made me sleep 30-45 minutes extra that morning. According to the signs, the wait time at all entry points was around 1 to 5 minutes, however, as it is close to the LOT counters I had used the Turkish Airlines Priority Entrance. As most of the passengers on our flight were transfer passengers, the check-in counters were empty and I was helped quickly. No fast track voucher was handed at the check-in desk so I used the regular lane for passport control and security but there wasn't any wait so I was through within 5 minutes. Turkish Airlines had decided to have separate lounges for Business Class passengers and status passengers at Istanbul Airport. As I was traveling in Premium Economy, I headed to the Miles&Smiles Lounge which I had access via my Turkish Airlines M&S Elite card. The lounge had similar furniture and almost identical food compared to the lounge at Atatürk but there were a bit few improvements compared to the old lounge. Although, it was difficult to find seats in a central area but the corner areas were empty. The only thing that I didn't like about the lounge is the ambiance where people remove their socks and lie down on sofas. Boarding had started a bit late because of the late arrival of the crew, priorities were not respected and there was only one lane for the passport and visa check; however, there were *G passengers who interrupted the line and managed to board earlier. I really enjoy the Embraer's as seats are comfortable and the legroom is always decent. I was also surprised that I had got a welcome drink and newspapers. Unfortunately, newspapers were only available in Polish. After takeoff, a hot breakfast was served but I was shocked when I saw the hot dish, it was a chocolate pastry. I expected something better from LOT, however, it was a nice touch that drink refills were offered throughout the flight. Lavatories were also kept clean. After arriving at Warsaw, transfer security was just near our gate so I had quickly reached there and headed to my next flight.
(+) Efficient terminal, reasonable security wait times
(-) Priorities not respected during boarding
(+) Comfortable seating
(+) Meal options
(+) Resting options for passengers with long layovers
(-) The ambiance of the lounge
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom
(+) Friendly crew
(+) Power outlets at each seat
(+) Lavatories kept clean throughout the flight
(+) Drink refills being offered throughout the flight
(-) The meal could be definitely improved
(-) Newspapers available for Business and Premium Class passengers, but only in Polish
(+) Really efficient terminal, short walk to the transfer security