The airline with the best average rating is LOT Polish with 7.0/10.
The average flight time is 0 hours and 51 minutes.More information
In this report, I'll review my return flight from Kraków to Warsaw this July. I will, however, begin with a few photos from Kraków itself and some food/hotel recommendations. I promise more photos, less talking this time :)
As always, I do attach my boarding pass.
Flight number: LO3924
Route: Kraków - Warsaw Chopin
Flight date: 5th July 2020 (scheduled: 2035-2125, actual: 2034-2107)
Scheduled flight time: 50 mins (actual 33 mins)
Aircraft model: Embraer ERJ-175
Aircraft registration: SP-LIL
Seating configuration: Y82 (no business class on domestic flights)
Aircraft age at the time of flight: 10.3 years
Seat number: 1AB
Departure gate: 11 (jet bridge)
Arrival gate: bus gate in Warsaw
Flight route. Courtesy Flightradar24.
In Kraków (eng. Cracow) we spent 2 whole days. The weather was very good, clear skies, and temperature 24-28C. We took our time and didn't do too much sightseeing, yet I managed to take a few photos. Here's a few suggestions of what to see if you find yourself in Kraków.
The Wisła (Vistula) river in the early morning. Very empty all round.
The Jagiellonian University campus. It's the oldest Uni in Poland (established in 1364).
Kościuszko Mound. It takes a bit of time to climb up there, but definitely a place worth visiting (+ there's a nice cafe up there).
Sukiennice (The cloth hall) and the main square. Perhaps the most touristic place in Kraków but still nice. Make sure you also visit the museum in the underground and the St. Mary's Basilica. Come here at noon to hear the remarkable bugle call.
The Wawel castle (in the background), which was the King's residence for many years (many years ago, when Kraków was Polish capital).
If you'd like any more suggestions of sights to see in Cracow, please let me know in comments.
Here, I'd like to talk about two places, which are absolutely out of this world and even though a bit expensive(ish), I'd definitely recommend them.
1. BALTHAZAR DESIGN HOTEL
This is where we stayed, very good location, close to all major attractions, yet not on the main square. If you'd like to read more about my view on the hotel, see my review on Tripadvisor (below).
2. FIORENTINA RESTAURANT
Modern, extraordinarily tasting and well presented Polish cuisine. Affordable fine dining restaurant. Good location and beautiful interiors. What more to ask for? Btw. It's located in the same building as Balthazar hotel.
The restaurant inside and outside. Very cosy and welcoming.
In this order: Breakfast - Eggs Benedict/brioche/bacon/tomatoes; Starter 1 - beetroot/parsley pesto/black cumin crisp; Starter 2 - beef tartare/mustard/rosemary mayo; Main 1 - chicken/green bean/smoked cauliflower; Main 2 - dumplings/black pudding/bacon/roasted buckwheat; Dessert 1 - cream puff/hazelnut/buttermilk ice cream; Dessert 2 - Meringue/yoghurt cream/blackberries and raspberries
After a lovely weekend in Kraków, it was time to head back to the airport. We, again took an Uber, which, again cost 25 PLN/6 EUR, so not too much for a 20 mins ride. At the airport, only 1 entrance was open, and there was a temperature screening "from your wrist" there. At first, as we entered the terminal, it was absolutely deserted. Me, my dad, and a newly acquainted avgeek friend, Adam were literally the only passengers. It started getting a bit more "busy" later on when the other passengers from our flight arrived.
The contemporary airport entrance, looks nice in my opinion. The railway station with trains to the centre is right next to the hotel you can see in the last picture, so no more than 5 mins walking from the terminal.
At the airport, I tried to check in my hand luggage, as I don't really enjoy packing out the liquids at security. But the very unkind and unhappy lady at LOT's check in said I could only do that if I had bought a checked in luggage. First time I have come across something like that. Usually airlines beg you to check in your hand bag to avoid delays…
Check in area. I bet you can make out how stranded it was… scary I'd say!
Security - Me and my dad were the only people there. Really. Then at the airside, most shops and restaurants were already open (after COVID break), including the lounge. However, needless to say, there were not too many customers anywhere. In one of the restaurants, they even put "smiling balloons" on the chairs, so as not to feel sad (last picture). Now, what I find really strange is that even though we were the only flight departing at that time, they only announced the gate 60 mins before the flight. I heard some people joking - "they are so busy with flights they can't even assign a gate earlier than 60 mins before flight" ?.
Our aircraft arrived from Warsaw on time. Or rather even before schedule.
Overall, Kraków airport seems to be a great regional airport, especially when it's not too busy. There are enough shops, restaurants and cafes and places to sit, I guess. The toilets, and airport in general, were clean this time. The staff could be more polite… but the lack of kindness is unfortunately a standard at Polish airports.
There were 2 LOT's ERJ-175 parked at KRK, one at a remote stands and one at the jet bridge, but as the gate was announced (an hour before departure!) it turned out, ours is parked at a jet bridge, gate 11.
Our gate area before departure. I don't know if you can see, but again more than a half of people were LOT crew, being re-positioned back to Warsaw. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, check my previous report of WAW-KRK, where I explain it)
The boarding for passengers was announced on time, 30 mins before departure. The re-positioned crew was allowed on board a bit earlier, before us. Due to COVID measures, the boarding was called in two groups. This order didn't respect any Frequent traveller status benefits. At first passengers seated in rows 1-10 were called for boarding, then rows 11-20. Doesn't it make little sense in terms of "safety" to boards "from the front"?
Anyway, boarding was really quick an we were ready for departure a few minutes ahead of schedule.
Nice glass jetties at KRK, so you can see the tarmac and don't feel suffocating. Our SP-LIL Embraer is, as you can see the old livery aircraft. One of the last in LOT's fleet. Personally, I prefer the newer livery (though it's not much different).
As we entered the aircraft, we were not welcomed by the crew (did they have more important duties?…perhaps). They didn't seem particularly happy. As it'll later turn out, they were actually very unpleasant. On the other hand, the 30 crew members who didn't "run the flight", seemed to be very happy. What a coincidence… No refreshing tissues given before departure this time (inconsistence with previous flight, by the way: my dad flew a domestic flight next week got one as well).
NB. The nice and catchy LOT boarding music was played, both during boarding and once we landed.
A few photos from before departure. Very nice legroom in row 1, I'm 1.87 m.
We departed at 2034, 1 minute before the scheduled time, towards west. Quite a long takeoff roll this evening, but after rotation a right turn and smooth journey towards Warsaw. Very soon (5 mins) after take off the seatbelt signs were off and I decided to go and check out the Embraer's lavatory. But before that, I had asked the crew if I actually can use the lavatory in the front (it was blocked for crew only from the 1st June). What I received as a response to my courteous question, was a snarl, very disappointing answer from LOT crew. Btw. it turned out you can now use the front bathroom…
Never in my life have I seen a cleaner airplane toilet. It was in an absolutely perfect condition and cleanliness! By the sink, there were some refreshing tissues, so I took myself one for later.
When I got back to my seat, the refreshments were already waiting there, my dad took them for me :) Those included, again, a bottle of water and a tasty apple bun. No buy-on-board is available on LOT domestic flights. Although I could find the menu in the seat pocket. It had some nice choices in affordable prices.
Mask off, feast on!
Very pretty napkin, great job LOT Polish Airlines.
As we were getting closer to Warsaw, the Sun starts to set.
A while before landing I decided to change seats with my dad, so that I could take some photos on landing from 1A.
And this is the seat itself. Very comfortable with generous width (even in row 1), great legroom, adjustable headrest (which unfortunately sometimes doesn't stay in place). Blue antimacassars, as I elucidated in one of my previous reports, also matches well. Overall, the cabin was simple, but great and well-maintained for a 10-year-old airplane, plus very clean in my opinion. Great job with that.
The entertainment options on LOT Embraers are poor, especially when the inflight magazine is unavailable. The e-Press which I told about in my previous report should work but for some reason I wasn't able to download a new newspaper for this return flight ?. But at least I still had the magazine I downloaded for the previous flight. There are electric sockets installed across LOT Embraer fleet. However there was only one outlet for the two seats (1AB), which is understandable, bearing in mind that this is usually a business class seat with the seat next to it being blocked.
The rest of flight was pretty uneventful. It started to get more cloudy as we approached Warsaw. A few bumps, as we did our cloudsurfing but I didn't mind this time ;)
Landing into Warsaw, runway 33 and touchdown at 2107 (nearly 20 mins ahead of schedule). I have experienced smoother landings, to be fair, but this one wasn't bad as well :D
After landing we had a very short taxi to our stand. We docked into a jet bridge gate but in actual fact, we disembarked by stairs and then got onto a bus. This happened to me at WAW already 3 times and I don't know the reason for that. The crew, made an announcement that we should disembark "from the front" starting with row 1, as they did on my flight to Kraków. However people didn't respect it at all.
A strange thing happened during disembarkement which shows how disorganised WAW actually was. The guy from ground handling said (to the crew) that he needs the "passenger location cards" from every passenger. For those of you, who don't know what this is: the cards were introduced by the Polish government when the pandemic started in order to facilitate the location of passengers should someone on the plane happen to have COVID. (And as you will see in one of my future reports, they actually worked quite well). However, the cards were only supposed to be needed for international flights. But despite that, the ground handling guy didn't want to let us out of the plane on this domestic flight, bizarre situation. Finally after a few calls and 10 mins of waiting he said he was wrong and we could disembark. I believe this kind of disinformation should not happen at an airport like Warsaw.
Taxiing to our gate. LOTs of LOT (?) tails all round.
Stairs vs jet bridge. Who's gonna win?!
Slowly disembarking from our old-livery airplane.
The bus ride was no more than 2 minutes. Afterwards, a short walk through the terminal and our journey was over. At the airport, I believe, 1 or 2 exits are open only. And if you want to be picked up at the departure level (as we always do), you first need to exit the airport at the bottom floor, and then take the lift outside the terminal to get to the upper floor. A bit less convenient than it used to be before. Theoretically that's COVID measures, but practically, I doubt it helps at all…
Thank you very much everyone, for joining me today and I'd like to wish you all the best!
See you next week in my LX A220-300 report from WAW to ZRH.
It was great to fly again, but I'd expect more from LOT. I have mixed feelings about this flight: on the one hand a very clean aircraft with great cabin, nice catering for a domestic service, but on the other hand, impolite crew and ground staff, inconsistent service with the previous flight (refreshing tissue, e-press) and confusing experience in Warsaw. There are things to work on, LOT...