Review of LOT Polish flight Kraków Warsaw in Economy

Airline LOT Polish
Flight LO3924
Class Economy
Seat 1AB
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 05 Jul 20, 20:35
Arrival at 05 Jul 20, 21:25
LO   #76 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 183 reviews
Matthevv
By SILVER 466
Published on 15th July 2020

Hello


Hello everyone,

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 :) 


Routing


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As always, I do attach my boarding pass.


Flight details

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


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Flight route. Courtesy Flightradar24.


Kraków, places to see


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.


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The Wisła (Vistula) river in the early morning. Very empty all round.


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The Jagiellonian University campus. It's the oldest Uni in Poland (established in 1364).


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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).


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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.


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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.


Eating & Sleeping in Kraków


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. 


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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


Krk airport


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.


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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!


Bonus : Click here display

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.


boarding


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.


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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.


inflight


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…


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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.


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Mask off, feast on!


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Very pretty napkin, great job LOT Polish Airlines.


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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.


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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


ground experience at WAW


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.


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Stairs vs jet bridge. Who's gonna win?!


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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.

Matthevv. 

See more

Verdict

LOT Polish

6.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew3.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering9.0

Kraków - KRK

7.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Warsaw - WAW

6.6/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

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...

Information on the route Kraków (KRK) Warsaw (WAW)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 10 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Kraków (KRK) → Warsaw (WAW).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 0 hours and 51 minutes.

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8 Comments

  • Comment 558691 by
    NewYorker SILVER 99 Comments

    Hey Matthevv, and thanks for sharing this report! Krakow looks like a great place - I was planning on taking a trip with a bunch of my friends there in April, but alas, the pandemic had other plans for me ? As for the flight, it seems like it was fairly uneventful. I'm surprised that LOT offers a nice snack on such a short flight, especially during these times. I flew LO in 2014 on the WAW-SOF route and we were only given a Prince Polo bar, so it appears like they have improved their catering. Shame about the crew, though luckily it was a short flight and you didn't have to deal with them much. Looking forward to the LX A220 report in a few days! ??

    • Comment 558699 by
      Matthevv SILVER AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Hi NewYorker and thanks for your comment!
      Kraków is indeed a really pleasant city, so I keep my fingers crossed you’ll be able to visit it soon. And yeah, the catering was improved, at least in LOT Economy, recently. Before the pandemic, you could even receive both PrincePolo and an apple bun on some international routes ??
      And LX1343 report should be out soon :)
      Take care!
      Matthevv

  • Comment 558736 by
    Plainfreak 9 Comments

    Hi Matthevv! Very nice report :-)
    Been to Kraków myself a couple times, and really liked the city. Easy with the hotel at the airport and the train into the centre of town.
    Looks like all around solid service from LOT on domestic flights. Shame about the flight attendants attitude.
    Daniel

    • Comment 558739 by
      Matthevv SILVER AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Hey Daniel!
      Nice to hear from you. With LOT you can be pretty sure about comfortable cabin and decent catering when it comes to domestic routes. They should, however, definitely work on their crews. This was not the first time I came across the lack of professionalism and politeness from LOT crew...
      All the best!
      Matthevv

  • Comment 558765 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 500 Comments

    Krakow is definitely a great place to visit, however the airport is poorly designed from my perspective for a new and modern terminal. It is definitely very clean, but the terminal is too dark with little sunlight entering and the terminal is created in such a manner that passengers are walking through each other to get from A to B and back to A.

    Thanks for sharing the report tho.

    • Comment 558774 by
      Matthevv SILVER AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Hi Thomas and thanks for your comment!
      I definitely agree the terminal is quite dark. That’s, I guess, because all the windows face the North. However, I didn’t feel like I needed too much walking from A to B to A. But maybe that’s because it was really empty and we were the only flight departing.
      Take care!

  • Comment 559316 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5305 Comments

    Hi Mathevv, Nice reports and thanks for sharing this short series of flights with LOT during the Covid pandemic. It is interesting to note the inconsistencies between the previous flight and this one; however, I suppose it's understandable considering that the service protocols are new for everyone. Hopefully the airport and in-flight experiences will become less confusing and more consistent. I will commend LOT on serving a generous snack during these times of Covid where most other carriers have opted to cut costs and remove all food services in flight.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 559374 by
      Matthevv SILVER AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Hello Kévin! Yes, it's quite obvious everyone is flustered and confused with all those new procedures but, as you say, let's hope this will settle down soon once we all get used to "the new normal". Definitely kudos for the better snack service. By the way, on the 5th July I only got an apple bun. Now you get even more: a sweet or salty bun, some pretzels and a small bag of nuts (from what I've seen on Simply Aviation instagram), which is even more surprising! And of course that's another place of inconsistence...
      Nice to have you here, all the best!
      Matthevv

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