The airline with the best average rating is British Airways with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 37 minutes.More information
And welcome to this brand new report. I decided to leave my remaining two TAP Air Portugal flight reports for another day and today I will share with you something even more exciting. As Boeing 737 MAX is back in the air, I had a chance to fly it from Warsaw to London a few days ago on LOT Polish Airlines. It was an absolutely delightful flight. Read on to find out more :)
I just wanted to mention the lack of professionalism from LOT ticketing office. My original flight was booked on the same date but for the 7am flight. It got however cancelled and I requested (via an online form) to rebook me onto the afternoon 3pm flight. In response to that I got 6 emails (see above) where three of them said I am booked onto the 7am flight and 3 of them said I'm booked onto the 3pm flight. But I confirmed on the managed my booking page, and my ticket was rebooked correctly after all. If that wasn't enough, a few days later I got an email that my flight time has changed (there was a 5 mins change in departure time hahah). I have to say, unfortunately, that this lack of professionalism from the ticketing department is very often seen in different situations with LOT.
Flight number LO279
Route Warsaw Chopin - London Heathrow T2
Flight date 16th April 2021 1535-1720 (actual 1555-1655)
Scheduled flight time 2:45 (actual 2:00)
Aircraft model Boeing 737 MAX 8
Aircraft registration SP-LVD (Independence livery)
Seating configuration CY186 (6 rows of business/premium on this flight)
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 2.8 years (returned to service on 24 March 2021)
Seat number 7C
Departure gate 7N (bus gate)
Arrival gate A17 (jet bridge)
Load factor (approx.) 32%
Flight price 27 GBP or 144 PLN (a real bargain!)
I booked the lowest fare possible, the Economy Saver. But LOT allows you to select your preferred seat for free during check in even in that lowest fare. My friend Adam, who I flew with this time took 7A and I picked 7C. Notice, that from 10 March 2021, LOT passengers on international flights cannot check in online anymore. You can only pick your seat and then you receive a "travel confirmation document". The boarding pass must be collected at the airport, as they have to check all the COVID-related travel documents (in case of the UK: negative COVID test, filled in locator form and the proof that you booked a Day 2 & Day 8 testing package).
Lots of empty seats to choose from on that flight. Exit row seats can be chosen free of charge too, but we opted for a front row to disembark quickly and to be first in the immigration queue.
My journey starts at the Warsaw Chopin Airport today, in a very sad, cloudy and rainy weather. Usual temperature checks are carried out at the entrance.
Check in zones D & E at WAW are used solely by LOT.
The terminal wasn't too empty this time, it was actually surprisingly busy for COVID times. You can see there were actually quite a few departures at 3-4pm. All from LOT.
But LOT's check in wasn't busy at all, and also London-Heathrow has its own, dedicated 3 check in desks. The agent wasn't the nicest in the world… but at least she didn't weigh my hand luggage (which was twice overweight). I know, I shouldn't take that much but I had two textbooks for the university there and hence the 15 kg weight hahaha. Security was very empty, with two lanes open and we were at the airside in no time.
A great majority of duty free shops were open, including the large Baltona Duty Free, where I sampled some fragrances :)
We then took a stroll through the airport, bought some water and then went through the non-Schengen checkpoint. Both normal and e-gates were open and we waited no more than 5 mins. Everything was so smooth today that we actually ended up at the gate an hour early. But that was fine. I also had a little walk around the non-Schengen gates and took a few pics of the aircrafts.
1. Our gate area, very empty when we arrived there.
2. Qatar 787-8 preparing for departure to Doha.
3. Emirates 777-300ER pushing back for Dubai departure.
4. A mysterious 737 MAX 8 from LOT (SP-LVC) which waited at a gate just next to ours (8N). I was pretty sure we were gonna fly this one, but as it turned out later, I was wrong.
Boarding started at 3.15pm and all 60 pax were packed into one crammed bus (very COVID secure… sarcasm alert). We drove through the whole airport to arrive at gate 42 (or somewhere around that number). That gate was a jet bridge gate (but a Schengen one) and it's where our airplane was parked when it arrived from Wrocław earlier that afternoon. But the jet bridge was disattached and everyone boarded through the front stairs in the rainy weather. Such a strange boarding experience that afternoon!
But at least the bus boarding allowed me to take some pictures of the special Independence livery of this 737 MAX. The airplane was received in the year 2018, the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its Independence.
It was already my 4th ride on LOT's 737 MAX, the previous ones were on SP-LVA, -LVB and -LVC (in this order) so it was time for the -LVD this time :-)
I already reviewed LOT's 737 MAX in one of my previous reports to Vienna but I'll do it a bit more thoroughly here. As we stepped on board, we were greeted by two friendly cabin crew members (the cabin crew was all-female that day) who will be later on working in business class. One of them approached me later, and said (in a friendly way) that I can take pictures but I should just not take pictures of the crew, which I never do anyway :)
At the entrance, LOT's logo and the 90th anniversary sticker (back from 2019).
Overall, the cabin design is really nice. It can seem a bit cold in colours at the beginning but I think it's actually fine (better than the LOT Dreamliner colour scheme). The front 6 rows on today's flight were reserved for business and premium economy but there was no one seated in the entire row 6. Business class seats have different antimacassars and have the middle seat blocked.
Economy seats have antimacassars matching the independence livery, I think it's a really nice touch from LOT. They are a national carrier after all, and I think it's good to promote Polish culture and history (though I'm not the greatest fan of how the livery is designed).
Boarding went quickly with only 60 pax on board and we were actually one of the last people to enter the plane. Blue LED lights were on during boarding, but there were no LED lights turned on inflight later on which is a shame. I will come back to the review of the seat itself later in the report.
I really do like the little futuristic design of this 737 MAX interior from LOT. I especially appreciate the design of the front bulkhead.
I checked out the lavatory before departure as we were still waiting at the gate. It was definitely cleaned after the previous flight and it was of a decent size too. Much better than the ones in BA or LH A320neos. However, there was definitely not enough storage space in there - what I mean by that is that the refreshing spray and the hand sanitiser were put in the sink, when I walked in, since there was no other "secure" place for them. Another bad feature of the toilet is the tap… The water sprayed (or splashed) all over the lavatory when I turned it on… same thing happened later on in the second lavatory which means it's not just a single incident.
The other thing with the tap is a question for you. In 737 or 737 MAX - do you need to hold the tap button all the time for the water to flow? Anytime I fly these jets, I can't find the way to make the water flow after I just pressed the button once, I always have to hold it. (Sorry for that strange question but I'm really curious, maybe someone will be able to help).
On the way back, a must have picture of the cabin from the back which I also posted on my instagram story - thanks @flight-report for sharing :)
When I got back to my seat, the crew started the safety demo which was done in Polish and English. All crew members spoke very well English on that flight, something that I highly appreciate. Messages from the cabin were clear and legible, which unfortunately I can't say about the messages from the flight deck which were a bit quiet. Takeoff was from Runway 29 that afternoon, and was surprisingly smooth bearing in mind we needed 10 minutes to get through the clouds.
I had the aisle seat this time, so only one shot from departure.
Alright, let me do a short seat tour before the meals are served. First of all, the declared legroom in row 7 by SeatGuru is 32", which is NOT correct. The legroom is constant throughout the cabin, from row 2 till the last row (in the 1st row and exit rows it is of course more generous), and judging by eye, it's 30" - which is decent (see photo below, I'm 1.87m).
Now to the seat itself. I will be honest here. It is the most comfortable seat in a narrow body jet from a European carrier that I have experienced. With the only one downside being the width (the seats are a bit narrow). Otherwise, amazingly soft cushions with lots of padding (both the bottom and back cushion) and very comfy, soft, adjustable headrests.
Moreover, sleek and elegant design with two types of leather and contrasting white seam, plus the small LOT's logo which is a great finishing touch. Also the "Independence antimacassars" throughout the jet nicely matched the overall design.
Seat backs include a bigger bottom pocket and a smaller literature compartment. The seats also had a universal power outlet with a USB port too. I was only missing USB-C port. The tray table was clean and sturdy, maybe a bit small - but still fitted my MacBook and the meal tray. Later on inflight, when I tried to charge my laptop, I realised that the power sockets were not "strong enough" to hold the quite big MacBook charger (but that's a minor flaw only).
I think the recline of the seats is also worth mentioning, since LOT sometimes uses the 737 MAX on overnight flights from Warsaw to Tbilisi or Nur Sultan. It was absolutely decent for a narrow body jet. And (importantly!) even the last row has the same recline, and also features windows.
One last thing about the cabin is something that changed from when I last flew LOT's 737 MAX. The cabin divider is now present (it was not there before). Although it's a bit different to the dividers I am used to - the curtain was mounted above the aisle but only a piece of glass was present above the seats. I quite liked it!
The overhead panels feature personal lights and air vents which is great.
Around 30 mins into the flight meals were served from the trolley. The standard Economy class meal was a Spinach roll or an Apple bun and a bottle of water. It was a bit different to the meal service back in January on the same route, when we were additionally served a chocolate bar or peanuts. I have to say, LOT is usually quite inconsistent with their service and the crew too which are both a bit of hit or miss. This is why I have never been a great fan of that airline.
I also ordered (online, via manage my booking) a special meal. It's a new option just introduced by LOT, where you can choose from sandwiches, tapas, healthy snacks and gourmet meals. Check it out here. I took a gluten free meal with a yellow smoothie - 78 PLN or 15 GBP altogether. The option to order the meal is quite well hidden on LOT's website, so I was curious how many people ordered it on my flight. A very friendly and polite flight attendant that actually served me said, that there were 2 more people who have ordered meals on this flight. Not too many… LOT should re-think how they advertise this new service.
The meal was absolutely very tasty, served on porcelain with metal cutlery. Felt premium :)
Starter: Tapas - rocket, Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, capers, olives, melon
Main: Chicken with vegetables, millet, rocket and spinach
Dessert: Fresh fruit
Drink: Mango-banana-passion fruit-honey smoothie
It was definitely a good choice to take that meal!
After the meal, I went for another lavatory tour and then took a few shots outside from different seat rows.
The rest of the flight was really very smooth and pretty uneventful, I did some things on my laptop. There was also a trolley duty free service. Around 30 mins before landing we started our descent into London Heathrow. It started to get less cloudy as we approached Great Britain.
My travel package: Covid test, Passport and Boarding Pass.
Descent into Heathrow was quick and smooth this afternoon, without too many bumps. Landing from the West.
After a very short taxi, we docked into A17, a jet bridge gate. Next to a Bulgarian Air Embraer and Lufthansa A320neo. Disembarking started soon and was NOT done row by row, unlike many airlines do now.
We were then off to a loooong queue to immigration. I was prepared for long waiting, since I waited 2:30 hours in January and my friend waited 4:30 in March… However, it went better this time, as they had more counters open. We waited "only" 45 mins. The officer checked: the passport, covid test, locator form and confirmation of day 2 and day 8 test package purchase.
As we reached the luggage belt, all the luggage was already waiting on the floor.
I then took a Megabus from Heathrow central bus station to Bristol which took around 2 hours. At home, the testing package was already waiting for me.
I also took the Kaleidoscope magazine from on board, which I'll read in my free time. I really like the photo on the cover.
This is where I'd like to finish my report on the WAW to LHR flight on LOT's 737 MAX. I really really hope, this plane is now well checked and safe to fly. It's been a pleasure to travel on it that afternoon.
I'm travelling on the WAW-LHR-WAW route quite often. 1.5 half years ago, I told myself that if LOT brings 737 MAX back to service (and so back on that route), I will consider taking LOT more often (before I usually took British Airways). LOT is officially back in the game for me.
Cabin: Sleek and elegant, very clean, designed with attention to details. Super comfortable seats with many useful features.
Cabin crew: Professional and kind, with good language skills, nothing more to ask for.
Entertainment: Free e-press to download, Kaleidoscope magazine and Power sockets. I think they plan to instal WiFi later.
Meal: The free catering is fine and the paid one was superb. It's a great new option. It just should be better advertised.