LOT Polish Airlines review: 787-8 economy class Los Angeles to Warsaw

LOT Polish Airlines review: 787-8 economy class Los Angeles to Warsaw

It’s been a ridiculously awesome year of flying for me so far. You see, back in January, I made it a point to try and fly as many different airlines as I could. This was done in an effort to spice up the content on this blog and my YouTube channel, and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. However, the year is far from over, so…how about a LOT Polish Airlines review to help keep things spicy?

For those that are interested, the reservation for this particular flight was obtained using the ultra-carefree “shotgun” approach. I basically needed to find a really fun but cheap way to get from SAN or LAX to Europe, and I jumped from website to website to trying to find something that fit that criteria. I didn’t care about silly things like frequent flyer programs or particular destination cities. I write airline reviews for a living. It’s the flight that matters, and I’m willing to go anywhere it leads me.

With my Mac Pro huffing and puffing trying to keep up with the pace I was setting, I stumbled across something interesting 20 minutes into the search:

LOT Polish Airlines…with an irresistible fare out of LAX to Warsaw. Done!

Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Warsaw, Poland (WAW)
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Aircraft: 787-8
Registration: SP-LRD
Duration: 11 hours 2 minutes
Seat: 16D (economy class)

LOT Polish Airlines 787-8 side view
LOT Polish Airlines 787-8 side view illustration by Norebbo.com
LAX-WAW flight track
Our route from Los Angeles to Warsaw this afternoon.

I’m a little bit behind schedule with my written trip reports, which most of my regular readers will have probably already guessed by now. Especially since I uploaded the video for this flight to YouTube several weeks ago! Anyway, as I’ve said before, my written reviews are always somewhat different than my video reviews, so I felt that this particular LOT Polish Airlines review still needed to be written. It complements the video as far as I’m concerned.

This LOT Polish Airlines review got off to a really awkward start

Just like how some of my other recent big international trips started (Xiamen Air to China, Air Tahiti Nui to Paris, etc), it all began with my alarm clock piercing the silence at 3:30am. I had a 6:20am Delta Connection flight out of SAN to catch, which was more than just a little inconvenient. However, it was absolutely necessary if I had any hopes of catching this LOT flight to Warsaw out of LAX.

Everything went smoothly, and I arrived at LAX four and a half hours before the flight was scheduled to board. And since I already checked in with the LOT Polish Airlines mobile app (and I already had my boarding pass), I was able to skip the check in counter entirely and proceed directly to the security checkpoint here at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. That was the plan anyway.

Tom Bradley International Terminal main entrance
Welcome to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX! You suppose that FedEx guy walked that package over from the 767 that just landed 20 minutes ago?
SANspotter selfie SAN shirt
Chugging an entire bottle of water before clearing security. Considering that I’ve got four and a half hours to kill, my plan is to pee at the Korean Air Lounge.
LAX tbit ticketing hall
One last look at the ticketing hall before hightailing it upstairs to the security checkpoint. Having a mobile boarding pass (and not having to stand in line) is *so* nice! But then, just as I was feeling especially smug…

You know that scanner that the TSA uses to verify your boarding pass before being allowed into the security checkpoint? It rejected mine with an awful-sounding buzzing sound (complete with flashing red lights).

“Try reloading the app” the TSA agent suggested. As the line of disgruntled-looking passengers began to build behind me, I did what she recommended and tried again. Nope. That didn’t work. Long story short, neither she nor I knew why it was rejecting my boarding pass so my only option was to go stand in line at the LOT ticketing counter and get a paper ticket.

Only problem was that the ticketing counter wasn’t scheduled to open for another two and a half hours. Those of you who are familiar with how chaotic the ticketing hall of the Tom Bradley International Terminal can be will no doubt understand how frustrated I felt for not being able to find a quiet place to sit and relax.

LOT Polish airlines check in LAX
Dang it. I was trying my best to avoid standing in this line today.
SANspotter selfie LOT Polish Airlines check in
Standing there trying to think of all the reasons why my boarding pass was rejected. Perhaps all those years of making silly jokes about flying has finally landed me on the “no fly” list?
LOT Polish Airlines ticketing counter LAX
To be honest I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. RIP SANspotter.

Since this is a LOT Polish Airlines review and not my personal diary, I’m going to skip ahead a bit and tell you why my boarding pass was rejected: basically, I was leaving the US on a one way ticket (flying back to the US on another airline), and they needed proof that I wasn’t planning on staying permanently in Poland. Showing them the itinerary for my onward connection was enough to get me a legitimate boarding pass.

If anything, this experience taught me a lot about the pros and cons one-way tickets vs round-trip. It didn’t stop me from purchasing one-way tickets altogether, but it made me much more aware of the potential issues.

The LOT Polish ground experience at LAX

Having to deal with the struggles of obtaining a boarding pass here at the airport definitely threw a kink into my plans this afternoon. I was hoping to spend most of that time in the super-amazing Korean Air Lounge (thanks to my Priority Pass membership), but the need to obtain footage for this trip report (and the video) kept me out in the main terminal.

Lax international terminal architecture
It sure is awkward taking pics when there are 200 people (at least) looking right at you. Therefore, I had to aim high and pretend I was admiring the architecture.

Note that if you’re flying business class on LOT out of LAX, you will get complimentary access to the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge located on level 6 of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

I’ve got to be honest: I was fully expecting this flight being relegated to one of the dreaded bus gates here at the TBIT (just as how it happened on my recent LATAM flight to Santiago). Gate 135 was our departure point today, which is at the far (far) north end of the TBIT – so far north as a matter of that I wasn’t expecting it to be a real gate.

Walking through LAX
Making the long walk to gate 135. Well, I’m actually being lazy and I being whisked along by the moving walkway, but…you know what I mean.

It turns out that 135 is actually one of the last remaining (original) gates untouched after the massive remodel that took place here several years ago. I didn’t know that any of these existed anymore! Not a very bad way to kick off a LOT Polish Airlines review out of LAX IMHO.

Gate 135 LAX
The carpeting and wall coverings may be new, but…this is what every gate here in the Tom Bradley International Terminal looked like just 10 short years ago.
LOT Polish Airlines 787-8 LAX
What kind of lousy AvGeek wanna-be am I? This bad boy was parked right outside the window behind me, and I chose to post a pic of the gate area first instead. I’m sorry!

The boarding process for flight 22 to Warsaw

Scanning the gate area just minutes before the boarding process initiated was giving me all sorts of pleasant vibes. You see – I always try really hard to make sure I have an open seat next to me on flights, and I was feeling pretty good about my chances today. The gate area seemed awfully empty for a 787-8.

LOT Polish airlines LAX review
I’d like to say that I was smart enough to choose this flight because of how light of a load it was going to be, but…I was just as shocked as anyone else.

The boarding process was relatively simple. There were three boarding zones (1, 2, and 3), and with the light crowd today there was no stress or confusion at all. I was in zone 3 by the way.

LOT airlines boarding zones
The answer is 5! I may be a lowly airline reviewer who never scored better than a C in math, but…they couldn’t fool me this time. Hmm…I think I’m starting to understand why nobody ever wants to fly with me…
Boarding LOT flight LAX
Waiting patiently with the rest of the Zone 2+3 crew.
LOT 787-8 boarding door
See that blue stripe on the door? That’s part of the “T” in “LOT”. Hey – I’m just doing what I can to make this a useful and entertaining LOT Polish Airlines review after those stupid math comments.

First impressions of the LOT Polish Airlines 787-8

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re just gonna know what the interior of an airplane is going to be like even before stepping onboard? I had a sneaky suspicion that there was going to be a whole heck of a lot of “blue” in my sights just after stepping through the boarding door. And I was very right by the way.

LOT 787-8 premium economy
Premium economy. It was all a blur on my way back to steerage, but from what I could tell, it looked decent (and very blue).
LOT Polish airlines 787-8 economy seats
LOT 787-8 economy seats. I really want to use the word “lot” somehow to describe these seats (maybe like “these are a LOT nicer than I was expecting”) but…those math comments were too stupid and I’ve got to do what I can to redeem myself.
LOT Polish airlines 787-8 economy cabin
LOT 787-8 economy class cabin. I don’t see anyone sitting in the seat next to mine yet, so…let’s hope it stays that way.
LOT 787 economy class
This isn’t the most spacious economy class configuration, but it looks great IMHO. And would now be an appropriate time to let you know my feelings about 787 windows? Even though I just did it in my LATAM 787-8 review? I hate them so much I just wanna do it again…
SANspotter selfie LOT 787
Thankfully I was far away from the windows this time. And please don’t mind the goofy expression on my face…I’m just busy soaking it all in.
LOT 787 seat review
One last pic of the seats – only because of how miraculous it was that I managed to do it without getting anyone in the shot. It was a chaotic boarding experience!

Not since my Xiamen Air business class flight to Xiamen have I seen an aircraft interior so blue. However, I’m pretty sure that those of you searching for a detailed LOT Polish Airlines review don’t care much about the color of the seats and carpet. What about the important stuff like comfort? And amenities? Well, I’m glad you asked.

The first thing that I noticed (other than all the blue of course) was that the seat pitch was a little bit tight. I’m 5’-10” (177.8 cm), and I had plenty of room to spread out. To the best of my recollection, this economy class seat felt very similar to what I experienced on the Lufthansa A340-300 – and that ended up being a decently comfortable 11 hour flight from San Diego to Frankfurt.

LOT 787 leg room
Will somebody please remind me to wear clothing that won’t blend into the interior textures next time? Thanks! Oh – and yeah…leg room was ok. Not great but certainly not terrible either.
LOT 787 interior
I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen video screens hanging from the ceiling of a 787. Remember when they used to hang big CRT monitors from the ceiling? Those were the days. #grandpavoice

It was really nice to see things like USB power ports and full size electrical outlets at every seat, but neither of them worked while still on the ground. I was crossing my fingers (hard) that these would be activated once in flight.

LOT Polish airlines USB power port
USB power at every seat! Unfortunately, there was no power.
LOT Polish airlines electrical outlets
Full size electrical outlets at every seat! Unfortunately…(do I even need to type the rest?)

And since no airline review is complete without a criticism or two, can I say that I was disappointed that there were no amenity kits for economy class passengers today? Not every airline does this, but it is slowly becoming the norm and is very much appreciated for elevating the overall passenger experience. Shoutout to Air Tahiti Nui, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines for providing amenity kits in economy class.

LOT airlines headphones
Complimentary headphones. Well, earbuds actually. Let’s just hope the audio jacks work as well. *zing!*
LOT economy class footrests
Footrests too! Unfortunately (lol) I never feel comfortable using these things, but I appreciated them nonetheless.
LOT Polish airlines cabin crew
“I just wanted to let you know that SANspotter is onboard this flight today, and there is a slight possibility you’ll end up in the video or on the blog. My apologies.”
LOT 787-8 safety card
One last look at the safety card before taking off. I’m a slow learner, ok?

What is LOT Polish Airlines economy class service like?

Our departure out of LAX was exactly on time this afternoon (right down to the minute!). Not only that, I was lucky enough to have an entire row all to myself. There was a teenage girl assigned to the aisle seat on the other side, but all her friends were back a few rows and she couldn’t resist moving to an empty seat near them.

As a grown man who appreciates silence more than nearly anything else in life, I can’t fathom giving up such a good seat to go and be social for 11 hours. It’s just not in my DNA. Even worse, I’m pretty sure that she opted for a middle seat as well. The horror!

LOT 787 review
Waiting patiently for the festivities to begin shortly after takeoff.

As much as I was hoping that the Power outlets would be working after takeoff, there was no such luck. For the record, I naturally assumed that none of the power outlets in my row worked for the entire duration of the flight. However, several people commented on my video saying that they (usually) turn on the power outlets approximately two hours after takeoff. That makes absolutely no sense to me. But I very much wish I would’ve known that!

Despite not having power to charge my devices, the cabin crew started the service within 20 minutes of departure. As a matter fact, that’s where this LOT Polish Airlines review starts to get interesting. I mean, with the boarding pass issue earlier and the lack of power here in my seat, I wasn’t in the best of moods. But, throw some free snacks at me and I’ll perk right up.

The first cart that went by was the drink cart. I’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but with the way the day had gone so far, I was definitely feeling like I needed a glass of wine. Well, this is economy class after all, so “a plastic cup of wine” is more accurate. An equal sized cup of water (no ice) was the chaser.

Lot polish airlines free alcohol
Wanna know a secret? I’m actually a super-duper lightweight when it comes to alcohol (I rarely ever drink the stuff), so a little cup of merlot is all it takes to send me flyin’ (pun intended). The water was my safety net!
SANspotter drinking in flight
If you ever wanna get me drunk and “encourage” me into making bad decisions, all it takes is a few sips of wine.

Within 10 minutes of being served drinks, I had dinner placed on the tray in front of me. I’ve got to be honest – even though I thought (just moments earlier) that things had just took an uptick for the better, this LOT Polish Airlines review suddenly turned sour again once I peeled back the tinfoil on my meal.

LOT Polish airlines meal
Neatly organized cubes of…stuff.
LOT Polish airlines free meal
Whoa! Easy on the green beans guys! There were so many that the chicken and rice underneath had more than a strong hint of “green bean” in every bite.

As ignorant and stupid as it may sound, I was actually expecting something which resembled Polish sausage. Of course I know that the term “Polish sausage” was coined by people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about (because the stuff doesn’t actually exist). I grew up eating “Polish sausage” at home in the midwestern US, so it’s the first thing I think of when it comes to Polish food.

The meal itself was OK. If I had to compare it to any other economy class airline meal that I’ve experienced lately, I’d place it dead even with the meal I was served on Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles to Paris last March.

Normally I don’t do very much research before any flight that I take, because I like things to be a surprise. However, I did decide to read a few other LOT Polish Airlines reviews several days before this flight, just so I knew what to expect (sort of). Interestingly enough, they all said the same thing: The food kind of sucks, but the cabin crew and the service they offer is quite good. As this particular cabin crew was clearing my tray after the dinner service, I couldn’t help but to think that I totally agreed.

30 minutes later and I can still taste green beans.

LOT Polish Airlines isn’t one that you choose for the culinary experience. Hardly. As matter of fact, I actually recommend bringing your own food instead of opting for the slop that they serve. However, the cabin crew was exemplary and they served that slop with a friendly smile and a “can do” attitude.

LOT 787 cabin walk through
Taking a brief walk through the cabin after dinner. I neither confirm nor deny that I was searching for something else to eat.

Are the seats on the 787–8 comfortable enough to sleep in?

If you’re reading this LOT Polish Airlines review in hopes of finding out that the seats on their 787-8’s are some of the most comfortable economy seats in the sky, you might be disappointed. That’s not to say that I wasn’t able to get at least a few hours of semi-decent sleep on the way to Warsaw this evening.

Lot Polish airlines 787 lavatory
Vigorously washing green bean scent off my paws before settling down for a nap.

Yes, having an open seat next to me definitely helped. But still – even if there was someone there I probably would’ve been able to sleep just as well thanks to the highly adjustable headrest and semi-squishy cushions. Well, at least compared to the very firm seats I experienced in Norwegian Airlines 787-9 economy from London to Los Angeles.

If you’re curious, several walk-throughs of the economy class cabin during the night revealed that there were a fairly decent number of people sleeping all the way to Warsaw. Even though there were a handful of people who looked downright miserable, most looked semi-comfortable. Based on this highly scientific observation (lol), I deduce that LOT 787–8 economy class is kind of comfortable and you probably won’t have very much difficulty sleeping. Is that a ringing endorsement, or what?

How about breakfast? Was it any better than dinner?

With roughly 1 1/2 hours of flying time remaining (and a very abrupt switching on of the cabin lights), breakfast was served. I guess one really nice thing about the lousy meal we were served earlier in the flight was the fact that it set my expectations extremely low for breakfast. I’m talking “down in the cellar” low. The part that you’re too afraid to go into because of all the spiderwebs and the crunchy noises you hear whenever you take a step in the complete darkness.

Lot Polish airlines service
Good morning sunshine! Moments after abruptly turning the cabin lights on, the flight attendants came by with little packages of wet wipes. Of course I had no idea what they were at the time, but that didn’t stop me from sticking my hand in that basket like a boss.

I was expecting the absolute worst when the flight attendant handed me a tray that had absolutely no character or personality to it at all. Not only did it look bland, it felt incredibly lightweight and insufficient to fill my empty belly. You should’ve heard me giggle when I peeled back the tinfoil.

Lot polish airlines food
Wait, what? I thought this was supposed to be breakfast! Pasta was the absolute last thing that I was expecting.

If you saw the video, you already know my opinions on cheesy pasta. I was totally expecting an extremely bland omelette with maybe a few dry potato wedges or tomato slices, so the sight of cheesy pasta was enough to perk me up and get me excited about writing this LOT Polish Airlines review again.

Lot polish airlines food pic
For what it’s worth, I would’ve been perfectly happy if they served this 9 hours ago as the dinner service. It’s hard to go wrong with cheesy pasta!
LOT Polish airlines food options
Cheesy pasta: food I love just as much today as I did when I was 5 years old. Heck – I pretty much survived college on the stuff!

Final thoughts about the LOT Polish Airlines 787–8 economy class experience

With a belly full of cheesy pasta doing its thing to get me re-energized and excited for the day, our descent into Warsaw was well underway. The past 14 hours or so (starting way back at LAX) had been a roller coaster of emotions ranging from “OMG this sucks” to “I’m so glad I did this!” And now that we’ve reached the end of the flight, I guess that all averages out to be what I would consider a pretty good experience.

787 wing flex
It wouldn’t be a 787 review without a little wing flex action. This is the best I could manage just before beginning the descent.
LOT Polish airlines trip report
Back at my seat now, feeling jealous as heck that I don’t have enough hair to be able to do that.

LOT Polish Airlines isn’t exactly known for offering stellar service. Heck, shortly after posting the video I had a lot of people tell me that they had no idea that LOT even served Los Angeles at all. This is an airline that isn’t on many people‘s radar, and knowing what I know now, it’s one that I can highly recommend. Especially to anyone needing a comfortable and well-priced flight to and from Europe. LOT seems to have figured out the formula for offering a competitive product for the money, and it’s kind of a shame that more people don’t consider them as a viable option when planning their trips.

Los Angeles to Warsaw flight
Mission accomplished.
End of LOT 787 flight
Would it be rude to yell out “subscribe to SANspotter!” as we all wait to deplane?
SP-LRD lot 787
And, that’s a wrap. Thanks for the ride SP-LRD!

I guess one of the nice things about not so many people considering LOT Polish Airlines (from a passenger perspective at least) is the fact that flights will be generally emptier compared to others on different airlines. This means a higher probability of scoring an open seat next to you like I did – even in the busy summer travel season.

Don’t tell anybody though. This little “perk” may not last if everybody finds out.

Comments (9)

  1. RICspotter

    September 11, 2019
    • SANspotter

      September 11, 2019
  2. Albert

    September 14, 2019
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    September 1, 2021
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      September 1, 2021
  4. Ericka

    January 10, 2022
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      January 10, 2022
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    April 30, 2023
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      April 30, 2023

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