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
Duration: 11 hours 2 minutes
Seat: 16D (economy class)
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.
It was an especially fun video to create, especially with the fun and eclectic music selection obtained from Epidemic Sound. There’s nothing quite like a funky soundtrack to help set the mood!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on my recent Norwegian Air flight 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.