➔ LOT Polish Airlines, Business Class, Embraer E190, London Heathrow – Warsaw
➔ Warsaw: City Guide
➔ Westin, Warsaw
➔ LOT Polish Airlines, Business Class, Boeing 737-800, Warsaw – London Heathrow
Time for Septembers trip!
Initially, I found some good fares to Greece. More specifically, Thessaloniki. This would take in both Lufthansa and Aegean Airlines. However, closer to departure, it looked more than likely that mainland Greece would be added to the UK’s quarantine list, so doubts started to set in.
Furthermore, the prices for the flights had started to creep up slightly, so the most sensible option was to scrap this idea for the time being.
So Where To Instead?
I studied Google Flights some more, and the cheapest options were with the Lufthansa group or British Airways. The issue with the Lufthansa group however, was that nearly all options involved at least one sector on Swiss and/or Austrian Airlines. Both of which would involve a 2 week quarantine on return to the UK. And I didn’t much fancy 4 flights with Lufthansa.
Anything with British Airways doesn’t really appeal to me at the moment either, due to their reduced service.
The only other realistic option was with LOT Polish Airlines with a straight return to Warsaw. A city that I had visited numerous times over the years, but not for over 2 years now. The fact that the Covid cases in Poland were well below the UK’s quarantine limit meant that the country was a somewhat safe bet too.
LOT Polish Airlines was another experience I hadn’t had in a while – at least in Business Class. The last (and only) time I’ve sat up front with them was back in 2012 when they ran their Dreamliner between Warsaw and London.
These days, the aircraft would be a little smaller. The outbound flight would be operated by the Embraer E190, and the return would be on one of the airlines new-ish (to LOT at least) Boeing 737-800’s. The last time I flew LOT Polish Airlines, the flight was operated by the ill fated Boeing 737-MAX8.
As things turned out, Poland was added to the UK’s quarantine list before the Greek mainland. This didn’t affect this trip however, as I returned before the quarantine restrictions had set in.
The Day Of Departure
After a 30 minute drive to Heathrow, it was a further 10 minutes or so on the shuttle to terminal 2.
As has been the case for many months now, the fast track wasn’t open.
And I definitely chose the wrong line at the regular security. I think there was a shift change going in, which meant that it took a good few minutes to even get my tray into the machine. And then to compound matters, my bag was selected for a random swab when it came out the other end. Luckily I was running a little early.
I took a brief wander of the terminal, taking the opportunity to grab a rare snap of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft preparing for departure at this terminal.
Following this, I made my way up to the Lufthansa lounge, where the procedures were a little different to previously. This time around, all the catering was brought around on a trolley, rather than you heading up to the counter to get it. The options were much the same as before however.
Shortly after taking my seat in the lounge, the incoming aircraft touched down. There had been a minor substitution from an E190 to an E195. No big deal really.
LOT Polish Airlines
London Heathrow – Warsaw
Embraer E195 SP-LNC
Boarding began a little earlier than anticipated. And it was in the usual fashion, with the two groups being priority, and everyone else. As I was the only person in the priority lane, I had a good jump on the rest, which enabled me to grab a few pics of the cabin upon boarding.
I’m still firmly of the opinion that row 1 is the best place to be on a narrowbody flight within Europe if you want anything more than a little bit of space.
Boarding was completed, and for the third time in 2020, I had the business class cabin to myself. I must admit to feeling a little bit bad for everyone being shoehorned in behind the curtain, and just me up front with the climate the way it is however.
Despite the early arrival of the inbound aircraft, and the early start to boarding, we still left the gate more than a few minutes adrift of schedule. Our flight time was scheduled to be 2h10 minutes.
There wasn’t too much of a taxi following pushback and we were into the air at 10:35.
The views across the south of England were very good today.
The first order of service today was the Polish locator forms.
As far as the food and beverage service went, it was pretty much business as usual. At least economy. To the point where even the menus had returned to the seat pockets.
Up front, it was the similar rations you’d find on British Airways.
Inside the box was a salmon starter, a cheese salad roll and a cheesecake. But not too much else.
One plus point that LOT has over British Airways however, is that LOT provide full bottles of drink as opposed to just the cup. So you get more than your monies worth here. Maybe.
As per usual In Europe, there was no IFE provided. However there was one power socket between every two seats.
There wasn’t any WiFi provided, which is common across the entire LOT fleet to the best of my knowledge. So like most others in Europe at least, you have to provide your own entertainment.
Despite the flight deck announcing that the weather would be good for our arrival, this clearly wasn’t the case!
We made our way through the clouds before touching down into Warsaw more or less on schedule. It was a short taxi over to our remote stand.
It was then down on to a waiting bus. Unlike Lufthansa previously, social distancing clearly wasn’t a concern here.
After a brief wait at passport control, it was off to the station to take a train to the city.
Normally this would only cost around 70p. However, as I didn’t validate my ticket, I was fined £31! It was only as I was leaving the train that I saw a ticket validation machine….
To be honest it seemed a little off that economy got the full service, yet in business there was still the COVID catering. Seemed like very obvious profiteering to me.
Comfort wise however, the E195 remains one of the better regional jets out there. With the seat next to me blocked and the bulkhead seat, there were no complaints in this regard.