LOT/Air Berlin/BA | B734/E175/Q400/A321 | LHR-WAW-KRK-TXL-LHR

 photo map.gif
 photo map-2.gif
Maps generated by theGreat Circle Mapper -copyright © Karl L. Swartz.
This report starts out with a message I received from fellow a.netter gabrielchew whilst I was in Argentina, back in April. He mentioned that he’d found some great fares to Krakow with LOT over a weekend in June – just £85 in fact. Without much hesitation, I logged on to the LOT website and the flights were booked.
 photo ITIN.png
I also splashed out an extra £19 to reserve seats, which is something new since I had last flown with the airline in December 2012.
 photo SEATS.png
 photo PRICE.png
I guess it was a little pricey, however due to the low fares it didn’t make the final price too outrageous. Also the fact that it included seats for all four flights, meant it was still far better value than the £15 per sector that British Airways wanted to charge me for pre booking seats on a trip to Milan in August.
On to the day of departure. I did consider exploring the train, as I was still studying options to get to LHR that didn’t involve the coach but I figured as it would cost the same but take double the time I really wouldn’t gain all that much by doing so. So for the first time in a good few months, it was on to the coach.
 photo IMG_4468.jpg
Upon arrival at T2, I attempted to use a kiosk to grab my boarding passes, however as I’d already checked in, it didn’t like it and I ended up having to join a queue instead.
 photo IMG_4473.jpg
 photo IMG_4470.jpg
A few moments later, it was through a reasonably busy security, where I was singled out for a random search. Once that was done, I finally met up with Gabriel and we headed over to the very decent United Club for a couple of cocktails.
 photo IMG_4475.jpg
 photo IMG_4477.jpg
 photo IMG_4478.jpg
 photo IMG_4479.jpg
 photo IMG_4482.jpg
 photo IMG_4486.jpg
 photo IMG_4488.jpg
 photo _MG_0500.jpg
 photo _MG_0501.jpg
 photo _MG_0502.jpg
After an hour or so in here, we moved over to the SQ lounge.
 photo IMG_4498.jpg
 photo IMG_4500.jpg
 photo IMG_4501.jpg
 photo _MG_0503.jpg
 photo _MG_0504.jpg
Tasty food in here
 photo _MG_0507.jpg
And the Suite style seats looked great
 photo _MG_0508.jpg
The third stop of the day was the Air Canada Lounge.
 photo IMG_4497.jpg
 photo _MG_0510.jpg
More cocktails – must admit this one wasn’t all that great.
 photo _MG_0512.jpg
Again, great food selections
 photo IMG_4514.jpg
 photo IMG_4517.jpg
 photo IMG_4518.jpg
The final stop of the tour was the LH lounge, which was back in T2A.
 photo IMG_4523.jpg
 photo IMG_4524.jpg
 photo IMG_4526.jpg
 photo IMG_4532.jpg
 photo IMG_4534.jpg
 photo _MG_0513.jpg
 photo _MG_0514.jpg
After a good few hour lounging, it was time to board. Thanks for all the guesting in Gabriel – much appreciated. I’ll have to make the effort to get myself a Star Gold card…
 photo _MG_0515.jpg
 photo IMG_4540.jpg
 photo LOLogo.jpg
June 2015
Boeing 737-400 / SP-LLF
Seat: 21F / Economy
Scheduled: 17:50/21:20
Off Stand: 17:54
On Stand: 21:27

We made our way on to a very warm and retro cabin, along with a screaming child and some tight legroom.
 photo IMG_4543.jpg
 photo _MG_0516.jpg
The cabin filled up reasonably quickly before the boarding complete announcement was given. There was a major downpour happening outside, and my initial suspicions were that this would reduce the flow in and out of the airport.
 photo _MG_0517.jpg
The captain announced a flying time of two hours, but no delay so I guess we were lucky on this occasion. We pushed back a few moments later and made a slow journey over to 27R.
 photo IMG_4552.jpg
Once we finally did get going, it wasn’t too long before we were into the cloud.
 photo IMG_4557.jpg
But a few turns later we were out of it again and it appeared we were dodging a few of them.
 photo _MG_0518.jpg
 photo _MG_0520.jpg
 photo _MG_0522.jpg
 photo _MG_0523.jpg
Before clearing them for good.
 photo _MG_0524.jpg
The seatbelt sign went off and an announcement was made although I couldn’t understand a word of it.
 photo IMG_4565.jpg
I stuck a couple of videos on my iPad shortly after.
 photo IMG_4566.jpg
During which time, the BOB service was started – and there were quite a few takers. Once the sales service had been completed, the free service began – which was just water and a Prince Polo. Yet another cut back since I last flew with LO back in 2012.
 photo IMG_4567.jpg
 photo IMG_4570.jpg
I stuck with the iPad until we were into our descent into Warsaw.
 photo _MG_0526.jpg
 photo _MG_0528.jpg
We made a cloudy descent until touchdown.
 photo IMG_4573.jpg
 photo _MG_0529.jpg
 photo IMG_4576.jpg
It was then off through passport control, through security and immediately into the lounge.
 photo IMG_4581.jpg
 photo IMG_4588.jpg
 photo _MG_0530.jpg
 photo _MG_0531.jpg
 photo _MG_0532.jpg
 photo IMG_4582.jpg
Around thirty minutes before departure, we made our way down to the gate, where boarding started more or less straight away.
 photo IMG_4589.jpg
 photo LOLogo.jpg
June 2015
Embraer E175 / SP-LIF
Seat: 4A / Economy
Scheduled: 22:45/23:40
Off Stand: 22:36
On Stand: 23:20

I took my seat and very shortly afterwards, the boarding complete announce was given. There were quite a few spare seats around, which was a little odd as according to the seat map upon check in, most seats had been taken.
 photo IMG_4590.jpg
 photo IMG_4591.jpg
The legroom on this one was slightly more generous.
 photo _MG_0534.jpg
Flight time was announced as just 35 minutes.
 photo _MG_0536.jpg
We pushed back and made our way over to the active.
Departure came, and as soon as the seatbelt sign went off, I ventured back to find Gabriel to see if he wanted to move to the spare seat next to me.
 photo _MG_0538.jpg
Although as he had the whole of the final row to himself, I took 21D instead. The service was completed pretty quickly and then descent was well under way.
 photo IMG_4599.jpg
I returned to my assigned seat just as we were passing downtown Kraków.
 photo _MG_0540.jpg
Not too long later, we touched down, and then spun around on the runway to head off in the direction of the terminal.
 photo IMG_4606.jpg
It was then on to a bus to make a very short drive over to the temporary looking terminal.
 photo IMG_4609.jpg
 photo IMG_4610.jpg

Strange how this was classed as an international arrival

 photo IMG_4611.jpg
A few seconds later, we were in a taxi heading for the city.
 photo IMG_4612.jpg
I checked into my very different looking hotel room upon arrival
 photo _MG_0564.jpg
 photo _MG_0566.jpg
Then took a walk with Gabriel across the square to his hotel before calling it a night.
 photo _MG_0542.jpg
 photo _MG_0546.jpg
The next day, Gabriel made his way back to my hotel and we explored what the city had to offer.
 photo _MG_0569.jpg
Including some local dancing, complete with noises that sounded like a car crash…
 photo _MG_0570.jpg
 photo _MG_0581.jpg
Sheltering from the rain in the castle
 photo _MG_0585.jpg
 photo _MG_0587.jpg
 photo _MG_0592.jpg
Local (ish) cuisine
 photo IMG_4628.jpg
Once we were done in the city, we took the bus back to the airport.
 photo IMG_4637.jpg
A lot of building work going on here – hence the W.I.P looking arrivals terminal.
 photo IMG_4638.jpg
Upon arrival, we headed straight for a busy security as we both had a full set of boarding passes.
 photo IMG_4640.jpg
 photo IMG_4641.jpg
Security was pretty strict – I ended up having to to put a completely empty bag through the scanner, and Gabriel ended up having to put a pocket full of tissues through the x-Ray as they were apparently setting off the metal detector. Hmm. Once this was done, it was over to the lounge, once more courtesy of Gabriel’s Star gold status.
 photo _MG_0601.jpg
 photo IMG_4643.jpg
 photo IMG_4645.jpg
At pretty much the time boarding was due to begin, an announcement was made saying that our flight had been cancelled. So it was back through security and over to the LOT office.
 photo IMG_4650.jpg
 photo IMG_4648.jpg
Easier said than done. After around two hours in the queue we were finally seen to. They said that there were no more flights this evening and they initially wanted to put us on LH via FRA or MUC the following afternoon. Instead though, Gabriel had found a routing with AB and BA via TXL in the morning and this was granted without too much fuss. It actually worked out in our favour as we ended up being booked into a pretty high booking class – therefore getting a pretty decent haul of BA Avios/Tier Points. If we had flown with LOT, we would have earned nothing due to it being in such a low booking class.
 photo IMG_4649.jpg
It was then over to another queue to sort out a hotel. As the Hilton Garden Inn across the road was a very reasonable price, we decided to book ourselves into there instead – rather than have to wait around for them to make a reservation and then take a taxi. The whole process took around three hours.
 photo IMG_4652.jpg
 photo _MG_0602.jpg
Dinner, courtesy of LOT. I ended up bringing most of it home with me though, as I wasn’t really up to eating anything.
 photo _MG_0610.jpg
The next morning, it was back across the road to the terminal. Luckily this time, things were much quieter and we were in the lounge within ten minutes.
 photo IMG_4653.jpg
 photo IMG_4654.jpg
We stayed here until boarding was announced.
 photo IMG_4655.jpg
Despite our boarding passes saying that we had fast track, there wasn’t one available so we were at the back of a long queue, before heading down to a bus.
 photo IMG_4666.jpg

June 2015
Embraer E195 / SP-
Seat: 8D / Economy
Scheduled: 17:55/18:45

 photo ABlogo.jpg
June 2015
Bombardier Q400 / D-ABQC
Seat: 17A / Economy
Scheduled: 10:50/12:00
Off Stand: 10:54
On Stand: 12:12

We made a slow drive over to the waiting plane and I took my seat – once I had booted Gabriel out of it…
 photo IMG_4668.jpg
 photo _MG_0612.jpg
The flight deck announced a flying time of an hour and fifteen, before the engines were started and we made our way over to the active. The initially clear skies soon clouded over.
 photo IMG_4677.jpg
 photo _MG_0614.jpg
 photo _MG_0615.jpg
 photo IMG_4683.jpg
The crew were a little slow getting the trolley out, therefore by the time I had been served, descent had started.
 photo IMG_4685.jpg
 photo _MG_0617.jpg
In fact the rubbish wasn’t cleared until quite late into the descent. The weather wasn’t quite as good in Berlin, but there were a few views to be had on approach.
 photo _MG_0619.jpg
 photo _MG_0620.jpg
 photo _MG_0622.jpg
 photo IMG_4692.jpg
We touched down and then took the scenic route over to the Air Berlin terminal – with most of the other passengers getting up and grabbing their bags along the way.
 photo IMG_4701.jpg
Upon arrival, it was a short bus ride over to the terminal, before heading over to the main building.
 photo IMG_4702.jpg
 photo IMG_4703.jpg
 photo IMG_4704.jpg
We then spent an hour or so on the terrace, where there were some quite interesting movements.
 photo _MG_0653.jpg
 photo _MG_0654.jpg
 photo _MG_0659.jpg
 photo _MG_0664.jpg
 photo _MG_0667.jpg
 photo _MG_0687.jpg
 photo _MG_0696.jpg
 photo _MG_0702.jpg
 photo _MG_0719.jpg
 photo _MG_0727.jpg
 photo _MG_0626.jpg
 photo _MG_0627.jpg
 photo IMG_4716.jpg
I ended up taking extra time due to the fact I was singled out for an additional random check – this meant exiting the security area, and being taken to a separate room to have my electronics swabbed. A few moments later I was back at the gate area where boarding began a few moments later.
 photo IMG_4718.jpg
 photo IMG_4719.jpg
 photo BAlogo.jpg
June 2015
Airbus A321 / G-EUXL
Seat: 33F / Economy
Scheduled: 14:30/15:30
Off Stand: 14:41
On Stand: 15:49

I made my way on board and took my seat, which had the leftovers of the previous occupants lunch on it.
 photo _MG_0731.jpg
 photo _MG_0732.jpg
The flight was unsurprisingly full – despite the complaints about BA lately, the “enhancements” are clearly working… And due to this the crew spent a while re arranging bags in the overhead lockers. The captain started his speech, and no doubt he mentioned the flying time, but my attention was drawn to a stroppy elder American woman in the wrong seat and refusing to budge. She eventually did, but made no secret of the fact she would be getting up “at least six times”. We pushed back and headed off into the housing estate for departure.
 photo _MG_0733.jpg
On our way up, things got a bit bumpy, and we seemed to be in cloud for a lot longer than on this mornings flight.
 photo IMG_4730.jpg
 photo _MG_0735.jpg
 photo _MG_0736.jpg
Also different to the mornings flight was the fact the crew started the service much quicker. It seems that the snacks have now been enhanced to UK domestic levels on a wider selection of European flights now, as on a flight to Frankfurt (which is nearer to London) a couple of weeks previously, I was offered a wrap.
 photo _MG_0739.jpg
I relied on the iPad for my entertainment on this flight.
 photo _MG_0741.jpg
 photo IMG_4739.jpg
Descent began, and the first officer announced that it was a little busy this afternoon, so therefore we had to slow down. But even so, we would still have to hold for fifteen minutes.
 photo _MG_0743.jpg
 photo _MG_0744.jpg
 photo _MG_0746.jpg
 photo _MG_0749.jpg
We were treated to a great aerial tour of London – probably one of the best I’ve had, before touching down on to 27R.
 photo IMG_4747.jpg
 photo _MG_0753.jpg
 photo _MG_0756.jpg
 photo _MG_0758.jpg
 photo IMG_4754.jpg
It was a slow journey over to T5B before pulling on to stand. Finally back in the UK – around 17 hours later than expected…
 photo _MG_0759.jpg
 photo _MG_0760.jpg
 photo _MG_0761.jpg
It was the usual wait to leave before heading back over to the main terminal, and out to wait for the coach home.
 photo IMG_4763.jpg
 photo IMG_4764.jpg
 photo IMG_4765.jpg
LOT – ugh. Battered old 737, uncomfortable seats, cancelled flight, poor planning when it came to rebooking and despite being told by two members of ground staff that the flight was cancelled for technical reasons, flat out refused to pay any EC261 compensation. At least they were cheap…
Air Berlin were consistent with my other flights with them. Decent enough service pretty good crew and no reason to complain. Although its a bit of shame they have to use that temporary terminal at TXL indefinitely.
British Airways – once more, not much can be said about them. Although its a shame the on board catering appears to have been enhanced once more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *