LOT Polish Airlines used to have a business class so outdated it felt like flying on Ukraine International Airlines. But its longhaul fleet upgrade to 787-8 aircraft ushered in lie-flat seats and improved service levels. With low fuel surcharges and good award space, it is a solid option.
I was connecting from Los Angeles on United and arrived at Chicago O’Hare about four hours prior to scheduled boarding. I walked over from the United terminal to the international terminal, cleared security, and went lounge hopping. SAS and Swiss, both Star Alliance members, have a lounge at ORD. Even so, LOT uses the Swissport lounge for its flight. None of the lounges were overly impressive.
Despite showing an on-time departure and the aircraft sitting at the gate all afternoon, the pilot discovered a maintenance issue during his pre-flight check. That ultimately delayed flight departure by two hours, though we made up almost an hour of it in the air.
Lot Polish 002
Chicago (ORD) – Warsaw (WAW)
September 25, 2014 (why so old?)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 3A (Business Class)
The business class cabin on LOT is relatively small, with only 18 seats arranged in three rows of a 2-2-2 configuration. The seat is 100% lie-flat and similar to what Turkish Airlines has on its longhaul fleet.
I cannot say there was anything that truly stood out on this flight as exceptional, but it was a very good flight.
LOT Polish Business Class Service
Three female FAs worked the cabin and welcomed each passenger. Today’s flight would only have six passengers so there was plenty of room of room to spread out. FAs brought over an amenity kit and moist towel after boarding and also offered a choice of champagne or water.
Service was efficient and although the FAs did not make regular appearances after the meal service, one FA volunteered to turn down my bed while I brushed my teeth.
LOT Polish Business Class Seat
The 2-2-2 business class seat is not the most modern, private, or comfortable, but I believe it is more than adequate for sleeping and ideal if traveling with someone. The problem with reverse herringbone seats is that they even the center seats make it difficult to converse. This is no problem on LOT. Then again, I was thankful not to have anyone next to me.
As I mentioned above, a LOT FA prepared my bed upon request. While the top blanket was not nearly as nice as the faux down blankets or comforters found on other airlines, the mattress pad was comfortable and the pillow soft. I slept very well for over six hours.
Air vents in the overhead passenger control unit kept my seat area cool and I appreciated the Northern Lights style mood lighting in the cabin.
LOT Polish Business Class Meal
Here’s the menu for the flight:
Meal service did not come on a tray. Instead, FAs carefully placed each course directly on my tray table. Service began with a beverage and a small bowl of dried fruit and nuts. It appears from more recent reports that LOT now offers an Amuse Bouche as well.
Next, FAs came around with shots of vodka and instead that I try it. I did, but one was enough.
The appetizer consisted of smoked salmon tartar with mozzarella and tomato salad. A green salad with balsamic vinaigrette was also served as well as bread. The bread was just Italian white bread, not at all worth the calories.
All the main course selections sounded good, but I chose the salmon and enjoyed it very much. It was served with sugar snap peas and basil creme sauce, but no starch.
After dinner a cheese course with crudités appeared:
And finally a cake-like pyramid dessert that was quite tasty.
If you cannot tell by the pictures, the portion sizes are very small on LOT. If you get hungry between meals, snacks are available in the galley. LOT has also added a heartier breakfast choice to the pre-arrival meal menu.
I ended up sleeping through the breakfast service, though based upon the menu description above it seems I was served it after the main service as the “cheese course”. I did wake up in time for a cappuccino and very much enjoyed it: the coffee was strong but not too bitter.
LOT Polish Business Class IFE
LOT currently does not offer onboard Wi-Fi and the IFE selection is rather limited. The usual recent Hollywood releases you see on most airlines were available, but there was not an extensive library of films or TV programs.
I got such a kick out of watching The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. What priceless social commentary…
No complaints about LOT. It is not bad at all. While there are other airlines I might choose over LOT, I would have absolutely no hesitation over flying LOT again. If you’re in the habit of buying business class tickets, do check on LOT: often the price is much cheaper than the competition and that cost savings alone may make LOT the most attractive option.
> Read More: Introduction: Star Alliance Business Class Adventure in Europe and Asia
I used to stay in a Radisson near ORD where many of the LOT flight crews stayed. Ever since then I’ve been tempted to try LOT. Nice review. Thanks.
You didn’t check out the Polaris lounge? You can use it if you’re flying biz on star alliance right? 🙂
Don’t let the “currently” fool you, this is a 2014 flight.
Your opening is a bit harsh. The old C class was more like flying LH or AA.
Also I think you missed an opportunity for praise on their lower YQ surcharges when using AC miles (or M&M).
Fair point, but I truly hated the AA/LH seats too.
Note — I accidentally published an earlier version of this report that did not include the in-flight menu. I have added it to the post.
I don’t know if I agree with you that republishing this review from 2014 is ok. Your justification is that things probably haven’t changed that much but reality is that service and food can change significantly in 3 years. I think publishing these old reports does a disservice to your loyal readers. Normally I am not one to post something like this but I feel strongly about this.
Hi Christian, Thanks for your note. If I was “republishing” then I would agree with you, but this report (and the ones that will follow) have never been published before. I figure that as long as the date is explicitly made clear, the flights do provide a guide for what one might experience. For example, there are not many LOT reviews out there and we know the seat has not changed, which is the most important part of the business class experience.
You can check out a recent flight review here, for example–
Slight difference in meal service, which I note in my report, but everything else appears the same.
Perhaps you can give it another try. April 4th is when we launch LAX-WAW service (yes.. I work for LOT.. ORD)
Would love to. I enjoyed the experience and hope to fly LOT again out of LAX (or out of WAW to sample WAW-based catering).
SO interesting to see LOT direct ORD -BUD now…..may have to give it a go! Thanks for the review….I’ll update this if they serve me KFC and my seat is a hammock (wink).
My wife and I travel to destinations in Europe twice a year and for the last 3 or 4 years always prefer LOT business class from ORD to WAS then connect on LOT where possible.
The added bonus here is if you fly long haul business class you can use the first class lounge is WAS. The food there is better than many good restaurants.
I am flying London LHR to WAS and then onward to Chicago ORD on Business Class. Can you please tell me more about the First Class Lounge at WAS? Thank you!
The lounge in Warsaw is quite nice. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it. You’ll enjoy your layover there.
I booked Lot business award from JFK to WAW thru United. How do you choose/change seats? I was assigned 1C/1D and want to change them
Call LOT Polish.
I flew LOT in business class WAW-JFK and ORD-BUD mid-April. The first leg actually saw a change in equipment and I flew on the A340 of Air Belgium. The lounge in WAW was great (the Polonez I mean, the new Mazurek lounge is not worth it at all) and the catering on-board was by the highly regarded Do&Co. However the main course was a huge let-down, out of 3 choices that were served I didn’t hear a single positive feedback from fellow passengers about any of them (and I certainly didn’t like mine). Everything else on the menu was very good though. The cabin was hot and the footwell too small for comfort for me.
On the way back in the 787-8 I loved the wider and more “open” seat compared to the more space for…stuff on the A340, but with less space for …your body! I couldn’t see which caterer delivered the food, but it was very tasteful and that sweet, deep red wine was a miracle!
The only thing that bothered me is that on both flights I got a blanket and a narrow white sheet, which I assumed was the only thing you could use to make the bed. I didn’t notice any passenger receiving a “mattress” from flight attendants nor did anyone offer to make the bed (I didn’t need help with that, but if they did have mattresses, why wouldn’t they offer them to passengers?
The most unfortunate thing was the “timing” (I guess it’s what you get for flying on a budget), as both flights departed at around 17:00 local time, which meant I wasn’t set to go to sleep any time soon anyway, which was due by the time I arrived (which was especially bad on the way back to Europe, since the local time on arrival was 8a.m.).
One thing I also missed out on was the Polaris lounge at ORD. I was really looking forward to that, but LOT departs from terminal 5 and the lounge is all the way over at terminal 1 and if I am not mistaken it is past the security check-point, which pretty much means …you don’t get to go there unless you’re departing from that terminal (or so I think, at least realistically speaking).
I visited all Swiss, SAS and Air-France lounges (the latter is the one LOT is now using, the other two belong to Star Alliance airlines, so are accessible with the business class ticket). I liked the little Swiss lounge more than the other ones, which were over-crowded.
I would flight LOT again, since the benefits far outweigh the very few drawbacks or compromises.
Hi George, thanks for your own review! Glad you had a nice trip. I wasn’t aware LOT Polish was using the Air Belgium A340s.
Yes. LOT Polish Airlines Business Class and Premium Economy Class are both dates. So what, either Business Class or Premium Economy are better than Economy Class. I always list for LOT Polish Airlines Business Class and Economy Class on a ZED ticket. Once you’re are a United Airlines or any Star Alliance carrier retiree Business Class base charge ZED ticket is 50% cheaper which means Business Class would only cost a few bucks more than Economy Class. However good or not so good LOT Polish Airlines Business Class or Premium Economy is, it’s no loss if you are on a Business/Economy Class ZED ticket. If the premium cabins check in full and you list for Business Class, hey there is no loss there. Put yourself on a revenue upgrade and only get Economy Class, no loss there too. There is no harm and no fowl for listing for an upgrade. And sure premium cabins do check in full but the most important is you have the ability to do a ZED listing or revenue upgrade. If you have an opportunity to put yourself on an upgrade or list LOT Polish Airlines Business Class with a ZED ticket. Do it. Don’t lose the opportunity.