TRIP REPORT: LOT, London - Zagreb via Warsaw

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Written by Marko Š.

Airline: LOT
Route: London - Warsaw - Zagreb - Warsaw - London
Date: 9th January 2020 - 11th January 2020

Earlier this January I had some personal matters to attend back home in Zagreb, so I had to buy a last-minute ticket from London to Zagreb two days prior to the trip. The ticket fares were quite high even though it was January, but it seems that the airlines had their reasons to keep them high, even though some legs of my trip weren’t even near to full.


I think there were direct options available with British Airways, but they were all over £350, so I decided to go with LOT for the first time and experience their service and less than two hour connection in Warsaw. In the end, the ticket with LOT cost me £238, but for some reason for the return trip I got a couple of Pounds cheaper Economy Premium fare than Economy one, so naturally, I went with the Premium one. Later on, I realized that with that fare I was able to check-in two bags, each 23kg in weight. It turned out to be a great outcome since I had some more things and personal belongings I needed to bring back from Zagreb to London.

The first leg from London to Warsaw was supposed to take two and a half hours, but thankfully it took only a bit over two hours since the inbound flight from Warsaw was almost an hour late, so we made up for the lost time. I just didn’t want to miss my connection and end up stuck in Warsaw for the night, which wasn’t an option. The flight was quite full as much as I could gather from the cabin and if I would have to guess, I’d say 80-85% LF. I managed to get an empty seat next to me, which is a blessing for my 194 cm frame. The flight itself was pretty uneventful, but we got a snack in the form of an apple bagel (!?) and a chocolate wafer with the usual choice of refreshment drinks and coffee.


Once we landed in Warsaw and got into the terminal building, I realized that a terminal expansion or a brand new one is long overdue. It just looks too small for the number of passengers crawling around its premises. The corridor between the sitting areas lined next to the gates and the wall is so narrow and it makes it so much harder to walk between the people mingling in all directions, especially while dragging the bag with you. Also, the design of the terminal gives that cheapish look, particularly because of that awful orange signage. It just screams easyJet, even though there’s no easyJet anywhere in sight. On top of that, the couple of airport personnel that I had to interact with were downright rude. I asked one airport staff, once I exited from the bridge into the terminal building, where should I go for the connection to Zagreb since I realized that I exited in the gated area and I was given a smartass reply in form of a point to the open glass door with the huge “do not enter” signs on it to use to go through. The other one barely acknowledged my presence when I asked for the gate direction. Must’ve been me.

The flight from Warsaw to Zagreb less full, without a doubt, but I wasn’t sure what the LF would be. I’d guess around 60%, but I could be wrong. Since this leg of the trip was shorter than the previous one, we only got the chocolate wafer and the refreshment drink.

After landing in Zagreb on time, I was through the immigration control in no time. Took me probably less than 10 minutes from leaving the plane to the car rental desk. Since there weren’t any other flights arriving at that time, we were the only passengers at the arrivals area.


As mentioned before, I bought the Economy Premium ticket for my return flight since it was a bit cheaper than the Economy ticket itself, which let me take on board two 23 kg bags in addition to the carry-on and a personal item. I was full to the brim, I’ll tell you that!


Check-in was quite quick and I was off to the departure area. I noticed that they placed these sofas in that area between Cafe Nero and the Fashion Place shop across from it. Since I arrived two hours earlier, I lounged there for a while.


Boarding commenced on time and we took off almost 15 minutes before our official departure time. Before boarding, I realized I would be seated in business class by the number of my seat, which was 3A. What made it even better was that I was the only one there. The rest of the plane was also around 60% full if I would have to guess. Also, there was a bit of a situation with some man drinking Red Bull that nonchalantly sat in one of the seats in business class and when the flight attendant asked for the ticket, she just showed him the back of the plane. He wanted to stay in business class since - quote “it is empty”, but she wasn’t having it. Some people think they are so god-given and could make decisions on their own without even politely asking.


Since this was my first time flying in non-economy class, I didn’t even realize I would be offered a meal, which was by the amount of it, more of an appetizer, but still a nice surprise for a peasant like myself. Even more so when I realized I’m not taking the regular bus from the plane to the terminal building, but the specialized van that took me there before the rest of the passengers. I felt less of a peasant already.


We landed at my new “favourite” airport way earlier than it was scheduled and I just hovered around the gate which was dedicated for our flight to London before it was time to start boarding, which was some 10 minutes late. Next to me was a young couple with a baby and a small kid, maybe 4-5 years old that was freely crawling under the security tape and into the security area. The personnel was clearly annoyed by this and the fact that the parents were dealing with other things instead of keeping their, a bit too free-spirited kid, in order.


Again, I was seated in business class, but this time it was fuller, even though I had all three seats to myself. Also, as seen from one of the photos, they block the middle seat in business class for “our comfort”. Once again we were offered a meal, a choice between two menus and I must say it was pretty delicious. We were offered refreshment drinks, including beer and wine, some snacks and Polish newspapers.


We landed at Heathrow on time and the e-gates worked like a charm this time at immigration. I was out at the bags carousel way before they even got the chance to start bringing them to us.

All in all, it was a bit of a longer trip for the one that I usually fly directly, but since it was pretty last-minute, I guess I had to be more flexible with the options unless I was ready to pay an arm and a leg. Regarding LOT, they are a decent, regular European legacy airline that is obviously fighting to steal as many connecting passengers as possible, but not sure how long the Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport will be able to keep up with the growing demand.



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Comments

  1. Anonymous09:59

    Tnx for the report Marko Š. The only thing that bothers me about your trip report is that you forgot to mention with which aircraft you flew on each of legs of your journey. It would be nice to know, just that. Besides that, your trip report is very good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to mentioned the type of aircrafts, but I couldn't retrieve them from my booking details and I really didn't pay attention to that while on board. Zagreb leg wasdone with Embraers and the London one with Boeings.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:58

      LHR-WAW-LHR are being done with 738, WAW-ZAG-WAW with E175, sometimes E190

      Delete
  2. Anonymous12:25

    Thanks for the report. Interestimg that LOT offered the best price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:51

      And it's a good price considering it was a last minute purchase around New Year and it is legacy airline after all.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:47

      I think LOT usually has the best prices from Zagreb to north, but connection times can be wild

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:23

      LOT is often very competitive on last minute fares.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous12:26

    If I understand correctly theit "Premium Economy" fare is actually business class?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if the price was the same, but the seats are for the same business class.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12:26

    Meal looks good!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:45

    Seems like better service and seats than BA inter european flights.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:49

    Not surprised by your experience at WAW. They have a lot of congestion issues. It's apparently one of the main reasons LOT opened a base in Warsaw

    A new airport is being planned, which will be Europe's largest. But it won't be completed until at least 2027. So until then, it will only get worse at WAW.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/first-look-new-transport-hub-in-poland-could-be-worlds-biggest-airport

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you mean by that LOT opened base in Warsaw? Lot was founded in WAW in the late 20's of XX century :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:02

      Sorry I meant Budapest. My mistake

      Delete
  7. Anonymous20:03

    Nice report, Mr 194cm :)
    LO is just a decent airline offering good prices. Chopin Airport is clearly small given the huge growth LO has seen during the last couple of years. This airport is not designed to be a hub.
    As for the Poland-UK sectors, with almost 1 million Poles in UK it does make sense that it is full even in winter.
    With the buying of Condor and opening Budapest as a base, LO do seem to ambitious in becoming one of Europe's biggest carriers.

    ReplyDelete

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