Trip Report – The New LOT Polish 787 Dreamliner …ehhh ok, not so great – Lots of Pics

This is part eight of a twelve part trip and picture report from my travels to Kiev, Vienna, Tel Aviv, and Kraków. This trip report covers my first ever 787 Dreamliner flight, operated by LOT Polish from Warsaw (WAW) to Chicago (ORD).

I checked out both of the 1 1/2 year old LOT Business Lounges in Warsaw before the flight, but I’ll be covering those in the next post as well as the short hop from Kiev to Warsaw. However, now it’s time to discuss my first ever 787 Dreamliner flight!

LOT currently flies the 787 to Chicago (ORD), Toronto (YYZ), and JFK with Beijing (PEK) scheduled to begin in October. The JFK flights started three days after my return so I purposely went out of my way to Chicago and then connected back to New York on United. It ended up being quite the sacrifice…separate blog entry coming up on the failure of the UA ORD-EWR flight and my required overnight hotel stay in Chicago.

As most know, LOT is a Star Alliance partner and availability in business on their 787s was fantastic up until a few weeks ago.  With a little flexibility there are still  award opportunities, though unfortunately it’s no longer wide open.

There she is…

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So, there was a priority sign for business and Star Alliance GOLD members, but it was not even used. No advanced boarding was conducted for anyone besides the elderly and children. Instead, there was chaos and one gigantic mess of people, I won’t even call it a line. Yes, I was the annoying passenger who went under the rope to ask the gate agent scanning tickets if there was a special line. She proceeded to ask me if I was a business passenger, to which I replied yes and was then permitted to board.

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There were separate jetways for business and economy.

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The plane had that new car smell and sparkle, but the seats and furnishings on LOT weren’t overly impressive at first glance.

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One USB and power provided at the seat.

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Champagne and baby wipe “cool towel”

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LOT, “the first in Europe with the latest generation plane”, even has a special 787 manual, describing the features of the Jet including the adjustable dimming windows, seat controls, and in-flight entertainment.

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OK, so I was sort of obsessed with the windows. I loved seeing the contrast between the semi-shaded, mostly-shaded, fully-shaded, and open windows all over the cabin. The dimming was easy with one push down, while brightening required one push up on the control.

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The mood lighting was nice as well, though LOT tended to keep the lights on at full blast and barely utilized the system.  The only other technological improvement noticeable to the common passenger was the complete lack of engine noise. Granted I was up front, but there was literally no noise at all, it was awesome!

…and that’s about it for LOT’s 787s. The entertainment system was a flop.  Zoom in on the picture of the moving map below – first we were going from Chicago to Warsaw (even though we were in Warsaw) and then we were going from Chicago to Chicago. The flight attendants (and then even the pilots) tried to reprogram to no avail. They remarked that it was a “silly computer”.  The “world class entertainment system” had 12 total “Hollywood blockbusters”, but most selections were a bit dated. Luckily, I hadn’t seen the two newer ones – The Sessions and Trouble with the Curve (both excellent).

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The headphones were good, though weren’t actually noise canceling.
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The amenity kit was OK, though the provided pillow was horrible. It was so small that the pillow cover could be wrapped around two or three more times. I collected three additional pillows from empty seats in order to get a good prop behind my head. The blanket was good quality.

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Meal time! Hope you’re not hungry 😉

We were served both a dinner and a supper, neither was all that appetizing. For dinner, the choices were turkey rolls, salmon, or lasagna. All three were accompanied by carp and pork loin stuffed with horseradish. I chose the turkey rolls (for Polish authenticity) but probably should have gone with salmon or lasagna. I guess there was carp and pork on the plate, but all I could see was a sticky yellow jelly.  The chicken for supper was much better, though there were no other choices provided (a veggie roll is included for vegetarians).

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Cough medicine shots before bed! …though I did really like the LOT shot glasses.

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The bathroom was pretty nice though, automated toilets, sinks, and funky lighting….

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I’m happy to have experienced my first 787 flight, though I don’t think I’d choose LOT again. The windows and quietness of the engine were incredible, though otherwise I would have had no idea I was on a new or upgraded aircraft. I much preferred my outbound flight in business on Austrian’s 777. Availability was also open on Lufthansa and Swiss for this return and I’d probably choose one of those given the choice again. Let me be clear though, the mostly Polish and European passengers seemed more than fully satisfied with the service and comfort of the plane (us point enthusiasts tend to have ridiculous expectations). The seats were true lie-flat and had plenty of room for spreading out.  In fact, everyone was so excited to be on the flight that it felt like pictures were being taken from takeoff to landing. Tons of passengers were walking around with DSLR cameras snapping away at all times. We even had a send off crew of about 20 photographers on the ground in Warsaw who were watching the takeoff. Service was also a positive, with flight attendants checking on the business class passengers at least once every 15 minutes. My can of sparkling water was refilled throughout the entire flight.

Have you flown LOT? What was your experience?

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Pingbacks

  1. […] Since these are partner awards they book at the low level.  It is important to note that Air Europa business class service will not be equivalent with the Delta 767-400 service on the same route.  Business class on Air Europa’s A330-200 includes angled lie flat seats, a video monitor, and meal service. What’s real interesting, is the announcement states that on some days the JFK flight will be operated with B787 from LOT Polish. Now, their service isn’t great either but this is a huge improvement as you’ll have a lie-flat seat. Check out my LOT Polish 787 review here – Trip Report – The New LOT Polish 787 Dreamliner – Lots of Pics. […]

Comments

  1. Boarding chaos is the norm in Europe. LOT isn’t exactly known for superior service and a new plane only is small part of the equation. Hopefully the problems with the plane are behind them.

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