Thursday, 25 April 2019

A Getaway From Asia With LOT Polish Airlines Part 4

Welcome to my last part of the LOT Polish Adventure!



Photo: Daniel Gorun
Introduction

All fun time must come to an end, the trip to London was memorable and thankfully, everything went according to plan. My flight from London Heathrow landed at Warsaw later than scheduled but this didn't impact on my connecting flight to Singapore. In fact, I had 9 hours of layover. I met my friend on the land side for coffee. Thanks, Julian for the meetup!

About Warsaw Okecie / Frederic Chopin Airport



There are 4 airports in Warsaw. They are Chopin, Krakow, Wroclaw, and Gdansk. This is the biggest as it handles about 40 percent of the passenger's traffic in this city. Krakow, Wroclaw, and Gransk are more popular for domestic flights while Chopin handles some domestic flights and international. This airport was named after its former President, Frederic Chopin in 2001. Before that, the airport was named Okecie International Airport.


Photo: Jakub Mielniczak


Photo: Mehrad Watson

This airport offers free wi-fi but the troublesome part is you have to re-connect every 30 minutes. The connection isn't very strong at certain parts of the terminal.


Airside 

There is an escalator leading to some restaurants and a duty-free shop.



Interior of the airside 



Seating area available at the air side, but when there are a number of wide-body flights, it may get quite crowded. 


My flight was the last for that day 



This was where my flight would be departing from



SP-LRG was flying back to Warsaw From Los Angeles, this beauty would then take me to Singapore. 
Fortunately, this aircraft gets to rest for 4-5 hours.




Most of the passengers were Europeans with a handful of Asians probably Singaporeans on board this flight. It was about 80% full in Economy Class. I was fortunate to have the middle seat vacant with someone sitting at the window. The row I picked was windowless, so it was not a bad thing I chose the aisle seat. 

Flight route: WAW-SIN

Miles: 5849


My ride: SP-LRG (Owned)
Engines: 2 X Roll Royce Trent 1000
Configuration: C18 W24 Y213
Delivered in June 2017
Built-in Everette (PAE)
568th Boeing 787 


Photo: Mariusz Klarowicz


Photo: Sebastian Lukasiewicz

Date of departure: 2nd April 2019
Airline: LOT Polish 
Flight: LO67
Route: WAW-SIN
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Registration: SP-LRG
Gate: 13N/14N
Seat: 27G
Load: Above 80%
Flight time: 11 hours 30 mins 
Departure time: 2300
Boarding time: 2220
Push back: 2302
Take off: 2314
Scheduled arrival: 1700
Actual arrival: 1646
Runway departure: 33
Arrival runway: 02L

When the time came for boarding, I was exhausted. Just wanted to get on board and rest. Greeted by a group of the professional crew, this set was certainly better than my previous 787 flight (SIN-WAW). I made my way to my seat with the crew standing at the other sections of the aircraft greeting me. Most of the seats in Economy Class were occupied. Luckily, I had the middle seat at my row vacant. More space for the window seatmate and myself. 

Cabin shots 


Premium Economy

Is it worth paying more for these seats? If you have the miles, use it to upgrade for long haul flight.


Economy 

This aircraft was certainly in better condition than SP-LRA. IFE system on my seat was working properly. 






The photo was taken before departure




A windowless seat at my row 


We were flying over Malaysia at this point 


My in-flight experience 

The flight was generally smooth with small bumps encountered while flying through the bay of Bengal. Stronger turbulence took place just before entering the airspace of Malaysia. Not as intense as my previous 787 flight (SIN-WAW), but we were made to be seated for a good 20 minutes or so. It was only after we started our descent, the weather improved. We did a few loops (holding pattern) before making a smooth landing at Changi Airport. I managed to catch about 4 hours of sleep at the initial part of the flight, that was not too bad. After waking up, I spent most of the time watching movies. 

In-flight service was great as the crew came about serving water even when most passengers were sleeping. Unlike the previous flight, this set of the crew was cheerful and helpful. No complaints at all. 

Working IFE system - I was relieved 






In-flight magazine 

A good variety of aircraft featuring different capacity deployed on routes depending on load factor and distance. The airline will retire the 737-400 once the MAX is back in service. 


Meals on board 

First, we were served a drink of our choice and a packet of peanuts


This is the chicken meal, I had a choice between this or the beef. 


This was for breakfast, rice balls if I am not wrong. I didn't quite like it. 


A packet of sweets was issued after the meal


Unfortunately, no window shot photos for this flight. 

My ride details 


The flight duration was about an hour quicker than the SIN-WAW sector due to the tailwind.


Just touched down at SIN Airport



Landing at 02L means we had to taxi longer to our gate at terminal 2. 


My rating: 

Warsaw Airport: 6/10
Polish food: 8/10 (At the airport) 
In-flight service: 7/10
Cabin interior: 8/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
In-flight meal: 6/10 (Breakfast was a let-down)
Seat comfort: 5/10
IFE system: 6/10
Overall rating: 76/100

Conclusion

The difference between (LOT's Polish registered 787 aircraft) LRA and LRG is noticeable. LRG's interior was much better.  On the 27 March, SP-LRA went out of service and came back to service about 3-4 weeks later. It may have gone for a major maintenance check and if that is the case, I hope they got the aircraft clean up and issues with the IFE system sorted out. 

My overall experience with LOT's Polish 787 Economy Class  

I was fortunate to have seats vacant beside me for both 787 flights. However, if someone else sits beside me, it would have been uncomfortable with the shoulder touching one another. The atmosphere on the 787 with the Boeing Sky interior is the key reason why I enjoy flying on this new generation aircraft, the Boeing 787. There were recent reports on Boeing 787 having issues with the parts at South Carolina's manufacturing assembly, what do I think? I trust the airlines in checking their aircraft before taking delivery. 

For the price I paid, it is a bargain I feel. Decent Y Class product with an IFE system is sufficient enough for long haul flights. Passengers considering flying with this airline shouldn't have to worry as LOT Polish Airlines has a good safety record and if you are connecting to other cities, it would be better to choose a flight with ample time for connection, that would be my recommendation. 3 out of 4 decent flights, that is acceptable to me. Do I recommend this airline to anyone? Yes, I would fly with LOT Polish Airlines again, that's for sure. 

Always remember to travel with the insurance just in case something goes wrong, you can claim some compensation if applicable. 

What's my next flight?

A trip to Bangkok with Cathay Pacific (For the A350-1000, fingers crossed!) in June and then a big trip in July, more details to come. 

Check out my trip reports on other parts:

Part 1: SIN-WAW (Boeing 787-8) - click here
Part 2: WAW-LCY (ERJ-190) - click here
Part 3: LHR-WAW (Boeing 737-800) - click here

Have a good one!
Charles