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Airlines

We have found fairly good airline rates through Kayak.com to fly from Chicago to Prague? Is Kayak.com reliable to use to schedule airline tickets to go overseas without using a travel agent. I have not used Kayak.com to go overseas for airline tickets before. Looking for information about Lot Polish Airline which will go from Chicago to Warsaw Airport then to Prague? I am wanting to know if we should fly on this airline or not. I have not used this airline or heard anything good or not so good about this airline. The other airline is Air Canada which flies out of Chicago and stops in a couple different places before arriving in Prague. I am also wanting to know if we should fly on Air Canada or not. I have not used this airline or heard anything good or not so good about this airline. I am wanting to know the good and not so good about both airlines. Thanks, Trisha

Posted by
86 posts

Air Canada is a decent airline for international travel; however, domestically they have the worst on time record of any major carrier in North America. I am happy to use them for flying overseas, but try not to when I'm travelling in Canada. I would be careful of tight connections and customs, because it could be a long wait at the border and a long walk between terminals if you have to transfer in Toronto (Pearson), which is typical.

Sorry, I can't comment on Lot.

Posted by
11968 posts

Lot is the Polish flag carrier and is member of the Star Alliance.

If you take Lot you will fly from ORD to WAW on a flight operated by Lot Airlines (probably in code share with United, also a member of the Star Alliance).
At WAW will you will change planes and take a flight from WAW to PRG on a flight operated by Lot Airlines.

If you buy Air Canada you will fly from ORD to YYZ (Toronto) on a flight operated by Air Canada, which is also member of the Star Alliance. Then at YYZ you will switch to an Air Canada flight codeshare to WAW, which is actually operated by (you guessed it) still Lot Airlines, which as a member of Star Alliance has a code share agreement with Air Canada. In fact Air Canada does not operate flights to WAW or PRG, rather they do so through their partner Lot Airlines.
Then again, after you arrive at WAW, you will switch to another Lot operated flight to PRG.

So no matter what, you will be flying Lot Airlines across the Atlantic. I would go directly from ORD to WAW with Lot Airlines, because if you select Air Canada you will have an extra layover (in YYZ) which will prolong your journey. Unless of course the Air Canada solution is much cheaper (which I doubt).

I have never flown Lot, but I presume they are ok. I've flown Air Canada within North America and had no complaints.

Posted by
10238 posts

This is double posted, I'm reporting the other thread so it can be deleted. Please reply on this thread.

Posted by
10238 posts

If you use a discount 3rd party provider, don't expect customer service after the purchase--so make sure everything is just how you want it, before you click that Purchase Now button.
In general, more than 2 legs of a flight in and out of your final destination does not enhance the enjoyment of your vacation experience.
Look at # of legs and total time in transit, including stop-overs.
This is where you spend your big bucks, on the flight to and from Europe. You want it to be as pleasant as possible. Doesn't mean you need business class, but spend some more dollars where it's necessary to enhance trip experience.

Posted by
4941 posts

We flew LOT in 2012 from ORD to WAW & return. No complaints. As good as any we've flown. They use the new 787 Dreamliners which have some advanced comfort features.

Posted by
11153 posts

I flew LOT from JFK through Warsaw to Krakow, then back from Warsaw to JFK, in September 2013. I was a bit worried about their using the 787 Dreamliner after reports of battery fires and the like, but I had no problems. My coach seat was nice (electrical outlet and USB charging port at each seat), and the Premium Economy is even nicer for only about $220 more each way. The regular seating is 2-3-2, and the PE is 2-2-2, so the seats are wider as well as giving more legroom

Changing planes in Warsaw is easy, as the airport isn't large or congested. The only thing to be aware of is that if you're changing planes, you go through a security check IMMEDIATELY after passport control. I would have packed differently if I had known this, and been better prepared to remove shoes and belt, empty pockets, etc.

I would definitely fly LOT again.

Posted by
4637 posts

I haven't been to the airport in Warsaw but to many others in Europe and unlike in the USA you don't have to remove your shoes while going through the security check.

Posted by
671 posts

I believe that Austrian Airlines also flies out of Chicago now, direct to Vienna. A few years ago, I flew to Prague via Vienna using Austrian, departing from Washington Dulles. Nothing spectacular, but an option if you are not wanting to go with Lot or Air Canada.

Posted by
8 posts

Another airline is Swiss Air that I have looked at to fly from Chicago to Prague. Has anyone used Swiss Air and what do you think about this airline. The reviews that I have read seem to be more positive than the reviews on Lot Polish Air and Air Canada. Is using Kayak.com ok to use to book the airline tickets? Has anyone had positive or negative concerns about booking airlines through the Kayak.com website? Sorry about all the questions about airlines. Just trying to decide which one is my best option. Thanks, Trisha

Posted by
6143 posts

Use Kayak as a fare comparison tool, but book the actual ticket from the airline you selected on that airline's own website. It's not clear from your question what exactly you are looking for from one airline vs. another. Service? Food? Comfort? Some or all of the above? Think about how you're willing to trade any of these off for lesser number of stops, shorter connection time, and price. I've flown both LOT and Air Canada and honestly can't recall any major difference between the two - all other things being equal. To me, there are very few airlines that are so above the rest that it matters (they are pretty much interchangeable and I have no loyalty to any one of them). There are some exceptions of course, especially if you're not in coach, but largely it doesn't matter too much.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you everyone for your responses to my questions about airlines. Have a great rest of the week.