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Lot Polish Airlines

I'm looking at flights from Sacramento to Budapest for next year, using my United Airlines miles. One potential choice is on Lot Polish Airline. I'm wondering if I should consider Lot, or choose another airline such as Lufthansa. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Posted by
6950 posts

Lot Polish Airlines is mostly owned by the Polish government. They're also the oldest airline flying.
The airline is profitable, and you should be okay. I don't know anything about their customer satisfaction, however.

Posted by
21300 posts

I flew LOT from Odesa (Ukraine) to Warsaw last year and I'd have no qualms about flying the airline again. As far as I know they are not one of the airlines that pay their pilots minute salaries; those I try to avoid.

Posted by
2676 posts

I flew LOT from Warsaw to Chigago, overall a good experience, not super sophisticated but a very warm Polish hospitality :)

Posted by
318 posts

It’s jut fine, high praise for airlines these days. The food is fine, comfort and movie selection is tolerable (the best coach gets). The flight attendants are polite enough. Really, you just need to lower your standards for all the airlines, including Lufthansa, and you’ll be happy. They did seem a little conservative about putting on the seatbelt sign for turbulence, but I’d fly with them again.

Posted by
4716 posts

They did seem a little conservative about putting on the seatbelt sign for turbulence, but I’d fly with them again.

I never pay any attention to the seatbelt sign. When I'm in my seat that seatbelt is always on, I barely notice it's on but I certainly would if the plane hit a sudden bad patch of turbulence!

I flew Lot many years ago so much has probably changed but I found them to be perfectly adequate.

Posted by
3347 posts

They're also the oldest airline flying.

No, that honour goes to KLM that celebrated their 100th birthday this year.

Posted by
4716 posts

No, that honour goes to KLM that celebrated their 100th birthday this year.

Along with British Airways.

Posted by
5565 posts

Note that United does a lot of Codesharing, so pay attention to who operates the flight. We used Lufthansa and United for NJ-Poland this year.

Posted by
6784 posts

If there's no significant cost difference and the connections are OK, I'd choose Lufthansa. But LOT is as good as any other major.

Posted by
8863 posts

Thanks everyone. I always wear my seatbelt, so that is not a concern. Cost isn't an issue, because the taxes and fees should be the same(ish) regardless which airline it is. I've been on Lufthansa a few times as a code share airline. I think the last time was in 2016. At that time I was able to find a way to reserve seats. I'm not sure if that is still possible. Does anyone know if seat reservations are available on Lot booking through United?

I'm not quite ready to book my tickets yet. I want to wait until my return flight (from Frankfurt) the end of October or beginning of November 2020 is available.

Posted by
52 posts

My wife and I booked a non-stop from Budapest to JFK this past August. It was scheduled to leave at 11:40 am and did not take off until after 7 pm - the delay was as long as the flight to the US. Every hour beginning at 2 pm the flight was rescheduled an hour later. These updates ceased after 5. The staff lined everyone up at 4:30 at a gate different from the one scheduled for us and kept us in that line for over two hours. During this time individuals were pulled behind a quickly set up series of screens to go through their ID, etc. Outside of this "inspection" the staff joked and kept themselves amused and passed out "fliers' rights" pamphlets. They even took selfies of themselves. One staff member had their 8 year old daughter there and she helped pass out these pamphlets as well. There was zero information passed onto the passengers by staff as to the cause of the delay, the possibility of flight cancellation, etc. When we were finally allowed access to the plane were were herded onto busses that sat idle for a good ten minutes before we finally got on the plane.

I am not a frequent flier so I don't know if this is "normal" operations for a seriously delayed flight but from my perspective this group seemed to not know what they were doing nor did it seem that they really cared either. The only reason we booked LOT was this was a non-stop flight - the only one in fact. After this experience I don't think we will be traveling LOT again.

The flight though was fine but my car service at JFK waited four or more hours for our flight to arrive due to the hour by hour delays. The driver at JFK told us that this particular flight often was delayed due to mechanical difficulties.

Posted by
2326 posts

In 2014, we booked a flight to Zagreb from the USA. The carrier was Lot, and we had a stop in Warsaw, just to change planes. The plane was late out of NYC, and we arrived in Warsaw after the connection was due to take off. Other flights for the connection were also delayed, so the flight had been held. However, there was a fair amount of confusion. In all of that, our actual boarding passes on the connecting flight were not issued. We were rather held in a lounge, placed on a bus, and taken to the plane. All good so far.

On the return flight 28 days later, we were dismayed to find that our return tickets were denied. Since we did not get boarding passes for the connecting flight, we were considered to have skipped that leg, and that generally results in the cancellation of all subsequent parts of the trip. Thanks to a helpful gate attendant in Frankfurt, we were able to reconstruct our tickets, and flew from Frankfurt back to Warsaw, and then back to the USA.

So, my experience suggested that ensuring that all details of the legs (boarding passes, proper checks) are done properly is pertinent for Lot. The flights to and from Warsaw were find, the cabin crew professional, the food and beverages fine.

culp3: Our departure from JFK to Warsaw had similar issues. We were scheduled to depart at 9 PM, and did not depart until after 1 AM. There were multiple delays, no information for passengers, we had the issues related above due to late connections. I wonder if this is a persistent problem with Lot. There is a new settlement about late flights - you may wish to look into that.

Posted by
181 posts

The primary issue flying to and from Budapest is the relative lack of nonstop service from the US. LOT has flights to JFK and seasonal service to O'Hare, American has seasonal service to Philadelphia and will start seasonal service to O'Hare in the Spring (don't know if any of these operate daily or only a few days a week). That's it, which is unfortunate. When we decided to go to Vienna and Budapest, we looked at European airlines figuring that the connections would be better if made in Europe instead of the US. We ended up on British Airways connecting in Heathrow. BA had multiple daily flights in and out of both cities. Alternatives for us were Air France via DeGaul and Lufthansa via Frankfort (BA won out because the connection times weren't as tight). Something to consider.

Posted by
179 posts

I just flew on LOT from St Petersburg to Warsaw and then to LAX last month. The flights were good and on-time, the plane was fine, and the service was about the same as most airlines. Would have no qualms about flying them again.

Posted by
11292 posts

I flew with LOT in 2013, from JFK to Krakow (via Warsaw) and back from Warsaw to JFK. The experience was fine, and I'd certainly fly with them again.

On the JFK to Warsaw route at that time, the premium economy section looked much nicer than coach (where I was sitting) and was only about $210 more. If I fly them again, I'd certainly look to do that upgrade. The plane was a 787; I don't know what kind of plane they use on the route to Budapest.