LOT Polish Airlines - A Top Budget Option In Eastern Europe
Anyone who is thinking about flying to Poland or other Eastern European countries from the UK could well find cheap fares from LOT Polish Airlines. A premium quality Polish carrier, LOT operates regular flights from London Heathrow to Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport, along with connecting flights from Warsaw to places as far afield as Ukraine, Hungary, Slovenia and Turkey.
The airline is one of the oldest continually operating passenger carriers in the world, having been founded back in 1929. Since then, they have operated almost continuously (with a brief break during the Second World War). Whatever type of government ruled in Warsaw, LOT continued to fly, with its classic stork-inspired livery.
Since the fall of Communism, LOT has gone from strength to strength, adding a new fleet of Boeings and linking Poland with plenty of North American destinations and adding Asian airports as well. They experimented with a low-cost subsidiary (Centralwings), but this folded in 2009, leaving LOT Polish Airways to focus on providing high-quality services on short and long-haul routes, as they have done since 1929.
Flying With LOT Polish Airlines
LOT offers three cabin classes: Economy, Premium Economy and Business. Economy is the cheapest class, offering free meals on long-haul flights, snacks on flights of less than 6 hours, 8 kg of hand baggage and 23 kg of checked baggage. Entertainment is also provided, with English language movies and free copies of Kaleidoscope, the airline's magazine.
Economy tickets can be purchased in Standard form (which are the cheapest options) or as Flex tickets, where changes can be made with no penalty. There may also be LOT Economy Saver tickets on some routes which offer even larger savings.
Premium Economy customers receive higher quality food and drink (sharing catering staff with Business Class travellers). They can take advantage of Executive Lounges, check two 23 kg pieces of baggage and enjoy services like priority check-in before their flights.
Finally, Business Class offers far more leg room, cosmopolitan international menus and much more generous checked and carry-on baggage allowances, as well as perks like priority deboarding to transit more quickly when they arrive.
Everyone who flies with LOT Polish Airlines can join the Miles & More loyalty program, which also includes participants like Swiss, Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines. That way, they can take advantage of services like free upgrades and flight discounts as they rack up the miles.
Check-in: Customers are encouraged to check-in online. Doing so is simple. Just head to the LOT Polish Airlines website, choose your country and departure airport, then enter your booking reference or e-ticket number. Check-in begins 36 hours before the scheduled departure time and enables travellers to print out boarding passes at their leisure.
Checked baggage allowances vary by type of flight and class. On most international flights, the allowances are:
Economy travellers may take one piece of checked baggage totalling 23 kg
Premium Economy passengers are permitted two 23 kg pieces of luggage
Business Class passengers may take three 32 kg pieces of baggage