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November 06, 2021 5 min read
Over the years, I've taken numerous trips to Poland, and the flight overseas and back has always been something that I've not particularly looked forward to.
Don't get me wrong; I don't mind flying; it's a combination of other things. For example, small seats, being packed in like a sardine, limited airflow, TVs not working, other unruly passengers, you name it, I've seen it all.
Airlines I've flown with in the past are United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, and most recently, Lot Polish Airlines.
I've always taken one flight to a connecting flight into Europe, then a flight to Poland in my previous trips.
So in 2019, I decided I wanted the Poland stamp in my passport. I wanted to fly directly into Kraków, Poland. The only way that I could do so was to fly to Chicago O'Hare airport. I'd been to this airport back in the 1980s and remembered how enormous and busy it was.
So when I booked my flight to go from Cleveland to Chicago, I gave myself enough time in between to get from my arrival terminal to the departure terminal.
I expected Chicago O'Hare to have expanded; I just didn't realize how much it would! It took me well over an hour and 1/2 to navigate Chicago O'Hare airport to get to the departure terminal.
I'd purchased tickets through Orbitz and didn't think it was necessary to get first-class or upgraded seat types, as in the past. I was just excited and happy to be going back to Poland.
However, I did a lot of research and read a lot of articles about how to upgrade your seats at the airport before boarding.
When I left Cleveland airport, they gave me what I believed to be all the tickets that would be necessary to continue with my flights. Little did I know that this was not the case, but it would help me get a better seat at the last minute.
When I arrived at the departure terminal about an hour and 1/2 before the flight leaving I didn't think anything of my tickets as I just assumed they were all set to go. I hate having to sit for a long period of time on the airplane prior to taking off, so I allow others, especially people with children, the elderly and anyone else that wants to go ahead of me. The last few times, I've literally been the last person on the plane.
This time I was the third to the last person to board the plane, and when I got to the gate, the attendant told me that my "ticket" was just a voucher and not the actual ticket. She directed me to the ticket counter to get the voucher converted to my ticket.
While at the ticket counter, I inquired whether any first-class or business class seats were still available. The attendant told me there were and quoted me a price. SOLD!!! The price was $4000 less than I would've paid if I had purchased these same seats originally. I was excited because this was my first ever first-class overseas plane ride, and here I am, everybody's waiting for me now to board the plane.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I first boarded the plane, but once I arrived at my seat, I realized I'd made the right choice.
Being a rather large individual, 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, I can tell you that the standard and economy-size seats are a little cramped, and legroom is always an issue for me. I never really have problems with any of the people sitting next to me; in most cases, it's just my wife or one other person, but regardless things are still cramped.
The seats in business class on lot Polish Airlines are well worth the price. There is ample foot room and storage for all of your travel accessories. I was offered a plate with a glass of wine, a bottle of water, soda, and a glass of orange juice the minute I sat down. I like to keep hydrated during my flights, so I took everything but the wine.
There were many open seats in business class, and I was the only one in my row. I had a window seat which I enjoyed. The media/TV screens were a little far away to see in this row, but I was so excited to be going back to Poland I didn't watch much. I tend to start looking at the map of where we are during the flight to see how much longer before we land.
The stewardess were extremely friendly and very helpful. The food and drink for dinner was excellent. I chose a potato soup and salad for the appetizer and beef with mushrooms, broccoli and carrots for the main course. After boarding the plane, I drank probably three bottles of water, and I can tell you that the bathrooms in business class are no better than better bathrooms anywhere cells in the plane. There still cramped.
Once dinner was over, the lights dimmed, and most people napped for a few hours. The seat I was in could be converted to a bed, so trying to sleep for a couple of hours was much easier than sitting up in an uncomfortable economy seat.
For breakfast, we were served a bowl of yogurt, a fruit, vegetable, and meat platter, as well as coffee and some cookies.
Overall my first experience with Lot Polish Airlines was a positive one. When my wife came over to join me a month later, I told her how to get the updated seat, and she did so as well. She did this much sooner than I did and enjoyed the business class area in the airport before boarding.
When we arrived at Warsaw airport to return home in late October, we inquired if there were any business class seats available and were able to get them. They we're even cheaper than the US costs.
The whole experience of flying overseas is very long and tiresome. By the time we leave Poland in finally get home, it's usually between 26 to 28 hours later. The business class seats made a huge difference in our comfort levels while traveling. For the cost, it's well worth it.
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