Ultimate Guide to LOT Polish Airlines Business Class: Is it Worth the Upgrade?

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LOT Polish Airlines

Istanbul – Warsaw – Gdańsk

Friendly crew

Cramped seats

Is it business?

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how important it is to have a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience. That’s why some people who can afford the points or $£€ opt for business class: giving more legroom, better food, and all the amenities that make flying more pleasurable. LOT Polish Airlines is known best for its European routes and it promises a lot from its business class experience. But is it worth the upgrade? In this Ultimate Guide, I’ll take a closer look at LOT Polish Airlines business class, from the seats and service to the food and entertainment. Whether you’re planning a business or leisure trip, read on to discover if LOT Polish Airlines business class is the right choice for you.

The Context: European Business Class

Some flight review commenters claim that European Business Class is *always* the same. That’s just not the whole story. Many airlines DO offer seats at the front which are identical to Economy, and differentiate the product by keeping the middle seat free and upgrading food and amenities. However, check out my Turkish Airlines A321 neo review which shows that some operators in Europe have a hard product that shows a real sense of having upgraded from economy.

Related: Watch my video review of LOT Polish Airlines Business Class – “Call this business class?”

What is included in LOT Polish Airlines Business Class?

LOT Polish Airline business class includes several amenities that aim to make your flight more comfortable. Here are some of the main inclusions:

  • Comfortable seats
    LOT promises that the seating experience is better than in Economy (read on for my review).
  • Better Dining Experience
    A meal is served on longer flights (vs a small snack in Economy) as well as a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Priority Boarding and Check-in
    There is a business-class check-in line and access to fast track at certain named airports. Business class passengers can board early.

However, a notable exclusion is any form of Entertainment System in business class.

LOT Polish Airlines: On the ground

LOT’s Skytrax Rating

LOT is Poland’s flag carrier airline and is rated 3/5* stars by Skytrax. That seems pretty fair, because – let’s not sugar coat it – the product is perfectly adequate but isn’t winning any prizes for check-in experience, the gate or handling delays.

Patrick Hughes at Istanbul airport looking at a large sign stating "Istanbul"

LOT Polish Airlines: Check-in at Istanbul IST

The check-in experience was one of the worst I’ve encountered in years. I arrived early (my problem) and waited around the Check-in Area, which opened 1h45m ahead of the flight with a mobile passport check team. Two groups of people pushed in front of me in the business class line. One drunk man was extremely aggressive to quite a few people in the line. It turned out neither of these groups were in business, but staff didn’t bat an eyelid or intervene. Ground staff were genuinely unfriendly. Eventually, I was checked in and was able to use the fast track area of Istanbul Airport. Neither LOT check-in associates nor the the Fast Track team were certain if LOT business class passengers were supposed to qualify for that benefit.

Istanbul Lounge Access

A garlic butter flatbread at Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul

I had booked this flight for two reasons. First, it was hard to get to my eventual destination, Gdansk, using Turkish Airlines. At least, with a reasonable connection that would forward my bags right through. Second, I wanted to try an alternative European business class. Particularly if it allowed me access to the Turkish Airlines business class lounge, about which lots of people rave positively.

LOT Polish Airlines Business Class Experience: Gate & Boarding

It’s a LONG way from the centre of Istanbul Airport through to some of the gates. After ten minutes walk from the lounge, I was still amidst the many and varied shopping opportunities at IST. I had to resist any duty free options as I had a connecting flight and you can’t carry bottles of more than 100ml through to the next flight. Eventually I found my way to gate A5B.

An electronic sign reading Destination: Warsaw at Gate A5B at Istanbul airport.

At the gate area, officials from the Polish government (I believe) were checking everyone’s passports (having done so at the check-in line also) to ensure that they were either permitted visa-free access or had the appropriate visa. This was a process that was carried out with rigour! I have no complaints about this. Before long, business class passengers and those with status with LOT (or Star Alliance status) were invited to board and I got my first glimpse of what I had paid almost £600 for (yes, I’m an idiot).

LOT Polish Airlines Business Class Experience: In the air

LOT Polish Airlines: The Business Class Seat

My heart sank a little when I realised that LOT Polish Airlines Business Class seat is an economy seat, with a little red headrest cover to distinguish it from regular Economy. The benefit is that you have a free seat beside you, which is great in terms of avoiding a sharp-elbowed neighbour, but is hard to call “business class”. I wanted LOT to be a surprise, and it was, a lot.

Patrick looking shocked at the business class seat on LOT Polish Airlines

Food & Drink in LOT Business Class

The service by the cabin crew was really very good. They were friendly and ensured that I had settled in before they took my jacket to hang up. These little touches are important. I looked around to see how to locate and activate the in-flight entertainment, only to discover that there would be no IFE on my flight up to Warsaw.

The food tray on LOT Polish Airlines, featuring a cold salad, smoked salmon and a chocolate mousse cake.

The food option was a cold meal. Top left is a salmon and dill salad, bottom left was some chicken. There was a random addition of some sashimi, cheese, dates and a single cherry tomato. A bread roll was served (also cold) which was hard as the sole of my boot and a challenge to my teeth. The butter was delicious.

A chocolate cherry cake.

Dessert was this chocolate mousse tart with cherries, which was excellent. The branding on the chocolate coin is Do&Co, which matches the branding of Turkish Airlines’ own food company. I am assuming that they provided the in-flight catering.

Reflecting now on the LOT Polish Airlines Business Class product, LOT could really rank much higher for its offering, given its excellent in-flight service, if it worked on minimum standards for ground-staff agency colleagues, and the physical hard product of the seats, even on older aircraft.

Arrivals & Connections in Warsaw

I had to make a connection in Warsaw, to my final destination of Gdansk. Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) is very manageable and, after a further security bag check, I found my next gate. A series of announcements led to a 3 hour delay for the 35 minute hop across to Gdansk. No explanation was provided.

There was no business class offering on the second aircraft.

Patrick in an economy seat on a connecting LOT Polish Airlines seat after having paid for business class.

The seats on this Embraer were, frankly, wonky. Perhaps worse, the plane had clearly not been cleaned. I was so glad to get going that I buckled up and shut up.

Patrick holds up a glass of water.

A glass of water and a snack were served, but I think most people really wanted to get home or to their hotels as we were in so late in the evening.

A view of Gdansk night sky from an aircraft landing there.

Frequently Asked Questions about LOT Polish Airlines Business Class

How much does LOT Polish Airlines Business Class cost?

My two-part flight from Istanbul to Gdansk (via Warsaw) cost me £593 (that’s $732 USD or €683 EUR). Only the first leg to Warsaw was in Business Class.

What is included in LOT Polish Airlines Business Class?

The LOT Polish Airlines Business Class product includes priority check-in and boarding as well as fast track at selected airports. Your seat guarantees no neighbour (even if it’s not a business seat), and a cold meal and dessert is included. There is no in-flight entertainment (at least on my flight).

How do I book LOT Polish Airlines Business Class?

You can book LOT Polish Airlines Business Class via the LOT Polish Airlines website, or via your local friendly travel agent.

Is LOT Polish Airlines Business Class worth the upgrade?

Frankly, no, it’s not. This product is charged at a comparable rate to higher-grade business class operators flying within Europe who have a more modern fleet and better hard product. I want to call out the cabin crew on board for their positive spirit and polite service.

Conclusion: Should you upgrade to LOT Polish Airlines Business Class?

The answer is a flat ‘no’ while LOT Polish Airlines maintains this business class product on older planes. I know it’s a bit boujie to complain that business class wasn’t up to scratch. However, if you are willing to shell out the money on business class because you are actually doing business, or for a treat, please don’t do it with LOT Polish Airlines on a European flight. Save your cash, sit down the back and spend the extra on a delicious Polish meal on your arrival. Sorry LOT – very charming cabin crew, the rest of the product was below average. My Planet Patrick Rating for this flight is 2/5.

Video

Don’t forget to see this flight report on my YouTube Channel.

YouTube player

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.