I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda airport 90 minutes before departure. LOT uses terminal 5 at the airport, just like all other Star Alliance carriers, including SAS, which is also the ground handling agent for LOT. Hence you use the SAS check-in area or the SAS check-in machines when flying LOT.
I had already checked in online and only had hand luggage so I proceeded straight to security where I could use the fast track channel using my gold card.
LOT naturally also uses the SAS Lounge at the airport, which is divided into the SAS Lounge, for business class passengers, and the SAS Gold Lounge, for gold card holders. The latter has some hot food in the evening, wines in bottles, and spirits, which are the main differences between the two lounges.
Salmon was served this evening together with various vegetables. And as always on Thursdays they served hot dogs. The lounge was fairly busy when I arrived but everything got much better after 6 pm with many flights departing at that time.
LOT flight LO 458
Gate 10 was used to Warsaw and priority boarding was offered for passengers in premium economy and business class as well as for Star Alliance Gold. Due to the small cabin on the CRJ-900 they offered passengers to leave larger pieces of hand luggage outside the aircraft to be loaded in the hold, which a few passengers did.
The flight was pretty much full and there were surprisingly many passengers in premium economy, which stretched from row 3 to row 7, which just two empty seats. Initially I was seated in 04D but as the divider was moved a few hours before the departure to also include row 3 in premium economy I moved to 03D and fortunately got an empty adjacent seat. There was one passenger in business class while economy class was completely full.
With all passengers onboard a pre-departure beverage was offered in premium economy and business class, which was a nice touch. A choice between water or orange juice. We also got a refreshing towel.
Punctual pushback with a flight time of around 80 minutes to Warsaw.
Seat and cabin
The CRJ-900 had a 2-2 configuration onboard. In business class the adjacent seat is kept free but this is not the case in premium economy, which is one of the main differences between the two premium cabins. There are also different headrests in the different classes.
The divider with the small curtain is placed between economy class and premium economy on the CRJ, rather than between premium economy and business class, so the premium economy cabin becomes part of the premium section of the aircraft.
LOT and Nordica (the Estonian airline) use both Canadair CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 aircrafts. This was a CRJ-900. The drawback with the CRJ-900 is that the lavatory is located at the back, whereas there is a lavatory at the front on the CRJ-700. Sitting on row 3 this was rather inconvenient as it meant having to pass through the entire cabin to reach the lavatory, and you had to queue behind the economy class passengers who were seated closer. But of course on the positive side it meant fewer passengers blocking the aisle in the front cabins.
Food and drinks
As soon as the seatbelt sign had been switched off the inflight service started with a dinner service in business class and premium economy. The food seems to be the same in both classes on these shorter flights, but with proper glasses and linen table cloths offered in business class.
A paper table cloth was placed on my table, a rather nice touch, especially as it means you do not have to place any bread rolls directly on the table, which may be dirty.
Then the meal tray arrived with a cold dinner. Bread rolls were offered and there was also a small menu.
The dinner consisted of roast pork and herring, with different vegetables, sauces and garnishes. This seems to be a fairly standard meal on LOT shorthaul flights. Although nothing wrong with the food, in fact the meal was vastly better than the cold cuts often served in Lufthansa shorthaul business class, the portions were fairly small.
Drinks were also offered. I asked for a bottle of white wine and had two wines to choose between.
No more drinks were offered proactively during the flight but you could of course stop the cabin crew whenever they passed or press the call button. I later ordered a gin & tonic, which was served with ice and lemon but in a plastic glass. One clear sign of this being premium economy rather than business class.
With two flight attendants serving a nearly full flight and with no less than 15 passengers in premium economy there was a lot of hard work to do for the crew during a flight of 80 minutes. And although the service was friendly and polite it was clear the workload was rather heavy for the two flight attendants as the service level was not as good as has been the case on some other LOT/Nordica flights.
As the meal tray was removed I had placed the coffee cup on the table next to me (which I used for drinks and my tablet) to ask for some coffee after the dinner. However the flight attendant cleared all of it straight away, including the meal tray, the wine and the empty coffee cup, without asking if I wanted something else to drink of anything, and without taking a hint that perhaps there was a reason why the empty and unused cup had been placed there. I understood she was stressed and decided to let it go, but the fact remains that there was no offer of coffee or tea in business class or premium economy after the meal.
We made good progress and landed at Warsaw Frederyk Chopina airport slightly early. The CRJ aircrafts always park at remote stands and passengers are taken to the terminal by bus. It also takes a little bit of time to offload the hand luggage from the hold.
However the good thing in Warsaw is that passengers in premium economy and business class get their own bus, where everyone gets a seat and which leaves the aircraft several minutes ahead of the normal bus, which means you can leave the airport earlier or get a few minutes extra in the lounge if you have a connecting flight. As we were so many passengers in premium economy they had ordered two premium buses this time.
The inflight service in LOT premium economy was fine for a flight of 80 mins with some nice touches such as a pre-departure drink and a table cloth. However the busy flight meant that the service was stressed and not as attentive as it usually is.