Lot Airlines: Terrible Transit in Warsaw

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LOT Transit is part of the Iraq Homecoming Trip Report.


The ground logistics for LOT are awful. It was a nightmare leaving JFK (see LOT JFK-WAW: It’s How You Finish), and it was not simple to transit in WAW. Because of the unexplained delay in JFK, I only had one hour to make my connection to Tallinn, Estonia. I was concerned when we landed in Warsaw because the plane taxied to the outskirts of the terminal. I assumed that a big flight from New York City to the capital of Poland was worthy of a jet bridge. It was not.

Instead, we waited for transport to arrive. One gentleman was lucky enough to have a Volvo transport. The rest of us, business and coach alike, were crammed into a bus. Though the first bus was full and despite being tardy, the bus did not move. When it finally did, we were stuck behind a luggage transporter.

Immigration or Not

I always neglect to research when I have to go through immigration or when I am a transit passenger (see Nepal Visa on Arrival, Needed Even in Transit). I assumed it would be the former in this case, but it was not because both Poland and Estonia are part of the Schengen area. Access to one country grants access to all. As usual, I found myself nervously searching for the ‘all passports’ line before it would be jammed with people, resulting in further delays. Fortunately, the airport was completely empty. After a quick stamp, I was on my way. I arrived with plenty of time to spare marking another time when I was more nervous than I needed to be.

Overall

Transit can be a trying experience especially when you do not have an inline ticket. This time it worked out, but I have appropriately stressed before (see Connecting in Madrid? Pack Extra Time & Connecting in Madrid: Pack Extra Time Part II).

19 COMMENTS

  1. Where’s the “terrible” part of the story? Just because you ended up at a remote stand and took a bus? You made a one hour connection on an international transit with “plenty of time to spare”. That seems like a pretty great transit experience. If you hadn’t neglected a basic rule of travel and researched the transit requirements, it would have been even smoother. I don’t see any reason to be critical of LOT airlines in your story.

    • To be clear, in the off chance you stick around for the response, I did look up the time. I didn’t account for such a delay getting there had you read the post linked. I also didn’t think the flying business would mean I would have to wait for the entire bus to be full. I also assumed there would not be a bus and even if there was, not a bus ride that long. And sometimes you need luck regardless of planning

    • Even some of the other reviews referenced are in the same line. A lot of “ifs” and “maybes” with some “it’s my own fault” in between.

  2. OMG, what drama! You ended up at a remote stand in a European airport – what a shocker. It’s not like my AMS-ORD (important) flights got a jet bridge either. Though my AMS-MAN did, implying that this has nothing to do with “importance”. And you made it, didn’t you? Not like getting stuck for hours at some of the other disaster zones in Euro aviation. From what you write, this is hardly worthy of such a whiny post.

      • I did not entitle an article with :terrible” featured for an experience which clearly wasn’t. My tone is not at issue here. Nor was I yelling, so don’t try to change the subject when it’s your post that wins the Drama Queen award of the day in Boarding Area.

        Given that it’s Europe (thus you get bus gates, long lines and delays up the wazoo), I’d say that WAW treated you pretty well and thus conclude that you’re whining and unnecessarily negative. Try flying through AMS, LHR, or CPT.

        • Great. I’ve moved on to the next post regarding the world cup. I’ll check back on this one in a year, maybe you’ll stop being combative by then.

    • I believe it is an honest representation of the situation. If I had time to stop, point, and shoot, then it would contradict the point of the post. Of course, you already know that but can’t help but be a smart ass. Good for you. I commend your online bullying prowess.

  3. On 16 JUN I flew LOT GDN-WAW-RIX with a 2h35m layover. We parked away from the terminal and were bussed in.

    You were risky for allowing so little layover time in Europe this summer. You chose the 1h layover, so LO and WAW are not to blame.

    Four times in June I flew through Schengen AMS on SK and AC to Schengen CPH and Schengen GDN. AMS was a true nightmare, even with a jet bridge.

    On 5 JUL I flew IAH-LHR. LHR is a nightmare, as is BA. I prefer WAW over LHR or AMS for transit 365 days a year.

    Today I am in OSL and have a flight to CPH on SK tomorrow…that is a nightmare because DK pilots are on strike and SK declared bankruptcy.

      • To be clear, I didn’t choose the 1 hour layover, the flight was delayed from JFK. I linked that in the post (nobody read it). I edited this post to show that.

        • I had a 19h59m delay in PHX on UA 2 JUL…domestic flight, domestic airline…and even jet bridges. Our luggage made it the next day, after multiple phone calls and emails. My wife and I are both 1Ks with UA but still had a 5th World experience in a major US airport on a major US airline.

          My flights on AC YYZ-AMS were delayed 4.5 and 3.5 hours. Who knows if the blame lies with the country of Canada, YYZ, The Netherlands, AMS, or a combination?

          The good news is, you made a tight connection.

        • I didn’t blame anyone. I said it was terrible and awful. I don’t mind criticism and comments but it has to be based on what I wrote. I strive to choose my words carefully. When I want to slam a place, I am explicit: https://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/priority-pass-jakarta-lounge-review/

          I get that delays happen. That’s why I don’t check bags. The post is an observation of my transit in WAW. It was terrible. Next post is about Bolt in Estonia. And on we go.

  4. Bolt has been great for me this summer in Vilnius, Riga, Gdaņsk, Oslo, Amsterdam…and I will use it next week in Lisbon. I hope you had a positive experience at TLL.

    Complaining works for me. I have received thousands of dollars in vouchers, refunds, comps, and perks from complaints.

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