LOT Polish Launching San Francisco Flights

Filed Under: LOT

It looks like another Star Alliance airline will soon be adding service to the Bay Area.

LOT Polish Launching San Francisco Flights

It’s being reported that LOT Polish will be launching 4x weekly flights between Warsaw and San Francisco as of August 5, 2020.

The flight will operate with the following schedule on Mondays and Fridays:

LO35 Warsaw to San Francisco departing 11:35AM arriving 2:30PM
LO36 San Francisco to Warsaw departing 4:25PM arriving 1:00PM (+1 day)

Then on Wednesdays and Saturdays the flight will operate with the following schedule:

LO35 Warsaw to San Francisco departing 5:20PM arriving 8:15PM
LO36 San Francisco to Warsaw departing 10:10PM arriving 6:45PM (+1 day)

Clearly the schedule is based on aircraft availability, given that many of LOT’s routes aren’t operated on a daily basis.

The roughly 5,870 mile flight is blocked at 11hr55min westbound and 11hr35min eastbound.

LOT Polish’s long haul fleet consists exclusively of 787s (both the -8 and -9 variants), so that plane will be used for the route. LOT Polish’s Dreamliners all have fully flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

LOT Polish 787 business class

LOT Polish 787 business class

The timing of this announcement isn’t a coincidence, as it comes just shortly after a visa waiver program was announced between Poland and the US.

How This Fits Into LOT’s Routemap

San Francisco will be LOT Polish’s sixth US destination, in addition to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Newark. While the airline flies to all of these destinations out of Warsaw, they also operate some other interesting flights to the US (some of which are seasonal):

  • The airline flies from Krakow to Chicago, and as of May 2020 will fly from Krakow to New York
  • The airline flies from Budapest to New York and Chicago
  • The airline flies from Rzeszów to Newark

It’s pretty incredible to see how the airline has grown, especially given that their fleet has been heavily impacted by the 787’s engine issues.

The August launch date for a new transatlantic route seems odd, since it’s the end of the peak summer travel period, though my guess is that the timing is simply due to aircraft availability. The airline still has three 787-9s on order, and I imagine delivery of those will allow this route to happen.

Bottom Line

It’s awesome to see yet another Star Alliance airline launch flights to San Francisco. This will tie in nicely to United’s route network, especially for those traveling to Eastern Europe.

LOT really is doing an impressive job with their growth given their fairly limited long haul fleet, and also given that they are strong with routes to both North America and Asia.

What do you make of LOT Polish’s new flight to San Francisco?

(Tip of the hat to @TSniedziewski)

  1. they were wet-leasing AirBelgiums A-330s this past summer for both daily JFK-WAW flights. maybe others as well

  2. Their doing a great job. Probably the best growing airline in Europe. The conservative government has helped turn around the airline, which the liberal PO party almost led to bankruptcy.

  3. @Paul
    Quite right. Who cares about human rights and an independent judiciary, eh, as long as the trains/ planes run on time.

  4. The nice Paul

    Nobody is being forced to stay there, if they want vibrancy they can And do go to Marseille, Paris or London.

  5. @paul the only thing the conservative government did is stay completely out of running an airline and that’s great as there are plenty examples in the world how badly that can end… See Alitalia or SAA off the top of my head. But LOT has done a consistently good job at growth they will shortly have more long haul planes than SAS does in their fleet which is remarkable considering they had all of 38 planes 5 years ago or so.

  6. Very impressive expansion from LOT…. Makes me wonder what if SAS management are asleep on the job, they seem not to have any plans for growth at all and haven’t for some years.

  7. That’s great news, I wish LOT could maintain this route, for some would be useful. As for myself, I would not choose LOT for TATL travel since what they doing ex-bud Is often ridiculous, flights getting cancelled or delayed too often… they are not reliable.

    Ps: LOT opens a bud-icn route as well. That is good, because creates competition for other airlines and easy to find rt tix to asia on mainly skyteam around 300usd in Y ex-bud.

  8. Paul: it was the liberal government who made the big change in 2015 and made it possible that LOT could grow starting 2016. Take into account that the new strategy was developed in 2014-15 and introduced starting January 2016. The new board was brought in 1Q2016, so everything had to be planned much earlier. Fortunately they followed the plan which was prepared by previous board (from the liberal government).

  9. “The United States has formally nominated Poland for entry into its visa waiver program, making it easier for Poles to visit America.

    President Donald Trump made the announcement as he departed the White House on Friday. The program allows pre-approved travelers from participating countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa.”

    I’m sure all the flights to and from Poland will be full once this goes through.

  10. @the nice paul

    Thank you for unilaterally appointing yourself the conscience of liberal democracy in this wholly unrelated forum on air travel(!) We care. We truly do. Do go on….

  11. @Daneils

    No equally sarcastic comment for @(the other) Paul since he began the rubbish on politicizing the news release? Or are you from the same scorched earth party still thinking “conservatives” such as the moron-in-chief are heroes?

  12. Ray, you might want to refer to the annual returns for LOT and correlate that to the years the PO party was in gov’t. Rock bottom would be an apt description. Performance under current gov’t is much improved on almost every metric. I don’t vote for this gov’t but they were correct to stabilize LOT for us the traveling public.

    ‘Paul’ was stating clear facts. But ‘The Nice Paul’ was just pontificating and does not live in Poland. And someone sensible took exception (rightly in my opinion) to that tiresome political wind-bagging.

  13. I’m surprised it was SFO and not IAD. LOT is the only European trans-atlantic operator that does not service IAD.

  14. @Mr G, I’m not sure what a visa waiver program has to do with their flights being full or not. Poland has had access to the US’s E-VISA program as part of the EU. Trust me, flight load is not going to be insanely affected by this, more likely this is just LOT feeding into another star alliance hub

  15. I really hope LOT gets its act together first and ensures that the delays and (last second) cancellations will be taken care of before even considering expanding the route network. I had a lot of business in Poland and it was frustrating to see how much of that was cancelled due to LOTs appalling performance. In that right, their staff could do with a ground course in ‘normal human communications’ or ‘customer care for beginners’. Also ‘how to use the muscles in your face to create a smile’ would be recommended. Now that Adria is bankrupt, it’s actually my least favorite *A airline.

    SK comes in second place there. And yes, @Nikojas, SAS is sleeping as usual. I remember them opening up the SVG-IAH route, finally, after having had requests to do so for decades, just to see oil prices crash and the route fail just after that. Karma, eh? I assume they will be expanding long haul operations soon, as the long haul fleet is planned to be growing. If I know SK a bit, it will probably be a dull and conservative choice on a route that’s already more than saturated: BKK or so, or another route into the US, DEN or so (connecting to another UA hub). At the same time, it’s fun in a perverse way to see how nowadays the widebodies of many airlines around the world roll in to OSL and ARN, packed to the rim with pax, while the colors of SK are completely absent at their hubs.

  16. Excellent news! Will be utilizing this flight frequently. Never had a Polish flight attendant not smile. They are a wonderful, accommodating, hospitable people.

  17. LOT has been growing very nicely indeed, adding new routes to Asia as well (CMB and DEL). However, their performance is usually subpar with very frequent delays and cancellations as well with not so good service.

    However, it would be pretty interesting to read your take on eithe AA’s or LO‘s flights to KRK – probably the nicest city in Central Europe, at least as nice as Prague and Budapest. Different, but equally nice in it’s own right.

  18. @Ray

    Maybe Daneils is (the other) Paul posting under a different name, who knows…


    I wish SAS would, as I find their overall long-haul product much better than LOTs.

  19. I just flew them from TLV nice knee room and service and food were fine .I will use them again hope they make it .

  20. @Paul, if not previous PO government, LOT would be long gone, like many others.
    @Jim, Washington DC and Boston are next on LOT’s list, one of them will be announced apparently shortly or on the beginning of 2020.
    LOT will be having 17 787s by next year, with 3 more to come by 2021 ( they are considering 787-10s as well), so their fleet is growing bigger and bigger – they are bigger than Austrian, SAS and soon will beat Finnair. Unfortunately their recent delays were caused by problems with engines, 3 787s grounded ( now just one), looking for some spare leased airplanes to cover schedules etc. Hopefully they will be back and running soon. And introduce updated Business Class product ( in talks apparently…).

  21. @AndrewW. they might have bigger fleets than Austrian, SAS, or Finnair, but I would choose any of those over LOT for flight to/from North America and Asia. Maybe if they updated their BC seats, they could be a contender, but otherwise, I’ll pass.

  22. This is awesome, LOT seems to have good award availability. I should be able to use this.

    Wicked Poland? Do you know how many places in Western Europe you can be thrown in jail for making mild comments contrary to liberal orthodoxy? Pretty much all of them… seriously egregious examples in UK and Sweden. But those are perfectly fine to a great many people.

    Poland is not trying to export its form of government… as opposed to the imperial EU and “liberals” all around the world.

  23. Yes, that’s why there are so many Brits and Swedes emigrating to Poland, and so few Polish emigrating to the UK and Sweden…

    Poland is not trying to export its form of government…thank God for that.

  24. LOT’S biggest challenge is its lack of focus on customer service, especially amongst its longer-tenured personnel. On short routes, the FAs are outgoing, enthusiastic, and eager to please. On long-haul flights, it’s a throwback to communist times.

    My wife flew LAX-WAW recently and encountered a completely indifferent crew… during the couple hours that they were actually in the cabin. When she purchased duty free, she was told that credit card machines don’t work during flight because there’s no Internet (???), so U.S. cash only (hmmmm….). Only one drink service provided. She went to the galley to ask for some water. FAs too busy gossiping simply pointed her toward a cart in the corner. Then, during the remainder of the flight they all disappeared into the crew rest, leaving one fellow asleep in the galley almost until landing.

    As Polish ex-pats, we had high hopes that things had improved, but it was not to be. Even though direct service to WAW from the West Coast would be super convenient for us, we are more willing to fly via FRA on LH (even willing to chance UA) rather than throwing our lot with LOT.

  25. That is really interesting to read since LOT puts only very young crews on its longhaul flights due to their different contracts and different calculations of per diems ( just like BA does with “Mixed fleet” – only very young crews, with minimum salary, fly longhaul). I wonder where your wife saw “communist time crew” on LOT’s longhaul flight, while 3/4 of present LOT crew is less than 30 years old.

  26. @Oliver – that is not true. They just received the Visa Waiver program last week. Each countries acceptance to the program depends on their acceptance % rating when applying for US Visas.

  27. @AdnrewW: Perhaps she was just unlucky, and I really do hope that’s the case because I really do think that, like the country itself, this airline has a lot of potential.

    The “communist time” is an expression which refers to the attitude where customer service was not a priority. I’m old enough to remember the “Good Old Days” and the transition that took place 30 years ago… and I know enough math to realize that many of those folks would no longer be flying in uniform.

    Again… I’m really praying that more change for the good is in the air because an expanding route map, modern aircraft, and a decent hard product really don’t mean so much if the employees aren’t completely in the canoe and rowing in unison.

  28. Inclusion in the visa waiver program WILL most certainly have a positive effect on Poles traveling to the US, hence LOT is being proactive and adding new routes. Many Poles, who have the means to travel to US, simply do not apply for tourist visas due to the costs and high chance of rejection. Now, the US is a real alternative to other destinations and, in addition, many thousands of Poles have relatives in the US. There is a lot of interest in the US and they will come.

  29. Wow a lot of hate for LOT. LOT unfortunately got a hit with a one two punch and a third punch in their plans to grow and improve. First it was the 787 grounding so had to keep flying old 767. Once they got that out of the way they had special training for 787 cabin crews to improve the experience. Then the RR engine issues showed up and LOT had to wetlease many different aircraft to keep the growth. Unfortunately not all of them were of the same standards as 787 so I understand people are upset. There are still 3 787s on the ground due to engine issues and not 1 as in previous comment. RR now says most 787s should be in the air by summer 2020 instead of summer 2019, then end of 2019. And now we have the 737Max grounding and more odd aircraft entered the fleet. So it is frustrating, but I hope by middle of next year LOT will become the airline it really wants to be.

  30. @isaac
    They were and still are leasing the Two A340-300 till end of the year for now. Also have a A330-300 and a 767-300 for the time being. Not sure for how long.

  31. “Inclusion in the visa waiver program WILL most certainly have a positive effect on Poles traveling to the US, hence LOT is being proactive and adding new routes.”

    LOT already has 5 routes to the US, were they really awaiting visa-free travel just to start one more?

  32. @Aaron Nah, they „used”’ VisaWaiver to boost PR and Sales. Everything at SFO was already ready two years ago, when they opened LAX, local staff knew announcing SFO was a matter of time.

  33. Flew LOT yesterday WAW JFK on an AB 340. Was interesting to see in their inflight magazine they have 9 total 787-8s however 2 of them are for use by the government so they actually have it denoted at 7/9**

  34. @Kyle They have two E175 chartered for GovernKent use, not 787s and that is described in Kaleidoscope … 7/9 means “7 delivered out of 9 ordered”.

  35. When you fly transatlantic flights on LOT , after landing , passengers ( mostly Polish-Americans and folks from Poland) clap to thank pilots for flying an aircraft safely and also thanking flight attendants for their hard work. I love this class act and old custom, you won’t see this anywhere else flying 🙂

  36. @Aaron I lived in Warsaw for the past five years and know half a dozen Brits who relocated to Poland permanently, they love it there because the safety and normalcy of the society and culture reminds them of their childhoods, I don’t know any Poles who have gone to Sweden or the UK for more than a visit or seasonal work.

    I’m happy that Poland is now part of the visa waiver program and that many more Poles will be visiting the US. I will definitely be taking advantage of the direct flight from SFO to Warsaw. It will be a dream come true to avoid landing, hiking a mile, additional invasive security, worrying about missing my connection and reboarding another flight in Frankfurt.

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