LOT Polish Launching Washington Dulles Flights

Filed Under: LOT

LOT Polish has just announced a second new transatlantic route out of Warsaw for the summer of 2020, following news that the airline will launch a new Warsaw to San Francisco route.

LOT Polish Launching Washington Flights

LOT Polish will be launching 3x weekly flights between Warsaw and Washington Dulles as of June 2, 2020. The flight will operate with the following schedule on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays:

LO39 Warsaw to Washington departing 4:50PM arriving 8:30PM
LO40 Washington to Warsaw departing 10:25PM arriving 1:25PM (+1 day)

The roughly 4,500 mile flight is blocked at 9hr40min westbound and 9hr 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

LOT Polish currently has 15 787s, and they’ll soon be taking delivery of a further two 787s, which will presumably facilitate this growth.

The new route is already bookable, though as of this moment I don’t see any award availability. I’m sure that will change soon.

How This Fits Into LOT’s Routemap

Washington will be LOT Polish’s seventh US destination, in addition to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, and San Francisco (which was announce earlier, but will launch later).

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
  • 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.

Bottom Line

It’s great to see LOT Polish launch yet another route, in particular to a Star Alliance hub, which will offer lots of connectivity. LOT Polish is the last European Star Alliance long haul airline to fly to Washington Dulles.

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 Washington?

(Tip of the hat to @TSniedziewski)

  1. LOT has an impressive operation. Their management sees opportunity in underserved markets, and aren’t afraid of taking advantage of them. They must not have gone to whatever Business School AA’s management went to.

  2. Interesting timing. Is IAD out of slots at the usual times for European flights?

    Also in other IAD news, it looks like TK is operating 2x daily flights to IST, at least in the summer.

  3. @ Jim — I don’t think it has anything to do with slot availability at Washington Dulles, but likely has to do with scheduling/aircraft availability for LOT Polish.

  4. I’ve never really understood these sort of 3x or 4x per week routes. Doesn’t that severely limit the market? Not sure I’d want to book with them if I had to travel on a Thursday or another day they’re not operating.

    My only experience with Lot was not especially positive. My flight was canceled 2 days ahead of my trip but getting rebooked was a nightmare at first until I finally found an agent at the airport willing to accommodate me on a partner. Their operation at WAW seemed to be overstretched quite a bit.

  5. @Lucky. LOT had cancelled the ORD-BUD route about 2 months ago. It only operates the JFK-BUD flights now.

  6. @raksiam “Their operation at WAW seemed to be overstretched quite a bit.”

    Part of it is airport itself, this is why they are looking at building a major hub outside of Warsaw that would be more flexible without city specific constraints.

  7. Similar to Jim’s comment, there are many European airlines with very late departure times from IAD. I wonder why. Is IAD a big business class destination for airlines? Maybe they want to capture those who prefer to fly after a full day at the office.

  8. @CF Frost – United has a huge bank of flights in the 10-10:30pm range so seems timed perfectly for that, tons of connections available.

  9. @Matt – Someone more in the know will probably be able to confirm in more detail, but I believe it is because of gate constraints (not “landing slots”, they can handle plenty of that) during the peak hours of say 5-7.

    Lufthansa, Air France, BA, Virgin, KLM, Lingus all have departures in that time frame (I might be missing a few, plus everything else out of terminal B that isn’t transatlantic), just clogs up the gate situation there.

  10. @Jim LOT’s N. American flights ( Toronto incl) all depart Warsaw between 4 and 5 pm, making them perfectly connected (1, max 2 hrs connection times) with tens of European flights. Same with return flight, landing in Warsaw at 1:25pm, then almost whole Europe connected with 3pm flights. The other “wave” of US-flights ( LAX, MIA, 2nd JFK and 2nd ORD rotations depart Warsaw around midday, so most likely additional flights to IAD, when added, will depart that time. Impressive how LOT is growing! Apparently BOS is next on their list, as soon as more 787-9s arrive.

  11. This certainly opens up options for travel to eastern europe and direct service into the DC area is always a welcomed addition. Having said this, stats show that DCA and BWI are vastly preferred for domestic travel so IAD has always had limited ability to function as a hub. I’m sure those traveling on business don’t care, but flying the direct flights out of IAD always requires a substantial premium. For personal travel the convenience of direct international flights has to be balanced with the cost and the relative inconvenience of IAD itself. I imagine thrice a week is about all the market needs.

  12. Re the scheduled times: This is typical for LO‘s operations to North America. Most, if not all, operate quite late in the day. I don‘t know whether this has an operational or a marketing rationale.

    What rather surprises me is the seasonal Rzeszow to Newark operation. Yes, the City of Rzeszow has quite a few multinational corporates, but as far as I know, only Pratt&Whitney is headquartered in the NY area … and if it was for that reason, it would be all year.

  13. The DC area is a very wealthy area and has robust demand for purchased J Class travel. There’s a reason that many airlines fly there with premium-heavy layouts to / from Dulles.

  14. @Andy – the Rzeszow – New York flight is summer seasonal to cater to Polish/New York VFR traffic. Nothing to do with corporate demand (or lack thereof).

  15. @Whoever wants to know about slots

    IAD isn’t a slot controlled airport, so slots in the European sense aren’t an issue.

  16. It is hard to score competitively priced J Or premium economy ticket on LOT. Most of the time r/t originating in US runs close to $4000. The J layout is mediocre and I often chose LH A380 with MUC connection over nonstop LOT to Warsaw. I hope with increased capacity txt prices will go down to be more competitive with LH.

  17. Great to see LOT restoring full-service carrier service in Budapest especially after collapse of Malev. Poland and Hungary are indeed brothers to be

  18. I almost pulled the trigger on a LOT award seat in J because it seemed like a good deal, but every Pole I know here in Chicago told me I was crazy, that it was the worst airline…they all prefer Lufthansa.

  19. For those flying in the back of the plane, LOT has the narrowest economy seats of any 787 operator, coming in at 16.1in.

    Count me out!

  20. @ORDGuy Poles in Chicago can hardly afford flying Business anywhere so they can hardly be accurate source of any info regarding that And keep in mind that every single Pole in the world will choose even the worst product but foreign over the best, but Polish. Polish mentality. So if u wanna succeed in Poland with your company, name it in foreign language – I can give you HUNDREDS of examples

  21. Dulles continues an impressive addition of flights and new airlines. Already we are seeing fares drop to Europe with this competition and should be soon on par with JFK for attractive premium fares on intl. fights. This is great news for us in DC.

    TAP, Iberia, Swiss and now LOT are going to make 2020 a fun one out of IAD. Now we just need to see flights to Brazil and better fares without having to go via Miami.

  22. I agree with Stuart. In the last few years, flight options to Europe from IAD have dramatically increased. Good for us in the DC area.

  23. @MikeS “Poles in Chicago can hardly afford flying Business anywhere so they can hardly be accurate source of any info regarding that”

    Uhh.. speak for yourself.

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