Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Embraer ERJ-175

In this review, we will take a LOT Polish Airlines flight in economy class on the Embraer ERJ-175 from Bucharest to Warsaw.

At the airport

Sometimes you just now already in advance that you will have an excellent day of flying ahead. With gorgeous spring weather and zero queues whatsoever at the airport, today was exactly such a day.

I was about to fly with LOT Polish Airlines from Bucharest to Warsaw – with a next-day connection to Zurich in Switzerland – and I was certainly looking forward to the journey.

Although it’s certainly not a luxurious experience, I always like flying with LOT Polish Airlines in economy class and have developed a soft spot for them over the last years. In this flight review, I hope to be able to show exactly what I appreciate about LOT.

Having Star Alliance Gold status, I could access the mediocre TAROM Business Lounge before my flight. Although this lounge is certainly nothing to write home about, at least it made for a quiet and calm spot to wait for my flight and watch some aircraft movements on the tarmac.

tarom lounge seating
TAROM lounge seating. ©Paliparan
tarom lounge view bucharest
View from the TAROM Lounge over the apron on this lovely spring day. ©Paliparan

Boarding

My flight from Bucharest to Warsaw on LOT Polish Airlines would be operated by an Embraer ERJ-175.

Leaving aside some Boeing 737s (both the 737-800 and the MAX) and the Bombardier Dash 8-400 in service of LOT Polish Airlines, it’s the Embraer which forms the backbone of LOT’s short and mid-haul fleet.

‘Bigger is better’ is certainly not a credo which rings true to LOT Polish Airlines as these small Embraers – whether it’s the Embraer ERJ-175 (E175) I would fly today or the slightly larger ERJ-190 (E190) – are all superior to the Boeing 737 when it comes to comfort.

The only slight downside of flying out of Bucharest on a small plane like an Embraer is that your flight will depart from a bus gate from the basement of the airport.

With no priority boarding as to speak of and a journey across the apron in a packed airport bus, boarding is certainly no fun. That said, being driven across the airport is always a good opportunity for some plane spotting.

bus gate bucharest otopeni
Flying with LOT out of Bucharest on an Embraer means you will have a bus gate instead of a proper jet bridge. ©Paliparan
silkway boeing 747 bucharest otopeni airport
A Silkway Boeing 747 is not an everyday sight at Bucharest Otopeni Airport! ©Paliparan
ryanair boeing 737-800
Low-cost airlines like Ryanair are however more common here. ©Paliparan
ryanair boeing 737-800
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800. ©Paliparan
lot polish airlines embraer erj-175 e175
Finally, the Embraer ERJ-175 which would take me from Bucharest to Warsaw. ©Paliparan

Bucharest (OTP) to Warsaw (WAW) on LOT Polish Airlines
Flight LO642
– Embraer ERJ-175Economy class, seat 5D
Plane registration number: SP-LIB
Departure: 2.20pm – Arrival: 3.05pm
Flight time: 1h45m – Distance: 575 miles
Costs: 134 EUR for OTP-WAW-ZRH

warsaw bucharest lot polish airlines
The flight between Bucharest and Warsaw takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. ©Great Circle Mapper

The Embraer ERJ-175 cabin

The cabin on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 is basically the same as the those on the E190 and E195, which basically are a larger stretch of the E170/175 models having a couple of extra rows of seats.

Seats on these Embraers are in a 2-2 configuration, which means that you are never stuck in the middle seat.

The seats on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 are comfortable, spacious leather seats which certainly have a generous seat pitch and lots of shoulder room.

In my opinion, these are perhaps the most comfortable economy class seats you can find in the skies over Europe – and I would certainly go to great lengths to make sure you are booked on a LOT Polish Airlines Embraer instead of one of their other planes.

Each seat on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 has a power socket and the cabin also features individual air nozzles. These planes are however not equipped with WiFi internet.

embraer erj-175 erj-190 lot polish airlines
Seats on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175, as well as on the slightly longer Embraer ERJ-190 pictured here, are in a 2-2 configuration. ©Paliparan
lot polish airlines e175
Seats on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 have a generous amount of legroom as well as plenty of shoulder room. ©Paliparan

Departure

With LOT Polish Airlines, you can assign yourself a seat free of charge during online check-in and I managed to grab window seat 5D towards the front of the cabin.

I lucked out as the seat next to me would remain empty despite the passenger load being a healthy 80 to 90 percent.

After a short while taxiing across the apron we lined up for departure on this gorgeous spring afternoon. The views upon take-off over Bucharest Otopeni Airport, the Wallachian countryside and the oilfields of Ploiești were lovely.

bucharest otopeni airport otp
Taking off from Bucharest Otopeni Airport. ©Paliparan
bucharest airport lot polish airlines embraer erj-175
Upon take-off, there were some good views over Bucharest Otopeni Airport from the window. ©Paliparan
wallachia countryside
Making a turn over the countryside of Wallachia. ©Paliparan
window seat view
Sweeping views like these are the reason why I always try to grab a window seat. ©Paliparan
southern romania wallachia view window plane
Flying over southern Romania. ©Paliparan
ploiesti romania
The city of Ploiești and its oilfields and refineries. ©Paliparan

In-flight service

On LOT Polish Airlines flights in economy class, a complimentary snack and drink is included in the fare. You have the choice between something sweet or savoury, and I opted for the former.

The apple pastry which was served was certainly delicious.

When it comes to drinks, only water is free of charge, with each passenger given the choice of still or sparkling water. The LOT flight attendants also make a run through the cabin with a beverage cart if you might want anything else to eat and drink from the buy-on-board menu.

For a short European flight, I think it’s the perfect economy class service.

lot polish airlines embraer erj-175 e175 review
An apple pastry and bottle of sparkling water as complimentary snack and drink on my LOT Polish Airlines flight. ©Paliparan

Arrival

The flight to Warsaw went by fast and soon the fasten seatbelt sign went on again as we slowly descended towards Chopin Airport.

Although the weather in Poland was decidedly more cloudy than in Romania, the views on arrival were great. Flying over the Vistula River, we approached Warsaw from the south-east, which meant that I had a great view from my starboard window over the Warsaw skyline.

The landing at Warsaw Chopin Airport was smooth and on-time.

lot polish airlines embraer erj-175 e175 review
Descending towards Warsaw Chopin Airport. ©Paliparan
warsaw airport landing lot polish airlines embraer
Final approach towards Warsaw Chopin Airport. ©Paliparan
warsaw arrival plane view
Flying over the Warsaw suburbs. ©Paliparan
warsaw arrival view poland
The skyline of Warsaw’s central business district (CBD) can be seen in the distance. ©Paliparan
warsaw chopin airport
Touchdown at Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW). ©Paliparan

Conclusion

LOT Polish Airlines does not only have a good economy class product, but in their Embraer planes they also have some of the most comfortable aircraft in the skies.

Seats on the LOT Polish Airlines Embraer ERJ-175 (E175) are large, have a decent seat pitch – and as a passenger you will have huge amounts of shoulder room too.

Compared to your average seat on the ubiquitous Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s – the workhorses of most other European airlines – the Embraer really stands out in passenger space and comfort.

Add in LOT’s general reliability and a complimentary snack and drink, and you may have very well one of the best ways to fly within Europe as an economy class passenger.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Across Europe by Train: Interrail in the Age of Corona‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class (Embraer ERJ-175) Bucharest to Warsaw (current chapter)
2. Walking Through an Empty Warsaw in Corona Lockdown
3. Review: Four Points by Sheraton Warsaw Mokotow
4. Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Warsaw to Zurich (Boeing 737 MAX)
5. A Zurich Stopover
6. Review: Railjet Train Zurich to Feldkirch
7. An Evening in Feldkirch
8. Review: Nightjet Train Feldkirch to Graz
9. Graz, Austria
10. Graz to Zagreb by Train
11. Flying With Trade Air on a Let L-410 Turbolet Across Croatia

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

2 thoughts on “Review: LOT Polish Airlines Economy Class Embraer ERJ-175

  • October 27, 2021 at 5:01 pm
    Permalink

    I agree with you Koen, the LOT Embraer is a well configured plane and extremely comfortable compared to most others in Europe these days. Sadly these days my opportunities to fly LOT are severely limited as nearly all the LHR services now used the Max and I need a lot more convincing to fly on it. Equally, while the comfort of the Embraer is good, the reports of the Max suggest it has just about the most awful seats crossing the European skies!

    Reply
    • October 27, 2021 at 7:17 pm
      Permalink

      Still some safety worries about the MAX? My connecting flight to Zurich was on one of them, and even though I had some slight safety concerns in the back of my mind (although I admit it’s just a gut feeling, not something based on fact) it was mostly the general discomfort which left behind a bad feeling. Those seats are *very* tight! Not wanting to spoil that review, but while I would go out of my way to fly a LOT Embraer, I would equally try hard to avoid their MAX by all means.

      Reply

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