LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 to Chicago
For this year’s annual vacation we decided to visit the Midwest of the USA. Matching our travel plans, LOT Polish Airlines published an offer for the Premium Economy to Chicago. In the review you can find out what makes the LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 an insider tip on long-haul flights.
We spent the waiting time between our arrival at Warsaw Airport and our onward flight to Chicago in the LOT Elite Club Lounge (Review). About 45 minutes before boarding we left the lounge so that our son could have fun on a great playground before the nine hours flight.
LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 – Boarding LO3
Just in time for the beginning of the boarding at 4 pm we arrived at gate 23N. Our aircraft, an almost brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (registration SP-LSA), was already waiting at the gate. However, boarding was delayed by about 30 minutes. Meanwhile the departure area was filling up and there was a complete mess as some guests were asked to go to the Secondary Security Screening Selection (SSSS). Finally, the boarding was done according to booking class or frequent flyer status. As guests of the Premium Economy we were the first on board.
LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 – Cabin
For me it was the first flight in a Boeing 787-9 and already when boarding the cabin I was surprised by the pleasant feeling of space. However, at first glance the Premium Economy did not really look contemporary, rather it looked more like a business class of the 1990s. The 21 wide and very thickly upholstered seats were arranged in three rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. The distance between the seats was 106 centimetres, almost seven centimetres more than in the LOT Boeing 787-8.
In contrast to the “old-fashioned” seating, the colour-changing LED ceiling lighting provided a pleasant feeling of space. Also, the cabin air did not seem as dry as in other planes.
LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 – Seat
In the first moment the seat in the LOT Premium Economy reminded me very much of the Comfort Class of Turkish Airlines and was covered with a blue-grey patterned fabric. This made the seat look a little old-fashioned in my eyes. But thanks to the good upholstery, the wide seat (about 50 cm), adjustable footrest and backrest, sitting was very comfortable. Both the table and the monitor for in-flight entertainment were stowed in the 15 cm wide armrests. There were also two universal sockets between the seats. The position for the remote control was not ideal. So we touched them several times during the flight with our knee and switched on the reading light for example. Besides, the seat offered very little storage space with a 25 cm wide pocket on the backrest of the front seat.
Because we were traveling together with our two-year-old son, we had already decided on the middle three seats in the sixth row when we booked. On each of our seats there was a package wrapped in foil, which consisted of a blue blanket and a fluffy pillow.
LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 – Service
When the boarding was completed, the welcome drinks were served. We had the well-known choice of orange juice, water or champagne. I really appreciated the fact that the drinks were served in glasses instead of plastic cups. With the drink we also had a packet of salted peanuts. However, shortly after the take-off I swapped the glass of sparkling wine for a delicious Polish beer.
Together with the menu also a small Amenity Kit was handed out. The blue bag contained everything you need on a long distance flight: socks, sleeping goggles, toothbrush and earplugs. The content was of lower quality, but fully sufficient for a premium economy.
About an hour after take-off in Warsaw – we were just crossing the Baltic Sea towards Norway – the flight attendants started the service. As in the lounge, the caterer DO&CO was also responsible for the catering on board. As a starter, in addition to the salad, there was prawns served with cucumber salad, chilli mayonnaise and pea sprouts. For the main course we had the choice between beef cheeks in pepper sauce served with potato dumplings and vegetables or chicken in BBQ sauce, served with fried potatoes and grilled asparagus. We both chose the beef cheeks. For dessert we had a piece of cake.
The whole menu tasted very good and was definitely filling. By the way, our son got an extra children’s menu, which we had also reserved online. He was served rice with meatballs in tomato sauce. It was served with freshly cut cucumber, paprika and tomatoes. However, our son found the fruit plate most interesting.
During the flight we were well taken care of by the flight attendants. At regular intervals they came through the cabin and asked for drinks or offered snacks. Before landing in Chicago, some food was served once again. This time we had a choice of three dishes: duck breast, chicken or spinach lasagna. I decided to go with the duck breast this time.
LOT Premium Economy in the Boeing 787-9 – Entertainment
The monitor for the entertainment was stowed in the armrest. The selection of films and series was very well arranged and a total of eight languages were available. The number of German language films was just about acceptable. Live TV was not available, but some series, games and playlists for music playback. The monitor also had a USB socket for charging your personal mobile devices. It was disappointing that LOT does not have an in-flight WiFi. In my opinion, there is an urgent need to catch up in this field.
Arrival in Chicago
After we left Warsaw with a delay, we arrived almost on time at Chicago O’Hare Airport. The immigration to the USA lasted for an eternity. But even the longest 45 minutes were done at some point and after we had received our luggage, we took the airport train from Terminal 5 to Terminal 2. For the first night I had reserved a room at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare directly at the airport. Thanks to Hilton Diamond Status we got two bottles of water and an upgrade to a room with a view of the airport. Even though I was tired, I sat at the window for a long time and took some long time exposures of what was going on on the apron.
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The LOT Premium Economy is absolutely an insider tip in terms of price/performance. The selection of food and drinks by the caterer DO&CO was very good. Only the service could have been a bit more friendly and courteous. Even though the overall impression of the design is quite old-fashioned, the wide and well upholstered seats were very comfortable and due to the adjustable footrest and backrest, sitting was very pleasant even on long distances.