LOT Polish Airlines: My First Flight
In order to take advantage of the new relaxed visa requirements of Belarus effective as of Sunday, February 12, 2017, I booked a flight operated by Belavia Belarusian Airlines from Vilnius to Minsk to test out the experience, as detailed in this article — and transportation via airplane was the only way to leave Belarus and still conform to the requirements of those new visa requirements; so I traveled from Minsk to Warsaw via LOT Polish Airlines.
LOT Polish Airlines From Minsk to Warsaw
After waiting at Minsk National Airport for the flight to Warsaw and experiencing the gate boarding “process” of having everybody pushing, shoving and cramming into an extremely long line all at once, I finally boarded the Embraer 190 aircraft and approached my seat.
The seats had the regular padding instead of being one of those new slimline seats.
I am not sure how I boarded the airplane, which was still relatively empty despite the disorganized boarding process.
I am happy to see actual air vents overhead.
Also in the panel above are adjustable reading lights and the flight attendant call button — over which there is still the debate of exactly when one should use it.
The overhead bins had ample storage space…
…as demonstrated by some of the luggage which was placed in one.
The snack served aboard the airplane during the short flight was a Prince Polo wafer cookie coated in chocolate.
During taxiing to the runway, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was the distinctive and unmistakeable droopy sad wing design which is distinctive of airplanes manufactured by Antonov.
They are actually Ilyushin IL76TD airplanes.
The fleet of Ilyushin IL76TD airplanes is operated by TransAVIAexport Airlines…
…which is a national airline of Belarus that is involved in air transportation of cargo.
A menu was available aboard the airplane during the flight; but I am not sure that any of the passengers ordered anything.
The flight of 75 minutes occurred in the late afternoon into the evening, which meant views of a sun setting in the distance beyond the clouds.
The logo of LOT Polish Airways is proudly displayed on each of the winglets.
Leg room was adequate for me — not ample, but adequate.
The combination of low stratus clouds below and a sunset…
…combined to create some very scenic and colorful skies.
The descent into Warsaw had begun…
…as the airplane gradually descended closer to the ground…
…revealing layers of clouds through which the airplane pierced.
I do not recall seeing the sky change so much during a relatively short flight.
A river was revealed just after breaking through the lowest layer of clouds.
The landing was routine at Warsaw Chopin Airport.
I have never heard of Enter Air.
The airplane comes to a stop — but not at a gate.
I wait on the bus to be transported to the terminal, looking back at the airplane on which I just traveled from Minsk as a passenger.
The total airfare — including all taxes and fees — was 74.13 euros. I personally would have preferred to pay less and traveled by either train or bus.
As I first wrote in this article, although the process went smoothly under the new relaxed visa requirements of Belarus, I would recommend traveling by either train or bus instead to cities such as Warsaw which are relatively nearby in proximity to Minsk, as the schedules are more convenient and no security checkpoint procedures are necessary — but the visa will cost $160.00 if entering or leaving the country through anywhere other than the airport.
As for flying as a passenger of LOT Polish Airlines: it was nothing outstanding; but the flight was on time and I would not hesitate to travel on airplanes operated by it again.
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.