FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:40 pm

Introduction



Here’s a small report about a ride on the new EuroLOT Dash 8 Q400 plane.

This all started as a desire to try out OLT Express, the new Polish-German “Low Cost Carrier on Steroids” that sort of suddenly erupted into the scene big time in the spring of 2012, built on top of the Polish charter airline Yes Airways. Already having a busy couple of months ahead of me in April I ended up booking a flight to the airport with the coolest IATA code ever: SZZ and the second most unpronounceable (yes, there are four consonants in a row!) name ever: Szczecin for early August for the princely sum of 99 PLN or around 25 EUR.

I actually wanted to fly to SZZ last year since I also visited TRS the same year and it would’ve been so cool to visit both endpoints of Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech in the same year, but alas it wasn’t to be.


“From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic,
an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”


Anyway I’m rambling as I usually do so back to present. This flight was booked for late on a Friday evening so I decided to stay the night somewhere near SZZ and then fly back the next morning with LOT operated by EuroLOT. Thanks to the competition in the Polish domestic market LOT had brought back their dirt cheap domestic fares so the Saturday morning flight back to WAW cost only 20 USD, a bargain by any standards.

That got me back to Warsaw already before noon on Saturday which meant I still had almost the whole weekend to do something fun with. I’d been meaning to revisit Krakow for a long time now, but never really could fit it into my other plans in a satisfactory way. But here I had the perfect chance, so I splurged a whopping 37 USD on the afternoon WAW-KRK flight, again operated by EuroLOT for LOT.

Finally I connected the dots by booking an open-jaw Finnair ticket HEL-WAW for Friday evening and KRK-HEL for late Sunday night. This was a bit on the steep side at 230 EUR, but that’s Finnair for you - and it had a couple of advantages, namely the fact that I could upgrade the HEL-WAW sector to business with miles (the KRK-HEL is operated as a single class tourist cattle ship so there’s nowhere to upgrade to) and the KRK-HEL flight departed quite late which left me the whole Sunday to fulfill another long term objective of mine - namely to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, located some 50 kilometers from Krakow. With this in mind I also booked a rental car for Sunday.

Finally I upgraded the WAW flight to business class and was only charged 3500 miles for it - I hadn’t realized they were running the “half price upgrade” campaign this summer as well, although I’m not sure how half of 7500 points (the usual upgrade price) comes to 3500...

The route:



At some point I was happy to learn that the SZZ-WAW sector had an equipment change from the boring and ubiquitous ATR to one of the EuroLOT’s new sexy Dash 8 Q400 planes, yay.

Fast forward some three months to the end of July and we start hearing very worrying things about OLT Express. First they announce the imminent suspension of their ATR fleet and all the routes operated by these. Fine, doesn’t matter to me as my WAW-SZZ is scheduled to be on an A320 anyway.

But then, barely two days later an even more worrying piece of news appears: OLT Express has suspended all operations and ran out of cash. Now I was expecting something like this to happen later than sooner (their operation was the classic case of expanding too fast, too soon), but I did assume they could still manage to struggle through the busy summer season but no, it wasn’t to be.

This of course was bad news for yours truly, coming a week before I was supposed to fly them. Well, I did a quick assessment of my options and basically had two: 1) throw out the SZZ side trip or 2) do a same plane turnaround on Saturday morning in SZZ. Option 2) meant I would still have my new Dash ride plus even a week before departure the flight was still available for 62 USD so despite a nasty 7.05 AM departure time I decided to book it.

I canceled my hotel booking in SZZ and made the best of the situation by booking the five star Radisson Blu Warsaw hotel for under 60 EUR - for years now Warsaw has represented probably the best value for money in Europe (although Athens might be close to it these days) when it comes to hotels as they have a lot of high class business hotels built within the last ten years and during the weekends the rates can be downright cheap. The Westin, Marriott, Radissons, Intercontinental etc. are all usually available for 50-60 EUR.

The Way to Warsaw

The focus on this report is the new EuroLOT Dash 8, so just a couple of pictures from the outbound flight. Chillin’ in the Finnair Silver Wings lounge - I’m happy to learn that ever since the grand expansion (hah) they now allow also business class passengers in instead of directing them to the crap Gateway Tower lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_1.jpg

The flight was operated by E190 OH-LKE (already my fifth flight with this one):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_1.jpg

I haven’t seen this one before - is this just to celebrate Helsinki’s Design Capital year or is this actually a permanent feature of the new livery:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_2.jpg

The business class meal - note that there’s no appetizer/salad dish anymore. I hope this is just because of the short duration of this flight and not a permanent cut back on all routes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_3.jpg

And inside a rather tasty and large piece of salmon fillet with a tasty sauce, some token vegetables and pea puree:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_4.jpg

At least drinks were still flowing freely - well there were two of in business class anyway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_5.jpg

No, these didn’t accidentally fall into my bag:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_6.jpg

The dessert - some kind of raspberry tart was very raspberry indeed and truly delicious:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_7.jpg

Sad, so sad - charging 3 EUR for those cup noodles is borderline criminal!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_8.jpg

The Radisson Blu Warsaw Centre:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_9.jpg

Saturday 4.8.2012

I’m violently shaken awake from a very deep and sweet sleep by the rather harsh beeping of my mobile phone at five in the morning. Completely disoriented (I think my sleep had some sweet nymphs et al in it) it takes me a while to realize that I’m in the Radisson, in the extremely comfortable bed in my well appointed Business Class Room (yeah, they gave me an upgrade). I seriously consider just ditching the whole side trip idea as some four hours of additional sleep and the scrumptious Radisson breakfast sound like a much better deal to me but hey, a man must make sacrifices for his readership.

The bed before I had a chance to mess it up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_10.jpg

The business class rooms come with Nespresso machines:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Intro_11.jpg

So I find my mind in a brown paper bag, shower up, get dressed and pack up my trash and head downstairs to check out. Since I’ll be back after a few hours I leave my rollaboard at the hotel and hop into the taxi the nice (and very bored, apparently I’m the first human contact for her in many hours) receptionist girl called for me.

Rather foggy outside - eerily beautiful actually as the usually very busy streets are deserted at this early hour:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_1.jpg

With the empty streets I’m at the airport in a jiffy and the driver doesn’t even try to rip me off which earns him a nice tip and me a happy mind.

Well, my happy mind is soon gone after I see the insane security queues inside - apparently plenty of charter flights are leaving at this early hour with the usual “once in a year” travelers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_2.jpg

Luckily I spot a completely empty “Business Class” security lane and decide to try that - I’m not sure whether *G gives you access or not but apparently it does as the girl gladly admits me in.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_3.jpg

Two minutes later I emerge airside (now that was nice and civilized!) and make a beeline for the LOT Lounge.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_4.jpg

These faux waterfalls are just tacky:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_5.jpg

Breakfast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_6.jpg

FIDS - sad to see those canceled OLT Express flights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_7.jpg

HON section:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_10.jpg
Yes, indeed they have these few chairs and a telly (right next to the toilets!) in a separate (occasionally) cordoned off area reserved for HON Circle members. Not sure how they control it though as anyone could just go and sit there. But here’s a challenge to Jonas - you must make HON now since the treatment is this special!

Interesting story dedicated to our UK friends:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_11.jpg

The whole airport seems to be covered in the fog so I’m expecting some sort of delay. Sure enough they show that my flight should board at 7.05 which is the SDT. But soon it actually changes to 6.55 at which time the status changes to “Boarding” and I head to the gate to see boarding in process.

A bus boarding as usual with a turboprop here and apparently we are missing some passengers as we wait in the packed, hot and stuffy bus downstairs for around 15 minutes before the driver finally appears and we drive away. Have I ever mentioned how I hate bus boardings?

Ahh yes, this does look like a Dash:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_12.jpg

SP-EQA, EuroLOT’s first Dash, delivered in mid-May or two and half months previously. And yes, it does look very new:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_13.jpg

Have they changed that logo a bit - it looks uncomfortably close to the airBaltic’s (faux) “cherry bomb” icon:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_14.jpg

WAW - SZZ
LO3931 Operated by EuroLOT
Dash 8 Q400 SP-EQA
Seat 3A
7.31 - 8.27

Two FAs in their early thirties on this flight, quite perky already in the morning. For the outbound leg I decided to try the front rows, should also speed up my turnaround at SZZ. Leg room up here is great:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_15.jpg

The cabin definitely has the new plane smell, nice. Blue, faux leather seats which look like the same seats (but different color) than BT has on their Dashes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_16.jpg

No Dash-8 logo on the belt buckle, bugger:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_17.jpg

The plane seems to be around half full (or empty, depending on your view of the world). Our flight time is announced as 50 minutes with no reason given for the delay and most definitely no apology or even an acknowledgement for it!. We leave our parking position 26 minutes late.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_18.jpg

The fog is fading fast and it is turning out to be another gorgeous hot day in Warsaw:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_19.jpg

Taking off from 29:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_20.jpg

And disappearing into the clouds right away:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_21.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_22.jpg

Well, this is a LOT domestic flight so the service is of course the obligatory Prince Polo chocolate bar and a choice of soft drinks. No coffee or tea is available. Actually there’s a choice between the chocolate bar and a salty snack (this is new!) but I am a traditionalist so go for the choccie for old times sake:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_23.jpg

See, I’m not the only one wearing hats:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_24.jpg

When nearing SZZ the clouds suddenly give way to the not terribly exciting farmlands of northwestern Poland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_25.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_26.jpg

I think this is the city of Stargard Szczeciński in distance:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_27.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_28.jpg

The town of Maszewo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_29.jpg

An old mansion of sorts:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_30.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_31.jpg

The weather keeps changing, here we are on short finals and the skies are turning gray:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_32.jpg

Touchdown on runway 31 after 50 minutes of flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_33.jpg

Getting progressively gray here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_35.jpg

Turnaround at SZZ

We stop at a parking position really far from the terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_36.jpg

I’m of course the first one to exit the plane. While leaving it I say “I’ll be back soon” to the purser, I doubt she really understood what I meant though.

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_37.jpg

The ramp agent, a youngish girl is leading me to the entrance to arrivals. I say to her that I’m flying back on that same flight.
- “Oh, tomorrow?”
- “No, today, in about 20 minutes.”
She looks at me like I’m quite mad.
- “You are going back with flight three nine three two?”
- “Yes, I am.”
- “You have a boarding pass?”
- “Yes, I do.”
She looks at me like I’m quite mad. I decide to loosen up the conversation a bit:
- “I like to fly and wanted to try out the new Dash, a very nice plane.”
- “Yes it is.”
- “Much better than those ancient ATRs.”
- “Yes” (not sure if she understood what I meant though)
- “I was also supposed to fly here with OLT but we all know what happened so here we are.”
- “Oh yes, bad luck.”
- “Trust me, I’m harmless. I might be crazy but I’m harmless, I promise you that.”
We reach the door.
“Ok, good bye and have a nice trip back!”.

I enter the terminal building. No chance of making an airside connection here, this terminal reminds me of the old ones in Gdansk and Wroclaw. Luckily I did OLCI so I join the security queue and get directed to a separate lane with no queue in it after someone sees that I’m going into Warsaw. Airside the place is absolutely packed - then I realize that a Norwegian flight to Oslo has just arrived and most of these passengers are on that flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_38.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/To_Stettin_39.jpg

LN-DYB outside, interestingly this bird carrier me on the second ever DY flight into HEL from OSL on the morning of their inaugural day of operations at HEL, see here: Norwegian Inaugural Day At HEL: OSL-HEL-ARN (by FlyingFinn76 May 5 2010 in Trip Reports)

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_2.jpg

Soon enough boarding for my flight commences and I’m among the first few passengers to start the long walk back:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_3.jpg

I spot my new friend, the girl who walked me to arrivals standing at the Norwegian plane’s door so I give her a wave, she smiles and waves back.

To paraphrase 717flyer - this is a seriously long plane for a turboprop:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_4.jpg

SZZ - WAW
LO3932 Operated by EuroLOT
Dash 8 Q400 SP-EQA
Seat 18A
9.06 - 10.01

I crack my usual “This place was boring, I think I will go back” joke to the purser who seems to be very confused by me reappearing some 20 minutes after I left her domain. I tuck into my previous seat and am delighted to find my notebook still in the seat pocket (I realized I had left it in the plane inside the terminal but figured out that they probably wouldn’t spot it during the quick cabin tidying up operation and this turned out to be the case!) in front of 3A. However I decided to try the back cabin for the return flight so I continue to my seat, 18A.

The other FA in the back galley is even more surprised to see me - I try cracking some of my usual jokes but she sees right thru me and says “I think you just like to fly” - well who am I to argue with her so I say “Yes, you have no idea how much.”

Legroom appears to be tighter here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_5.jpg

Cabin view from the back:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_7.jpg

The load on this flight is better, I’d say around 80%. Still an empty seat next to me, thanks a lot!

No chance to catch up with the delay, nobody even tried actually to speed things up. So departure is a good 31 minutes late. At least take off is in the opposite direction on 13 so no lengthy taxi is needed.

The grayness has advanced while we were on the ground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_9.jpg

Mostly overcast on this flight too:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_10.jpg

This time I decide to try the salty snack - Krakow Dollars, that’s nice since I’m going there in a bit:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_11.jpg

The safety card looks like an engineering blueprint:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_12.jpg

Now this is interesting - you are supposed to take your glasses off in the case of an evacuation. Hell no says I - without my glasses I’m practically blind:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_13.jpg

Commencing our approach for WAW:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_14.jpg

Halo & shadows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_15.jpg

It’s not just an American thing, apparently:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_16.jpg

Gear down - the reason why I chose a seat back here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_17.jpg

A weird shopping mall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_18.jpg

Have I ever mentioned that Poland is going thru a motorway building spree:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_19.jpg

Touching down on 33, I tried capturing a “smoky tires” moment but this is all I got:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_20.jpg

Parking next to a well-ventilated E-jet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_21.jpg

Disembarking:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_22.jpg

I tell the purser that I promise to keep away now (well she could still be staffing my KRK flight later, though) - she laughs at this.

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/From_Stettin_23.jpg

Another bus ride to terminal where I pop upstairs to print off my next boarding pass from a kiosk before heading back downstairs and catching the bus back to city for some hours of sightseeing.

Bonus Section: The New Train Connection to Chopin Airport

In addition to planes I quite like trains. Especially the commuter, urban trains that form an integral part of many cities public transportation networks. Well I actually like all kinds of rail traffic too, but not really buses. They are nasty. Apart from trolleybuses of course.

So I was really looking forward to trying out the new train connection to Warsaw Chopin Airport which was finally opened in the beginning of June. It is a bit of a surprise it actually took so long as there are several tracks which run at very close proximity to the airport but finally as part of their massive infrastructure projects (obviously partly funded by the EU) the Polish government had seen it fit to provide the funding for building the final spur to connect to the existing rail network around the capital. This also included an underground station which apparently was already constructed with the new terminal a couple of years ago.

One really nice thing about the new connection is that Mazovian Trains runs a thru service which connects Chopin airport with the new Warsaw Modlin airport (for LCCs Ryanair and Wizzair) via the city’s main stations making the transit between these two airports much less hassle than one could imagine. Well there will still be a shuttle bus ride at the Modlin end as the stop is near but not at the airport, but still.

So after spending a couple of hours in Warsaw visiting the Polish Military Museum which has a lovely collection of T-34s, eating a dirt cheap lunch in a traditional Bar Mleczny and picking up my bag from the Radisson and making the obligatory stop at Starbucks (wow, when I was here the last time 2 years ago it hadn’t yet invaded Poland - now there were lots of them everywhere!) I reach the Warszawa Centralna station which might just be a good candidate for the “Ugliest train station in the world” award together with the Turku station.

Yes, it looks like an anvil:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_1.jpg

Inside it is not much better:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_2.jpg

Seeing no ticket machines I queue for a while to the ticket counters. It proves to be impossible to buy a ticket from there as the middle aged lady only speaks Polish, I only speak five words of Polish and the vocabulary needed for buying a train ticket to the airport is not really among those. She seems to point me towards the stairs down to the platforms (the tracks and platforms are all underground at this station) so I assume that maybe there are ticket machines there. Down into the maze of shops and corridors I go. There’s a sign (in English!) mentioning ticket machines somewhere in the bowels of these corridors but I fail to find them. Instead I find another set of ticket counters (which are completely empty and I wasted 15 minutes queuing upstairs, grrrr!) but have no better luck here. I think the lady wants me to take the bus instead as she mentions something about “Autobus” or whatever.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_3.jpg

Oh well, maybe I can buy the ticket in the train or if not then I can always play the ignorant tourist card. So I go down to the platform 4.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_5.jpg

Right after I get there the train pulls in from Modlin - quite a modern one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_7.jpg

The PKP train going to Lodz from the next platform definitely isn’t very modern. Still having missed my visit to Lodz last year I’d definitely want to go:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_8.jpg

I’m not really sure if this is the correct train as it is completely empty and even there are people on the platform with luggage no one is really making an effort of boarding the train. Since it is five minutes to the SDT I decide to go inside anyway.

Nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_9.jpg

This doesn’t really settle my mind over the fact that I’m still lacking a ticket:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_10.jpg

Quite comfortable:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_11.jpg

It turns out to be the correct train as it departs bang on time and seems to be moving in the correct direction. There are maybe five passengers in the whole train - not a blazing success yet.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_12.jpg

And yes, there’s a conductor who happily sells me a ticket (which costs 2.5 times the bus fare or around 2.50 EUR, tsk tsk) so that mystery was solved.

This is definitely not an “Airport Express” type of service as during the 15 or so kilometer journey we stop maybe ten times at various stops so the whole journey takes roughly the same as the bus ride, some 25 minutes.

Heading underground for the last stretch into the airport station:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_13.jpg

The airport station:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_14.jpg

Kinda surprised to see this here - I thought Mazovian Trains was the only operator running to the airport:

Top
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:41 pm

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_16.jpg

End of the line, boys:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_17.jpg

Interesting way to protect from an overrun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Chopin_Train_18.jpg

So what do I think of the train? Well it was definitely a comfortable ride and beats the bus which has a tendency to get awfully crowded. However they should really make a better effort at signposting the way at the station (in English) and making it explicit where and how to get tickets. Also the ticket price is a little bit on the high side when compared to the bus ticket (which even gives you unlimited transfers within the city area). I know they have the capital costs of the track and equipment to cover, but if they want to do the right thing and shift traffic away from the nasty polluting buses to the electric train they need to make it as appealing as possible to the travelers. It can hardly compete in speed as it takes about the same time as the bus and the bus dumps you right in front of the terminal entrance whereas the train station is further away so convenience isn’t really its strong point either.

By Western European standards paying less than 2.50 EUR for the train is not much, but compare it to the bus ticket which costs less than one EUR and things take a different perspective...

The Road Ahead

Krakow was just as fab as I remembered it to be, and the trip to Oswiecim (better known with its German name “Auschwitz”) the highlight of this trip. I also managed to squeeze in a quick visit to the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow so I was quite happy with what I achieved.

The Barbican in Krakow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_1.jpg

Hard Rock Cafe Krakow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_3.jpg

The iconic Cloth Hall and the huge Rynek of Krakow Old Town:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_5.jpg

All lit up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_6.jpg

Driving in Krakow and the Polish country roads was quite crazy, but the new Katowice-Krakow turnpike an absolute bliss despite this heavy thunderstorm that got onto my path:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_7.jpg

My wheels:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_9.jpg

Yes, it was rather hot:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_10.jpg

No words are necessary:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_8.jpg

The flight home on AY got off into an interesting start as we were delayed by... vomit in the cabin! Yes, seriously. We were waiting in the bus for a long time and I was joking with some guy that maybe somebody had been speaking Norwegian (a common Finnish expression for throwing up) on the inbound flight and they are cleaning up the mess. Well I was less amused when I saw a bunch cleaners exiting the plane and we given the thumbs up right after that. So I asked one of the FAs and it indeed turned out a couple of guys had been hitting the bottle(s) a little too hard and had thrown up all over themselves and more disgustingly the seats and floor which of course required some extra TLC (Tender Loving Cleaning). They were even sitting on my row, but luckily on the other side - this flight had exactly two free seats and the FAs made sure those two seats would be them which was very nice from them!

Apart from this it was your usual low standard Finnair flight - apparently they see it fit to only offer free coffee & tea on these leisure-oriented routes and sell the same sandwiches most of the European routes still get for free... I’m sorry Finnair, but you are just not getting it. If you want to be an LCC, then please offer LCC prices and more importantly LCClike ticket rules (i.e. one way). If you don’t want to do that, then please justify the premium I have to pay and the flexibility I have to lose for flying with you. Thank you.

OLT Express ad still standing outside the Krakow terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Poland_08_2012/Krakow_11.jpg

Conclusions

The Dash is obviously a big step forward for EuroLOT. Those ATRs they have are really quite old and getting long in the tooth by now so it is nice to have a more modern, comfortable alternative. The legroom up front was great as was the seat comfort. Not too bad back in the cabin either. And I like the largest Dash a lot, so enjoyed these flights despite the early and tiring departure.

I have another ride on one of these booked in November, but thanks to OLT’s demise (who I was booked to fly the oddest route OSL-RZE with) it looks like I won’t be using that flight so I’m happy I managed to salvage my itinerary with not too much trouble and catch both a new airport and the new Dash.

Happy contrails!
 
tjcab
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 3:14 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:04 pm

Nice report, interesting and entertaining read. Thanks for sharing.
 
dcaviation
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:59 pm

Very interesting report. Enjoyed reading it  
If you've been so many times in Poland, why don't you learn little bit more than 5 words?
Anyway, RZE used to be my hometown airport. At the end of May they have opened brand new terminal.

Also, have you been to El Greco restaurant across from Radisson hotel? Its my favorite restaurant in WAW.
 
debonair
Posts: 2710
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:38 pm

Hi, nice chronically Trip Report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the coolest IATA code ever: SZZ and the second most unpronounceable (yes, there are four consonants in a row!) name ever: Szczecin

What comes first place?! My first place, just visited this year: BZG "Port lotniczy im. Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego Bydgoszcz-Szwederowo". Also Poland, also served by LOT, but operated by SprintAir SAAB 340 (a must to fly!) - http://plb.pl/

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
OLT Express has suspended all operations and ran out of cash. ...
This of course was bad news for yours truly, coming a week before I was supposed to fly them.

As the cancellation was one week prior the time of departure, you have not only the right to ask for a full refund of your purchased ticket, but also full compensation according to EU law 261/2004 (which will be 250€). The chances are very low, but you should try it anyway... Good luck!
 
dcaviation
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
As the cancellation was one week prior the time of departure, you have not only the right to ask for a full refund of your purchased ticket, but also full compensation according to EU law 261/2004 (which will be 250€). The chances are very low, but you should try it anyway... Good luck!

Good luck with that. Owner of OLT Express got 6 counts thrown at him last week. Police found 56kg of gold and $350.000 in cash - in one of his four houses.
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:50 pm

Hey PFF76 nice report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m happy to learn that ever since the grand expansion (hah) they now allow also business class passengers in instead of directing them to the crap Gateway Tower lounge:

Hey is that a new rollaboard, I see? An expensive one, with a EBG/DYKWIA tag on? What the hell happened to you!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The bed before I had a chance to mess it up:

Well the room still look like an early 2000s playchamber for children, especially those colors! Not very stylish or Business oriented at all I'd say, and it gives a very misleading impression to the seemingly chic and sophisticated exterior.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Sad, so sad - charging 3 EUR for those cup noodles is borderline criminal!

I bet Eric would be upset to see his beloved AY charge such overprices for made to order asian cuisine  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m not sure whether *G gives you access or not but apparently it does as the girl gladly admits me in.

That's good to know!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Two minutes later I emerge airside (now that was nice and civilized!) and make a beeline for the LOT Lounge.

Nice to see them offer full-sized chairs to all pax, they look quite comfy!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Breakfast:

What's that!? They ran out of The Economist again?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But here’s a challenge to Jonas - you must make HON now since the treatment is this special!

Well I would be embarrased to sit there like some DYKWIA. However if the lounge is overcrowded like they usually are these days it might come handy to have a seat spared.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Interesting story dedicated to our UK friends:

Read that, very interesting and quite sad. Especially for that ginger b-day girl...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
See, I’m not the only one wearing hats:

Isn't that the woman from the lounge?

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
palmjet
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:15 pm

Hi FF

Well, what can I say? Thank you for the dedication - I really enjoyed this Dash 8 story. The - 400 is certainly becoming a popular model in Europe these days. You could tell how new that aircraft was - very nice. I could almost smell it from here.

Great pics - you had mostly good weather and clear skies. Nice to see a new terminal as well - not often you see that in Europe these days either.

Re the Economist and Britain drinking? What's new there?  

Nice to see some pics of Warsaw and Krakow as well. I took a train back in 2008 between Warsaw and Krakow - it was quite an experience on an old rattling train. It was an experience I will always remember. Krakow is lovely. We also went to Auschwitz which was very sobering - but I am glad I went to see it with my own eyes. It was almost a relief to get back to KRK that evening after such an intense day walking around at Auschwitz.

Great report - and thanks again!

Palmjet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
roberts87
Posts: 1091
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:59 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:20 pm

Nice report as usual, I enjoyed reading it.
Great that you got to try out the LOT Dash, sure a good looking plane!
 
The777Man
Posts: 5926
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:27 pm

Hi FlyingFinn!

Thanks for another great report with great pictures !

Flight on AY looks okay and any meal with salmon looks great !

The Dash 8 for Eurolot looks nice; at least the legroom looks decent.

Krakow looks nice and very good for you to visit Auschwitz; it must be a very creepy experience....

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:30 pm

Hi, P.,

good to follow you´re impressions about the new Dash by Eurolot.
Well done, also nice pictures.
Poland is always good for some surprises, definitely.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Radisson Blu Warsaw Centre:

Been there too, nice place.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

In addition to planes I quite like trains. Especially the commuter, urban trains that form an integral part of many cities public transportation networks. Well I actually like all kinds of rail traffic too, but not really buses. They are nasty. Apart from trolleybuses of course.

Hey, count me in this way. I prefer the train anytime.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1687
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:03 am

Hi FlyingFinn

Interesting report. I see you're back to the old chronological style. I like it! Eurolot have recently started flights from Krakow to Zurich. I'd like to give them a try one of these days and I've never been to Krakow either. For the time being though their schedule is a bit inconvenient, with only three flights a week I think.

Not quite sure what to make of the Finnair Business Class meal though. The pea mash looks like the content of a baby's nappy and the entire presentation seriously lacks some TLC.

Thanks for posting!

Cheers,
William
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:41 am

Hey P,

A Polish report... Hmmm, yes, too bad about the Polish OLT...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Already having a busy couple of months ahead of me in April I ended up booking a flight to the airport with the coolest IATA code ever: SZZ and the second most unpronounceable (yes, there are four consonants in a row!) name ever: Szczecin for early August for the princely sum of 99 PLN or around 25 EUR.

Well the Russians would use a single letter to write those 4... and in all honesty, it's pronounced as only 2 sounds...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I splurged a whopping 37 USD on the afternoon WAW-KRK flight,

That's a lot! That could possibly buy you a beer next time you're in Norway! Are you gonna give that up for a flight? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
With the empty streets I’m at the airport in a jiffy and the driver doesn’t even try to rip me off which earns him a nice tip and me a happy mind.

Yes, always nice when cab drivers don't try to rip you off!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
- “Trust me, I’m harmless. I might be crazy but I’m harmless, I promise you that.”
We reach the door.
“Ok, good bye and have a nice trip back!”.

Hmm, I wonder if she believed you... Though, if she waved back, se probably did.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The other FA in the back galley is even more surprised to see me - I try cracking some of my usual jokes but she sees right thru me and says “I think you just like to fly” - well who am I to argue with her so I say “Yes, you have no idea how much.”

Caught red-handed, mister. Good on her for noticing, haha.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have I ever mentioned that Poland is going thru a motorway building spree:

Hopefully it's going better than in Romania. They built a whopping 250km since 2002 here.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Driving in Krakow and the Polish country roads was quite crazy, but the new Katowice-Krakow turnpike an absolute bliss despite this heavy thunderstorm that got onto my path:

You see, P, football is good for something!

Thanks for the report. Yes, Poland seems to be a cheap place to visit, but still interesting. Thanks a lot for your report!
 
parton87
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:20 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:32 pm

Hello Petteri!

Thanks for the story! Nice to see EuroLot´s new Q400. It looks good and also with the "updated" livery.

Nice to see the Radison in Warsaw too. I stayed there two years ago and was very pleased with the stay. Really nice staff which I never meet in a hotel in Poland before! They also have a nice relax area, pity you didn´t have time to visit it!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
crap Gateway Tower lounge:

Oh, so you have a summer hat too? Nice:D

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
a permanent cut back on all routes

it somewhat looks a little bit empty. Such a large plate for just a package of butter? Salmon is nice but that pea thing dosn´t looks nice. Hopefully it tasted better!?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
around half full

That´s good Petteri, you should always use the more positive words 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
bar and a salty snack

That´s nice with some changes. Wonder how many years they had these chocolate bars?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
your glasses off in the case of an evacuation

Strange, never seen that before!

How was Auschwitz? I want to go there one day even if it´s not a nice place at all!

Greetings
Robert
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
Posts: 1698
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:10 pm

RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Hi folks, good to see so many comments online, thanks!

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 3):
If you've been so many times in Poland, why don't you learn little bit more than 5 words?

Hah, good point. The thing is that I seem to have capacity for mastering one foreign language and then all the others sort of mix up, so I often end up speaking a weird mixture between Swedish and German in Germany for example... The fact that I keep hopping around countries like they are going out of fashion doesn't exactly help either... So I'll pick up a few important words in most languages and those usually get you very far.

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 3):
Anyway, RZE used to be my hometown airport. At the end of May they have opened brand new terminal.

Oh, is there any airport in Poland which doesn't have a new terminal built within the last five years? Lodz maybe?

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 3):
Also, have you been to El Greco restaurant across from Radisson hotel? Its my favorite restaurant in WAW.

No, I was planning to go there but then I walked past this Milk Bar and since these are a sort of a Polish institution decided to try it instead.

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
What comes first place?! My first place, just visited this year: BZG "Port lotniczy im. Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego Bydgoszcz-Szwederowo". Also Poland, also served by LOT, but operated by SprintAir SAAB 340 (a must to fly!) - http://plb.pl/

Germany: 10 points! Yes, this is indeed what I had in mind  . Believe my BZG and that Saab is there on my TOFLY list. But not this year, maybe next...

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
The chances are very low, but you should try it anyway... Good luck!

Thanks for the idea, but slim chance so I'll stick to the refund I got from my bank.

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 5):
Good luck with that. Owner of OLT Express got 6 counts thrown at him last week. Police found 56kg of gold and $350.000 in cash - in one of his four houses.

Really? Wow, looks like he was not really up to anything good. Money laundering operation perhaps?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Hey is that a new rollaboard, I see? An expensive one, with a EBG/DYKWIA tag on? What the hell happened to you!  

What are you talking about? It's not an expensive one - I told you my previous one broke for good on the last day of the USA trip so I had to throw it away after ten years of trusty service once I got home. So I got this new one for 40 EUR, cheap and so far quite nice although I don't expect it to last more than five years. It's got four wheels though which makes a hell of a difference, love it!

And Jonas, I just LOVE the way how you always manage to ignore the main points in any report and just stick to the tiniest irrelevant details. You'd make one frustrating opponent in a political debate.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
I bet Eric would be upset to see his beloved AY charge such overprices for made to order asian cuisine  

Since when has Eric loved Finnair?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
What's that!? They ran out of The Economist again?

I've never seen it there. It's the Newsweek in English and then a motley assortment of Polish language magazines and papers, quite bad actually compared to the SAS lounges for example.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Well I would be embarrased to sit there like some DYKWIA. However if the lounge is overcrowded like they usually are these days it might come handy to have a seat spared.

Well that way everybody would see your precious Doc Martens and Peak Performance clothes and realize what a magnificent person you are!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Isn't that the woman from the lounge?

No.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Well, what can I say? Thank you for the dedication - I really enjoyed this Dash 8 story. The - 400 is certainly becoming a popular model in Europe these days. You could tell how new that aircraft was - very nice. I could almost smell it from here.

Yep, a very nice plane and experience. The contrast to the ancient ATR down to KRK was enormous!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Great pics - you had mostly good weather and clear skies. Nice to see a new terminal as well - not often you see that in Europe these days either.

...except in Poland  .

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
Re the Economist and Britain drinking? What's new there?  

The Newsweek actually. But yes, you do have a point.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 7):
I took a train back in 2008 between Warsaw and Krakow - it was quite an experience on an old rattling train.

No 20 USD fares back then?  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 9):
Krakow looks nice and very good for you to visit Auschwitz; it must be a very creepy experience....

Well it didn't feel very creepy because the place was absolutely packed and heaving with tourists. You were supposed to go in only with a group (which was a bit of a rip off as theoretically entrance is free, but since you have to join a group they charge a price for this) so I went in with a random Slovakian language (!) group and then just ditched them and toured the site at leisure which was much better.

IMHO the one in Dachau was creepier as there you could go inside the gas chambers etc.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 11):
I see you're back to the old chronological style. I like it!

Ahh, need to come up with something different soon! I have plenty of ideas, just need a suitable trip that works with them.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 11):
I'd like to give them a try one of these days and I've never been to Krakow either. For the time being though their schedule is a bit inconvenient, with only three flights a week I think.

Krakow is great, you should definitely do it. There are plenty of interesting things to see around the area. As I mentioned the domestic flights are still dirt cheap so you could always fly to Warsaw (and maybe even manage to catch the Helvetic Fokker operating for Swiss!) and fly LOT down from there.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 11):
Not quite sure what to make of the Finnair Business Class meal though. The pea mash looks like the content of a baby's nappy and the entire presentation seriously lacks some TLC.

Hmm, it didn't really strike me as odd at all. I liked it a lot, a good alternative to the various incarnations of potato you usually get. And there was a lot of the fish which is the main point anyway...

I don't think Tender Loving Cleaning would do it any good though  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
A Polish report... Hmmm, yes, too bad about the Polish OLT...

A Polished one?  
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
That's a lot! That could possibly buy you a beer next time you're in Norway! Are you gonna give that up for a flight? 

Haha. I just did, didn't you notice? I actually paid around that much for a tiny (and horrible) pizza and a small beer in Tromsö last weekend...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Hopefully it's going better than in Romania. They built a whopping 250km since 2002 here.

Hmm, that's actually a lot if you compare it to Finland. This whole country hardly has more than that! Okay, there's maybe 500 kilometers of motorway but for a country the size of Britain it isn't too much.

But the Polish had their own well published issues - the Chinese (!) company that won the tender went bankrupt as they had planned on using cheap Chinese labor and were really surprised that the EU rules didn't allow for that. Also I'm not sure of the quality of the construction, that Krakow - Katowice stretch is less than 2 years old and at several places they had closed one lane for repairs, it appears that the whole road had collapsed at places...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Thanks for the report. Yes, Poland seems to be a cheap place to visit, but still interesting. Thanks a lot for your report!

You're welcome. Compared to Romania Poland is roughly 50% more expensive, but of course compared to any Western European country it still is dirt cheap. But yeah, Poland is an amazing country - many people still have a lot of prejudicies towards it, but I've been going there for 10 years and it's definitely come a long way in those ten. Even Warsaw, in all honesty quite an ugly and dire city is looking quite nice these days.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 13):
They also have a nice relax area, pity you didn´t have time to visit it!

Relax area? You mean sauna, pool and the like?

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 13):
Oh, so you have a summer hat too? Nice:D

Yes, I would die wearing the heavy duty hat in these temperatures.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 13):
it somewhat looks a little bit empty. Such a large plate for just a package of butter? Salmon is nice but that pea thing dosn´t looks nice. Hopefully it tasted better!?

It was fine. Yes, that plate looked a little empty. They offered warm bread (I declined) so I guess you are supposed to put the bread on the plate.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 13):
How was Auschwitz? I want to go there one day even if it´s not a nice place at all!

Well Auschwitz was great. For someone like me who absolutely loves the history of the 20th century, especially the second world war and super especially ( ) anything related to the Third Reich it was of course a great place to visit. You should definitely go. The Auschwitz site was annoyingly crowded though. Birkenau on the other hand is a huge site so it didn't suffer from the number of people, but then again most of it has been destroyed so there isn't that much to see. Also when it was around 35 degrees and sunny you tend to get tired quite fast.
 
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airbuseric
Posts: 3560
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:29 pm

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
I bet Eric would be upset to see his beloved AY charge such overprices for made to order asian cuisine

To Jonas; what is your problem mister?
1) you can't make assumptions on how I would react on something
2) I never flew AY so far, therefore they cannot be 'beloved' for me

Maybe you should try to create your own opinions instead of talking about others

To PFF76   : i'll read your report soon and reply

Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
gabrielchew
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:55 pm

Nice report Petteri. Shame you missed out on OLT, but good that you managed to resolve the issues.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

“From Stettin in the Baltic, to Trieste in the Adriatic,
an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

I remember learning that sentence at school.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And inside a rather tasty and large piece of salmon fillet with a tasty sauce, some token vegetables and pea puree:

Yum (except for the pea mush)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
- “Trust me, I’m harmless. I might be crazy but I’m harmless, I promise you that.”
We reach the door.
“Ok, good bye and have a nice trip back!”.

Ha, that might send warning signals to a lot of people!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
maybe somebody had been speaking Norwegian (a common Finnish expression for throwing up)

Ha, nice expression

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Apart from this it was your usual low standard Finnair flight - apparently they see it fit to only offer free coffee & tea on these leisure-oriented routes and sell the same sandwiches most of the European routes still get for free... I’m sorry Finnair, but you are just not getting it. If you want to be an LCC, then please offer LCC prices and more importantly LCClike ticket rules (i.e. one way). If you don’t want to do that, then please justify the premium I have to pay and the flexibility I have to lose for flying with you. Thank you.

What a frustrating and annoying set up. I concur with your views.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-CDG,LHR-BKK-AKL-TBU,EUA-TBU-NAN-WLG,WHK-AKL-BKK-LHR
 
WROORD
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:53 am

Thanks for the report and especially for only one picture from Auschwitz. I was there a couple of times leading tourist groups and still have chills going down my spine. Those piles of shoes and hair from which the Nazis made mattresses are shocking. Anyway the new eurolot aircraft look nice!
 
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sultanils
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:53 am

Hi Petteri,

Thanks for this ‘something Polish(ed)’ story, it was an educating and interesting read. Again quite a mess up of your original plans with the sad demise of OLT Express. Again, it wasn’t meant to be for this airline... But a good decision in taking that back and forth (I thought you find those boring?) same plane turnaround on the new ‘/’, a great plane and indeed a vast improvement over the ATR’s. The name EuroLOT however...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
EuroLOT for LOT

Should be in fact; EuroLOT for not a LOT 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
to celebrate Helsinki’s Design Capital year

So what is there interesting to see that ‘design wise’ should urge me to book a flight to Helsinki of all places?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have I ever mentioned how I hate bus boardings?

You have, a zillion times. And your relationship with hotel shuttles as well  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
See, I’m not the only one wearing hats

This one would be a suitable one for you, it makes you blend in the crowd. But then again: you don’t want that, do you?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The ramp agent, a youngish girl is leading me to the entrance to arrivals. I say to her that I’m flying back on that same flight.
- “Oh, tomorrow?”
- “No, today, in about 20 minutes.”
She looks at me like I’m quite mad.
- “You are going back with flight three nine three two?”
- “Yes, I am.”
- “You have a boarding pass?”
- “Yes, I do.”
She looks at me like I’m quite mad. I decide to loosen up the conversation a bit:
- “I like to fly and wanted to try out the new Dash, a very nice plane.”
- “Yes it is.”
- “Much better than those ancient ATRs.”
- “Yes” (not sure if she understood what I meant though)
- “I was also supposed to fly here with OLT but we all know what happened so here we are.”
- “Oh yes, bad luck.”
- “Trust me, I’m harmless. I might be crazy but I’m harmless, I promise you that.”
We reach the door.
“Ok, good bye and have a nice trip back!”.

You were sweet talking here into an apron transfer, were you? My guess she didn’t understand a single thing of what you said.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and I’m among the first few passengers to start the long walk back:

Were you actually allowed to walk all that way back? Doesn’t happen in many other airports.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In addition to planes I quite like trains. Especially the commuter, urban trains that form an integral part of many cities public transportation networks. Well I actually like all kinds of rail traffic too, but not really buses. They are nasty. Apart from trolleybuses of course.

Are you paraphrasing someone? I have a slight clue who that might be.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
No words are necessary

History has made it a special place, a place to remember forever.

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
parton87
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:34 pm

Hello again!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
area? You mean sauna, pool and the like?

Yes, that´s what I mean  Really nice large pool and jacuzzi´s steam-room and sauna.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Yes, I would die wearing the heavy duty hat in these temperatures.

I understand, but you didn´t have it in Belgrade last year 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 14):
Well Auschwitz was great. For someone like me who absolutely loves the history of the 20th century, especially the second

Yeah I´m quit interested in these things too. I like Poland too so maybe I can make a visit to Auschwitz one day!?

Greetings
Robert
 
deltamartin
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi FF!

Great report just as usual!
Seems like you had a nice couple of days in Poland, I too would like to visit Auschwitz one day.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Finally I upgraded the WAW flight to business class and was only charged 3500 miles for it - I hadn%u2019t realized they were running the %u201Chalf price upgrade%u201D campaign this summer as well, although I%u2019m not sure how half of 7500 points (the usual upgrade price) comes to 3500...

Nice! Well, at least the bad maths made it better for the customer!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At some point I was happy to learn that the SZZ-WAW sector had an equipment change from the boring and ubiquitous ATR to one of the EuroLOT%u2019s new sexy Dash 8 Q400 planes, yay.

Also very nice! I only have a couple of flights logged on ATR's but I prefer the Dash 8's.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The business class meal - note that there%u2019s no appetizer/salad dish anymore. I hope this is just because of the short duration of this flight and not a permanent cut back on all routes:

I must say, that tray look very lacking for a business class meal.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Blue, faux leather seats which look like the same seats (but different color) than BT has on their Dashes:

I think they are pretty much the "standard" Dash seat.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
tuck into my previous seat and am delighted to find my notebook still in the seat pocket (I realized I had left it in the plane inside the terminal but figured out that they probably wouldn%u2019t spot it during the quick cabin tidying up operation and this turned out to be the case!)

Lucky man!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In addition to planes I quite like trains. Especially the commuter, urban trains that form an integral part of many cities public transportation networks. Well I actually like all kinds of rail traffic too, but not really buses. They are nasty. Apart from trolleybuses of course.

I kind of agree with you on this one. Both regarding trains and buses.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I was joking with some guy that maybe somebody had been speaking Norwegian (a common Finnish expression for throwing up)

Haha! I didn't know that! Good to know!

Martin
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:34 am

Nice report about EuroLot's new DH4. However, I'd have preferred to see new ATRs in their fleet as I simply prefer the ATR over the DHC-8.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally I upgraded the WAW flight to business class and was only charged 3500 miles for it - I hadn’t realized they were running the “half price upgrade” campaign this summer as well

Sounds good.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

At some point I was happy to learn that the SZZ-WAW sector had an equipment change from the boring and ubiquitous ATR to one of the EuroLOT’s new sexy Dash 8 Q400 planes, yay.

DH4 and sexy? Well...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And inside a rather tasty and large piece of salmon fillet with a tasty sauce, some token vegetables and pea puree:

That looks fine.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Sad, so sad - charging 3 EUR for those cup noodles is borderline criminal!

...and considering what kinds of chemical stuff these may contain.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I crack my usual “This place was boring, I think I will go back” joke to the purser who seems to be very confused by me reappearing some 20 minutes after I left her domain.

I feel sorry for all these FAs and others who regularly get tortured by your jokes...  



PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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OA260
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:52 am

Hi P  

Nice report . Love the LOT lounge probably because I spent so many hours in the old terminal and old lounges when I used to fly DUB-WAW-ATH , this seems much improved. Miss that route so much . The meal on AY doesnt look so bad to me , quite like the presentation. Plus of course those iconic glasses.

Thanks for the pleasant read as usual.

Regards

Philip  
 
MSS658
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:10 am

HI Petteri

Great report, thanks for sharring it with us.
The Dashes sure look nice and bright. SZZ looks a bit crowded however.
Quite dissapointed in the AY meal service in Business class, looks to be a bit on the average side.

greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
CaptainRed
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:19 pm

Hey P.,

another short, but very interesting trip from your side. Good to read that you could have salvaged your itinerary after the downfall of OLT Express.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And inside a rather tasty and large piece of salmon fillet with a tasty sauce, some token vegetables and pea puree:

Hmm, looks good (with the exception of that green pea thing), but true, a small appetizer would have been nice with it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have I ever mentioned how I hate bus boardings?

Well, yeah, occasionally   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
SP-EQA, EuroLOT’s first Dash, delivered in mid-May or two and half months previously. And yes, it does look very new:

Looks very nice. A flight on one of these is coming up on my side as well. Looking forward to it, EuroLOT seems to be quite nice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The other FA in the back galley is even more surprised to see me - I try cracking some of my usual jokes but she sees right thru me and says “I think you just like to fly” - well who am I to argue with her so I say “Yes, you have no idea how much.”

Finally a FA who looks through your jokes ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now this is interesting - you are supposed to take your glasses off in the case of an evacuation. Hell no says I - without my glasses I’m practically blind:

I think that is pretty standard procedure. You should put down your glasses only during the crash landing, after that you are free to put them on again for the evacuation, that means if you are still able to walk   ...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Gear down - the reason why I chose a seat back here:

Yes, I really like the Dash for the opportunities to take pictures like this.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And yes, there’s a conductor who happily sells me a ticket (which costs 2.5 times the bus fare or around 2.50 EUR, tsk tsk) so that mystery was solved.

Good to know, will remember that when I will be in WAW in September.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well Auschwitz was great.

Hmm, I wouldn't call a concetration camp great. But I guess it was surely an interesting experience.

CaptainRed
 
FlyingFinn76
Topic Author
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:59 am

Hi guys,

Good to see some more comments here, sorry for the late reply though!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
I remember learning that sentence at school.

Me too, me too!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 16):
Yum (except for the pea mush)

What's wrong with mashed peas? They were fine.

Quoting WROORD (Reply 17):
Thanks for the report and especially for only one picture from Auschwitz.

Yeah, I decided not to post any more to avoid any potential controversy regarding them.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
But a good decision in taking that back and forth (I thought you find those boring?)

I do, but it's not like I had a lot to work with here, SZZ isn't exactly FRA...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
The name EuroLOT however...

What's wrong with it? They're the airline that gives you a LOT!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Should be in fact; EuroLOT for not a LOT 

Hah, you can always trust Nils to come up with the puns!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
So what is there interesting to see that ‘design wise’ should urge me to book a flight to Helsinki of all places?

Hmm, no idea really. Not much of a design person. There's a design museum in Helsinki, never been, never will be. Gabrielchew went there, so you might ask him.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
You were sweet talking here into an apron transfer, were you? My guess she didn’t understand a single thing of what you said.

No, it was more like making her aware of what I was doing in the case I would be caught up in security and they'd manage to board all the other passengers before me. Alas this wasn't the case and she didn't handle the outbound flight at all.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Were you actually allowed to walk all that way back? Doesn’t happen in many other airports.

I didn't see any buses around. The apron is kinda weird there, the only large parking positions are far away from the terminal.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 18):
Are you paraphrasing someone? I have a slight clue who that might be.

No, not to my knowledge. Who are you suggesting? Voltaire?

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 19):
I understand, but you didn´t have it in Belgrade last year 

Yes, I only got it this summer.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
However, I'd have preferred to see new ATRs in their fleet as I simply prefer the ATR over the DHC-8.

I wouldn't have minded an ATR -600 series, true.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
DH4 and sexy? Well...

Well it still is quite a nice looking bird if you ask me. I prefer the sleek looks over the chubbier ATRs.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
I feel sorry for all these FAs and others who regularly get tortured by your jokes...  

Hey, I'm the next Jay Leno. I may not have such an impressive chin, but my jokes are second to none!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 22):
Love the LOT lounge probably because I spent so many hours in the old terminal and old lounges when I used to fly DUB-WAW-ATH , this seems much improved.

The old lounges at the each end of the semicircular terminal are still there and open. And yes, compared to this new one they are quite sad.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 23):
The Dashes sure look nice and bright. SZZ looks a bit crowded however.

Well that's explained by the 50 or so pax from our plane and the 180 from the Norwegian one being there at the same time. Doesn't happen too often.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 24):
Good to know, will remember that when I will be in WAW in September.

Ahh, good for you! Yes, you should try the train ride.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 24):
Well Auschwitz was great.
Hmm, I wouldn't call a concetration camp great. But I guess it was surely an interesting experience.

Ok, I meant the experience, not really the camp itself. Bad choice of words I guess.
 
LXM83
Posts: 567
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:44 pm

Hello FlyingFinn76

Great report. Love to see the DH4, it's one of my favourites.

Too bad you had to take a back-to-back flight with the same aircraft.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
SZZ and the second most unpronounceable

And which city would get the top spot?

Here are some contenders: Jyväskylä (not for you, though), Kangerlussuaq, Thiruvananthapuram or the already mentioned Bydgoszcz....

Cheers, LXM83
 
infodesk
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RE: EuroLOT's New Dash To SZZ And Back

Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:43 am

Hi P,

Good to see that despite the problems with OLT express you managed to fly to SZZ and back, even if it was a flying turnaround.

Love the look of the lounge at WAW, very exclusive.

Have you got a new hat? Or is that just your summer one?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The business class meal - note that there’s no appetizer/salad dish anymore. I hope this is just because of the short duration of this flight and not a permanent cut back on all routes:

I think AY need to invest in some smaller trays, that one looks so bare. It screams "small C-Class meal". Shame, because the food looks ok, especially that cake.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Completely disoriented (I think my sleep had some sweet nymphs et al in it) it takes me a while to realize that I’m in the Radisson, in the extremely comfortable bed in my well appointed Business Class Room (yeah, they gave me an upgrade). I

That room is super, very stylish. I guess the Radissons are always good for that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“Oh yes, bad luck.”
- “Trust me, I’m harmless. I might be crazy but I’m harmless, I promise you that.”
We reach the door.
“Ok, good bye and have a nice trip back!”.

I notice she didn't comment on your remark about being crazy but harmless  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
well, maybe I can buy the ticket in the train or if not then I can always play the ignorant tourist card. So I go down to the platform 4.

Well, it worked in Poland but don't try it in Switzerland. The ignorant tourist card doesn't seem to work.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m sorry Finnair, but you are just not getting it. If you want to be an LCC, then please offer LCC prices and more importantly LCClike ticket rules (i.e. one way). If you don’t want to do that, then please justify the premium I have to pay and the flexibility I have to lose for flying with you. Thank you.

Nicely said. Now try telling AY that!

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper

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