As this is my first trip report ever, please be a bit lenient and forgive me all the mistakes I'll probably make. Te idea of that flight came along in one of the cold February evenings (actually it was Wednesday) as I was seating on a sofa with a jug of hot chocolate and watching the snow falling down dreaming about spoting somewhere else than in Katowice which is my home and "beloved" airport. So I took my phone and found an email from LOT advertising their "Crazy Wednesday" (in Polish Szalona Środa) with prices to WAW oscillating around 200 Złoty for a back and forth flight (about 45 Euro) which I personally found quite impressing and encouraging. So after a few conversations with my Parents we decided to go to Warsaw with my Dad and my friend on Thursday, 7th of June as it was a Public Holiday in Poland as it was Corpus Christi Celebrations here. So we bought the tickets, in a following schedule :
KTW-WAW LOT3874 10.25-11.10 E170
WAW-KTW LOT3887 18.10-18.55 E170
Our route (quite simple, isn't it ?) thanks to the Great Circle Mapper
The time was elapsing and I was more and more excited about the journey we were due to have as it would be my first ever LO flight (except of charter flights). Finally the journey date came, so we had what we had wanted to have. Around 8.45 we disembarked home and, drove to the airport, also having opportunity to test a new motorway A1 coming directly to the airport from South. At 9.20 we were at the airport, just a quick stroll to the building and exactly when going through the Terminal Doors I heard "LOT362, runway 09 You are cleared to land, so I knew we would be on time as our E170 was doing KTW-MUC-KTW in the morning".
The airport in Katowice is pretty nice, with two Terminals modern and spacious. Terminal A is dedicated to serve Non-Schengen passengers and Terminal B for Schengen ones. We were of course flying from TB, so we headed to the security control, having our boarding passes on the Mobiles. But before, just had a look at a new Arrival hall in TA, which was built and opened just a few days before our flight.
So we were soon in the departure lounge, which is very spacious and comfortable with the best viewing area I've ever seen!
Sorry for the quality of the picture. Our E170 SP-LDD and ATR of OLT Express EC-KUL flying that time to SZZ.
After a few minutes, the boarding was announced so we headed to the departure gate nr 7. The load in the bus that was carrying us to the plane was quite high so we expected nice LF enroute. Just a few seconds and we were off to the plane listening to the soothing voice of left E170's engine.
One of the shots I like the most, when embarking the plane via stairs.
SP-LDD Embraer 170
First flight date: 22-02-2004
Entering the aircraft we were greeted by a very friendly Purser, lady in her fifties, but smiling and welcoming everyone onboard. Just a single question, and they told us that today load was 57 passengers (81%) with 34 transit pax transferring in WAW mainly to JFK. Soon everyone was seated and Cabin Crew began a Safety Demo being presented in two languages-Polish and English. As the demo finished, Captain came in by PA and announced a 35 minute-flight with landing expected at 11.05, so 5 minutes ahead of schedule. When he was speaking, we were pushed back, simultaneously with Wizzair's A320 landing from Oslo Torp Airport (TRF).
There she goes
We then headed to the runway 09 for the East-direction takeoff, via taxiway E3 and B. Short waiting for another Wizz aircraft (from BVA, HA-LWA) and we were cleared for takeoff from 09. Rotate speed was reached almost instantenously and we blasted off the runway long before taxiway Delta (which indicates 2200metres of the runway)
New Maintenance hangar in KTW, now used by Linetech servicing Enter Air and other airlines.
Quick ascent and we were on our flight level 210 and heading north skipping the clouds enroute which gave us wonderful views so everyone was adoring the marvelous, sunkissed cloudy landscape.
Just after 10.45 the inflight service began. LOT offers on domestic services free snack (You can choose either Prince Polo chocolate bar or some Krakowskie Talarki-some kind of crackers made by most famous polish crisp company) and free non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee. In my opinion on flights shorter than an hour that service is enough.
Obligatory legroom shot:
LOT has plenty of space in their E-Jets. They are quiet, much quieter than their direct concurency-Bombardier CRJs and, the seats are really comfortable with movable headrests and nice, quite flat recline.
I didn't even finish my Prince Polo when I felt my hateful engine power reduction and beginning of the descent. Cabin Crew briefly organised the cabin and in a few minutes we were established on the final approach to the longer runway in Warsaw (3600m)- runway 33.
Quick taxiing to the jetway which I found very interesting and useful (the reason was, our SP-LDD was then flying to TLL so she needed to be pushed to the jetway). Look through the window of company first E195 (currently 5 in service), SP-LNA.
Fortunately very friendly Cabin Crew allowed me to take some cabin and cockpit shots, here they are, many thanks especially to captain Marek Heberden!
Through the jetway's door we saw B767 of Aerosvit standing on the apron, so we headed to take pics of her, she was that day doing services for LOT as subsitution for LOT's 767 SP-LPC which did that famous belly landing the year before.
Airport in WAW is very nice, there's a lot of space and even in the biggest rush hour one can't feel cramped squeezing through the crowd.
We decided to have some spotting on the Wirażowa street (one of the most popular spotting locations in Warsaw) as it was near the terminal and didn't require any of "hoists" as ladders or whatever people can use to be over the top of the fence. I won't show You any of my photos from that day, I'll just send a link to my spotting site (on polish server) and You can enjoy them http://lotnictwo.net.pl/gallery/foto...thor-13214-Maciej_Dyrbu%C5%9B.html
After a few hours of spotting and a quick lunch in Courtyard by Marriott by the airport we had to come back for the return. As during the outbound flight, we had our Boarding Passes saved in the Mobile Phone's memory so we didn't need to check-in at the airport.
The departure lounge in WAW creates a very impressive feelings, as it is quiet and majestic. It is constructed as one long pier about 750 metres long, so if you need to walk at the airport, WAW is certainly for you
The boarding time came and on the screen "boarding" sign was revealed which obviously meant we had to pass to the gate located downstairs. Nice and friendly lady at the gate told me that load was extremely light with just 17 pax scheduled to fly, nothing surprising especially presuming that the previous flight operated on ATR72 which took off at 17.00 was almost full. Then we were driven by bus to the remote stand where SP-LDG, our E170 was waiting for us.
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Embraer 170 SP-EDG
First flight: 08-02-2005
This time I took a seat in 7A even although I had chosen 5D before, because I wanted to have a bit better wing view, which with that Load wasn't anything illegal Safety demo was presented and we were pushed back 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Captain Piotr Radziechowski told us via PA that our route would take about 30 minutes so he expected landing in KTW 20 mins before it was scheduled! After long taxiing and a couple of company aircraft taking off before us we lined up, and two GE CF34-8E5 engines began their work accelerating the aircraft. Apace we were in the sky having a long, left turn. Few minutes later also snacks were served so I opted for Talarki which were quite tasty. So crunching the Talarki I was marvelling the views through the window.
Just few minutes after reaching our cruising altitude we began descending so preparations for landing began. Cabin Crew (also nice, consisted of two Women, the Purser in her forties and the second Cabin Crew about 20-25 Years old) hastily took their seats after completing a pre-landing walk. Looking through the window I realised we were heading west, so landing would be on the runway 27- from the East. Landing gear was retracted, flaps set in the fully enxtended and just seconds later we smoothly touched down the runway 27.
We vacated the runway via taxiway Alpha and taxied to the gate 9 which meant just a quick stroll to the Terminal building which wasn't any problem for me.
Five minutes later we left Katowice Airport after a crazy, but lovely day full of planes and aviation.
Conclusion: I recommend LOT. They really are doing their work properly, the service was very good, legroom decent, seat really comfortable and planes new and quiet.
I hope you enjoyed that and let me know what you think about that trip, and my report