This past January, I was scheduled to fly on LOT Polish Airlines' inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from Chicago to Warsaw, but never took off due to a worldwide grounding of the entire 787 fleet after lithium-ion batteries smoldered on planes operated by ANA and Japan Airlines. No problems were reported on LOT's Dreamliner but the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) followed the FAA's directive to halt operations just a few hours before departure.
While I lost my chance to be one of the first to jet on this innovative aircraft to Poland, you haven't.
After several months, Boeing has addressed the battery problems (with modifications to reduce the risk of fire) and the FAA has cleared the 787 for takeoff. As several other airlines put their 787s back in the sky, starting with Ethiopian Airlines on April 27, LOT has announced that it, too, will resume flying the Dreamliner, and is offering discounted introductory fares.
Flights to Warsaw will start on June 5 from Chicago, June 7 from Toronto, and sometime in July (the specific date is to be announced) from New York City (JFK). The cheapest fares are based on mid-week departures, and there is no advance purchase requirement. Sample prices for the summer high season start at $1,278 round trip, including taxes and fees, from Chicago.
The airline has also added a new premium economy class, with wider seats, a dedicated airport check-in desk, and priority baggage handling. Premium fares start at $2,057 round trip, including taxes and fees.
LOT is the first European airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner.
Would you fly on the 787 now or wait until there's been further testing? I think I would go.
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(Photo: Anne Banas)