LOT Polish to Launch Nonstop Flights From the US to Hungary

Jul 7, 2017

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LOT Polish Airlines has announced that it’s going to fly between Budapest, Hungary (BUD) and both Chicago (ORD) and New York (JFK), which will be the first nonstop service between the two nations since American Airlines stopped flying between JFK and BUD in 2011. Hungary’s now-defunct national airline, Malév Hungarian Airlines, ended flights to New York in 2008 and then shut down completely in 2012.

LOT will operate its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the new routes starting next spring, flying to New York four times a week and to Chicago twice a week. Here’s a look at the schedule:

Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sunday:

  • LO33 Budapest (BUD) 11:55am Departure ⇒ New York (JFK) 3:40pm Arrival
  • LO34 New York (JFK) 6:15pm Departure ⇒ Budapest (BUD) 8:50am (+1) Arrival

Tuesdays and Saturdays:

  • LO31 Budapest (BUD) 11:35am Departure ⇒ Chicago (ORD) 2:50pm Arrival
  • LO32 Chicago (ORD) 4:35pm Departure ⇒ Budapest (BUD) 8:55am (+1) Arrival

LOT’s 787s feature business, premium economy and economy cabins. The business-class cabin features 18 lie-flat seats, while you’ll find 21 seats in premium economy in a 2-3-2 configuration and 213 in economy arranged in a 3-3-3 layout.

Business class aboard LOT's 787. Photo courtesy of LOT.
Business class on board LOT’s 787. Image courtesy of the airline.

Interestingly enough, these aren’t fifth freedom routes as you may normally assume. Because Poland and Hungary are part of the European Union, flights from Hungary to the US fall under the Open Skies agreement, which allows any EU carrier to fly between any point in the EU and any point in the US.

It appears that you can book round-trip flights from New York beginning May 3, while Chicago flights seem to begin on May 5. However, as of this writing, you’re only able to book one-way tickets on the nonstop ORD-BUD flights. A round-trip ticket from JFK to BUD will cost you about $604 in coach, $1,660 in premium economy and $3,250 in biz.

LOT Polish is a Star Alliance carrier, which means you should be able to use your United miles to book award flights. One-way in economy will run you 30,000 United miles and 70,000 miles in business (plus about $6 in taxes and fees). You can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United, and if you’re looking to increase your stash of points quickly, both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred are offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

You should also be able to book awards through Aeroplan — you’ll pay 37,500 miles for one-way in economy or 57,500 in business, though be prepared to shell out some cash for fuel surcharges. LOT hasn’t made the flights bookable as of this writing, so we ran a search for flights between JFK and Warsaw (WAW) to get an idea of how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Round-trips in both business and coach will run you about $200 in fuel surcharges. Keep in mind that you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. If you’re in need of points, The American Express Platinum Card is offering a 60,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

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