Warsaw Chopin Airport - Connecting in the heart of Europe

Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) is the main airport of Poland, serving the capital Warsaw. It is home of LOT Polish Airlines and serves as its main hub. It handles over 12 million passengers annunally, serving more than 300 flights a day. Located in the heart of Europe, geographically it is very convenient for connecting Eastearn and Western Europe. 

Warsaw Chopin Airport has a single terminal layout. Its shape is rectangular. The drawback of this architectural design is that moving from one side of the terminal to the other takes time, which impacts the connecting process. Nevertheless, the official minimum connection time is rather good, starting at only 35 minutes for a number of LOT Polish Airlines flight connections. Such short transit time however creates an immense stress for the connecting passengers. Unfortunately, not all flights are served by air bridges, as passenger transport to and from the aircraft by buses is very popular. If you happen to arrive on a flight from a non-Shengen country, served by bus, you may find out that the waiting lines for passport control and security check are considerable, taking longer than half an hour. LOT Polish Airlines doesn't provide assistance for time-constrained passengers. It's a common sight to see people holding boarding passes to beg at the security lines for faster service. On the other hand, if you arrive at a gate from a Shengen country or aboard domestic flight , there is a chance that you find yourself straight into the transit area and find the gate of your next flight pretty quickly. You can hardly tell how you will be handled in advance. If you happen to have a short connection (of under 50 minutes), be prepared for a rush. From a baggage standpoint, it is likely that it gets transferred to the second aircraft without problems. There is a deciated section on Warsaw's airport official page, which can hopefully provide you with more clarity on these matters. 

Transit area of Chopin airport. Source: Wikipedia
From an amenities standpoint, Warsaw Airport offers certain choice. There is free WIFI for 30 minutes, accessible thru some weird registration kiosks located at a few places around the terminal building. There is also children playground and resting area. If you would like to spend money, you can have your chance. The Chopin airport transit area resembles a shopping mall with a number of duty free shops, toy stores, luxurious shops such as Victoria secret, Fashion Gallery, Premium food gate. There are also a number of convenience stores such as Virgin, Relay, Inmedio. The full list of shops you can find here. For business travellers, there are 4 executive lounges at their disposal. 

For passengers with an overnight stay at Warsaw Airport, there is a choice of airport hotels, located just outside of the passenger terminal. Such are Gromada airport hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton by Hilton, Airport hotel Okecie and a number of others at a short drive away. You can check and book Warsaw airport hotels here.

The transit area itself is dividided into Shengen and non-Shengen area. In order to get to the non-Shengen area, you need to pass thru passport control. Flights to UK, Russia, Bulgaria, United States, Japan, China, etc. depart from that zone. It occupies less than a quarter of the airport and is extremely poor in terms of amenities. If you have a long layover, make sure you enter it shortly before your flight's departure. 

In case your connecting flight departs from the other airport located near the Polish capital - Modlin, have in mind that both airports Chopin and Modlin are situated quite far from each other. Nevertheless, trasnfer options exist and here you can read more about them. 

To check some passengers' reviews about transferring on LOT airlines via Warsaw Chopin Airport you can visit the Connectionreview's LOT page

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