Until now, I have flown with TAROM at least five times on the Bucharest – Sofia flight and on the return flight. All my flights were in the past 2-3 years and I saw an improvement recently in the offered services, especially starting the beginning of 2017.
This flight is a an experience and a a combination of interesting plane, really short flight and good (full) service offered by the Romanian flag carrier. I mean, in 2017, who could expect to have a meal service + desert on a 40 minutes flight?
Video flight report RO291 Bucharest – Sofia
Flights operated with turboprop ATR planes
Every time I was on this route the flights were operated with the ATR planes, in the ATR 42 smaller version (carrying only 48 passengers) or in the bigger ATR 72 (68 pax).
You can see here what is like to fly on an ATR turboprop plane.
I already have at least 20 flights on these models so I am quite familiar with them. They are nice little planes with great maneuverability. It is a really interesting experience flying on a turboprop plane.
I had flights that were turbulent, trips when we needed to change the planes due to technical problems but the flight always arrived in time. But, however, I was usually happy with the offered services and how everything went on this TAROM flight.
One thing to note is that the ATR has a lower baggage cabin for carry-on luggage but if your baggage has standard dimensions it is no need to go with it to the check-in. Simply before entering the aircraft, on the tarmac, you will give you baggage to the personnel assisting the departure of the airplane and you will get it back right after deboarding.
Notice in the picture below the cart for the „carry-on” luggage. They are placing it in the front of the plane, in the small cargo compartment.
If you have really small luggage, there is room for it.
Three daily flights between Bucharest and Sofia by TAROM
Currently, TAROM, the Romanian flag carrier, offers 3 daily flights to Sofia, one in the morning (leaving Bucharest at 08:05), one in the evening and the last flight before the night (leaving Sofia at 21:15).
Until not too late there were only two daily flights to the Bulgarian Capital. Also, in the past, Qatar Airways sold tickets from Sofia to Bucharest, but at that time the Doha journey from Sofia was through Bucharest, now Bucharest has it’s own Doha route, so the middle east carrier is not anymore selling tickets from Sofia to Bucharest.
Shortest international flight from Bucharest
The flight to Sofia from Bucharest is the shortest international flight operated by the Romanian flag carrier. It is a flight which usually is not longer than 40-45 minutes, actually depending on the runway direction used for take-off and landing, which can add 10-15 minutes per flights.
Even if it is a really short flight you will get a (good meal) and drinks
I think that one of the best parts of this really short flights is that you will get a decent meal. Depending on the hour of your flight you will receive a sandwich. In the morning is a really unbelievable tasty tuna sandwich.
Also, you can get any drink you want from a selection of juices, beers or wine.
This flight, although usually with a very big price tag since the really short flight distance is a nice piece of how Western companies could treat their passengers with proper service. Of course, every service has its price, but I genuinely think that companies are looking more to boost their profit margin then to increase the satisfaction of the clients.
Here it is a video of a landing made three years ago, at my first visit in Sofia: