TRIP REPORT: Qatar Airways, Sofia - Shanghai via Doha

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Submitted by Angel Arnaudov

Video of my enjoyable flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Shanghai Pudong with Qatar Airways. First time experience of the Qsuite by Qatar Airways, best business class out there. Had a wonderful experience. On the way back I was in the middle double qsuite, that was even better so please subscribe to check that video as well. This Qatar Airways business class flight to Shanghai was part of my trip to North Korea. Thanks for checking out my Qatar Airways business class experience!



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Comments

  1. Very nice :)

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  2. How was it in North Korea?

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    1. Did you go on tourism?

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    2. North Korea was exactly as I imagined, totally distinct from everywhere else and it was my big wish to visit this country. I was there for running the Pyongyang marathon. Although it looks scary from outside, once in there life seems normal like everywhere else except that the Koreans in N. Korea have their own way of having fun, socializing and overall living the life. They just recently started using mobile phones and have their own very restricted Internet network. They can't dial outside of Korea, but even if they can, they don't really have anyone to call. They are very proud country, proud of their history and what they achieved, at least thats how they want to said.
      Also, what i noticed is that the cities are perfectly clean, streets, parks, buildings, everywhere. I saw on few locations that the citizens are the one which are cleaning and helping the community workers with the work around their neighborhoods, something similar to ex Yugoslavia and per my father words, everyone was helping in 'radnicke akcije'. Overall very positive experience with North Korea. There is a video on my youtube channel, around 90 minutes from all my experiences in North Korea.

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    3. How much did you pay for the trip to North Korea and what agency do you recommend going with?

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    4. I used Koryo Tours and I paid something like 1200 euros I think for return flight Shanghai to Pyongyang, 2 night stay in hotel, trips around Korea and entry to the marathon.

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    5. Were you the only Bulgarian/European to compete on the Pyongyang Marathon? Did the Bulgarian athletics association follow you up in any mean, and did you have any media coverage?

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    6. I'm Macedonian :) but there were people from Slovenia and Croatia whom I met there. Didn't met any Bulgarian. There were plenty of other Europeans on the tour.
      I went on my own and I didn't really want any media coverage.

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    7. So basically it was 1.200 Eur. for two days?

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  3. Very nice report, Angele. Snowy, Vitosha mountain top looking great on a sunny, clear day in Sofia.
    How was the SOF-DOH LF, btw?
    Also, wasn't it more convenient for you to fly from SKP instead?

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    1. Hi Lima Zulu -
      Load on the legs to and from Sofia wasn't that great, and I wasn't sure why they are deploying A321. On the way back economy wasn't more then 30% full and and on the outbound leg was a bit better, around 55 to 60%.
      It was more convenient to fly out from SKP but there was a sale from SOF and the business class ticket was around 1600USD compared to 2800USD from SKP.
      Next Monday, June 3rd I'm flying from SKP to JFK via DOH, video report from that trip will be published once I'm back from the USA in late June. Thanks for watching the video, Angel

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    2. Thanks for the info! The difference in the price is quite huge!
      Wow, LF seems to be quite low. Usually demand drastically drops in summer because Bulgarians visit Greece or other parts of Europe.

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    3. On my return trip video I actually filmed the economy class cabin, you'll be able to see it. Business has good loads from SOF with 50% at least everytime I'm flying from there. SKP on the other hand business class cabin with Qatar is always 2-3 ppl max at least when I'm flying.

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    4. Quite interesting facts about business class but room for improvement for LF in general.
      How about the QR SKP flights performance? Any observations from your side?

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    5. Overall, I've been to 12+ flights with Qatar from SKP, most of the time the business class LF is 1-2 people the most, just once it was 4 people and that was most I've seen in business. Economy has seen variations too, with very very load light in February with some 50 pax onboard, to some 90% LF on another flights. On my return from JFK in 3 weeks I'm flying economy and even now I can see the LF in economy is 80%, so I'm assuming the Macedonians from Australia are starting to get back home for the summer. So the numbers are very seasonal.

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    6. Let me offer some anecdotal evidence as well... I did the same routing PVG via DOH, originating in BEG, in J class in late April / early May (on sale, cca 1,200 EUR/rt). BEG-DOH and vice versa, LF in J was 100% - unlike Y, which was by my estimate 60% full on the outbound and 40% on the inbound leg.

      Also, an interesting situation, morning of my outbound flight BEG-DOH, I got a call from QR apologizing for the 2-hour delay. What happened is that they had a planned stop in SOF to deliver some cargo, after which the flight continued to BEG. SOF rotation on the day was on schedule.

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    7. Angel: SKP and SOF seem to share similar acute, seasonal QR flights based on what we commented above. Looking forward to your JFK report.
      Anonymous 17:39h: Lol, having a 100% LF on business compared to 60% economy from BEG is quite a thing :D They could've been some rich sheikhs, LOL :D
      Having to stop in SOF to drop some cargo seems unusual. I would say it was some kind of special package or whatever.

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    8. On the contrary, some random ppl - two couples, a family, three middle-aged women from Australia, a solo traveler... I guess the price was right, and people decided to splurge a bit, particularly as they were all transferring to a Qsuite flight, myself included.

      Service was a bit hectic, I think cabin crew in Y had a field day, while two working in J were struggling.

      Btw I am really hoping they will deploy their A320 with lie flat seats on the red eye to Belgrade on Tue, Thu and Sat. Old J seats are comfortable, but not really good enough to have a proper sleep.

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  4. Any news on the concession in Sof? The new concesaionaire can do wonders at this airport. Doesnt look bad at all.

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    1. PS interesting report. But why do they pour wine in water glasses

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    2. SOF T2 was built in 2006, so not that old after all.
      Aéroports de Paris paid the highest bid. Other candidates were CPH, MUC Airports and Manchester Airports Group.
      They are still studying the offers yet no decision yet.

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    3. MAG have offered 2 bln. investment on top on the concession payment.

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