B2b at Sofia

Old Sep 12, 21, 2:26 am
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B2b at Sofia

Hey community. Has anyone done a B2b at SOF recently?
I will arrive from the US on Oct 13th... And there are no useful flights to Berlin but I could buy very cheap the same ba flight in C.
But I will have a bag, too.. European passport. Vacced.
What do you think?
Doable?
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Old Sep 12, 21, 2:50 am
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For UK passport holders (ignoring anything like work, Bulgarian family etc.), the country is red listed for us, so we can't really go there (at least from the UK). Not sure if US or EU passport holders are different? Might have to check depending on how the Bulgarians are treating your country.
In the past, it has been a case of getting off the plane, and possibly hanging around for the next plane I believe.

BA have cancelled a few flights later in the year, so Fri-Mon? only which has messed up a couple of my trips.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by xenole
For UK passport holders (ignoring anything like work, Bulgarian family etc.), the country is red listed for us, so we can't really go there (at least from the UK). Not sure if US or EU passport holders are different? Might have to check depending on how the Bulgarians are treating your country.
In the past, it has been a case of getting off the plane, and possibly hanging around for the next plane I believe.

BA have cancelled a few flights later in the year, so Fri-Mon? only which has messed up a couple of my trips.
EU passport.. German.. So no problem to enter.
The question is if I can get my bag and re check in.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 5:53 am
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Your plan is to fly US-LHR-SOF // SOF-LHR // LHR-BER?

I suspect something will go wrong here, and immediate turnaround is just one of them. Have a look at the relevant thread in the BA forum, but I see no chance if you have a suitcase you need to claim.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
Your plan is to fly US-LHR-SOF // SOF-LHR // LHR-BER?

I suspect something will go wrong here, and immediate turnaround is just one of them. Have a look at the relevant thread in the BA forum, but I see no chance if you have a suitcase you need to claim.
I decided to skip the suitcase now.
I can't see any problems then?
With a EU passport there is no restrictions on entering Bulgaria fully vacced.. Hmm
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Old Sep 12, 21, 6:44 am
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I don't know about the turnaround situation in SOF at the moment, but travelling on three different tickets in these days of cancelled flights and reduced schedules is probably not the wisest idea.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
I don't know about the turnaround situation in SOF at the moment, but travelling on three different tickets in these days of cancelled flights and reduced schedules is probably not the wisest idea.
So it's even better if you have different tickets for the same plane? Hahah.
If lhr SOF won't go.. Then dof lhr won't go back. Lol
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Old Sep 12, 21, 7:22 am
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Bulgaria is actually on the Green list, not Red, but that is likely to change, not least because it seems that in a few days the UK is going to change her approach to travel restrictions. More details in the Coronavirus forum for UK arrivals. As I understand it, SOF can still be done with an easy gate to gate swap, but not with checked luggage, since the luggage cut-off time at SOF will possibly be while you are still in the air. But you do have myriad problems. These include the UK changing its restrictions (beyond the ones going through this week), Bulgaria having local problems, OLCI not working in SOF, VeriFly issues, late cancellations, PCR testing requirements, the list is endless. So while I suspect it is do-able, the risk factors are quite substantial. You can perhaps find ways of reducing the risks, for example plugging in a full overnight in SOF, since there will always be ways to get from SOF to Germany.

Have another look at this in a few days, but it's nothing like as easy as it used to be.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Bulgaria you can perhaps find ways of reducing the risks, for example plugging in a full overnight in SOF, since there will always be ways to get from SOF to Germany.

Have another look at this in a few days, but it's nothing like as easy as it used to be.
Thank you very much for the long input.
I was gonna stay a night and then go straight to Berlin. But there is only Ryan Air for 150eu including bags and stuff.
And there is a funny ba fare for 180 euros in c to lhr and the next day with Ryan to Berlin.
So 80 tp for that and I would not fly the Ryan leg but some ba.
It was never a problem to transfer in London with a German passport. So I don't really see that problem.
But you are def. Right I won't do the bags.
Let's see. The worst will be im stuck somewhere. Can be fun, too.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 11:24 am
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I think the issue could be that the UK is on Bulgarias Red List. According to the UK government website, unless travelling for work only Bulgarian citizens and their families can enter from the UK.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Bulgaria is actually on the Green list, not Red, but that is likely to change, not least because it seems that in a few days the UK is going to change her approach to travel restrictions. More details in the Coronavirus forum for UK arrivals. As I understand it, SOF can still be done with an easy gate to gate swap, but not with checked luggage, since the luggage cut-off time at SOF will possibly be while you are still in the air. But you do have myriad problems. These include the UK changing its restrictions (beyond the ones going through this week), Bulgaria having local problems, OLCI not working in SOF, VeriFly issues, late cancellations, PCR testing requirements, the list is endless. So while I suspect it is do-able, the risk factors are quite substantial. You can perhaps find ways of reducing the risks, for example plugging in a full overnight in SOF, since there will always be ways to get from SOF to Germany.

Have another look at this in a few days, but it's nothing like as easy as it used to be.
You're both right, but as the UK put Bulgaria on the Green list Bulgaria, the next day put the UK on the equivalent of their red list to avoid huge numbers of Brits arriving.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Vasco Pridat
So it's even better if you have different tickets for the same plane? Hahah.
If lhr SOF won't go.. Then dof lhr won't go back. Lol
I think you are missing my point.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by QPRPaul
I think the issue could be that the UK is on Bulgarias Red List. According to the UK government website, unless travelling for work only Bulgarian citizens and their families can enter from the UK.
It sounds like an adventure again.
Transiting through the country is exempt from the ban when arriving from the UK.
A turn around I would consider as transit. 🤔🇬🇧
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Old Sep 12, 21, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Vasco Pridat
It sounds like an adventure again.
Transiting through the country is exempt from the ban when arriving from the UK.
A turn around I would consider as transit. 🤔🇬🇧
As I understand it your planned LHR-SOF ticket is stand alone. As such I suspect the adventure would therefore end at T5 when they deny boarding at check in.
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Old Sep 12, 21, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Vasco Pridat
It sounds like an adventure again.
Transiting through the country is exempt from the ban when arriving from the UK.
A turn around I would consider as transit. 🤔🇬🇧
Careful. Frequent fliers might consider a B2B a transit, but most of the airline and immigration industry do not. A transit usually is defined as a journey with an origin and destination that are in different places. There are many cases documented on FT where B2Bs have gone wrong. And they are more likely to go wrong with the backdrop of the pandemic with extra scrutiny on whether you are truly admissable for entry to the transit country, irrespective of any self-connect onward journey.
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