Europe · Flights · Review · Travel

A Review of Bulgaria Air A220-300 Economy

Spread the love

What do you do when you have two holidays back to back? Hop on Kayak and check out who flies between the two spots of course. With a trip to Spain and then Bulgaria planned, we decided that this was the ideal time to try Bulgaria Air. Bulgaria Air has been the flag carrier for Bulgaria since 2002. Join us on our adventure from Malaga to Sunny Beach and back to London, taking four flights with Bulgaria Air (oh, & BA too). Read on for our full review of Bulgaria Air economy.

This post may contain sponsored content or affiliate links that help support the blog. All opinions are our own.

Airport Experience


The first of our four check ins didn’t go too well. The check in desks didn’t open u til 2.5 hours before take off. By that time, there was a little crowd waiting. When the screens finally flashed on for Sofia, half of the crowd stormed down the exit. They were ushered into the main queue but then they started to change the way the queue went. We went from second in the queue to seventh. It was a bit messy. That being said, all of the staff are ground handlers that work for Malaga Airport and not Bulgaria Air directly.


Check in at Varna Airport was really easy and quick. We popped our bags on the belt and walked away with boarding cards within two minutes. It is a very small airport so security was also super speedy. We grabbed a couple of seats right next to the gate and waited for the plane to arrive.

We were both on our phones and I glanced up to see a little queue start to form. Looking up again just two minutes later, the queue stretched around 20 metres! It seemed a little mad considering it is a small plane and everyone has a seat. There were no boarding calls so everyone just joined the queue and scanned through when the plane was ready. We waited for the queue to die down and then got on at leisure.


We did leave the airport on both occasions but didn’t have to check in again as our luggage went straight through. On our first stopover we went into the city and did some sightseeing. This was really easy thanks to the metro line that runs into the centre of town in about 20 minutes. On the second, we hopped in a taxi and went to Infinity Spa. It has natural mineral hot spring water and was divine.

Sofia airport doesn’t have much in the way of food and drink options. There was a Relay shop, a bar with pizza and sandwiches and then a set of cafes and stands all called Eddy’s. We opted for one of their pizzas on one day and some borek style cheese pastry on the other. They were both pretty good.

For both of our flights, our plane was on a remote stand at Sofia Airport which meant scanning through onto an airport bus.. The queues were not organised at all, more of a scrum with no barriers. There seemed to be no provision made for priority passengers which would have been annoying if we had business tickets (there was one guy who was clearly fuming). I understand that there are only 8 business class seats so having a whole extra queue may be mad, but a priority boarding announcement would have helped. They also didn’t announce pre-boarding for disabled passengers which is a shame as not all disabilities are visible and there may well have been people that needed it.

Bulgaria Air’s A220 Interior

Considering the size of the plane, the interior felt so spacious. It was bright and airy with a surprisngly wide aisle. (Getting to the bathroom was no issue despite one lady randomly deciding to read her magazine in the centre of the walkway). The colour scheme was light grey with a navy carpet. It was neat and inoffensive but not super exciting. As we boarded they started to play some calming music which again, was inoffensive (a little like spa music), not the pop options on Virgin Atlantic or popular classical on British Airways.

The Seats


The seats on Bulgaria Air’s A220s are set in an asymmetric 2 3 configuration. It was really nice to have 4A and 4C for all of our flights. It meant we had the two on the side and it felt pleasantly cosy. This set up means most people are happy with their aisle or window seats, and gives everyone a bit more room.


Bulgaria Air’s A220 economy cabin has a seat pitch of 30 inches and a width of 18.5 inches. This is bigger than other airlines that operate between the UK and Bulgaria. The seats felt plenty spacious thanks to the extra width (most budget airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair are only 17 inches).

The seats recline 3 inches which might not sound like much, but when combined with the headrests, you can get a comfortable map. The headrests were fully adjustable with a few inches of stretch upwards (and they came low enough even for this shorty) and with flaps on either side.

In business class, tantalisingly close, the 2×2 seats have a 38 inch pitch, 20 inch width and 6 inch recline. Plus, they are even more padded. Currently, it only costs €70 domestically or €130 to upgrade…I was so tempted.

I would also like to commend Bulgaria Air on the comfort of their padding. In a world of seats that get thinner an harder, causing lower back and bum pain to many travellers, Bulgaria Air still keeps our bottoms happy.

One last point is the cabin temperature. I was perfectly comfortable, not too cold or hot. It was such a relief to know we didn’t have to carry layers and scarves on board with us.


In the seat back in front there was an open bottomed literature holder containing the safety card. Then, a great little innovation, the phone shelf. (I mean I guess a phone or tablet could fit here so it’s the entertainment shelf). Next to it were two charging ports, one a 60w USB-C fast charger and one a normal USB-A. It’s a great set up allowing you to watch videos handsfree. If you are a cleverer content creator than me, this would be a great spot to set up your phone without needing a tripod. Instead, i just watched films and TV shows that I had downloaded.

A quick note, we were sat in row 4, the second row back in economy. The row in front had extra leg room, which is nice, but they didn’t have the phone shelf and if that is important to you, it is something to bear in mind.

Below the entertainment shelf was an adjustable tray table and a wide but shallow seat back pocket.

The Storage

Considering the size of the plane, there was a fair amount of overhead locker space. I think easily enough for everyone to have a wheelie hand luggage. You are allowed one piece weighting up to 10 kg, 55х40х23cm. Plus, you can have a handbag/personal item too.

The Entertainment

We didn’t really get anything in the way of entertainment. There wasn’t any seatback entertainment systems or WiFi. We did have a magazine but it was a bit of a business dirge rather than a fun travel magazine. It is not the kind of thing you can mindlessly flick through. If you are flying Bulgaria Air, make sure you have a phone full of distractions. Given that the seat design is great for independent viewing, you’ll be much happier.


The Bathroom

The bathrooms on the A220 are quite tight but manageable. There was a bathroom at the front but this was reserved for business class only. That’s one bathroom for 8 people, whilst the economy cabin shared 2 between 135 people.

For most of the time, the bathrooms were very clean. The hand soap was very generic and didn’t smell of much. I wonder if the business class loo had fancy cream? On our Spanish to Bulgaria leg one of the toilets was a bit of mess but overall, I thought they were kept well. That being said, every single time I used the bathroom, the toilet had not been flushed. This was definitely user error. However, I think the flush button might be the problem. I had to look around for it and it was not my first rodeo. I’m not I have seen a flush button like it, tucked on the side. Maybe a sticker, with words on, or an arrow directing people to it might help.

Food & Drink

We didn’t know there would be anything provided for food and so we had grabbed some snacks at Malaga Airport. We each munched a bag of crisps, some raspberry & vanilla Oreo’s and a drink.


Well, turns out, we got a little bottle of water as we boarded and then, a food service. There was a drink selection that included water, juices, fizzy drinks (soda) and even wine. I opted for a glass of Bulgarian white wine. I didn’t catch what it was but it was a medium, zingy, fruity wine that I quite enjoyed. (I’m no sommelier so don’t judge me if you don’t like it). Mr Fluskey opted for a Fanta.


We were handed a sandwich and I was surprised that it was warm. The cheese and (smoked?) ham roll was chewy, floury and just right. I even got a mini cheese pull! We wiped the flour from our fingers with the napkin and lemony wipe, stuffed and happy. It was the same sandwich given on both of our international legs. There was a vegetarian option too but the ham was tasty so we stuck o the same ones.

Apparently, you can preorder and pay for other meal options too including a charcuterie spread or crudités and dips. It would have been good to try these but I have only just found it…which is a little too late.


We settled back and a while later a tea and coffee service was started. This was served with a mini chocolate bar with more Bulgaria Air branding. The chocolate was a lovely (if incredibly sweet) finish to the service. It reminded me of Easter egg the best way.

Then, would you believe it? Another drink service came through. This time it was only soft drinks but I was thankful for soft drink.

On our shorter journeys, we were given one soft drink service, a tea and coffee as well and that little chocolate bar again. I think I’m going to miss having a little chocolatey treat on every flight from now on.

Final Thoughts on Our Review of Bulgaria Air Economy

Surprising and delightful, we had a lovely time flying with Bulgaria Air. It was a shame not to have provided entertainment but knowing that ahead of time, you can prop your phone up on the shelf and enjoy whatever you are currently bingeing. I have read that the chocolate was too sweet for some people but I am now fully addicted, and think it goes marvellouslly with black coffee. Maybe we will get the chance to fly with them again so I can satisfy my craving. Business class next time I reckon, as long as they keep those impressive upgrade costs!

Rosie xx

Spread the love

Leave Us A Comment