I've always had a thing for the Far East and have found it extremely appealing (reading books, watching TV programmes). Previously I haven't had the financial resources to travel that way but since I got my current job I managed to save some and spent my holiday (eight days) last year in Singapore - it was an unearthly experience, the best place I've ever been (even better than Budapest and London which I do adore), I've even decided I would even gladly move to live there (seriously!) if only I could find a job ...
Anyway, I've decided I'll be having a part of my holidays this year in East Asia as well and I am planning to go to Hong Kong at the end of November for around ten days. As you can imagine, living in Sofia does not allow me to fly there direct, so I have to find other ways of going to Hong Kong and back. I spent some time researching different airlines and routes and here's what I ultimately came up to as alternatives (a fair number, in fact, summarised below) - ordered ascending by the price for travelling in economy (sorry if it looks a little bit messy, couldn't think of a different way to present).
AIRLINES - OUTBOUND ROUTING (DATE, AIRCRAFTS) - INBOUND ROUTING (DATE, AIRCRAFTS) - Y FARE
TK - SOF IST HKG (091120, 734, 77W) - HKG IST SOF (091129, 77W, 319) - €578.81
MA QR - SOF BUD MXP DOH HKG (091119, DH8, 737, 332, 332) HKG DOH MXP BUD SOF (091128, 332, 332, 737, 737) - €622.27
BA NZ - SOF LHR HKG (091119, 319, 772) - HKG LHR SOF (091129, 772, 319) - €651.56
BA CX - SOF LHR HKG (091119, 320, 343) - HKG LHR SOF (091129, 744, 320) - €669.49
A3 QR - SOF ATH DOH HKG (091119, ARJ, 321, 332) - HKG DOH ATH SOF (091128, 332, 321, ARJ) - €666.13
FB EK AZ - SOF FCO DXB HKG (091119, 319, 332, 772) - HKG DXB FCO SOF (091129, 772, 773, 320) - €680.14
FB AZ EK - SOF FCO MXP DXB HKG (091120, 319, 320, 343, 772) - HKG DXB MXP SOF (091130, 772, 343, 320) - €702.39
AF - SOF CDG HKG (091119, 318, 773) - HKG CDG SOF (091129, 773, 318) - €712.80
FB EK - SOF LHR DXB HKG (091120, 319, 77W, 772) - HKG DXB LHR SOF (091130, 772, 77W, 319) - €713.17
BA VS - SOF LHR HKG (091119, 319, 346) - HKG LHR SOF (091129, 346, 319) - €740.46
LX - SOF ZRH HKG (091120, ARJ, 343) - HKG ZRH SOF (091129, 343, ARJ) - €773.50
BA - SOF LHR HKG (091120, 320, 744) - HKG LHR SOF (091129, 744, 320) - €784.71
MA KL - SOF BUD AMS HKG (091120, 736, 738, 744) - HKG AMS BUD SOF (091130, 744, 737, 736) - €804.23
LH LX - SOF MUC HKG (091120, 319, 346) - HKG ZRH SOF (091129, 343, ARJ) - €808.18
FB CX - SOF FCO HKG (091119, 319, 343) - HKG FCO SOF (091129, 343, 319) - €815.93
LX LH - SOF ZRH HKG (091120, ARJ, 343) - HKG MUC SOF (091129, 346, 319) - €838.66
LH LX - SOF FRA HKG (091120, 319, 744) - HKG ZRH SOF (091129, 343, ARJ) - €841.05
FB EK - SOF SVO DME DXB HKG (091120, 319, 332, 772) - HKG DXB DME SVO SOF (091130, 772, 773, 319) - €854.03
LH - SOF MUC HKG (091120, 319, 346) - HKG MUC SOF (091129, 346, 319) - €872.36
LH - SOF FRA HKG (091120, 735, 744) - HKG MUC SOF (091129, 346, 319) - €905.23
Understandably, the advice I am seeking is what would be the 'best' way to fly - and this doesn't have to be the cheapest one or the shortest one, I'm rather looking for the overall flying experience.
Here are my personal considerations:
* it can be any of the above, as long as it is worth the money
* for that reason, since the flight to HKG (from wherever it is) would be long enough, I might consider upgrading to premium economy, where available: BA for €1,223.71; NZ for €1,360.46; VS for €1,585.56
* sorry but business is too early for me - the only one I might ever think about is TK for €1,982.81 - everything else looks insanely expensive
* to be honest, I have a natural dislike for some of the airlines (AF, AZ, FB) but I've tried to compensate for any problems that might arise with longer connecting times; plus, for some of the connections, there's just no other way; e.g. FB (Bulgaria Air) is the only airline flying direct to AMS from SOF; similarly, bad connections to HEL made me eliminate AY from this ...
That seems to be what's coming to my mind presently. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated