The journey was good; I enjoyed seeing the countryside. But the company did not provide numbered seats to passengers who booked on line. This meant I had to find an empty place only to be moved out of it when someone else got on at a later stop. This led to my glasses getting lost. There is also a ptoblem with toilet breaks when the driver changes you don’t know how long you have got before the bus will leave. On the bus I traveled on the toilet was locked .throughout . These issues could easily be rectified and would make the journey so much more enjoyable.
Generally speaking, we are satisfied from Arda tours. Especially if we consider the quality of service of other companies in the Balkans.
However, there is some space for improvement:
1. All the plugs for electricity were intentionally non-functional.
2. No wifi
3. We go to the bus station 30 minutes before departure and they tell us that the bus will be late around one hour. We had nowhere to go, so we stayed at the station, and the bus actually came and left on time, but if we had trusted the information and had left for a walk we would have missed it.
4. Bus drivers should find a way to ensure that their voice is clear and understandable. Many times we had to translate to other passengers what the driver had said
We travelled from Burgas to Istanbul. The bus was late by 30 minutes and we had to wait in the heat. The garbage was still in the storage places at the seats from previous passangers. After 10 minutes we left for Istanbul the drivers stoped for 20 minutes in the middle of nowhere to have lunch. Then we stopped before the border at a duty free shop (with no toilet) where the drivesr bought many bottles of alcohol that highly exceeded the legal quantity they could have brough into Turkey so they started to ask passangers to keep the bottles with themselves until we reached Istanbul. Very inappropriate. We thought it couldn't get any worse and then they started let passangers get off the bus at places they wanted to, with no office stops in the itenary . Some people got off at the outskirt of Istanbul and one of the drivers started chatting with them. At that time we were supposed to arrive at the distination 1.5 hours earlier. I went to talk with the other driver, that this was unacceptable, it was already 8:30pm. He was smoking in the bus, totally relaxed, of course didnt understand any English. Then finally the other driver finished chatting with the passangers and we could proceed forward with our trip. At the end the driver who was chatting found out I complained and came up to me, demanding to know the reason. I dont speak Bulgarian so lucky him we couldnt have a chat. We arrives at the bus station in Istanbul 2 hours later than we were supposed, at 9pm.... Very unpleasant trip and the fact that they were bringing alcohol into Turkey illegally asking passangers to hold to their drinks for hours.... unbelievable
Used this service (Sofia to Thessalonika) in June 2022. Straighforward service in a clean bus with no real complaints. They do make a quick pitstop in a village before the Greek border but do not depend on this to replenish supplies - they have chosen the most under stocked shop in Bulgaria complete with surly staff to match. Bring your supplies from Sofia.
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