In my second resorts exploratory trip to Maldives this year, I had the opportunity to fly with Sri Lanka Airlines, for the very first time. Changi International Airport offers a wide selection of airlines but I usually stick to my ‘comfort zone’ of carriers that I am comfortable with, based on branding, experience and perception of value. That said, my first flight with Sri Lanka Airlines was a pleasantly good affair.
My positive review are based on three main criteria – price, service level and flight experience. From a price perspective, the full service round-trip ticket from Singapore to Velana International Airport (Malè) with a two hours transit at Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) represented great value as it was about 20% lower than budget airlines (although budget airlines – Tiger Air/Scoot, operates on direct flight) depending on flight dates. The service level and flight experience – friendliness of air crew, onboard meals, cabin ambience and general impression were very good. Everything went smoothly and without any surprises.
The Sri Lanka Airline uses the Airbus A320 single-aisle airliner on short and medium-haul routes. This is a reliable and proven workhorse used by many airlines all over the world.
The cabin was generally clean, well-maintained and comfortable. Nothing fancy (like mood LED lighting or electric window dimmer) but typical economy class. Should you feel cold during flight, the crew will provide blanket on request.
The legroom was generous and passengers (like me, at 5″11″) will appreciate the extra comfort. But the seat head rest are not the foldable type, so do bring a head rest support pillow if you want.
The inflight system was surprisingly enjoyable to use. Wide range of entertainment channels with the latest movies. And what’s best, the LCD screen are touch-control and responsive, doing away with cumbersome wired controller fitted in the arm rest as in many airlines.
Superb onboard meals, which arrived just pleasantly warm to touch. Juices, beer, tea or coffee, etc, are also being served. But the airline does not provide peanuts should you asked for beer, as is the norm with many full-service airlines. Ice-cream are not served either, if you are used to having it.
Vegetarians are also catered for and will enjoy the delicious meal. As Sri Lanka is famed for it’s tea, Darjeeling tea are offered without being requested .
Overall, it was a pleasant experience with Sri Lanka Airlines. Flights departed on time, cabin crew extended brisk service and were professional. With the short transit at Colombo, it provided a chance to experience the airport. As the airport is not huge, getting between connecting gates were a a breeze and did not require a half-marathon.
The only “hiccup” was when the crew chief had to evict one slightly drunk passenger during the return flight to Singapore. The situation was dealt with swiftly without incident and the plane still managed to touch down at Changi Airport on time despite a thirty minutes delay before take-off.
Would I consider Sri Lanka Airline again in future trips? Yes, definitely. Would I recommend anyone to fly with airline? Yes, I would. For continued reading to my travel experience to Maldives resorts, please feel to check out this link.
P.S – Pictures used in this review are copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and Jetabout Holidays and all rights reserved. Flights with the airline are not sponsored.