Welcome to my “Sri Lanka Airlines – My first flight review”. In my second resort 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 is 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 a direct flight) depending on flight dates. The service level and flight experience – friendliness of aircrew, onboard meals, cabin ambience, and general impression were very good. Everything went smoothly and without any surprises.
Sri Lanka Airlines 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 the flight, the crew will provide a blanket on request.
The legroom was generous and passengers (like me, at 5″11″) will appreciate the extra comfort. But the seat headrest are not the foldable type, so do bring a headrest 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 armrest as in many airlines.
Superb onboard meals, which arrived just pleasantly warm to the touch. Juices, beer, tea or coffee, etc, are also being served. But the airline does not provide peanuts should you ask for beer, as is the norm with many full-service airlines. Ice cream is 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 its tea, Darjeeling tea is offered without being requested.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience with Sri Lanka Airlines. Flights departed on time, and the 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 was 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 recommend anyone to fly with the airline? Yes, I would. For continued reading about my travel experience to Maldives resorts, please feel to check out this link. Hope you find my article “Sri Lanka Airlines – My first flight review’ useful.
P.S. – Pictures used in this review are copyrighted to Jensen Chua Photography and all rights reserved. Flights with the airline are not sponsored.
Thanks for posting this! It was really helpful. I would like to ask about your return flight from Maldives to Singapore. Did you take the morning or night flight? I noticed that for the morning flights back to Singapore, the transit time is only 50mins..do you think it will be too rush?
Thanks and regards,
Hi Ryan, there is no issue with the short transit time as the current airport and resort lounges are very near. Depending on the resort u are staying, there is a seaplane lounge that you can rest before your flight. It’s just 5-7min via shuttle bus/car to each other.
The transit time of 50mins is the minimum connection time given by airlines … technically it shd be ample time if there is no delay from Maldives to Colombo as the boarding gate for the connecting flight is usually close. (the airport is not big) which u can juz walk over. However, it the flight from Male is delayed, then you might not be able to connect in time. Airlines r not responsible for missed Connection. Hope that info helps.