If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you would know that I travel a lot and very often. When you spend a lot of time waiting at airport lounges, trying different carriers, you tend to appreciate good service when you get it. There’s not a lot more a weary traveler can ask for from an airline but timeliness, warm hospitality, and smiles from the staff.
In July, I got a call from Sri Lankan Airlines inviting me and a few other influencers to China on their fleet. We were going to China via Sri Lanka and I immediately said YES to the offer so we could get started on the visa and other paperwork. The carrier is a member of the One World Alliance (Air Berlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines). This means you get mileage that you can then redeem on tickets, upgrades, and shopping, to boot. The airline started out in 1979 and has since then won numerous awards and support from travelers for customer support, reliability, good flight connections, and safety.
I traveled on four different flights from Delhi-Colombo, Colombo-Beijing, Shanghai- Colombo, and Colombo- Delhi, all on business class.
Delhi – Colombo UL 0196
Colombo – Beijing UL 0868
Shanghai- Colombo UL 0867
Colombo – Delhi UL 0195
Aircrafts: A330 & 320
I was traveling with Richa Fotedar, Rahul Jagtiani, Nikhil from That Desi Girl Blog, Roxanne Bamboat and Amrita Kaur. The GM of Marketing for SLA, Mr. Saminda Perera, was kind enough to take time out to accompany us on our travels. He was joined by Anuj Lokhandwala, a PR representative from Outbound Konnections.
The staff: most of you know how much more pleasant long haul flights become with friendly cabin crew that is available to help. Well, I have got to tell you that #srilankanairlines has the best staff both on board and on ground. When we were 35000 ft above sea level and all was settled, the staff came up to us to share anecdotes of their time on air. They even brought us all bubbly so we could let her hair down and celebrate the fact that we were going to China. I was gluten free and my friend, Nidhi was vegan and it was delightful how they took our meal requests into consideration. On one sector, the vegetarian meal had run out, and the crew quickly stepped in to share a delicious crew meal with us. I don’t usually eat food on long haul flights but the f&b selection was terrific on the carrier.
The experience- We were flying business class on all four sectors and the seats were comfortable with 180-degree recline to guarantee a full nights sleep. They gave us slippers, eye masks, ear plugs and bathroom amenities The in flight entertainment was very comprehensive with games, #Hollywood movies, international films and some #Bollywood films as well episodes of #newgirl and #2brokegirls.
Verdict: with world class hospitality and the best support staff hands down, Sri Lankan Airlines is a pleasure to fly. With ample leg room, reclinable beds, brilliant in flight entertainment, great food options and lounge access with free massages; I don’t know many airlines who can boast of these services but I sure as hell enjoyed it. They have recently launched flights from Colombo to Melbourne so you can rest assured that I will use this carrier to visit my friends down under. I loved my experience with #SLA and cannot recommend it enough. Special thanks to everyone that participated and organized such a memorable service. Until next time folks. xx
P.S- Although my trip was sponsored, all opinions are my own.
P.P.S- when in Colombo, please pay Semondu, at Fort Colombo a visit. Order their crab curry, hoppers and the seafood platter. Please wear elastic pants or loosen that belt for that feast is a truly memorable one.
Lead Image courtesy- Nidhi Mohan Kamal