SriLankan airlines formerly called Air Lanka is the national airline of Sri Lanka. I haven’t traveled with Srilankan airlines before, and frankly, I haven’t heard much about Srilankan airlinse either.
So how was my experience? I would say not bad. The first impressions weren’t bad at all. It’s difficult to analyze an airline based on just one trip, but the following pros and cons will give you some idea of how Srilankan airlines is faring. While not all of these strong or weak points will be recurring, some of them will.
PROS OF SRILANKAN AIRLINES
- Steel cutlery. I hate having to fight with the meat with plastic cutlery and for me this is a forte of SriLankan airlines, no matter how small a detail this is.
- Flight left and landed on time
- The airconditioning is was just the right amount, unlike any I’ve experienced in any other airline. Usually it’s so hot when the plane is grounded and then when it takes off, it gets freakin cold. Even when you close your individual airconditioning vent, it doesn’t help. Compared to all the airlines I’ve travelled on, great and small, Srilankan airlines airconditioning was the best, at the very least it agreed with my body temperature. And even when the plane was standing idle, the airconditioning was still on with just the right amount. For me this is the forte of SriLankan airlines.
So why is it so hot when the plane is on ground and cold when it goes up? To understand that, you need to have studied Gas Turbines in an engineering college. But worry not. You’ve got me to explain it in layman terms.
The aircraft doesn’t actually have an air-conditioning like the one we’ve in our homes or even in big buildings. What it does to provide proper cooling is circulate the outside air into the air circulation system. And because the air is already cold when the plane is up in the air, you get instant air-conditioning just like that. Actually it’s not that simple. There’s a compressor in each of the gas turbine engines of an aircraft, the ones that you see on the wings. The compressor compresses air for the subsequent turbine in stages. There’s one particular stage in the compressor called the bleed stage from where the air instead of going to the turbine completely is partially bled into the air-conditioning system of the aircraft.
So if that’s how it works, then how come the AC works when the plane is on ground? Good question. In that case, there’s an auxiliary engine usually located on the tail of the plane which runs all the systems of the plane including powering the air-conditioning.
So if it is available, then how come the AC is not working on ground. Good question. I guess only the airline can answer that. My guess is that because it’s a small engine, it does not have the power to properly circulate the air throughout the length and breadth of the plane.
- Food was alright. More or less like PIA. Can’t compare to Thai or Emirates. But more than that, what impressed me the most was the fact that a proper menu was given to the passengers of the economy class to take their pick. Although there were only three main courses to choose from and the starter and the dessert was fixed, still this is something I’ve yet to come across in the economy class of an airline.
CONS OF SRILANKAN AIRLINES
- Worst touchscreen ever on the entertainment console in an airline. This was my most frustrating experience trying get a touchscreen to work, either on an airplane or otherwise. At first I thought maybe there was a specific way to make it work, but after an hour of grappling with it, I realized the fault was with the darn thing and with me. Not only was the touchscreen not responding to touch properly, it wasn’t calibrated either. When you tried pressing the ‘Back’ button, it activated the home button. The Srilankan airlines management really need to get all these consoles checked and repaired.
- Seats not spaced equally apart. Now this was something new for me. The seat I got the first time around, the seat in front of me was literally in my face. At first I though he had reclined his chair, but that wasn’t the case. And there was hardly any room for me to place my 6-foot frame legs properly. Luckily, the seat next to me was part of a family, and the husband had been given a seat a couple of rows behind. He requested me to change seats to be with his family, and since his was an aisle seat as well, I agreed. And to my pleasant surprise, that seat had ample leg space. What’s more, I peered around and realized the rows were not equidistant. Some had more leg space, the others did not. Very very strange.
Tip For Seat Reservation on SriLanka Airlines
Now I didn’t expect this kind of advanced feature would be available on an airline like SriLankan airlines, but there it was. On the SriLankan airlines website you could actually log on and change your seat positioning from the one you were initially given. That is provided there is another one not occupied. When you log on with either your ticket no. or reservation no, there’s an option for confirming your booking. Within that option, there a sub-section where the entire cabin seat map opens up showing your current seat and the rest of the seats, either available or occupied.
In my case, I had been given a seat right at the back – 44- and that also in the middle of two seats. It couldn’t have been worse, since I prefer either the aisle or the window seat. And pretty much all the other seats were already occupied, except for one – an aisle one ‘8C’. I immediately changed it to that one.
You better do the same before the actual date of travelling if you want to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
FINAL WORD ON SRILANKAN AIRLINES
Although I’m not exactly sure how SriLankan airlines has positioned itself, but it’s the not most luxurious airlines around by any stretch of the imagination. Having said that, SriLankan airlines is managing to do quite well. There are a few hiccups here and there, and under the present state it can’t compete with the industry giants like Emirates and Singapore Airlines but overall SriLankan airlines is managing to keep things under control.
[easyreview title=”Srilankan Airlines” icon=”star2″ cat1title=”Check-in experience” cat1detail=”Went smoothly.” cat1rating=”9″ cat2title=”Seat Comfort” cat2detail=”The 1st seat spacing pathetic.2nd one alright.” cat2rating=”5.0″ cat3title=”FOOD” cat3detail=” Alright.” cat3rating=”6.5″ cat4title=”Punctuality” cat4detail=”On time.” cat4rating=”8.5″ cat5title=”In-flight amenities” cat5detail=”No Wifi, entertainment console sucked.” cat5rating=”3.0″ cat6title=”In-flight service” cat6detail=”Actually quite good.” cat6rating=”7.5″ cat7title=”Baggage handling” cat7detail=”Baggage arrived prompto” cat7rating=”9.0″ summary=”Not bad at all. Could improve markedly in certain areas.”]