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Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

canada
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11 posts
13 reviews
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Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

I had the worst travelling experience with the Sri lankan airline few weeks ago and wanted to share them with those who are considering fllying with them. First I 'll share the good experience going to Sri lanka,,,our return flight was a nightmare.

We flew to Colombo from Paris over the christmas holidays with my family (2 year old). The plane was old and outdated. one of the toilet wasn't working. The entertainment system was a joke (my husband's tv wasn't working at all). However, the service and the food was excellent - lots of beverage service!

The worst was coming back. It was a 11 1/2 hour flight to Heathrow from Colombo and it was a nightmare. We boarded the plane and the plane was even older than the ones we were on earlier. The crew was terrible. After the first meal they served once take off, they all slept in the back with the curtains covering their seat. No drinks, no snacks served even after 7 hours. I was flying with a toddler and I needed apple juice and when asked for one, the steward was upset that I interrupted their sleep and said that they didn't have any juice. I started seeing people going up to the kitchette for snacks and they were offered kitkat chocolates and apples. I had to go to the back of the plane and asked for juice and she was able to offer me some. I also noticed a tray full of various juices sitting on the corner ready to be served, which wasn't served until 4 hours later (which we refused to drink as the OJ has been sitting out) They finally served us the next meal and hour before we landed in Heathrow. By the time we landed, we were hungry and tired from a hellish flight.

If SL is promoting their tourism they should atleast update their flights and perhaps hire competent crew.

Kilmarnock, United...
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367 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

I totally sympathise with you.My family have flew with a few crap airlines over the years. When going to Asia we now now fly with Emirates....We flew with Sri Lankan airways 11 years ago and they treated us the same...very ignorant staff on the return journey, hiding from passengers and sleeping more than the hungry passengers were. We were starving on the flight.

We flew with China Airlines to Thailand from Heathrow 3 years ago....worst and longest flight ever...BORING!!!! no movies, rotten food and the staff complained my 6 year old twin sons were TALKING too loud while playing with their Lego....Rage!!! God help my sons if they had been crying, the pilot would have probably diverted the plane and flung them off. Airlines really need to consider children too when flying. I was in tears with stress after the 11.5hr flight. Our children said they never wanted to fly again...lol

Hopefully you have now got over your nightmare flight. Next time before booking look at the airline reviews....

Regards

Cessnock :O)

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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3 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Hello

Now i am scared :S, couse we have already booked our flight with SL airlines. Its 4 hours flight but still....

Kilmarnock, United...
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367 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

4hrs? You'll be fine!....by the time they feed you and you have a sleep...well try to....lol...the plane will be desending.

Enjoy your flight

Cessnock :O)

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Sorry, but I can't recognise your description of SriLankan Airlines. I have flown with them several times from/to London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt and Stockholm - even when they were Air Lanka.

Never had a reason for complaints. On all flights they have done several rounds of juices/water.

I can understand that FAs gout upset if you disturbed them while they were resting behind the curtains. Yes, FAs have breaks during long haul flights, but there will be at least one FA on duty in each galley. Just get out of your seat and walk the nearest galley and ask for what you need.

Planes are getting a bit dated but well maintained. A340s are built 1994-2000. AC are using 767s and A330s that just as old.

Emirates service to/from Europe is usually good, but the service on flights to/from Colombo is nothing to write home about.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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50,517 posts
174 reviews
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5. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Hmmm... no bad experience with staff indeed. QUITE bad with the plane interiors, broken TV's and armrests are amongst the almost normal troubles. And the 'outside' stuff is also starting to ache again: last September 30 mins delay getting the luggage in Colombo because, yuk, the cargo door could not be opened without calling in a technician. They've had similar disasters in the Air Lanka time but then e.g. with a door refusing to open in London, meaning the passengers could disembark but the luggage came 72 hours later after the plane had been back to Colombo for in-depth servicing :-(

They're busy upgrading the interiors now, yes, but also have raised the prices Europe-Lanka by 10-20% now making them generally far above Qatar, Emirates etc. For some worth it for the direct flight, but you 'loose' that in plane/service quality...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Los Angeles
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325 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Worst airline ever?? It would take a visit just south of you (Canada) to the US to realize where the worst airlines are located. I have travelled more than 50 times on SriLankan Airlines and the former Airlanka since 1981 and would like to reply to some of these comments.

I have flown on 22 different airlines and would rank SriLankan in the top 5. You mention Emirates....I have flown 4 times on Emirates, both in EY and Business. While service in Business Class was excellent, service in economy class was nothing to write home about. After the meal service, the crew got into the galley, closed the curtains, and never came out for hours. If you wanted a drink, you would have to walk up to the galley. Mind you, this was from Zurich to Dubai, and not one of those flights from Dubai to Colombo.

The crew does have a right to sleep for an hour on a long flight, just like all international airlines. I have flown on airlines where the crew serve you a drink only on a 5 hour flight, and then go chat in the galley. Did I mention that if you even complain or talk back that you could be arrested on Federal charges for "interfering with a flight crew" when the aircraft lands? There were at least 10 incidents last year just in the US.

Yes, SriLankan does have old aircraft, but their aircraft are safe and accident free. For me, I would prefer to have good meals and service over bad meals and service in a new aircraft. I have travelled many times on Singapore Airlines, which is rated as the #1 airline, but was disappointed with their service when I did not see a flight attendant in the cabin for over 2 hours on a trans pacific flight.

OK, toilet wasn't working...I have flown many times when one or more toilets have been out of order. I used a different toilet.

Entertainment was not working...I flew on Singapore Airlines where the entertainment system in the whole aft cabin did not work on a 16 hour flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. There was nothing to watch or listen to...does that make SQ the worst airline ever?

I see nothing unusual in serving a meal soon after take off and and a few hours before landing, which is the norm for any airline on a 10-12 hour flight. The aircraft galley space is such that they cannot carry any more meals. You got a dinner and breakfast - both hot meals. I flew the same hours from Los Angeles to London on British Airways and got a dinner soon after take off and dry ham sandwich with juice before landing. No snacks were offered in between meals at any time, nor did I see the cabin crew at any time.

I flew on Business Class on SriLankan 3 times last year and was pretty impressed with their service to the extent that I would say it beat Emirates and Singapore Airlines service. The artificial smiles on doll like faces on the two latter, were replaced with friendly, sincere, and down to earth smiles.

Cheers.

Robbie

Colombo, Sri Lanka
6 posts
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7. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Hi Robbie !

On behalf of all Sri Lankans here and abroad, Thank You !

No one is perfect, and neither is Sri Lankan Airlines. However, that does not mean the others are faultless.

Regards,

Sri Lanka Tours.

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14 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

Like the OP, I've had a similar experience with SL Airlines. Outdated plane, service was unprofessional & the food was cold.

The entertainment system was analog and had static across all channels.

I figured this was because it was a short flight from Malaysia and they didn't use one of their better planes.

SL Airlines is owned by Emirates right? I can only say good things about emirates though!

Edited: 08 January 2011, 00:07
Unawatuna
7 posts
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9. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

In fact, Sri Lankan is no longer part-owned by Emirates, since the President withdrew the CEO's visa after he refused to bump 30-40 people to accommodate him and his entourage a few years ago. The government bought out Emirates last year for their share (a deal they couldn't refuse, as no-one else was interested) and since then, in my opinion, the airline has deteriorated rapidly. We would no longer consider flying them - shoddy interior indicates shoddy engine maintenance. Air Asia, on the other hand, who fly here via Kuala Lumpur, are excellent and fly new planes for a lot less.

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
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10. Re: Sri lankan airlines...worst airline ever

shoddy interior indicates shoddy engine maintenance

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Utter nonsense.

Hans