After flying almost 11,000 miles across the world, which included a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER business class from YVR-JFK, as well as JFK-AUH on Etihad Airway’s A380, I was excited to fly the last leg of my itinerary to my final destination of the Maldives.
As I had redeemed the trip with American AAdvantage miles, which is part of the One World alliance, Sri Lankan was one of two options to get to the Maldives, along with Qatar. Since my first choice with Qatar Airways didn’t pan out, I thought it would be a good chance to try out Sri Lankan. It is a short flight at only 45 minutes, so it would be a good way to get a feel for the airline before flying them on a longer route.
I arrived in Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in the early hours of the morning, on a red-eye from Abu Dhabi. Colombo is not a big airport at all, but for some reason it took me a while to find Sri Lankan’s Serendib Lounge. Perhaps it was my lack of sleep getting to me.
The Serendib lounge itself isn’t very noteworthy at all, with outdated styling and furnishing, awkwardly cramped seating areas, and several large communal dining tables which made it look more like a restaurant than a lounge. Although, the food spread was decent. I spent a few hours here waiting for my
Sri Lankan’s A330-300 business class consists of reverse herringbone seating (my personal favourite) in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are 7 rows of seats, making for 28 in total. I was seated in 3A for this flight. I loved the fact that this layout was used on such a short route.
Waiting on my seat was a pillow, and on the footrest, a light blanket. There is no amenity kit provided for this flight, due to the duration.
Once I settled into my seat, a flight attendant came by to offer pre-departure beverages, from which I selected an orange juice. Hot towels were also distributed.
Here’s a brief look around the seat. You’ve got the tray table that swivels out from beneath the
On the side console, you’ve got the simple, intuitive seat controls, universal power outlet, IFE controller, and an LED reading lamp.
Storage space can be found beneath the side table, and the footrest provides quite a bit of legroom.
A blanket was provided, which was light and soft.
As with all reverse herringbone seats, the screen flips out from the seat back in front, and can be stowed when not in use.
The tropical rain fell heavily as we taxied out for departure. The clouds were hanging really low, and soon after takeoff, we were already cutting through the layers of dark clouds.
Since the flight was less than an hour, I didn’t bother getting into the IFE, and simply scanned the list of movies to see what was available. The selection actually seemed quite good, with a mix of Western films and Foreign films.
Meal service started very soon after departure. The short flight necessitated that the meal is served all on one tray. I opted for the Sri Lankan Style Milk Rice Trio, which was presented nicely in distinct rice squares. The redfish curry that came with it was really tasty and surprisingly spicy. It came with a choice of bread and fresh fruit.
By the time the meal was wrapping up, we were already setting up for our descent into Male. The mood lighting in the cabin really embodied the Sri Lankan colours.
One cool thing about Male’s airport is that they only have one runway, and no taxiways, so any plane that has landed will need to do a 180 at the end of the runway, and backtrack to get to the gate. Reminded me a bit of St. Maarten.
Almost all the aircraft that fly into Male are heavies, which is made all the better by the fact that all the gates in Male are remote gates! We pulled into our gate alongside an Emirates 777.
While not a full review by any means, this 45-minute flight gave me a glimpse into Sri Lankan’s business class offering. The hard product is similar to other reverse herringbone products I’ve flown before, like Cathay Pacific’s A330s. The food was tasty (and spicy), and I would love to try a full meal service with them on a longer route. The crew were friendly, but compared to EVA, ANA or JAL, they still have some way to go.
For a more cinematic experience, be sure to check out our YouTube trip report for this flight.
What did you think about my short flight on Sri Lankan? Would you give them a try? Let me know in the comments! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for instant updates when we release a new post! Also head over to our YouTube channel for our video trip reports. Thanks for reading!
Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.