THE BUSINESS CLASS OF SRI LANKAN AIRLINES AND WHY IS AWARDED BEST AIRLINES IN SOUTH ASIA!
Sri Lankan Airlines was recently awarded the Best Airline in South Asia – Top Travel Awards 2017 and the 03 awards at the Golden City Gates awards 2018. I was curious to check out what all the news was about! Luckily, I had the opportunity to fly with Sri Lankan Airlines in 2018.
Even before I embarked upon my Sri Lankan sojourn, I knew what Sri Lankan hospitality would be like. Just as I entered the business class of Sri Lankan airlines in New Delhi, different features of the Sri Lankan airlines vied for my attention. From spacious seats to entertainment options, I knew my next few hours will be spent in luxury and comfort. At the end of the flight, I wished the flight was a bit longer. Here is my review of the Sri Lankan Airlines based upon my personal experience.
THE SEATS OF BUSINESS CLASS OF
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
The seats were very comfortable and luxurious. My flight from New Delhi (India) to Colombo (Sri Lanka) would not have been smooth if it were not for the luxurious seats. As soon as we settled in our respective seats, we were presented hot towels. The soft cushioned back of the seat comforted me as I availed all the facilities on board.
It was a short flight, so I did not sleep. However, I did recline the seat to lie down. Much to my delight, I was able to recline the seat to a degree which helped me to lie down, as if it was my own bedroom. We were also given very soft, light and warm blankets which made the entire journey even more comfortable.
The seats came with attached foldable tray for food, control panel, storage racks, the works! I was given the option to keep the overhead lights on or off.
THE VEGETARIAN FOOD ABOARD BUSINESS CLASS OF SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
Being a vegetarian, the most I am worried about during international travels is whether I will be able to find good vegetarian food or not! I do not want an apology of a vegetarian/vegan food. I look for real food. So, I was delighted when the hostess welcomed me with fresh fruit juices (orange and apple) followed by main meal which comprised of fresh breads (croissants with butter and preserves), cut fruits (Pineapple, papaya, kiwi, melons) and South Indian vegan food. The South Indian fare consisted of 2 large Mendu vadas and 1 large Masala Dosa cut neatly into two. It was accompanied by sambhar (a lentil dish). This is exactly what I needed though I really wished they served coconut chutney too, a South Indian staple and my favourite too.
South Indian food taste best when they are just off the pan. I know that is a limitation in airlines. That said, the taste of Mendu Vada and Masala Dosa was still great. Butter was served in a beautiful design. The portion size was huge. My co-traveler could not finish it. I wolfed down all of it though! I was not in the mood of consuming alcohol, but my co-traveller was. She ordered white wine and she was happy with what she was served. The quality of cutlery and crockery matched the standards of a five star hotel. They also cater to special dietary needs of the passengers, if informed in advance. We chose our order from the menu presented to us. The choices in drinks were impressive.
THE SERVICE STAFF OF BUSINESS CLASS OF SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
The entire service staff at Sri Lankan airlines were locally picked talent. The air-hostesses wore beautiful saris, with motifs of peacocks all over it. Saree is an aesthetically beautiful garment worn by both Indian and Sri Lankan women. It is graceful and feminine. It was heartening to see that the staff wore something local and didn’t kow tow to international norms. It always adds to the charm.
The service staff at Sri Lankan airlines was swift, attentive and well informed. No request was too big, no question was ridiculous. The food and drinks was served with a genuine smile and willingness. For example, I was unable to figure out one of the buttons on the control panel, the air hostess immediately helped me sort it without me even asking for it. Being a hotel management (IHM Lucknow) student myself, I am aware of how staff is trained to respond to the guests’ need without them demanding it. It is called ‘Anticipatory service’ in hospitality parlance. I am happy that they got it right!
THE ENTERTAINMENT AVAILABLE IN BUSINESS CLASS OF SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
I was super impressed with the choice of films they had. From Indian films to local Sri Lankan films to meaningful films of Hollywood, their entertainment screen had something for everyone. The 15.4 inch touch screen made viewing pleasurable and convenient. The headphone came sealed in a packet. The quality of the headphone was very good.
There was an impressive selection of 120 movies and over 50 TV channels. They even had films and games for kids as well. I watched selected scenes of Hindi film Dangal for sometime (since I had already seen it). I watched a Sri Lankan film called Motor Bicycle at a film festival in New Delhi. It is a Sinhalese film starring Dasun Pathirana,Samanali Fonseka and Veena Jayakodi. It is a simple film about the dreams of a Colombo boy and how it comes crashing due to his mistake. I watched the film again to get a taste of Colombo before I arrive there for the first time.
I also enjoyed reading the in flight magazine called Serendib. It had interesting travel stories about Sri Lanka and other places.
THE WASHROOMS OF BUSINESS CLASS OF SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
The washrooms were cleaned regularly and smelled good. It was well stocked with basic toiletries. Needless to say, it was easily accessible from all the seats of the Business Class which is a blessing for the elderly or the differently abled.
THE LOUNGE OF BUSINESS CLASS OF
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES:
We wish we had more time at hand at the Colombo airport while returning to New Delhi. The lounge was very luxurious and huge. It had so many activities to keep the passengers engaged meaningfully. The food and beverage section had a wide choice of complimentary wines, fruit juices, hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course meals to choose from. I already had dinner at the Old Dutch Hospital building in Colombo, so opted for red wine with cheese, olives and small sandwiches. The sofas were very comfortable and overlooked the open ground, allowing good view of the fleet. There was option to read and one could choose from different magazines and newspapers at the stand. I was even offered a complimentary 15 minutes massage but I could not avail it due to lack of time.
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry to host the writers and bloggers for reviews and media reports, I was also invited on the press trip to cover it. However, my views are not influenced by the sponsorship. It is my responsibility to give truthful information to my readers on my blog and I have adhered to that personal policy while writing this blog.
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