Experience with Sri Lankan Airline

Old Dec 20, 15, 3:06 am
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Experience with Sri Lankan Airline

I am planning my next flight to Vietnam and Malaysia in business for next month. Looking at Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways options, but then I started to look at Sri Lankan. Their business fare to KUL is not bad and then I can get a fairly decent MH fare to SGN. So my questions are:

1. What's the experience like with UL? Food, service, etc?
2. Do they have flat beds LHR-CMB and CMB-KUL?
3. What's the lounge like at CMB? Are there options to use other OW lounges?
4. If layover is 12 hours is it possible to leave the terminal and see any bit of Columbo?
5. Does anyone know how may tier points you get for LHR-CMB and CMB-LHR in business?
6. Do people still experience difficulty getting tier/avios points credited to BAEC account?

I would appreciate any replies to these questions or any general feedback.

Thanks.

Last edited by jahason; Dec 20, 15 at 3:52 am
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Old Dec 20, 15, 3:17 am
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
I am planning my next flight to Vietnam and Malaysia in business for next month. Looking at Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways options, but then I started to look at Sri Lankan. Their business fare to KUL is not bad and then I can get a fairly decent MH fare to SGN. So my questions are:

1. What's the experience like with UL? Food, service, etc?
2. Do they have flat beds LHR-CMB and CMB-KUL?
3. What's the lounge like at CMB? Are there options to use other OW lounges?
4. If layover is 12 hours is it possible to leave the terminal and see any bit of Columbo?
5. Does anyone know how may tier points you get for LHR-CMB and CMB-LHR in business?

I would appreciate any replies to these questions or any general feedback.

Thanks.
1) Good.
2) Yes, LHR-CMB
3) Blue and grubby
4) Visa? Transit Visa?
5) Direct. 140 each way.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 3:22 am
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I think this should be on the 'Other Asian Airlines...' forum. It has nothing to do with BA.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
I think this should be on the 'Other Asian Airlines...' forum. It has nothing to do with BA.
Q5 He was asking how many tier points he would get!
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Old Dec 20, 15, 3:39 am
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I've not flown UL in recent years, so only a partial answer:

3: There are 4 lounges in CMB, 2 run by UL, Serendib is the one you want, and that's a good, modern and comfortable lounge. Serendiva, the UL lounge above, is for status passengers travelling economy. I see MH have a Flounge of sorts, the Lotus First lounge, but it's quite small and not as good as Serendib, though it's geographically close to their boarding gate. I wouldn't spend too long there, an hour is quite enough.

4: Yes it's perfectly possible to leave the terminal, transit passengers are allowed to do this if their onward flight is within 24 hours. It takes about 45 minutes and a premium taxi will cost around 12 each way (it will probably be cheaper on the return, get a restaurant or hotel to get one for you). You can get one of these from the car rental like booths in Arrivals. Congestion and temperature tends to make this an interesting experience, so patience is needed. I would go to somewhere like the north end of Galle Road and work downwards. You could also book a day room at a hotel (such as the Ranuka) and get them to organise a taxi for you. Room rates aren't amazingly cheap though.

5: It's 140 TPs for all business class sectors over 2,000 miles irrespective of airline, but do check the calculator online at BA.com. Some flights over 6,000 miles get 160 TPs but there aren't many of them.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 11:55 am
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Thanks for all the replies. My next question probably belongs in Destination-Asia forum - Is it worthwhile getting a flight with 12 hour layover to get out and see Negombo?
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Old Dec 20, 15, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
Thanks for all the replies. My next question probably belongs in Destination-Asia forum - Is it worthwhile getting a flight with 12 hour layover to get out and see Negombo?
Well, IMHO, not really. I found that an hour was more than enough, but YMMV.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
Thanks for all the replies. My next question probably belongs in Destination-Asia forum - Is it worthwhile getting a flight with 12 hour layover to get out and see Negombo?
It depends. If you arrive between 1800 and 2400, twelve (to 18) hours with a real bed is worth it to many people.

For people who enjoy the beach, 36 hours would be perhaps a better choice, assuming the selection of a hotel with beach front in Negombo. For the most part, the area is low key. The fancy expensive places are much further south and not practical for a short stopover.

Three or four days would be a practical minimum to see some of the historical places.

Happy wandering

Fred
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Old Dec 21, 15, 2:14 am
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
6. Do people still experience difficulty getting tier/avios points credited to BAEC account?

Since no one's answered this one yet: no issues of late. They had a few niggles early on in OWhood, but seems to be all good now. Haven't had any go missing.
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Old Dec 21, 15, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by TGflyergirl View Post
Since no one's answered this one yet: no issues of late. They had a few niggles early on in OWhood, but seems to be all good now. Haven't had any go missing.
Mine normally post in 7 days from the flight.

FWIW - I've flown UL 4 times in the past 6 weeks - once LHR>CMB>L<HR and the last CDG>CMB>CDG.

The Serendib lounge is nice with a good view of the outside. As my last flight was quite late I didn't eat any food but the Pop is Piper Heidseck.

I had to ask about the Silk Route which is a "benefit" for business class customers - all it seemed to be was a shortcut to the front of the security line.

Service onboard is great, if a little unpolished. However the CC are very friendly and nothing is a bother. I say a little better in terms of personality as opposed to Qatar who can be a little cardboard.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by TGflyergirl View Post
Since no one's answered this one yet: no issues of late. They had a few niggles early on in OWhood, but seems to be all good now. Haven't had any go missing.
I flew 2x J-class legs on UL (DPS-SIN-LHR) about 10 days ago, no sign of the Avios/TP's yet - having found nothing but negatives about this aspect, I've submitted the claim and am now waiting...TP year ends in about a fortnight, and I need them for Silver, so we'll see!
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Old Dec 23, 15, 12:54 am
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I have nothing but praise for UL J (BKK-CMB; CMB-SIN). I loved the food, the FAs were extremely courteous, and the Camus cognac was a treat.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 2:18 am
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I have another couple of questions.

I have booked my flights with UL up to KUL in business. I have a 12 hour layover going out and a 20 hour layover on the return. Do UL provide hotel accomodation or should I book my own?

Also should I apply for a visa through ETA or is this not required when in transit?

Once again I would appreciate any tips.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by jahason View Post
I have another couple of questions.

I have booked my flights with UL up to KUL in business. I have a 12 hour layover going out and a 20 hour layover on the return. Do UL provide hotel accomodation or should I book my own?
UL will provide hotel accommodation on stopovers. You'll need to check eligibility by calling UL direct.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 12:06 pm
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Thanks I called UL. They confirmed I would get hotel accomodation and they will email within two days to confirm. They advised getting an ETA done.
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