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SriLankan Airlines onboard in flight experience

Inflight service on SriLankan Airlines is like going back to how things were done in the 1960s, and this isn't always regarded as a good thing, although the inflight trolley buffet in business class is now a wonderful novelty.

SriLankan Airlines preflight drink
Pre Flight Drink In Business SriLankan Airlines juice is on offer

SriLankan Airlines cabin crew have a very 'Spanish' (or Iberia-like) attitude to service, which can be taken as unfriendly at first, and takes some getting used to. In effect the crew will rush through the cabin with as quick a service as possible and then leave you to it even in business class. You have to press the flight attendant call button during the flight to have your Sparkling Wine glass refilled, for example: the crew will never offer it.

SriLankan Airlines Business Class Experence

Before takeoff the cabin crew come around with the surprisingly chunky menus, and hot towels on a silver tray. There are also preflight drinks, with orange juice, apple juice, or 'SriLankan Airlines juice', which is a strange concoction of tropical fruit.

There is then a hurried drinks run with a packet of nuts: however Sparkling Wine is never offered, even though it is on the menu (although admittedly, hidden away). You have to explicitly ask for it, and then you are only given one glass, and no offered a refill unless you ask again.

SriLankan Airlines Inflight Service
Business Class Service The 'in flight buffet' which is in effect just a tray of slops wheeled out of the galley

Then comes the food service, and this is where it get decidedly wacky. SriLankan Airlines have all the food that is on the menu available on the cart on full display. You can then create your own mix anyway you like it for example with steak as a main, but with Sri Lankan dishes on the side. Exactly the same routine happens with the desert selection.

Finally, there is a coffee run though the plane, with three bottles of liquors on the trolley: however, SriLankan Airlines never serve Baileys.

SriLankan Airlines Inflight Service
Business Class Service The drinks trolley - and there are some weird ones on here

SriLankan Airlines Economy Class Experence

Expect few frills in economy on SriLankan Airlines.

You are pretty much ignored as you get on the plane, until about two hours into the cruise, when the meal service starts. There are two trolleys which do the whole service, from front to back, with your meal 'selection' (in effect, just the basic tray, with one of two hot dishes) plonked down. There is then a drinks run: the only one - get what you want then, as it won't be back. Some two hours later, the trays are picked up.

SriLankan Airlines Amenity Kit

It is easy to describe the SriLankan Airlines Amenity Kit - there isn't one!

In both Business Class and Economy, there is no washbag, seatback goodies, or anything. Instead, if you want a toothbrush or comb, there are a few stuffed into the shelf in the toilets.

SriLankan Airlines Amenity Kit
Amenity Kit It is a do it yourself job, in the bathrooms, on the shelf

SriLankan Airlines Baggage Allowance

SriLankan Airlines has a larger Luggage allowance than most other airlines - and it is still free.

Cabin Bags: The carry-on Baggage Allowance in Economy is of one bag, to a maximum of 7kg, while Business are allowed 2 bags to 7kg each. The maximum size of each one is 18''x 14"x 8" (46x36x20cm). Beware that this is slightly smaller than the usual airline carry on size of 23x40x55cm, and your usual carry on won't, and the gate police will nab it, measure it, and send it to the hold. As a result all regular passengers on SriLankan have a slightly smaller carry on bag than the usual size, to avoid just this problem.

SriLankan Airlines A330 Economy Class Cabin
Economy Class Cabin SriLankan Airlines basic seating

Check in luggage: Economy class can check in bags to an amazing 30kg for free - while Business class gets 40kg. The European weight, rather than the US piece concept is used on all flights: even those that fly to Canada.

Be warned that SriLankan Airlines used to be very lax about what you could take on board, with the result that everyone took on board everything including the kitchen sink. Now, they're draconian, and check bags carefully they insist that cabin baggage tags are used, and a baggage check is made during check in and at the gate. Of course many people find a way around this, and it's usual to see economy passengers take virtually everything out of their bags before passing the checkpoints, having stuffed their pockets full of everything small and heavy, only to repack their bags once onboard.

As always, these rules can change. SriLankan Airlines's website has details of exactly what you can take onto a flight.


Next Page: SriLankan Airlines Frequent Flyer scheme
All reviews and opinions on SriLankan Airlines food, service, seats, planes, upgrades, lounges, and the Frequent Flyer scheme are given as a personal opinion. No legal liability is accepted if you take my advice.
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