Review of SriLankan Airlines flight Cochin Colombo in Economy

Airline SriLankan Airlines
Flight UL168
Class Economy
Seat 19A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 06 Dec 15, 16:15
Arrival at 06 Dec 15, 17:30
UL   #81 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 58 reviews
By 823
Published on 23rd October 2016
Flying back home to Colombo after couple of days in Bangalore
Presenting my 11th Trip Report (My 6th on

COK-CMB (6th December 2015) SriLankan Airlines/UL168/Airbus A320-200)

Here is the entire video of this trip report:

Planing Process

Honestly speaking flying back from Kochi was never on the cards, since SriLankan Airlines where to put me on the flight from Bangalore that evening but that wasn't so with my options being the City of Kolkata and yes Kochi was one of the more practical options.
I personally chose Kochi from Kolkata, mainly since Ii was familiar with the airport from my last stint as well as the language and turned down Kolkata (even though I wanted to visit) since domestic flights from Bangalore to Kolkata where on the expensive side compared to the Bangalore to Kochi sector.

Flying on board AirAsia India yet again I got myself back to Kerela for my flight back home on SriLankan Airlines.

My Insane itinerary: finally getting back home!

2015-12-03 UL167 CMB-COK 14:05 15:25 ALK A320 4R-ABO (12A)
2015-12-03 I51130 COK-BLR 22:05 23:10 IAD A320 VT-BLR (25F)

2015-12-06 I51125 BLR-COK 10:05 11:05 IAD A320 VT-APJ (11A)
2015-12-06 UL168 COK-CMB 16:15 17:30 ALK A320 4R-ABL (19A) [Trip Report 11]


Upon landing in Kochi yet another agonizing layover awaited me, this time 5 hours! but then again this was for an International flight and passengers are scheduled to be at the airport at least 3 Hours before departure, so it wasn't that bad

Managed to have Lunch at the Airports Restaurants and lucky for me I was aware of the airports layout and navigating around was a piece of cake!
Making use of yet another 45 minutes of free WiFi, I decided to clear security and Immigration, drop my bags off at the Dedicated Online Check-in & FlySmiles Counter and enter the International Departure terminal. This was vastly different from the domestic concourse, modern and maintained very well

Saying hi to "Velha Goa" (VT-EVB) one of the Remaining Boeing 747-400's in service for Air India.
photo img_0740

FR24, notified me that the Incoming flight from Colombo,UL167 was operated by 4R-ABL one of the oldest in the fleet and yet it was indeed another Airbus A320-200, my 4th on this trip
Quite thankfully there where no delays as ABL landed at Kochi on-time

My flight back home, 4R-ABL inbound to Cochin as UL167
photo 2photo ula320

Airline: SriLankan Airlines (UL/ALK)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: 4R-ABL
Gate: 4
Flight: UL168
Seat Number: 19A

Trip Report 11
In short, this was definitely my worst ever Short-haul flight and my overall worst ever on SriLankan Airlines, quite ironic as my flight onward to Cochin from Colombo a few days ago was one of my most memorable ones.

4R-ABL at Gate 4
photo img_0743

Upon Boarding, it was clear that 4R-ABL was a old and worn out Airbus A320, neglected and sadly lacking proper maintenance

Today's load was at 100% with many passengers being Indian, looking forward to a holiday in Sri Lanka.
My Seat mate being a fellow Sri Lankan returning back home and quite ironically flying in from Bangalore (he flew in though on Jet Airways)
photo img_0746

The crew on AirAsia India where so much better compared to the crew on-board UL168, Customer service being at its lowest, no proper communication with passengers which was pretty shocking to see an airline that markets itself on Hospitality and Quality of service and overall customer satisfaction.
Being a SriLankan I was utterly disappointed and disgusted.

A member of the cabin crew approached me and told me not to video too as I quote "something could happen to the aircraft systems" which was pretty annoying off as in practicality, what harm could an iPhone 5 do.
I informed her that absolutely nothing would happen a my device was on flight mode and there has never been an accident involved in using a phone to Video, and not to be so naive about it.
The guys at SriLankan should definitely hire crew with at least an atom of common scene, because:

(1) As an independent Flight Reporter, I am giving them a service of Customer feedback and sentiments absolutely free of charge and if so this was to be done in other ways a heavy cost would apply.
(2) Marketing the airline with absolutely zero cost incurred on the organization
(3) Before Passengers patronize an airline or sector for the first time, as per the 21st Century, they look out for reviews, blogs, customer experiences, flight reports and videos prior to confirming their travel arrangements. Therefor when such content is published on YouTube,Facebook, Twitter, Intsagram as well as Flight-Report it would be indeed be fruitful for any airline

I've flown with many other carriers and non of them have declined passengers taking pictures and videos on board! Probably UL wanted to hide ABL away from public eye

Take off was smooth as always and we where up cruising at 37,000 Feet in no time

The seat couldn't be compared even to an LCC! Old, worn out, discolored and falling apart. No wonder ABL was assigned only for South India, Disgraceful
There was obviously no IFE Systems probably due to the age of the aircraft or else that UL wasn't interested in Revamping ABL like ABO,my onward flight to Kochi.
photo img_0764

Meal Service was yet another disaster! Gosh! if things go wrong, everything goes wrong

And the worst part of this flight??…Yes it was the food!
It was guaranteed the worst ever meal I've had on an Aircraft or at an airport!
There where no options to chose from and the Vegetable Briyani that was dished out was inedible and I too noticed many fellow passengers simply letting it pass coupled with a few complains going around mainly due to the fact that everyone was expecting something for lunch on a full service carrier!

The crew conducting Meal Service
photo 9

And here's the meal!
photo food

Approaching the Coast-line of SriLanka
photo 8

Thankfully we landed on-time as more than happy to land back at CMB and relived to put the entire experience behind me

SriLankan's retired Airbus A340-300
4R-ADA with 4R-ADC in the hangar awaiting its fate.
photo 4r

Hello Colombo!!
photo cmb

SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-200 (4R-ALH) in OneWorld Livery along side Oman Air's Boeing 737-800 preparing to depart to Muscat
photo alh

A frequent Visitor at CMB, Emirates Boeing 777-200ER
photo img_0767

And the Local Airbus A321's
SriLankan Airlines 4R-ABR and Mihin Lanka's 4R-MRD
photo img_0765photo img_0766

A glimpse of 4R-MRF in the background.
Mihin Lanka's only Airbus A319
photo img_0768

Cleared Emigration and was on my way home within an hour after landing

Just a little note to The Management of SriLankan Airlines:

The very first impression a foreigner would have about a country would be its National Carrier, thereby do make sure that service standards are maintained at the utmost highest quality.
Also a bit of advice would be to not disregard the development and service short-haul routes mainly India and Maldives as they too contribute in Revenue generation for UL.
Maintaining all aircraft at the same level would be a practical and wiser move, since all passengers flying Short and Medium haul deserve the best for the price paid on a full service carrier
If this isn't done, brand image and loyalty of us customers would result in a decline.
I informed UL regarding these irregularities and i really do hope that they take corrective action
See more


SriLankan Airlines

Cabin crew2.5

Cochin - COK


Colombo - CMB





  • Comment 371579 by
    Thurya 77 Comments

    Hi Aaqib,

    Thanks for the trip report. Quite a shock too see such a dismal performance by UL. South India generates a lot of income for them as many who work in middle east take flights via CMB so actually they should more attentive. Condition of ABL is horrific makes me wonder what to expect in future when two MJ aircraft are added to the fleet by end of this month. They should really look into revamping the interiors otherwise no point in choosing UL over another low cost carrier.

    Thanks again. Cheers!!!

    • Comment 371591 by
      aaqib67 AUTHOR 51 Comments

      Hi Thurya,

      Thank you for your comments.
      To be honest I was pretty shocked myself at the state of Our National Carrier.
      Many passengers on-board too voiced their opinion about the horrible service also stating that they took this flight mainly since it was a direct flight or else they'd have to spend a couple of hours in Chennai to connect to Colombo.
      Hopefully the Mihin Lanka Aircraft are in better condition, I've been told by a friend that both of the A321's have been maintained well since he too had flown on ABL form Chennai a couple of months ago and on MRC and MRD to Bangalore and Madurai respectively.
      So lets hope for the best and probably ABK and ABL would be returned with the introduction of the A320Neo's as these two birds are sadly causing much damage to the Image of UL


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