Flying back home to Colombo after couple of days in Bangalore Presenting my 11th Trip Report (My 6th on Flight-Report.com)
COK-CMB (6th December 2015) SriLankan Airlines/UL168/Airbus A320-200)
Here is the entire video of this trip report:
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.
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.
Aircraft 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
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
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)
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
Seat 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.
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
And here's the meal!
Approaching the Coast-line of SriLanka
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.
SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-200 (4R-ALH) in OneWorld Livery along side Oman Air's Boeing 737-800 preparing to depart to Muscat
A frequent Visitor at CMB, Emirates Boeing 777-200ER
And the Local Airbus A321's SriLankan Airlines 4R-ABR and Mihin Lanka's 4R-MRD
A glimpse of 4R-MRF in the background. Mihin Lanka's only Airbus A319
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
Cochin - COK
Colombo - CMB
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