I've always been fascinated in trying and reviewing premium products offered by various airlines. Given the chance to visit a friend in Sri Lanka, probably this time I would try their flagship carrier, Srilankan Airlines. The price they offered for round-trip business class between CGK-CMB was also reasonable.
This trip report will only cover the second leg of CMB-CGK, so it will also cover some details in their home base, including the Serendib Lounge.
At the Airport
I arrived at 5 AM and apparently it was a very busy morning in CMB. An extremely long line during security check before entering check-in hall. I spent almost half an hour waiting in line before finding the check-in desk.
Check-in desks for UL flights are located at the far right of the building, with lots of passengers forming a long line in economy class, given many UL flights are also departing that morning.
UL's business class check-in counter:
Looks like it's going to be a half full flight in business to Jakarta today, 15 seats taken out of 28. While on the first leg CGK-CMB, it was completely 100% full in business with so many passengers were transiting to Middle East.
Checking-in was done quick. The agent handed me the boarding pass and lounge invitation.
Finally, i had the chance to try their home base lounge which is the Serendib Lounge. I love the design of the entrance door, it looks so traditional but yet so sophisticated.
Serendib Lounge entrance door.
When I came in, there weren't a lot of people inside. Few minutes later, it started to get packed with people departing to Dhaka, New Delhi, and Guangzhou.
The lounge itself even though not so big but is divided into seating area overlooking the tarmac, dining area, bar, business room and Ayurvedic Spa. Everyone who is using this lounge is entitled to get a free 15-minute foot massage. The lounge agent approached me proactively to offer this service, but I declined.
Overall, I found the service in this lounge to be satisfying. The agents are completely friendly. One of them even asked me to make a feedback about how their service is in the lounge by using a self-service machine and I happily obliged. All positive feedback for them.
Unmanned bar area:
The breakfast spread that morning had many options, from continental to Sri Lankan style breakfast.
Sri Lankan breakfast on offer:
Kiribath or rice cooked in coconut milk and made into diamond shape.
Chicken curry and Fish Ambulthiyal;
Grilled mushrooms and Seeni sambol:
Continental breakfast on offer:
Grilled tomato and baked beans:
I definitely opted for Sri Lankan breakfast. There's no place to have authentic food rather than in its original place. Apparently I did not get a wrong choice, the breakfast I had was delicious and fulfilling.
As the sun arises, the view on the tarmac becomes much clearer. It was dominated with Srilankan and Jet Airways aircraft.
Soon it was time for boarding. When I got to the gate, it was already final call. It seems like I spent a good time in the lounge that I almost completely forgot to board. All thanks to the charming lounge agents.
Some shots I took along the way:
Another security check just before entering boarding gate. It could get too crowded so I advise to get to the gate earlier.
Turn left for business class:
On Board the Aircraft
Right in front of the door, a gorgeous FA in beautiful green peacock sari welcomes me with their signature "Ayubowan". For today's flight, I was so glad to find out that the seat is their newest seat on their A330-300, the New Super Diamond Seat covered in plush green leather.
It is equipped with a large swing-out type monitor, power port, reading light, USB port and a touch screen remote control.
There's a bottom rack to put magazine, safety card and stuff.
Leg room is very good.
A soft pillow is already on each seat, a blanket is put on the ottoman.
A pair of headphones was hung at seat side and when I used them, they were decent enough although not as good noise-cancelling as they said it should be.
The table is stored under the seat side panel and is of folded type.
One thing I found lacking from this seat is that there is not enough storage space to store things. The seat panel doesn't have any compartment, the space under the ottoman is also closed off. So maybe they expect you to store all belongings inside the overhead compartment.
Inflight entertainment is quite extensive with lots of choices for movies, music, games, interactive map, etc. The map can be viewed in many different ways and angles and also adjustable with the touch screen function. Outside camera is also available with forward view and downward view. A nice feature from UL.
Once settled in, one FA approached me to offer welcome drink. There were 3 choices of water, orange juice or apple juice. I chose apple juice this time.
Another FA came around to distribute hot towel.
Unfortunately, UL does not provide amenity kit in this sector. Probably because the flight time was only 4 hours 40 minutes, but I still think that they should have provided at least a simple kit.
Few minutes later, a menu book was handed out. UL offered wide range of beverages, including Sri Lanka's infamous Ceylon Tea. There were 4 choices of breakfast. It contains menus for both Colombo-Jakarta and Jakarta-Colombo routes.
Here's what the menu looks like:
An FA took my order and this time, I again opted for Sri Lankan breakfast of Sri Lankan Style Milk Rice Trio. I could tell from her expression that she was extremely happy when she heard it, and apparently she said "It is a good choice." It surely was a great choice that I won't regret.
Some 15 minutes after take-off, the crew began the meal service. My meal choice came in one single tray, consisting of main course, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Later on, the purser himself came around offering choices of bread. I took a bread roll and a croissant. While the roll was OK, the croissant was more to the soft-type and not flaky at all.
Closer look to the main course:
Bread roll and croissant:
I finished that gorgeous meal in just couple of minutes. Then, the FAs walked around to offer coffee or tea. Tea was my choice. When in Sri Lanka, a sip of their infamous tea is a must. I also asked them to have the Port Wine, Cockburn's Special Reserve.
For this breakfast time, it looks like the FA does not proactively offer alcoholic beverages, unlike the CGK-CMB sector which is on lunch time. So if we'd like to have it, we have to ask them.
I spent most of the remaining flight by listening to music and checking on the map. While at the same time, I also indulged myself with their collection of tea. I happened to sample their ginger black tea and Earl Grey Ceylon tea.
The seat is a fully flat bed type. It's quite comfortable to sleep on.
All good things must come to an end, including this very first yet amazing UL flight. 20 minutes prior to landing, the crew offered pre-arrival drink. Choices are exactly the same with welcome drinks.
From this experience, I won't hesitate to fly with them again. I found SriLankan Airlines to be a decent airline with amazing hard and soft product, especially in business class.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Some shots in Colombo
Galle Road and surrounding
Galle Road is one of the main avenues in Colombo with clean surroundings.
Right after entrance
A huge Bodhi tree inside where devotees pay homage to Lord Budha:
Seema Malaka Temple
Must try in Colombo: rice and curry
Sri Lankan Serendib Lounge
Colombo - CMB
Jakarta - CGK
SriLankan Airlines has exceeded my expectation with sophisticated product and most of all, value for money.
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