Hello and Welcome to Trip Report 18 Flying Our National Carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines on this early morning flight to Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK/WIII), with a flying time of approximately 4.5 hours on 4R-ALH, thankfully an Airbus A330-200 (Painted in OneWorld livery), hereby putting an end to 10 Consecutive Narrow bodied aircraft sectors. This route was previously operated by Sri Lankan Airlines LCC Subsidiary Mihin Lanka (now defunct.) utilizing both their Airbus A321's and A320-200 on this route which yields a huge demand .
CMB-CGK (14th August 2017) Sri Lankan Airlines/UL364/Airbus A330-200
Watch the entire Trip Report below:
Trip Report 18
To begin with, UL364 wasn't really on the cards as a firm option, due to the Price factor, with our options being Singapore Airlines (CMB-SIN-CGK-SIN-CMB) or Emirates (CMB-SIN-CMB) and Jetstar Aisa (SIN-CGK-SIN) (which would give us an day in Singapore) which was not do be. Booked this time around through findmyfare.com for LKR 40,000/- (USD 265.00 aprox) which was the best deal and the most favorable option available at the time of booking. The second option being Malindo Air via. KUL
So the 14th of August started off very early as planned with us arriving at CMB at around 5:30 am, which meant that we had a little under 2 hours to get through Immigration and other departure formalities. Checked in online as always and it was time to check out CMB's departure terminal. Good to see Pizza Hut, Delifrance, Coffee Bean and Burger King drawing in business. (Note: they accept only USD and Card Payment)
A little spotting before departure
Since 4R-ALH was assigned to Gate 8, it wasn't visible from my usual vantage point. Thereafter a quick visit to the Smoking Lounge saw time go by having to rush towards Gate 8, with us being the last to board!
Airline: Sri Lankan (UL/ALK) Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 Registration: 4R-ALH (Oneworld Livery) Flight: UL364 Seat Number: 30K From : Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (VCBI/CMB) To: Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK/WIII) Departure Gate: 8 Departure Time: 07:20 hrs (+05:30GMT) Date: 14th August 2017
4R-ALB : Flew on this way back in 2011
Aero Lanka/ Lankan Cargo Boeing 727-200F a very familiar sight at CMB!
So as you can see from the above, focusing was a nightmare due to the rain, furthermore the entire takeoff video was unreadable due to a glitch in my Nikon which added to the overall frustration
Departure was as scheduled, today being a full flight comprising of mostly Indonesians making their way back home and a handful of Lankan's and Europeans, most of them connecting in Jakarta to their final destination Bali.
With ALH having refurbished J and Y Class cabins, they too were a little outdated and lacked maintenance. However the IFE available was pretty good for a Medium-Haul flight with a good selection of Movies and other content available. Reading content was available too wit the regular In-flight Duty Free Serendib Treasures Magazine and the Serendib Magazine taking up the seat pocket contents.
Seat 30K isn't one to be recommended for TR's for sure,since the entire wing blocks out most of the view.
Being a full service airlines, the Meal service on board Sri Lankan Airlines is something I never look forward to, as always they end up being either tasteless and far below expectation.
Today's breakfast menu
Scrambled Eggs, Hash Browns, Bacon Cubes along with Assorted Fruits a cup of water and Apple Juice to finish things off.
The Crew however,simply rushed through meal service and that was all, the service standards overall was far below satisfactory with many passengers having to make their way to the Galley for "self service" a second run of drinks were't carried out much to my surprise . Levels of hospitality was quite low so I wont bother to elaborate further.
Landing at CGK!
The latter of the flight was uneventful and a little boring to be honest with nothing much to do on board, at times like this is when I truly miss the IFE, the comfort and meals of the better full service carriers I've flown with. Being a patriot, be it horrible experiences or not, ill still chose to fly with UL again, and hope they revamp their services in the near future. Until Next Time.
Colombo - CMB
Jakarta - CGK
Currently UL is the only Airline flying directly between CMB and CGK, booking at least 2 Weeks in advance would definitely avail a much cheaper airfare for probably around LKR 35,000/- (R/T). Alcohol isn't served on this sector mainly due to this sector being largely patronized by Indonesian Pilgrims for Umrah, which is a very respectful gesture by UL. Also note that Indonesia is a Visa free destination for Sri Lanka Passport holders (30 Days) , therefore do carry a copy of your hotel reservation and a return ticket to and from Indonesia to get past Immigration with ease.
Last but not least, you may have to learn a little Indonesian/Malay in order to converse with the locals since many do not speak much English (Just know your basics, you'd be absolutely fine) A great destination to visit!
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