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- BT Plus
- Tried & Tested
- Plan & book
- Tried & Tested
7am flight Colombo to Dubai. Sri Lankan use the Silk Route for all their departing business class passengers. The whole process from arrival at the airport to entering the Serendib lounge takes place away from the main airport concourse and checkin counters.
My car was met by a porter and my baggage loaded onto a trolley and taken via screening into the Silk Route lounge. Efficient and speedy checkin process undertaken whilst I made myself comfortable with a cup of coffee. There was no time to finish this as I was escorted to an empty immigration area for passport stamping. A few steps to the lift and up a floor and then a very short walk through what is a restricted area with my cheerful escort, and into the Serendib lounge.
I had some initial reservations of using this service, Sri Lankan maintain one business checkin counter in the main terminal concourse for passengers who prefer that way of checkin. But my concerns of a potentially delayed process were false. Overall this is a great way to check in and avoid all the noise and crowding of the main concourse and immigration counters.
The Serendib lounge is for UL business passengers only and is a nice environment with a good breakfast selection of European and local food. Although self service, the very attentive staff are on hand to assist. The flight was called and off to the gate.
Unfortunately this was by bus and a short delay occurred as the ground staff were insistent that the business class passengers should have their own bus and not share the bus with the economy passengers. At this point I had memories of when Air Lanka (previous name before rebranding) had a 1st class cabin and at that time arrivals and departures used busses as the old airport had no air bridges. Amusingly it was rather nice to see the three different sized busses used according to the cabin, economy, business and 1st.
A very pleasant and helpful crew, and a chat with the Chief Steward confirmed that all of the new planes 320s had no footrests, and he believed that it was a conscious cost decision by the airline. As the flight is only on transit at Dubai before continuing to Moscow. I would find an overall flight time of about 11 hours without a footrest to be very challenging.
There were few passengers in the cabin probably 6 or 7 in the cabin which had 5 rows 2 x2. Limited seat recline.
A very nice enhanced breakfast was served by a very friendly and efficient crew who made time to chat to passengers. IFE good for journey length and I completed watching a programme I had started on my outward journey a few days ago.
A very nice flight and despite the inconsistencies with UL it does remain my favourite carrier with BA.