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- Tried & Tested
Dear Business Traveller,
I booked 2 Business Class tickets on 30th April 2018 from the Srilankan Airlines website for me and my wife. The flight timings were as below.
24th June UL 166 Kochi- Colombo 0945-1055, UL 308 Colombo – Singapore 1215-1855
1st July UL 307 Singapore-Colombo 0945-1105, UL 167 Colombo- Kochi 1350-1505
The flight timings were convenient for my schedules in Singapore and there was no need for long layover in transit at Colombo.
On 10th June I checked the airline web site and found to my great surprise that the departure time of UL 166 from Kochi was shifted to 1525 pm and consequently all my flights would be affected. I was not able to do any changes online and I contacted the airline office in Dubai as I am resident in UAE . I received new tickets with considerable change in the flight timings including overnight stays at Colombo,bot for onward and return journeys.
The new flight schedule was as below.
23rd June- UL 166 Kochi- Colombo 1525-1635 , 24th June UL 308 Colombo-Singapore 1215-1855
30th June UL 309 Singapore- Colombo 2035-2155 1st July UL 165 Colombo – Kochi
Due to the change of schedule I was forced to travel one day early and also it included overnight stays at Colombo.
I expected that the airline will make arrangements for a smooth transfer at Colombo. However the transfer at Colombo was a bitter experience for me and my wife who are senior citizens.We had to spend more than 3 hours at Colombo on 23rd June for our transfer to the hotel due to the delays at the transit, immigration and transport counters.
In order to minimize the ordeal on my return I requested the airline to book me a room at the transit hotel (Serendiva) inside the terminal . In addition to requesting the airline staff at the Colombo airport I telephoned the airline office at Dubai on 23rd evening and also the Colombo call center of the airline on 24th morning. All the people promised be that suitable arrangements would be made.
In addition I sent 2 emails from Singapore to the customer care center of the airline . I got a reply that the ‘airline is investigating the issue’.
I was very optimistic that I would get a room in the hotel inside the terminal on 30th June. However when I approached the transit desk on 30th June, at 2220 pm I was informed that my accommodation is at Ramada hotel outside the airport and I have to get transit visa,clear immigration etc.
Since it was late evening an both of us were tired, I took a room in the transit hotel inside the terminal by paying US $ 125 (Room 207) using my credit card.
On reaching back Kochi I sent an email to the airline claiming for the room rent paid by me and also asking for suitable compensation for forcing me to travel a day early and for the frustrating ordeal.
I have not yet received a reply. Being a member of the One world team I believe that Srilankan airlines should give better customer service.
I very much appreciate your assistance.