Colombo Stories and Tips

Sri Lankan Airlines

After a bit of Internet surfing, it was Sri Lankan Airlines that offered the best round-trip airfare from Bangkok to Delhi ($300). I had a flight departing from BKK at 5:50pm, arriving in Colombo at 9:55pm, with my connecting flight departing CMB at 3:10pm the NEXT day, and finally arriving in DEL at 6:45pm. The schedule sounded awful, but since I recently became curious about sleeping in airports (www.sleepinginairports.com), I decided that this was a fine opportunity to try it out. My carry-on bag had all the essential provisions- toothbrush, 2 litres of bottled water, reading material, a travel blanket, and bags of freeze dried food from REI. As it turned out, Sri Lankan Airlines has a "service" for passengers who had a minimum 8 hour layover until their next connection. When I landed at the Colombo airport, I checked-in at the transfer counter called "night stop". They set me up with a hotel, meals, and transport. Absolutely free! Even so, my expectations were low considering that at least 50 other passengers were in the same situation as me. I certainly didn't think that I'd be taken to a 4 star beachside hotel with the largest pool in the city. Nor did I expect a huge eclectic breakfast buffet. Or an à la carte lunch 2 hours later. And all the staff and GUESTS greeted me in the halls! This airline rocks! The actual in-flight service was also noteworthy. For a 3 hour flight, we still received pillows, blankets, a personalized video screen, and a good meal. And one more thing! My e-ticket was valid for 90 days, which meant that I was able to change my ticket without any penalty!

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