Flight 1 from Mumbai, India to Colombo, Sri Lanka on an Airbus A320
    Flight 2 from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Male, the Maldives on an Airbus A330



    If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that I have recently returned form another wonderful vacation to the Maldives (if not then head on over for some amazing travel inspiration). This was my third time to spend an idyllic week at the Constance Moofushi resort and I can only hope that I will visit again one day very soon. Being based in Mumbai the journey to the Maldives is not far in terms of miles, but does require 3 relatively short flights before my feet touch the sand and I am handed my first cocktail.


    When we (usually my husband) begin researching potential vacations, we start with the journey. If British Airways is not an option then we askΒ the following questions. Is there a direct flight? What airlines fly the routes? Are they part of the One World program? What aircrafts do they use? For this route, we discovered that our best option was to fly SirLankan Airlines to get us to Male where we would then board the seaplane out to the island.


    Tip: When researching airlines its important to look at the aircraft they use on particular routes. I had seen rave reviews about SriLanken Airlines business class cabin facilities and yet sadly the flights on our route were very old, extremely tired, and in need of a refit.


    airline review: srilankan airlines business class
    Check In Desks at Mumbai International Airport


    Airline Review: SriLanken Airlines – Check In


    Mumbai International Airport has a relatively new airport terminal with quite clear signs to easily locate the various airline check-in counters. This is a very busy airport, especially during the night hours when most flights arrive and depart, so we always ensure that we arrive with plenty of time to spare. In fact on this occasion we were about 10 minutes before the check-in desks actually opened.


    As with most airlines, there are various lines for the different types of tickets. SriLanken Airlines has an economy line, a line for passengers just checking bags that have already printed boarding passes online, and a business class line. Once the counters opened and passengers began being processed we stood in the business class line, rather bemused, as we watched the other two lines being cleared as we barely inched forward. At no point did the numerous people working the check-in desks think to accelerate the business line. When we finally made it to the counter and commented on the slow progress the clerk told us,’ yes, business is full’ So to put that into perspective that’s 12 business class seats versus 138 economy! Major fail.


    Tip: Whenever possible always check-in online prior to arriving at the airport, as increasingly the airlines seem to have a dedicated line to speed the bag checking process for those customers, regardless of class of ticket purchased.


    Our experience at Male airport for our return was completely different. Arriving with only one other person in front of us, we were called to another desk to speed our check-in. Greeted warmly, our tickets were processed very quickly, and we departed with our Maldivian high still in tact.



    airline review: srilankan airlines business class


    Airline Review: SriLanken Airlines – The Planes


    • Flight One:
    • Mumbai to Colombo
    • SriLanken Airlines UL142
    • Airbus A320
    • Depart 3.10am Arrive 5.35am
    • Seats 2A & C
    • Scheduled flight time 2hours 25 minutes


    As we had flown with this airlines on our two previous trips to the Maldives we were not surprised when we boarded the plane and discovered the rather old looking business class seats. But to look at the positives – the 2/2 configuration over 3 rows in business class ensures that you are not rubbing shoulders with the person sitting next to you, as each chair is around 21inches wide, with a small recline, and a foldaway foot rest. Each seat has a pillow and a blanket provided.


    Upon boarding we were offered various juices or water and then the customary hot towel. At 3am I am only looking to doze the flight away but many of my fellow passengers did enjoy a meal and a few drinks. All the meals are Halal and there are veg and non-veg options.


    There were no visible signs of any television entertainment systems on this flight but I believe there might have been a pull out monitor in the seat arm.


    No amenities kit was given out on this business class leg.

    airline review: srilankan airlines business class
    The business class seats that lie flat on the A330
    • Flight Two:
    • Colombo to Male
    • SriLanken Airlines UL101
    • Airbus A330
    • Depart 7.20am Arrive 8.15am
    • Seats 1A & C
    • Scheduled flight time 1hr 25 mins


    The Airbus A330 has a much bigger business class section with a 2/2/2 configuration with 3 rows. Sadly our flight was not one of the newly refurbished models, but nonetheless we did have lie flat seats. I’m guessing that many of our fellow passengers had never enjoyed the experience of a lie flat seat as they spent much of the hour’s journey playing with their controls – not annoying at all!


    airline review: srilankan airlines business class
    The lie flat motion of the seat is not quite the same as on the British Airways planes


    airline review: srilankan airlines business class
    Plenty of space for your feet, and look at all those cubbies to store things in (to leave behind by mistake)


    The seats all have their own television system with a full range of films and various programs to watch. Our flight had flown in from Kuwait on its previous leg, so I am sure passengers on longer flight routes could take advantage of the entertainment system far more than we could on our short flight. There were also numerous magazines in each seat pocket.


    Each seat had a large pillow and a set of headphones. No amenities kit was offered on this flight.


    airline review: srilankan airlines business class


    Once again upon boarding we were handed a menu and once airborne we marveled at the speed and efficiency of the cabin crew to serve mostly hot meals to everyone in the business section and still clear away in time to land. We enjoyed a spinach and cheese omelet with a glass of fresh orange juice.

    airline review: srilankan airlines business class
    Such elegant uniforms


    Airline Review: SriLanken Airlines – The Verdict


    A few years ago Emirates tried to takeover this airline and promised to modernize the fleet and the way service was offered, alas this deal did not go through. That said, the airline are now gradually upgrading their fleet so there is hope for future flights. The cabin crew is very helpful and efficient and the ladies do have a stunning uniform. Would I fly this airline again? It would not be my first choice, and while this experience did not impress me very much, with the prospect of newer planes and the lack of other carriers on this route that work for my schedule, I would probably give SriLanken Airlines business class another try.


    Have you flown SriLanken Airlines? What are your thoughts? Don’t miss out on other airline reviews by signing up for my monthly newsletter on my sidebar.


    Srilankan pinteresst copy

    Happy Travels

    airline review: srilankan airlines business class


      • That’s too bad that the business class flight was disappointing. I definitely notice that some airlines have much nicer First and Executive/Business classes than others.

        • Sue says:

          Its interesting to compare the business class experience across the airlines, as it does vary quite a lot. Im hoping that as SriLankan Airlines upgrade their fleet then the experience will become far better.

      • Heather Cole says:

        It’s my one aim in life to one day fly business or first class on a flight! Have to admit that my first choice would always be Emirates though, or perhaps SIngapore. Thanks for sharing though, I love reading about what these experiences are really like!

        • Sue says:

          I have flown all the airlines you mention and would say Emirates business are the best for sure. Singapore were not as wow as I thought they would be. Qantas business were also pretty good but Id love to try Ethiad or do one of the first class ‘cabins’ as they look amazing.

      • dannielle says:

        I’ve never flown with this airline and have also never flown business class so this was interesting! I love getting a menu on a flight, a little moment of luxury!

        • Sue says:

          Its always interesting to see how the various airlines compare.Being given a menu on a flight that only last an hour seems a little overkill, but credit to the cabin crew as they turned the service around very quickly.

      • Ynah.CA says:

        Woohooo! It would really be nice to fly like this! But i don’t think I would spend that much, thanks for sharing though!

      • Erica says:

        Good to know!When I finally fly first class, I want to go with Emirates or Etihad airlines.

        • Sue says:

          Yes they both have the best reputation for sure. I flew business Air Malaysia a few years back and was very impressed with their level service in business class but sadly with their issues I will not be trying them again any day soon.

      • Sher says:

        haven’t flown them before but great review! i have to admit, im not so picky about airlines because i dread flying in general these days! the actual getting to and from is the worst part of traveling (imo)!


        • Sue says:

          I used to be like that but travel became a big part of my life when I became an Expat and my daughters moved across the US. It certainly helps if I have a glass of something bubbly to look forward to when I board though.

      • Natasha says:

        Wonderful tips. Thanks for the insight. I haven’t traveled any of these airlines but they honestly all seem nicer then any first class US flights I’ve taken. lol.

        • Sue says:

          I used to love United Airlines and reached Global Services as I flew so much, but sadly they have gone down hill of late. Its interesting to try out new airlines and I still have plenty on my list to experience.

      • Natasha says:

        The Mumbai check in desk looks exquisite. I have never flown business class, but have always wanted too and more so even after this post.

        • Sue says:

          I must admit that once I started flying business class on a regular basis the thought of going back to coach makes me reevaluate if I really need to the trip – I am one spoiled lady and I love it πŸ™‚

      • If you have a good businessclass, it’s amazing! We did a long flight from Bangkok to Moscow in business with Aeroflot – which was a great experience for sure. Great sleeps πŸ˜€

        • Sue says:

          Agreed. If we are flying longer distance then we make sure that we have a flatbed seat now as you really can get some good sleep now, plus it helps to make the time go far quicker if you can snooze a few hours away. My recipe is to have a few glasses of something bubbly then snooze away the time.

      • I’m so jelly! Haha, I dream to take a business class when flying, seems like Sri Lanka Airline could be a great start!

        • Sue says:

          I consider the journey as part of my vacation now so take more care when booking flights. We once returned from an idyllic week in Antigua, luxury all the way, only for the airline to screw up our booking and they ended up putting all the passengers up in a very sad b&b by the airport, killed the mood very quickly.

      • I have always wanted to fly business class but then wondered if it was really worth the extra money I could have spent on other flights or trips. I think it would have to offer a little more to make me want to pay that extra bit and maybe with Emirates I would be more likely. Still, looks comfortable.

        • Sue says:

          Yes I hear what you are saying Nic, it’s a question of balance, and certainly some airlines are far more luxurious than others. For many years I only travelled business class when it was work related. Now that I travel somewhere at least once a month, and often long haul, the flight experience is part of the criteria that can tip if I make the trip or not.

      • Crizzy Kiss says:

        I would love to fly business class (when I don’t have to pay for it), someday!!!

      • Mrajorie says:

        I’ve read many travel blogs before but this is the first time I’ve read an airline review. I think this is one of the most important things that travel bloggers overlook.

        I haven’t tried going to abroad yet so seeing how different the cabin looks for an international flight is quite refreshing for me. I like the TV screen on the back of the seats. Looks so cool haha… I want to fly via the SriLankan airlines too, hopefully in the near future.

      • christine says:

        Looks like a sweet ride!!! Sign me up!

      • I would expect more flying on business class and I do hope that Sri Lankan Airlines would step up their game on this. Its good you still somehow found good things during your flight! I’ve personally never had this luxury during my travels but would for surely not deny the fact I would one day want to try it πŸ™‚

        • Sue says:

          Thanks Evan. Hopefully as the planes are upgraded, so the experience will improve. The cabin crew were great, but the ground staff certainly have a lot to learn.

      • I hate flying but I liked these cabin crew and their nice blue uniforms. πŸ™‚ Really great and unique! Never seen this before.

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