Srilankan Airlines Business Class: Avoid at all costs, say parents

From pee-gate to unruly passengers, airlines and their staff have seen it all. But often the airlines have been at the receiving end, but tables turned for one passenger travelling with his family in SriLankan Airlines. Tossing empathy and compassion out of the window, SriLankan Airlines staff at Colombo Airport put a family of two with an infant through unnecessary ordeal.

In a recent travel encounter, a disheartened customer voiced dissatisfaction with SriLankan Airlines, expressing deep disappointment in what is referred to as the "worst Business Class flying experience in the world." The ordeal began at Colombo airport, where the customer, DM Bhat, encountered a notable lack of sensitivity from the airline's staff, a situation that left them taken aback and disheartened.

SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines shown for representational purpose IANS

What was the issue?

Central to Bhat's grievance was the luggage allowance provided for their Business Class booking, which was set at around 80 kilograms. However, their actual combined luggage weighed only 50 kilograms. The situation escalated when it was revealed that one bag exceeded the specified limit by a mere 1.3 kilograms, as each bag can only be packed at 32 kilograms per Business Class ticket. The parents of an infant had to undergo the ordeal of repacking their bags simply to adjust the mere 1kg. This was despite the 101 kilograms overall baggage allowance provided to them on their business class tickets.

SriLankan Airlines baggage allowance from official website
SriLankan Airlines baggage allowance from official website

Despite the presence of an infant accompanying the traveler, the airline's station manager, identified as Sandha Kumari, and the staff reportedly showed no flexibility or consideration. Naturally aggrieved customer claimed that rather than accommodating the presence of the infant, they were compelled to undergo the inconvenience of repacking their entire bag. What's shocking is that there was zero consideration shown to a crying and an infant in distress.

"Worst Business Class flying in the world experience with SriLankan Airlines. Absolutely aghast at the insensitivity shown by SriLankan Airlines staff at Colombo airport. Total luggage allowance for the said booking of Business Class = around 80 kgs. Our total only luggage 50 kgs. With ONE bag 1.3 kgs extra over specified limit. The station manager and staff didn't even consider the infant traveling along and made us repack the entire bag," Bhat tweeted on X (formerly Twitter).

Baggage SLA

The discourteous and inconsiderate behaviour of the SriLankan Airlines staff at the Colombo Airport has left netizens in shock. Further sharing the experience at the airport's business class lounge, Bhat said it was worse than road side eatery.

The incident has raised questions about the airline's approach to customer service and the extent to which individual circumstances are taken into account. The involvement of a duty manager, namely Sandha Kumari, has prompted further scrutiny of SriLankan Airlines' handling of such situations.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of compassionate and customer-centric service within the airline industry. As air travel gradually returns to pre-pandemic levels, airlines are being reminded that customer experiences are pivotal to their reputation and continued success.

We've reached out to SriLankan Airlines for a statement on the matter and the article will be duly updated. But the issue underscores the critical need for airlines to strike a balance between adhering to regulations and displaying empathy towards passengers, especially when extenuating circumstances are involved.