Review: Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport

Filed Under: Emirates

I arrived at Colombo Airport shortly after 7:30AM, plenty early for my 9:55AM flight to Dubai. Colombo Airport has tight security, as you have to go through two security screenings before they even let you into the check-in hall.

Colombo Airport check-in hall

Emirates’ check-in counter was located at the far left of the terminal, and was busy, given that the 777 to Dubai was fully booked. Emirates has a surprisingly large presence in Colombo, as they operate five daily 777 flights (three to Dubai, one to Male, and one to Singapore). There was no queue at the first class counter, and within a couple of minutes I was checked in and invited to enjoy the Emirates Lounge.

Emirates check-in Colombo Airport

After checking in I headed to the opposite end of the hall for immigration, which was a pretty quick process. At that point I took the escalator up a level to the terminal. At Bandaranaike International Airport, security is at the individual gates, so you don’t have to pass through a main checkpoint first (well, other than the two checkpoints to get to check-in).

Colombo Airport terminal

There’s a long hall with all the gates to the left, though the Emirates Lounge is located in the main terminal area, just across from the immigration checkpoint. When you pass the main area with gates you’ll see an elevator to the left, which takes you down to the Emirates Lounge.

Elevator to Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport

Upon exiting the elevator, I turned left down a hallway, and then the entrance to the Emirates Lounge was straight ahead.

Hallway to Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport exterior

There I was welcomed by an Emirates employee, who informed me that they’d make a boarding announcement in the lounge.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport reception

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport entrance

The Emirates Lounge Colombo is a decent size. Inside the entrance and to the left is the main seating are, which has several dozen seats along the window. Emirates is remarkably consistent when it comes to the design of their lounges. While they’ve updated their decor since (as you’ll find in the Emirates Lounge Los Angeles, for example), I find their old style of lounges to be painfully outdated.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport seating

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport seating

This area of the lounge has excellent views of the apron.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport view

At 8:45AM I watched the inbound plane pull into the gate, after the overnight flight from Dubai.

Emirates 777 Colombo Airport

Next to the lounging area was the dining area, which featured many tables with 2-4 seats each, as well as some high-top seating. I decided to sit in this area, and while the other part of the lounge filled up quite a bit, this area remained empty for most of my stay.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport dining area

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport dining area

The breakfast selection was solid. I’ll let the pictures speak mostly for themselves.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport food

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport buffet

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport toaster & bread

There was a coffee machine as well as a Dilmah tea selection at the buffet.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport coffee & tea

In terms of alcohol, the wine selection included two whites, two reds, and Moet champagne.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport champagne & wine

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport red wine

Then there was a selection of self serve liquor.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport liquor

Over in the far corner of the lounge was another self serve drink section, with liquor, bottled water, soft drinks, etc.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport self serve bar

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport self serve bar

There were also some dates.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport dates

Back near the entrance was a business center with some PCs, as well as a printer.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport business center

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport business center

The lounge had wifi, though it was definitely on the slow side. Not unusably slow, but don’t expect to be able to stream video, etc.

The lounge’s bathrooms were in good condition, and the men’s bathrooms had two showers in it. In general I don’t love Emirates’ shower rooms, as they always seem to have them inside the main restrooms, meaning that the shower rooms don’t have private toilets.

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport bathroom

Emirates Lounge Colombo Airport shower

My boarding pass indicated that boarding was scheduled to start at 9:25AM, so I headed to the gate at around 9AM, knowing that I’d still have to go through security. Most gates at the airport are down a long hallway that’s perpendicular to the rest of the terminal.

Colombo Airport terminal

My flight was departing from gate 7, and the line to get through security wasn’t that long. There isn’t any premium security line, though I’ve never had to wait too long for security at the airport.

Emirates gate Colombo Airport

Even though boarding was nowhere close to starting, the monitor already indicated “final call.”

Emirates gate Colombo Airport

After going through security my boarding pass was immediately scanned, so for all practical purposes I was already on the plane. In the gate area they have a separate section for first and business class passengers, which is simply the very right of the gate area, by the window. I guess I was the first premium cabin passenger to show up.

Emirates gate Colombo Airport

Emirates gate Colombo Airport

While the 777 was already at the gate, it was clear that we weren’t close to boarding yet, as the crew was sitting in the gate area. The crew boarded at around 9:15AM, and at 9:40AM first & business class boarding was called.

Emirates 777 Colombo Airport

Emirates Lounge Colombo bottom line

Colombo Airport isn’t exactly known as a hub for the best airport lounges. Otherwise the best lounge at the airport is the SriLankan Serendib Lounge. With that in mind, the Emirates Lounge is actually quite solid. The lounge is spacious, has nice views, and a good food and drink selection. The decor is quite outdated, but that’s in line with many of Emirates’ older lounges.

Don’t arrive early to visit this lounge, but if you have to kill time here you won’t be uncomfortable.

  1. If you’re leaving on let’s say Etihad as an example, I know EY uses that contract lounge.

    As a JAL sapphire, can I access the Sri Lankan Airlines lounge with a guest? Or do I have to be traveling on OneWorld?

  2. Better than one of the PP lounges I visited last May (was either Lotus or the “Executive Lounge”) where the ‘champagne’ option was Andre…seriously.

  3. Hi Ben,

    I’ll be taking the evening flight to Dubai at the end of next month. Have you reviewed that flight before? Would be interested to see what the food options are on the plane. Eating in lounge vs eating on plane to Dubai?

  4. “Even though boarding was nowhere close to starting, the monitor already indicated “final call.””

    Is the time on the board wrong? It says 9:55 am…or were you one of the last to board?

    @Steve S

    Emirates has sample menus on their website. You can search for both the flight and the cabin you’ll be in.

  5. You can complain the decor in this lounge is outdated, but if you’ve seen the contract lounge Etihad and others use at Colombo this looks absolutely palatial.

  6. @Craig you need to be flying a Oneworld airline to access any Oneworld lounge through your status. So you wouldn’t be able to access the Sri Lankan lounge if flying Etihad

  7. Flights from Changi always seem to do that too – one moment it says, “Gate Open” on the board, then suddenly, “Final Call” with no “Boarding” in between. Huh? I’ve hauled it from T3 lounge to B gates because of that “Final Call” even though it isn’t really (since that is still about 30-40 minutes prior to stated departure time). Just a little psychological pressure?

  8. @relidtim Shaved Head Guy is indeed upset because he didn’t get the memo about (a.) flashy 1990s hip-hop pants or (b.) no black socks with shorts or knee-length pants.

  9. Who was at reception wearing a robe with a guy in shorts?
    Are you sure you weren’t in the outdated EK lounge at BKK?

  10. Those hideous outdated brown lounges, must have been a sale on at the time, they are the same as the hideous outdated brown lounges in UL’s CMB Serendib Lounge

  11. I am flying into Colombo on Saturday at 6 am. I would like to use lounge facilities to shower and rest for a few hours. I am flying with Sri Lankan airlines from Doha. What do I have access to and how much does it cost? Thank you in advance.

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