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SriLankan Serendib Lounge Colombo Airport
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Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Male To Hong Kong
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I made it to Colombo shortly before 11PM, and had a roughly 90 minute connection before my flight to Male. Since my connection was on a separate ticket, my first priority was finding the transit desk so that I could have my boarding pass issued.
We arrived at the far end of one of the piers, so it was a roughly five minute walk to the “central” part of the terminal. There’s something I find sort of charming about Colombo Airport, even though it’s quite run down.
Once in the central part of the terminal I spotted the transit desk to the left of immigration. They do have a special business class queue, though I was helped by another available agent immediately.
While at the desk I received great news — my flight from Colombo to Male was schedule to be operated by an Airbus A320, which features SriLankan’s regional product. However, they had subbed in a brand new Airbus A330-300. That was awesome news, because as I’ve written about in the past, this is the plane which features SriLankan’s new reverse herringbone business class seat.
The agent assigned me a seat in the center section of the cabin. I asked if there was a window seat available instead.
“Do you maybe have a window seat in row two, three, or four?”
“Yes, which one do you want?”
“Whichever you have available.”
“You’re the only passenger, you can have whichever seat you’d like.”
Wow, not only would I be flying on a brand new plane, but I’d be the only passenger in business class. Can’t beat that!
The agent gave me directions to SriLankan’s Serendib Lounge, which was just a short walk away.
Best I can tell SriLankan has two lounges in Colombo — they have the Serendib Lounge and the Serenediva Lounge. I’m not totally clear on the difference in terms of access, though I believe the Serendib Lounge is for oneworld Emerald members, while the Serendiva Lounge is for oneworld Sapphire members. In theory I suppose that means the former should be nicer.
The entrance of the lounge brought me back to my childhood — I sort of felt like I was on “Legends of the Hidden Temple.” Ahhh, the good old days!
At the entrance I was promptly admitted upon presenting my boarding pass — it wasn’t even scanned.
The lounge was a decent size — it markets itself as having seating for 100 people — and moderately modern. It featured plenty of comfortable sofa-style chairs, as well as a dining area.
I chose a seat by the window, and literally the moment I sat down the attendant that had checked me in asked if I could complete a quick survey about the facilities available in the lounge. She handed me a (really dirty) iPad which asked me to rate the food, drinks, service, bathroom, etc.
The number of surveys requested in the travel industry in general pisses me off, though asking me to complete a survey rating the facilities when I just sat down seems like a new low.
On each table was a sign with the services offered in the lounge. Most intriguing perhaps was the “instant photograph for that memorable moment.”
The lounge boasted decent views of the tarmac, including of the Cathay Pacific A330 I could have flown from Hong Kong.
The lounge had an extensive buffet, which impressed me. While I wasn’t hungry, most of the food looked quite decent.
Across from the buffet was a manned bar with cocktails, wine, etc.
Then in the corner of the lounge near the entrance was a business center.
And then also near the entrance was a relaxation room with reclining seats.
The most bizarre part of the lounge was that it was full of pilots. Towards the time I was leaving I’d say about half the guests were SriLankan pilots in uniform. It’s normal for airlines to have crew lounges, though it’s sort of rare for those to be the same as passenger lounges.
Shortly before midnight I left the lounge and headed down towards my departure gate, B1. It was just a short walk from the lounge to the escalator which leads down to gates B1-B4.
There was a single security checkpoint for four gates, so there was a bit of a queue. The flights to Male, Bangkok, and Bangalore were all departing from that area of the terminal.
By the time I cleared security the gate area was quite empty, as most passengers were already on the bus to the remote stand.
It was about a five minute drive to our brand new Airbus A330-300. Like, brand new A330, as it was the plane’s first ever commercial flight.
Little did I know my best flight on this trip would also be my shortest!
SriLankan Serendib Lounge Colombo Airport bottom line
I was pleasantly surprised by SriLankan’s lounge in Colombo. The seating was comfortable and the food selection was good. The fact that it was full of pilots was certainly a new experience for me, but then again they made better guests than a lot of the other people I usually see in lounges.
While I wouldn’t want to have a super-long layover here, it was perfect for a short visit.
I guess next time I should check out the Serendiva Lounge, which I believe offers complimentary 15 minute spa treatments.
Have you visited either of SriLankan’s lounges in Colombo?