Trailfinders recommended flying with Sri Lankan Airlines to Sri Lanka, as we were finishing our trip in the Maldives and on some days, the flight from Colombo to Heathrow, touches down in Male.
Flying business class offered those living within 30-miles of Heathrow, a courtesy ‘limousine’. Google maps confirmed our Walthamstow home was 28.3 miles away, but those further afield, could pay the additional mileage. Unfortunately, we received conflicting messages and reference numbers from Sri Lankan Airlines and Addison Lee, resulting in two taxis being booked for the outbound journey, and a message confirming we’d be met at Heathrow and taken to High Wycombe. However, all was resolved by Trailfinders.
The dedicated business class check-in desk was efficient, bearing in mind the extra requirements required by Covid, and although there was no dedicated queue at the gate, a helpful lady sorted us out.
Our outbound flight was late due to a delayed incoming flight, cleaning took longer presumably because of Covid, and for some unknown reason, so did refuelling. However, by this stage we were being fuelled with champagne and the inflight entertainment had started, so all was well.
Business class had a 1 – 2 – 1 configuration with seven rows, and on booking, we’d chosen seats side by side in the middle of the cabin. The crew were friendly and professional, especially the male chief steward who was charm personified. The amenity bag was stocked with everything we needed inflight and I enjoyed the cartoon-like security briefing which was narrated by Elizabeth Pargettter from the Archers. Face masks had to be worn at all times apart from when eating and drinking.
After pre-dinner drinks and a simple salad to start, we had a choice of three mains. We both chose a red Sri Lankan chicken curry which was surprisingly spicy for an inflight meal. This was followed by chocolate mousse, cheese and biscuits and an after eight mint. Everything was served on the tray at the same time, but this was probably due to Covid and/or the need to serve quickly as it was 11.30pm. Breakfast was available two hours before landing in Colombo at 2pm local time. The pillows, blanket and flat beds were comfortable, even for a 6’ 2” husband.
Our early morning flight to Male was uneventful, and as it was only one hour, we were quickly served a sandwich, tea and coffee. On arrival, the crew ensured only the right people got off by checking boarding cards and ticking names off a list. Having got on the transfer bus, a man discovered he’d left his jacket on the plane, and another passenger, seemingly forgot to get off, as he alighted 10 minutes after everyone else.
We flew from Male to Heathrow on Friday 18 February 2022 (the day of Storm Eunice) which was slightly bumpy and we suffered a three-hour delay in retrieving our bags – but that’s another story . . . .