Disgruntled and prominent business folk in Colombo have taken to Facebook to vent their frustration at the denial of basic services offered by the country’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines towards its full fare paying customers.
Suren Goonewardene a pioneer in the mobile telecommunications business who was denied access to using the Business Class lounge in Singapore last night posted “Bloody Sri Lankan lounge in Singapore refuses me entry to the lounge after a long trek from Aussie . The excuse given is that a passenger cannot stay in the lounge for more than 3 hours.. bunch of jokers who run the airline .. never has this happened before to me . Flight code share with Qantas ..”
Incidentally Goonewardene who purchased a full fare ticket from Hemas Travels (Pvt) Ltd to travel on SriLankan Airlines / Qantas from Colombo via Singapore to Australia was granted access to the Qantas Business Class lounge on his first leg during his four hour stopover. However on the way back as the stopover was over nine hours, he was denied access by SriLankan Airlines. Since denied access he had no option but to check into a transit hotel.
Another prominent passenger Dr. Thiyagarah Iraivan who traveled recently on SriLankan Airlines to Bangalore and took to Facebook earlier to also vent his frustration wrote “This is the state of the national airline”. Earlier he had posted pictures of a broken arm rest of a passenger seat he had to sit when he traveled.
Commenting under Goonewardene’s post, Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson the current Managing Director of Hemas Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd and former Managing Director of Hemas Transportation wrote “That’s why you should travel Emirates”.
Michael De Soysa the former Manager of the national Sri Lanka Cricket team also commented ” Ouch… never fly UL or Qantas…unless absolutely no other option”. ‘UL’ is the two letter abbreviation for SriLankan Airlines.
Meanwhile when Colombo Telegraph contacted a Senior Commercial Manager of SriLankan Airlines for clarification on the airline’s policy regarding access to the SriLankan Airlines Business Class lounge, he said “Please send this complaint directly to our CEO Capt. Suren Ratwatte. Perhaps he can answer for all the nonsense that is currently taking place”.