Earlier this week, I spent quite a decent amount of time at the Colombo airport (Bandaranayake Airport). First, the van that was supposed to pick me up at 3 AM arrived at 7 AM and second I was dropped at the airport at midnight for a 4 AM flight. In essence, this delay and advance of sorts gave me 8 hours to kill at the airport.
During this 8 hours, I tried to explore the airport as much as possible. It was during this exploration that I noticed some interesting yet random things about the Colombo airport. They have been mentioned below for your reading.
1) Sri Lankan Airways employees need to get a class in customer service. They even threw a racist comment at me saying you are travelling in an Indian Airline, hence we cannot help you. I nearly lost my head, but calmed myself by walking away. Sri Lankan Airlines have lost me as a customer forever.
2) There are more security checks at the Colombo airport than in any large airport of the developed Western World.
3) In spite of having a ticket for a flight 4 hours later, I was not allowed to enter the immigration chamber of the airport and made to wait in the outside visiting area. This is in stark contrast to rest of the airports across the world that let you clear immigration and security and allow you spend your time and money at the duty free shops, at bars, at lounges, at restaurants and other interesting places.
4) The Colombo airport is small in size, but is definitely packs a punch in terms of design and beauty. It is well lit, very clean, well designed and finally it smells good and not stuffy at all.
5) For the number of limited passengers in the Colombo airport, the security personnel were struggling to cope up. The security lines were short, but the waiting time was long. I was just thinking…what will happen if they are made to work out of Indian airports…guess they will get a heart attack on the very first day.
6) Alcohol at the duty free shops of Colombo airport are more expensive than the Chennai airport.
7) The duty free shops pack quite a punch with a great deal of variety – Chocolates, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Local Artefacts, Local Fashion, Gift Items, Sri Lankan Tea, Electronic Goods, Travel Accessories and many more.
8) The shops in the airport visiting area were selling the goods at a much cheaper price than the duty free shops. But, they were more expensive than the city, but then that is pretty normal and understandable.