I have had to travel to Sri Lanka a few times since late last year for work-related reasons, and I usually used either the Business Class (when I travelled Business Class) or Priority Pass (I get the Pass because of the American Express Platinum card) lounges.
During my last trip, in April, I decided to use the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport’s Silk Route Lounge which offered extra services such as fast-tracked check-in.
The Silk Route Sapphire Package
The Silk Route offers a number of packages, starting from the fast-tracked arrival/departure formalities plus Executive Lounge, to purely fast-tracked arrival or departure formalities.
I chose the Sapphire Package, which provides Departure Lounge formalities and access to the Executive Lounge.
The entrance to the Lounge is on the left side on the way to the departure lounge and once I showed my confirmation, two porters helped me take the luggage to the security counter. Just to note, the Colombo Airport is one of the high security airports with three layers of security screening – right at the entrance of the departure lounge, just before the check-in counters and then just before the boarding gate.
With the Silk Route package, the first two screenings were merged into one and it was done in a breeze, and then I was taken to a special check-in counter. All in all, it took me about five minutes to complete the process (I had already checked-in online), and then an official showed me the way to the Executive Lounge.
The Executive Lounge
It mid-afternoon and the Executive Lounge, like most of the lounges at the Colombo Airport at that time of the day, was a quiet place. Again, the check-in was very fast.
It was a smallish looking lounge.
For food, there was fish fingers, chicken rolls, vegetable pastries and Penne with basil tomato.
The lounge was missing the café automatic machine that I have got used to seeing in lounges; instead, there was a wide variety of teas and instant coffee with hot water, sugar and milk in tubs. Soft drinks and pop was available but no alcohol.
Washrooms were available but no showers. Newspapers and magazines were also available. A few workstations were available but the Internet was not working well, so I used by local data package that came with the SIM I had purchased.
Cost & Value
The cost was US$65.
Was it worth? Not much. The speed and the comfort with which I passed through the initial security screening and the check-in was fantastic but that is where it all ends. The lounge was just okay (maybe it gets lively during the late and early hours of the day when the airport sees the bulk of the traffic) and there was nobody to accompany me from the lounge to the departure gate, as their site promises.