Airline Review

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

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Tom Goward | 01/03/2024

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62/ 100

Flight Hacks expert rating

Considering the price, SriLankan Airlines is worth checking out on shorter flights throughout Asia. The business class cabin on the A330-200 is quite dated, but remains surprisingly comfortable and far better than a narrowbody recliner.

rate-img
  • 9/ 20
    Ground Experience
  • 12/ 20
    Seat & Cabin
  • 15/ 20
    Crew & Service
  • 11/ 20
    Food & Beverage
  • 15/ 20
    Overall Value
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Pros

  • Cheap business fares
  • More comfortable than a narrowbody
  • Surprisingly spacious

Cons

  • Poor ground experience at KUL
  • Food was just a great economy meal
  • Budget wine list
  • Lack of direct aisle access
  • Angled lie-flat beds

SriLankan Airlines is the flag carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the Oneworld alliance. The airline has struggled financially for many years now, including nearly being grounded on multiple occasions. In fact, until the end of the week, the Sri Lankan government is accepting bids to privatise the airline.

Despite the turmoil, Sri Lankan offers some temptingly cheap business class fares throughout Asia, including between Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. This review covers the flight experience from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, in business class on the SriLankan Airbus A330-200.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

SriLankan Ground Experience In Kuala Lumpur

Before departing for the airport, I had seen that the inbound aircraft hadn’t even left Colombo. Knowing this, we arrive at checkin 20 minutes before cut-off, with the agent saying “go immediately to the gate, we board very soon”. I asked if the flight was delayed, but was told it was on time, when the aircraft was more than an hour away from Kuala Lumpur.

Even though they are a OneWorld member, SriLankan directs its business class passengers to the Plaza Premium lounge, which is presumably cheaper to get their guests into. It’s conveniently located just after passport control and nearby gate G1, where the business class bus departs for the Satelite Terminal from which many international airlines operate.

Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur

It’s a bit of a shoebox, but still a beautifully designed space, having opened in 2023. There is a limited hot buffet and the typically poor drinks selection you’d find at most Plaza Premium locations. Normally, those drinks come at a charge, but SriLankan is footing the bill thanks to a stamp on my boarding pass.

Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur

Being so crowded, we spend all of ten minutes here before checking out Malaysia Airlines’ First Class lounge, which has far better booze and an à la carte dining room. A comfortable armchair overlooking the apron is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Malaysia Airlines Golden First Class Lounge Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines Golden First Class Lounge Kuala Lumpur

The Seat – SriLankan Business Class

There’s no way around the fact that this is a subpar business class seat. It’s a 2-2-2 configuration, which should be illegal on widebody jets, but at least legroom doesn’t take too much of a hit.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

Being a vintage design, there is tonnes of padding to get comfortable, with a pillow and blanket also provided.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

Although it’s not exciting by any means, the seat is more than comfortable for the short 3h35m daytime burst. But if it comes time for a nap, don’t be expecting to lie flat as SriLankan claims. There is a noticeable angle in bed mode, as well as grooves which are in desperate need of a mattress pad.
SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

Onboard Dining – SriLankan Business Class

After boarding, the crew offered a selection of juice or water. “Champagne” was made available after request, and while served as such and listed as Joseph Perrier on the menu, we later found out this was actually a sparkling wine by Santero 958.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

There were four main items on offer, with my selection the Lamb Stew. This was accompanied by a scallop potato and vegetables, alongside a salad and fruits for dessert. Although looking like it came straight from the freezer aisle, my meal was surprisingly tasty and could be considered a very good economy class meal.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

As you might expect from the national carrier of Sri Lanka, the selection of teas was superb, with eight options by JAF Tea. The Ginger Ceylon went down a treat.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

The Crew – SriLankan Business Class

Service was pretty good, the crew were friendly and happy to help but not exactly proactive. When I asked which white wines were offered, as the menu wasn’t descript, it seemed like a hassle to check what was available. Similarly, it would have been nice if they offered drinks instead of waiting for passengers to ask.

SriLankan IFE And Amenities

In-seat power can be accessed via a USB-A port beside the headrest, or a universal AC power outlet in the dirty crevice within the centre console. This is also where you’ll find the remote for the seatback screen.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

That dated screen is a satisfactory size, and can also be controlled via touch. While my screen was working just fine, Immanuel’s seat featured some electrical gremlins. In addition to the overhead light turning itself on and off when it decided some illumination was required, his seatback screen had red bars and stuck pixels all over the place. Luckily, my entertainment was working perfectly.

SriLankan A330-200 Business Class Review

Summing Up: Is SriLankan Airlines Worth It?

Considering the pretty cheap fares that can be had, SriLankan Airlines is worth checking out on shorter flights throughout Asia. Their business class cabin on the A330-200 is quite dated, but is still an upgrade over smaller jets. Overall, the SriLankan experience was better than I had expected.

Flight Details

  • Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
  • Registration: 4R-ALS
  • Route: KUL-CMB
  • Scheduled Duration: 3hrs 25min
  • Seat: 3A
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Tom Goward

Chief Operating Officer & Aviation Nerd at Flight Hacks

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