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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sri Lankan Airlines UL422 In-flight Service?

When monies are exchanged as payment in return for services provided, the customer inherently procures the right to receive those services at the standards of quality expected – this is the essence of customer service. Unfortunately my friends and I suffered what can only be described as atrocious customer service, during our travel on flight Sri Lankan Airlines UL422 (Colombo-Bangkok) on 25th September 2004.

We were absolutely disappointed with the in-flight service crew. It is shocking as to the number of times the “steward call” button had to be pressed for someone to attend to us. I recall pressing the button at least 15 times (during the space of an hour) - maybe they take you seriously only after the 14th press. With so many beautiful words in the English vocabulary, how hard it seemed for one steward to find the word “Please”. “Raise it!” were the orders handed down to me to lift my glass for a cup of coffee. The tone of voice used was disrespectful, and almost insultive. As a qualified professional, who has paid hard earned money for this ticket, I at least deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy. Ironically, unfriendly treatment from the “Worlds Friendliest Cabin Crew”.

Very few “smiles” had been loaded on the plane that day - just enough for business class I believe. Non were served to us. What irked us further was that this ignorant mistreatment, seemed especially designed for the economy class Sri Lankan passenger community, while our fairer skinned peers sitting along side us were the beneficiaries of better attention and care.

The disappointment went beyond the steel walls of our aircraft, and into the restrooms at the Bangkok airport. I found it hard to hide my face, as the countless other passengers discussed how poor the service was on the SriLankan flight – with discussions in English, and harsh words being used to describe their pain, the message may have traveled with other passengers, around the world.

As relatively frequent flyers on many other airlines, and as proud Sri Lankans, we were saddened that day to travel on our national carrier. On that flight SriLankan failed all of us. On that flight SriLankan failed Sri Lanka.

posted by 88Pro / Sunday, October 10, 2004

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