The Airport Lounge

May 08 2015.

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Oh! Colombo

It was one of those unforeseen incidents. But certainly not pleasant when you are stuck in the airport due to a delay of your flight. Fifteen hours is a bit much when it is only a three and a half hour journey. However, such incidents do occur and one has to undergo a bit of frustration knowing that it is for the safety of all passengers and crew. It would have been pleasant if the passengers were informed beforehand of the long delay but this was not the case in this instance.

Flying business class, us three travellers had the privilege of using the lounge at the Katunayake Airport named after the fragrant Frangipane. The facilities offered by the Lounge are hardly noticed when it is used for a short stay but when you are compelled to spend long hours in it, it is a different story.

Cleanliness does not seem to take priority in this Lounge. Combine this with the disgruntled service staff and you begin to question the supposed advantage of using a lounge. Passengers throw their feet up, stretch across the chairs and consume food at the tables. After its use, the tables are not cleaned properly with any detergents; neither are the floors, the couches, stools, lounge tables etc. or put back neatly in their place. I would have expected the floors to be hoovered at least every three to four hours but this did not happen during the 15 hours I spent in the Lounge. The gent’s washroom was deplorable and quite filthy. The fear of catching some disease is very high. No proper detergent had seen any of the toilet surfaces and absolutely no sort of air freshener used. It emanated the odour of some filthy public toilet. A woman who came out from the ladies' made similar observations. The food served was a joke. From midnight to six in the morning hardly anything was replenished. What was available were some dried up looking odds and ends and cold oil soaked items. The breakfast that was served and could have passed off as edible was served stone cold. The dishes were placed in food warmers with no form of heating and there seemed no intention of doing so. The lunch that followed six hours later was a pathetic excuse for a Sri Lankan rice and curry with the inclusion of some tasteless fish stew and boiled vegetables on the side. The food served throughout was thoroughly unappetizing and unacceptable. All throughout the fifteen hours we spent in the lounge we spotted a person of some authority breezing in and out of the lounge faster than the Concorde uttering some words to the staff.

‘Shocking condition’ is an understatement and is being kind about this Lounge. I am sure many airlines use this lounge for their passengers paying substantial amounts of money. Such an unhygienic, unclean and very pathetic lounge in this international airport is certainly not an impression that passengers would wish to depart with from a country that promotes its Paradise Isle.


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