Review: Colombo Bound

Passengers of Sri Lankan Airlines can expect to experience both the highs and lows of travel.
The flight plan: Hong Kong to Colombo on UL432, via Bangkok; and Colombo to Hong Kong on UL422 via Bangkok
First impressions: Check in was about as efficient and fuss-free as one would hope, and while the boarding process was about as smooth as it gets, each flight – and subsequently each leg of the journey – was delayed.
On board: Our economy class seats were reasonably comfortably, although smaller than average and lacking in legroom. Entertainment was as one would expect: the 9.6-inch in-seat screens featured a range of movies, TV, and video games, and while everything else seemed to be in proper working order, the flight info function appeared to be encountering some problems.
The food: The dishes on the Bangkok-Colombo leg was a pleasant surprise. Meals started with a Thai-style pomelo salad with grated coconut, served on a bed of lollo rosso, asparagus tips, cucumber and cherry tomatoes, and for the main, we had the options of particularly well done Thai-style red or green chicken curry with and rice. The meals were accompanied by a choice of a Spanish red wine or French white, both of which were good counterpoints to the food. During the Bangkok-Hong Kong meal service however, we waited 20 minutes for our mains while everyone else around us was served, and were offered coffee while still waiting. Eventually, we were given a curried chicken dish which, considering it was plated on an actual plate, we can only assume came from the business class catering.
The experience: The crew was generally polite and welcoming; however cabin checks were surprisingly cursory. During take-off and landing, we noticed some window shades down, several seats in a reclined position, and most concerning, while taking off from Colombo, the passenger seated next to us was still having a conversation on her phone.
What did we like? Flying can be incredibly dehydrating, so we appreciated being served drinks every 45 minutes or so. The entertainment system also features several highly addictive video games.
What didn’t we like? Since we weren’t allowed to disembark during the layover in Bangkok, we didn’t get the chance to stretch our legs. There was also a minor annoyance on claiming our luggage in Colombo: on opening one of the suitcases, we discovered the contents in disarray and a pair of sunglasses missing. However, Sri Lankan Airlines were quick to apologise and rectify the situation.
Details: Sri Lankan Airlines flies Hong Kong to Colombo via Bangkok three times a week, on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

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