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Colombo Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 104 reviews
4/10
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2/10

"the airport needs an upgrade soon"

(Malaysia)

Colombo Airport is undergoing some runway resurfacing until April and as a result, the flights during the day are pushed to late at night hence the chaos. Having said that, the airport needs an upgrade soon. The check-in area is very disorganized and there are a handful of seats for passengers whose flights are either delayed or are awaiting the airline to reorganise their flights. The boarding area is also messy and crowded. Display screens are limited and it is messy. Prices of food and beverage are too expensive. Toilets are also insufficient for the busy boarding area. This airport is home to the highly acclaimed SriLankan Airlines but the airport facilities and services are abysmal. For those who want to travel to the northern region (Jaffna), flights are limited and only operate from the military airport in Colombo.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
8/10

"30mins from touch down to exit"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Arriving at 0330hrs local time and after a long flight from LHR via DOH, I was worse for wear and expected the worst. Surprisingly, my entry into Sri Lanka through was painless. People without a visa had to queue for a visa on entry. The rest of us walked into the immigration desks. The staff at immigration were courteous and I was through and after having bought my legal allowance of Duty Free, I walked through Customs Nothing to Declare. I surprised myself by the less than 30mins from touch down to exit. Outside the airport, unfortunately, were a lot of taxi touts which spoiled the experience.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitJanuary 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

"the worst airport I have encountered anywhere"

(United Kingdom)

I am widely travelled and this is the worst airport I have encountered anywhere. The reasons why - Food and drink is very expensive e.g. $6 for a coffee, $5 for a croissant. Although you go thru 3 levels of security, each is pretty lax. I saw several people with full mineral water bottles that were not picked up. Pat down searches are cursory. The departure boards are not kept up to date. Our flights final call (1st time it was called) over the tannoy happened before the flight appeared on the boards. The toilets are poorly maintained e.g. no toilet paper and sopping floor. The seating is very uncomfortable. Free wifi doesn't work Information desk unmanned for 15 mins when I tried to enquire about the wifi.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJanuary 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"undergone many upgrades"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Colombo airport has a single terminal which has undergone many upgrades over the years. 20 years ago, passengers would exit their flights to board buses to the terminal (always a major shock to the system when you step out of the air conditioned cabin to be smacked in the face by the heat and humidity of Sri Lanka. Now however, you can delay that feeling until you get through to the baggage claim area. It is also worth pointing out that an expressway has been constructed over the past few years to dramatically reduce the journey time between the airport and the city of Colombo. Anyone who hasn't been to Sri Lanka in the past 10 years will certainly be shocked at the modernisation projects that have taken place/underway. Arriving into CMB is very easy. A short queue at Immigration (most foreign passport holders must obtain a visa online before arriving, or they must purchase one at the airport for a slightly higher fee), and the a final look at Duty Free - arriving passengers may buy a respectable amount of alcohol to bring into Sri Lanka, however tobacco products are not allowed. You can buy them anywhere in Sri Lanka, and they are still far cheaper than UK prices. After the shopping, passengers go to baggage claim. Luggage is usually on the carousel in a short period of time so you can move through Customs and into the Arrivals hall quickly. I would say, you could progress from the aircraft to Arrivals hall inside 30 minutes, if you choose not to buy loads of duty free before collecting your luggage. In the Arrivals hall, there are several bureaus to change your currency into Sri Lankan Rupees. There are also stands for the telecommunications companies (handy to buy a local SIM card), large hotel chains and also taxi firms. If you haven't arranged transportation to your destination in Sri Lanka, you can do from inside the building. Once you have left the Arrivals hall, you will be outside where you realise you have stepped into another world. When departing through CMB, try and arrive at the terminal with at least 3 hours to spare. Due to the history of civil unrest the airport is very security minded. There is a screening point for anyone wishing to enter the terminal building. As it is customary for entire families to go to see off their loved ones, the area before check-in can be very crowded, and sometimes you just have to push your way through crowds of locals to get to the second Security area that is situated just before the check-in desks. In my experience of travelling through CMB, there are usually long queues at the desks (especially if you are travelling economy) and hold ups can occur as passengers may be required to repack their cases. Once through check-in, things get more relaxed. A quick stroll through Passport Control then upstairs to the Departure Lounge. There are several Duty Free stores, as well as more locally tailored shops. Restaurants and cafes are available and there is ample seating. It is recommended you get to the gate as soon as it is announced. There is another security check before the gate.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"washrooms are in bad condition"

(Australia)

Colombo Airport is pretty confusing. The credibility of the staff is a question, they respond very confidently but weren't helpful most of the times. Most staff are unfriendly and with an attitude. The washrooms are in bad condition, mostly water everywhere and not clean, I couldn't wait to get out of this place. Worst place to shop, very expensive and not many options, couldn't find good food.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"good for transit"

(India)

Verified Review | Transited twice through Colombo airport enroute to Male and back. Not very large but relatively modern with good signage. Good for transit as well. YOu dont have to walk long to get to your boarding gates; they are quite close enough. In fact on our return flight we got off at Gate 12 and out next flight was listed at Gate 10. Good wifi and some charging points are provided though all were not working. Ample seating. The gate security gets a bit crowded due to less space; they make you take off belts and shoes as well, much like the US airports. Good staff and ample restrooms; though beware, the restroom attendants will ask for tips.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitOctober 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
10/10

"a very pleasant experience"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Colombo is a small airport. Lots of security so get here nice and early. Was lucky that I flew on a very early flight (0230) because I was told by airport staff that's it gets very busy after 0500. A hand full of duty free shops. However there are a few places to eat and drink. All and all a very pleasant experience.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
5/10

"airport ok but expensive"

(Canada)

Colombo airport is ok, but crazy expensive. Arrivals were quick and efficient although we could not withdraw money from any of the ATMs (we later had no issues withdrawing money in town). Departures was also efficient and worry free, but shopping inside is ridiculously expensive. Prices are in US dollars, a Burger King meal can cost $15, a small bottle of water is $2. You can bring in food and water from outside, so do so. Also, exchanging money will cost you 500LKR. Seating is limited and the WiFi keeps dropping, you have to sign in every 3 minutes. On the upside, the airport is clean and staff is helpful.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"layout confusing"

(Germany)

Worst airport I've been to. Positive Aspects: Staff are (mostly) friendly and helpful, as is most of Sri Lanka. Negative Aspects: Layout confusing despite its small size, facilities such as restrooms are often broken, dirty or simply not working. Shops are incredibly expensive (almost double the usual prices). Air conditioning is weak (or not present at all), prepare to sweat the whole time you are here. Wifi is available but incredibly slow and disconnects every few minutes - every time you are asked to enter your passport ID on the login page, but 123 or any other letters will work as well. Arrival is chaotic as you have to fill out a given immigration document (even if you already have a Visa, which is not checked at all), but there are no pens provided. Passengers have to share a few pens some have brought in their hand luggage. To visit this beautiful country you have to go through this mess, however for a stopover it is not recommended at all.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
4/10

"limited food outlets"

(India)

I am a fan of SriLankan Airlines but not the airport. Have spent 4 hours late in the night in this Airport. Its a small airport with limited food outlets and seating. Prices at food outlets are very costly. 1L water bottle will cost you $2 (288 srilankan rupee) but the actual price on the bottle is 25 srilankan rupees. Too many security checks and limited seating in the airport. Restrooms are overflowing and there's no one to take care of them and wifi in airport disconnects every 10 mins.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
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