Colombo Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 116 reviews
4/10
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5/10

"badly needs a decent overhaul"

(Sri Lanka)

Verified Review | It is a nice efficient airport, but quite old, the airport authority really tries hard to get the building passenger friendly, but again because the infrastructure is old, it does not add up to. Nonetheless, it is quite efficient, services are fast, it has got many check-in points, lots of staff on the ground and rather quick passport control zone. The waiting areas are small and not comfortable, as the airport is small. Duty free store does not resemble the feel of Colombo as fast developing mega-city. The security, while efficient, can be improved, particularly staff behave like military, not like a civil airport security. The lounges also quite dark, not welcoming, furnished with rather old chairs/furniture. Food selection in lounges is mediocre. Better eat something before heading to the airport, there is literally no place to grab something, except Coffee Beans and Tea Leaf, which charges super high prices. Overall, it is a good airport, but badly needs a decent overhaul.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitSeptember 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
9/10

"No queue at immigration"

(New Zealand)

Verified Review | Arrived late evening at the same time as a number of other scheduled arrivals. No queue at immigration, very pleasant and welcoming immigration officer, straight down to luggage hall where the bags were already being delivered. Into arrivals hall where you can quickly organise taxi to city and avoid the taxi touts waiting outside. From aircraft door to kerbside only 15 minutes. Checking into city hotel within one hour of landing. Very impressed.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitAugust 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

"reluctant to come again"

(Thailand)

Verified Review | Endless queues for many Xray check (3 or 4 times), immigration, check in, boarding. Impolite and useless people in uniform in the hall. At immigration counter, the officer was talking with a colleague all the time I was in the line: when I passed, no hello, no thank you - still continued to talk. Duty free accept only USD. Must go in small shops for spending out Sri Lankan currency. I will not keep a good souvenir of this airport and be reluctant to come again.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitAugust 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"Lazy unhelpful staff"

(Switzerland)

Verified Review | Lazy unhelpful staff, talk a lot, walk a lot but no professionalism at all. Don't expect any help in case of emergency or help with checking in, you will be on your own and need to run after them begging. Different screens will give you different information, don't get excited one one the screen and something else from the checking in staff. Make it least 3 hours before if you want catch your flight.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2017
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
2/10

"being polite takes you a long way"

(United States)

Over the years Colombo International airport has improved tremendously. Same time the infrastructure has been improving at the alarming rate. It's nice to see the things are changing for good in Sri Lanka. But there is a little problem. First SL government official you will meet at the arrival are the Immigration officers. Same way at the departure the last is the Immigration officials. Sri Lanka Immigration officers at the airport are not at all polite. The arrival immigration officer didn't even say 'hello' or 'thank you'. Just "Welcome to Sri Lanka". Departure is the same scenario. Not friendly. Being polite takes you a long way. Simply a "Thank you" is plenty.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
yes
7/10

"CMB has coped well"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Because of runway refurbishments, one had to arrive rather early because of overcrowding and for the same reason they had wisely banned the extended families of departing/arriving PAX from entering the terminal! Well done! Once inside, it was rather easy to get into the check-in area as there were no hordes of relatives blocking your way and the security guards were not overwhelmed. I noticed that they had recruited extra helpful staff dressed in Western style semi-official uniforms rather than more of the Peacock Sari clad usual ground staff who are generally too officious. The new recruits were rather good at their work. I do hope that they become a permanent feature. In spite of the turmoil caused by the runway works, I thought that CMB has coped well!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMarch 2017
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
yes
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
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