SriLankan Award Availability Viewable On Ba.com

SriLankan Airlines joined the oneworld alliance yesterday, May 1, 2014. I’ve flown SriLankan in the past and really enjoyed my flights with them. And for that matter, even though I’ve never actually been into SriLanka, I’ve flown through the airport a handful of times (it’s easily the best airport in the world for discounted first and business class tickets, even if it’s not quite as good as it once was). I really do want to visit the country next time, though.


SriLankan A330 at Male Airport in the Maldives

Anyway, I was curious what award availability looks like on SriLankan, given that they’re new to oneworld. It’s one thing when a truly “major” airline joins oneworld, since award availability is typically properly “adjusted.” Often when a smaller airline with a smaller frequent flyer program joins an alliance, almost every seat is available for awards since the airlines never had a problem with too many “outstanding” miles.

SriLankan Airlines award availability

Well, in looking at award availability on SriLankan, that’s definitely not the case. SriLankan award availability is now finally searchable through the British Airways award search tool. And availability isn’t looking great… at least in business class.

The general trend I’m seeing with SriLankan award availability is that they’re fairly good about releasing economy class award seats, while they release at most one business class award seat per flight, and in many cases none. It also doesn’t seem like SriLankan opens up much last minute award space.

For example, in looking at award space from Colombo to Frankfurt, many days they’re releasing one business class award seat and three economy class award seats:

BA-Award-Availability-1

Similarly, from Colombo to Bangkok I’m also seeing one business class award seat and three economy class award seats per flight:

BA-Award-Availability-3

From Colombo to Male they seem to be releasing at least nine economy class award seats per flight, while I can’t find a single date with business class award availability:

BA-Award-Availability-2

SriLankan fuel surcharges when booking through British Airways

Here’s something that’s a bit odd. If an airline imposes fuel surcharges on revenue tickets, then British Airways ordinarily passes them on for award tickets as well. SriLankan does impose fuel surcharges on their flights, though they’re fairly mild compared to what other airlines charge.

The thing that’s odd is that British Airways is charging a flat $85 in taxes/fees/fuel surcharges for one-way SriLankan tickets, regardless of the cabin or route. They charge that for economy class from Colombo to Male, just as they charge that for business class from Colombo to Frankfurt.

SriLankan-Availability-3 SriLankan-Availability-2 SriLankan-Availability-1

Odd.

Bottom line

Award availability on SriLankan isn’t as great as I was hoping. That being said, it’s certainly better than nothing. Airlines do often adjust award availability somewhat after they’ve joined an alliance, so hopefully that will be the case here (for the better).

Comments

  1. Considering the actual availability would you recommend putting mom/dad/friend in the business class seat and taking economy for yourself or flying two or three separate aircraft instead?

  2. Looks like there is a $60 “Sri Lanka Overseas Sales Surcharge (EJ)” and $25 “Sri Lanka Embarkation Tax (Colombo) (LK)” when I looked at economy CMB-MLE and CMB-FRA tickets on ITA Matrix, regardless of carrier.

  3. CMB-MLE on BA is $27.50 (Reward Flight Saver : You just pay the Avios fare + a flat fee. We pay the full taxes fees and charges) 🙂

  4. Sounds like everyone who got aboard the Etihad mistake fare just got a bunch of ways to jump over to Columbo to board their F flight homeward to JFK or DFW. Congrats to all those who pulled that trigger last year

  5. @ Dax — That’s totally a function of personal preference. In my case if I can’t get everyone on the same flight in business class I would find a different way to get there. In general I’d rather be on the same flight than separate flights, though.

  6. Although the availability is there when you search segment by segment – it is not available when you search a flight like MLE to BOM via CMB. If you search segments then it is there but I am not able to book the full journey. Any tips to solve this issue.

  7. @Narayana

    Avios anyway charges points by segment. You could just book 2 separate tickets and still end up paying exactly the same amount. Just take care of the dates and connection time.

    If you want to book it as one ticket with AA miles, just call AA and feed them the dates and exact flights.

  8. AA is also charging this $85 tax and it looks like it’s only when you are departing from cmb. they are charging that on CX flights out of cmb as well.

  9. @Lucky Hello! I have one question for you. I will have several flights on Delta next month. I am both the elite of Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Delta airlines allow its elite to get economy comfort seats for free. Alaska miles value higher than Delta miles. Is it possible to take advantage of elite benefits (ex. economy comfort seats) of Delta and accrue miles on Alaska airlines at same time? If so,how to do that? Thank you!

  10. @ Apadfaa — Not really, unfortunately, as Delta won’t allow you to remove your frequent flier number from the record once you’ve begun travel or taken advantage of any elite benefits.

  11. seems like anyone could survive in coach from CMB to MLE for the 1:30 flight. With padding, it’s probably less than that in reality…

  12. @Lukcy
    Thank you,one more question. Is it really hard to get upgraded when travelling with companions ib Delta? Should I split PNR to increase chance to get upgraded?
    Thank you!

  13. I was able to book a MLE-CMB-BOM flight on the phone because it is not bookable online although it should be without fees.

    @Hitesh Also a flight like one I booked with AA miles is an issue because Sri Lanka is in Asia 2 and India and Maldives are in the Indian Sub Continent so it charges for 2 awards :).

  14. Another interesting thing is that AirBerin now also charges fuel surcharge on revenue tickets, but thankfully for the time being. BA still doesn’t charge it on redemptions.

  15. where is the best place to search for sri lankan award space now.
    BA does not show all award space, especially on flight combinations like FRA-CMB-BKK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *