Flight Report
CX 610 Colombo - Hong Kong
Business Class

After a wonderful visit featuring interesting architecture and lovely seafood, my driver took me on an uneventful ride for my red-eye back to Hong Kong. A modern highway connects the airport with the city with no slums or beggars lining the highway. Sri Lanka is a clean and modern tourist destination with friendly people and wonderful food.

I won't miss the heat and humidity even during the late night hours!

The terminal is an aged facility with security screening before entering a secured area for check-in. Immigration followed in a small room obviously not big enough for the crowds with a bit of chaotic queuing.

Despite the queues, immigration didn't take that long and soon I was upstairs in the departures hall doing some plane spotting. I still remember vividly this airport was bombed by Tamil rebels during the civil war that ended a few years ago, destroying several aircraft.

This part of the terminal is shared with arriving passengers, who exit through another door to clear immigration. Security checks take place at the gate, which I think is very inefficient and a waste to populate so many machines to serve all the gates.

Crowded Lounge

The lounge wasn't anything to boast about. It was packed and there was little food selection. I got a soda and settled into a chair for a bit. I already had a feast at the hotel before leaving so didn't need any more food.

Silly Boarding Arrangement

When security checks happen at the gate, it is quite stupid to arrange 2 flights to depart at similar times that share the same checkpoint. Well, the airport authority did just that, and the line barely moved. It was a frustating wait with no priority line for Business Class.

Tonight's flight would be operated by an Airbus 330 with the new Business Class. This is key as I need a lie-flat bed for the red-eye. It's a short flight of 5.5 hours so I know I won't get enough sleep, but a few hours is at least better than nothing.

We departed a few minutes behind schedule and quietly took off. It really makes a difference sitting ahead of the wing with a lot less noise than in the Economy seats.

I don't think a full dinner is needed for a flight leaving just before 1am. I think a breakfast close to landing would have been more appropriate. Nevertheless, I decided to enjoy a midnight snack which would fill me beyond able to sleep afterwards. I opted for my favourite alcoholic drink on the menu - the sweet port wine.

I think mattresses should be provided for all red-eye flights to cushion the lie-flat bed for a proper sleep. It felt a bit weird once the chair turns into a bed as there are separate cushions making up the entire seat which can still be felt.

I was awaken by the pre-landing checks after my short nap. The sun had already risen and we were ready to land in Hong Kong. How I wished the flight would take longer! We arrived at 8:42am, just ahead of schedule. But we parked at a far away gate so it took a while to walk to the people mover for the ride in. Luggage also took some time to come out, which was frustrating once again with inadequate sleep on the flight.

The direct nonstop Colombo service is actually new, as flights used to route through Bangkok or Singapore. My inbound was actually via Bangkok. However, red-eyes of this short length are quite annoying. Even with a lie-flat, it is impossible to get a decent length of sleep with a full dinner served and being awaken early for landing.