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Sri Lankan Air Taxi

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Colombo, Sri Lanka
posts: 3
reviews: 7
Sri Lankan Air Taxi

The journey through Air taxi sea plane was a magical experience over the clouds through misty hills. It was a 17 seats small plane with two captains. Air Taxis are available for many destinations; we traveled from Colombo (Peliyagoda) to Kandy (Polgolla reservoir). Easy access to the Peliyagoda Dock;

Dock is located in a Buddhist Temple call Gangarama near Peliyagoda ; but easy to find because of proper board signs. Take off was from Kelani River and landed back on Polgolla reservoir at Kandy.

No transportation provided from the check-out dock to Kandy City. It sort of 15 minutes drive to Kandy from the check-out dock. Spell bound view over the land and clouds were one of the best sceneries one can experience in life. E- Ticket should be printed and presented at the check-in with ID Cards. Really a brilliant excitement to share with love.

Edited: 12:58 pm, April 19, 2012
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 33,206
reviews: 133
1. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Good story! Did you manage to book the e-ticket on their site, or did you need to phone/visit? Tried to book e-tickets for months last Oct-Dec but the site never gave the right options and prices ;-(

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

PS According to their site yes "Air Taxis are available for many destinations" but current schedules are only Kandy, Colombo scenic flights and Colombo-Bentota-Koggala-Dickwella. All others on charter basis, though of course things do expand and e.g. this festive season (April) there is a scheduled service to/from Eliya.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
posts: 3
reviews: 7
2. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

They have just an Online booking system, but not sure how far it works. I called them first and then they sent me the necessary flight details, prices and the Bank Account Number via email to do the payment. Once you do the payment and inform them, they will email you the E-Ticket.

You can get the flight schedule from Srilankan airline website

www.srilankan.lk/en_uk/flying-with-us/airtaxi

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 36,416
reviews: 7
3. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Yes, there used to be a timetable on that page, but it seems they have now moved timetables to:

srilankan.lk/en_uk/plan-and-book/timetable

Hans

Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 1
4. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

I booked and paid online for flight UL7001 from Koggala (KCT) to Bandaranayake Airport (CMB) (that flew via Dickwela) on 14 April 2012. The IATA airport codes I use above are the codes used on the SriLankan Airlines online booking website.

Upon landing at my final destination it soon become clear that the aircraft had not arrived at Bandaranayake Airport (CMB) as indicated in my booking reference, but at Peliyagoda Waterdrome instead (IATA airport code unknown), some 25km short of the expected destination, CMB.

After some confusion amongst some passengers as to exactly where we were a man with a passenger list manifest, presumably an employee of SriLankan Airlines, escorted passengers to an awaiting mini bus to transfer them to CMB airport. Although bus transfer to CMB was not indicated anywhere in the booking it was fairly assumed by all passengers present that such transfer was included in the cost of the air ticket given that CMB Airport was indicated as the destination.

Unlike other passengers who wanted to go to the CMB airport, as I was intending to travel from CMB airport to Negombo so I told the man with the passenger manifest this, so that I could be dropped off at the turn-off to the airport from where I would make my own way to Negombo. Upon stating this however I was then escorted to a separate vehicle, a decrepit old van, in which the driver was already seated. Having sorted the other passengers into the mini bus the man with the passenger list soon joined the driver and I in the van (only three people). This man then asked me where I wanted to go and I told him Lewis Place, 10km or so further north from the airport turn-off. I assumed that because the van was already going to in that direction that this was part of the service provided by SriLankan Airlines.

A few kilometers before the turnoff to CMB airport the driver pulled over, stopped the van and the man with the passenger list got out and told me to pay the driver LKR3500 when I got to my destination. Surprised, I said that I expected my airfare included the cost of at least transfer to CMB airport if not to Lewis Place. I was told this was not the case and that I must pay. At the time I thought to myself the extra 10km distance in a decrepit old van (not airport limousine) from airport turnoff to Lewis Place, just north of Negombo, surely cannot cost LKR 3500? Were the passengers in the mini bus also paying a similar amount to get to the airport?

With the man having exited the van, the driver continued driving onward north while I reached to check and reconfirm my booking details and contract of carriage which clearly stated fare paid was to CMB airport. I showed this Booking Reference the driver who then stopped the van and, using his mobile phone, called the same person who had just gotten out of the van. The driver handed the phone to me to speak with him. I then explained to this person how I understood the fare conditions but was told quite plainly that I was saying was: quote “nonsense” unquote.

Upon hearing this I insisted to be taken only to the airport turn-off where I would then make my own way as was my original intention. At this point the man at the other end of the phone then offered to reduce the fare from LKR3500 to LKR2500. My suspicions rose immediately.

By this stage I had had enough of these shenanigans, behaviour I would expect from street corner touts and con-men, not employees of state airlines. At my insistence the driver dropped me off at the turn-off to CMB airport. I refused to pay any money (and even if I did would I be given a receipt?) and I continued my journey to Lewis Place by three wheeler at the princely sum of LKR500.

Before I recommend SriLankan Air Taxi to others this confusion needs to be be cleared up. If IATA airport code ‘CMB’ is indicated on one’s Flight Booking Reference then one expects to be flown to that destination. If carriage by bus is also required to get to final destination then should be clearly indicated on your website when booking is made. Other airlines are able to make this plain to its customers so I don’t see why SriLankan Airlines cannot do so as well.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 33,206
reviews: 133
5. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Yes, clear bs ;-)

I won't defend the airline but can only give the probable reason for using the 'wrong' airport code on Colombo side: they're still searching for a location much closer to Katunayake airport, where a free shuttle bus makes much more sense. The plan was a lagoon close to Negombo but still problems with local fisherfolk and environmentalists. Originally they flew from CMB runway and had both wheels and floaters under the Twin Otter planes but for various reasons removed the wheels, and now these kinds of troubles...

Tnx, and good to hear that website booking now works,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 36,416
reviews: 7
6. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

They did not remove the wheels.

The previously (pre 2007?) planes were leased from Turkey. The present planes are leased from Canada.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 33,206
reviews: 133
7. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Okay, that might be the reason. But still, the current ones are without wheels (even at Koggala they now use the lake and not the runway nextdoor). The old ones definitely had wheels, and flew from CMB airport (did see them there too).

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 36,416
reviews: 7
8. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

That is the reason.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
posts: 33,206
reviews: 133
9. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Small update:

colombopage.com/archive_12/May05_1336193218C…

That's RIP to the whole concept for now. Trust that at some point another company will do it, as indicated in the article.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Colombo, Sri Lanka
posts: 7
reviews: 5
10. Re: Sri Lankan Air Taxi

Now that the the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to stop the operation of sea planes by the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines I suspect it may go the way of the Colombo to India ferry boat service. Always lots of hoopla surrounding these things with little follow-through of any substance.