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  3. Friday, 12 January 2018
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Often the flight is actually the difficult and expensive of a trip to Sri Lanka. During the last 16 years I have been able to gain some experience in the booking and organization that I like to pass on here.

Price: How much is a flight?
During this time, the cheapest round-trip flight I could get was € 348 and the most expensive € 750 , so a flight should not cost much more.
Therefore, a targeted search is worthwhile. Here are a few pointers:

Which airport in Sri Lanka? Colombo, abbreviation: CMB
Only Colombo is in operation, a second airport at Hambantota in the south shares the fate of Berlin's major chaos airport.

Official name: Bandaranaike International Airport; It is located about 35 km northeast of Colombo City in Katunayake

Flight time: How long is a flight to Colombo?
The flight duration from Central Europe to the tropical island is about 10 to 11 hours , BUT: at the moment there are no direct flights from Germany, Austria or Switzerland, as of October 2017. Why this is so, I explain in the next point. (If I'm wrong here, write me like). Since most flights go via the Arabian Peninsula, the following rule of thumb applies:

6-7 hours to Dubai, Doha, Muscat etc.
plus stay there
plus 4-5 hours from there to Colombo.
to calculate the flight time. Note also the time difference between Central Europe and your destination Sri Lanka, which is 3.5 hours in the summer and 4.5 hours in the winter time. As a rule, you arrive the next day , important if you have booked a transfer. Add up the times for

Arrival to the airport in your home country
Check-in duration at least 2 hours, I always try to be at least 3 hours before departure at the airport to have a reserve for traffic jams and train delay. In addition, I use the online checkin of the airlines and thus spend less time in the check-in queues.
Tip: Always ask shortly before the departure day if the start time has changed. Have already experienced that a flight with Oman Air was brought forward 1 hour, of course, without any special efforts to communicate that to the passengers. Furthermore, it was then via Paris instead of directly to Muscat, by the way, shortly after the attacks in 2015 on the Seine. Great start to the holiday, right?
After landing in Colombo you will also need between 30 minutes and one hour for passport control, waiting for your bags and customs (with the obvious tourist hardly bothering). All this speeds up you or woman, of course, if you have the online visa worried and filled the entry card as possible in the plane, unfortunately, this service is but rarely encountered, in front of the passport counters are the cards on standing desks. Kuli already ready, smile.
Individual transfer time to the hotel
Direct flights or interim flights?
The air market to Sri Lanka of German-speaking European countries (D, A, CH) is largely dominated by Arab airlines. Srilankanairlines discontinued the direct connection from Frankfurt some time ago and Vienna does not seem to have this option any more. This leaves nothing but a stop on the Arabian Peninsula, alternatively Delhi and Turkey.

If you are afraid of confusing mega-airports with many terminals and long distances, I would recommend Muscat in Oman.

So that the exertions of the journey are not too big, the transfer time should not be more than 4 hours. Everything under 1.30 hours, however, increases the danger of missing the connecting flight again, as you have to go through the security check again and, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, travel endlessly from gate to gate.

Stay 1-3 days in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha?
If you have always wanted to go there, then take the stopover as a reason to visit these cities. That is also a nice contrast to the simple life in Sri Lanka.

Stopover in the Maldives?
Also, the connection of the Maldives and Sri Lanka in a long-distance travel is very attractive. You experience two completely different worlds and save yourself a further return flight over thousands of kilometers.

If you are not very proficient in searching for flights on the Internet, you will find below 2 travel agencies, which develop suitable offers for the last two variants. But now to the actual topic:

1. Search and book your flight online
Flight search directly in google : in my opinion the fastest and most comfortable option; If you have a google account, you can get informed by email about price changes.

Farther:

ebookers.de My former favorite site, because you could enter plusminus 3 days and thus very quickly received many offers. If you are a bit flexible on return flight, you can easily save 100-200 €. Unfortunately, ebookers has taken this out in the search. Still not bad.

For Austria: ebookers.at ... ..is now expedia.at (27.02.17)
For Switzerland: ebookers.ch
Also interesting is cheaptickets.de (.at, .ch), but I have not booked there yet.

(Always look for condor after the one-day flights !!)

At condor I booked an oneway flight on 3.9.07 - for 170 € !!


2. You contact a travel agent in your home town
They always find something.

My tip: Ceylon Travel Hartmann, Specialist for Sri Lanka / Maldives

Tel. 07151-967707

or flight exchange Berlin 030-2163061

last booking there for January 2017: 661 € with Emirates from Frankfurt and including rail and fly

3. Contact airlines directly
Inexpensive,
but still with good service were for example

Srilankanairlines (unfortunately only from Vienna, so no more direct flights from D )
Quatar Airways
Emirates
Last flight in January 15 for 590 €, booked through Ceylon Travel including train ticket !!! Emirates is still good, but now more mass instead of class. I complained twice about delays and bad service weeks later, you will then get phrases as an answer. Bulk shop and airport overcrowded and with endless transfer routes. Positive: modern machines and low prices

Note 2015: connecting flights missed or reached with difficulty; Forget your suitcase; Connecting flights with Air Berlin could not be checked in online. I can understand why Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy in August 2017.


4. Service: In our hotel "Haus am Meer" we reserve after deposit plus minus 2 days, so you have more options when booking a flight


Sometimes it pays to enter different airports and compare the results. It can be cheaper to travel
from one city to another , despite the cost of traveling and the cost of a hotel , especially if you can park conveniently at the airport .

But it can also be nice,
for example, to spend a few days in Berlin before your trip (hotels in Berlin) can also be found on the Berlin.de page, which is well structured. And you can also enter what you are looking for: hotels, hostels, hostels, pensions etc.). And then visit the Berlin attractions or enjoy a city again - even if that is of course quite a contrast in comparison to Sri Lanka.



I am pleased about additions, further hints and tips to the flight search and publish you here in the interest of all visitors.
References
  1. https://www.google-flight.org/
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