A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email regarding flight cancellation issue that he is having with SriLankan airlines that decided to end service to Rome from Colombo.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I purchased a business class R/T ticket BKK-FCO-BKK for May via the SriLankan (UL) website a couple of months ago. I recently heard through the grapevine that UL had cancelled all flights to Rome effective May 1 2016. I checked my booking on the website and sure enough the flights had been cancelled, but UL hadn’t bothered to tell me about it.
I rang their local office in Melbourne to see what alternatives they could offer. First of all, they said they didn’t have the authority to do anything, but I might be able to change to another European destination (LHR, FRA or CDG), but I would probably have to make my own way from there to FCO. Another option would be to receive a refund. However they would have to refer it to head office to make a decision, and I’m still waiting.
This is all very unsatisfactory, as I feel I’m going to be out of pocket whatever happens. If I end up in LHR, FRA or CDG I’ll have to buy a ticket from there to FCO. If I get a refund I’ll have to buy a new ticket on another airline which will be quite a bit more expensive. I’ve made a number of commitments in Italy, so if I don’t go I’ll be out of pocket again.
I really don’t know what more I can do at this stage. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
SriLankan should have clear procedures in place how to deal with the passengers that are affected by this route closure. They usually communicate these to travel agents that can then rebook the affected passengers that they have ticketed.
The rebooking option usually is to get as close to the destination on existing service and then segment or two on some other airline. Alternatively, the airline is required to offer refund.
There are certainly direct flights from any of the remaining SriLankan European destinations to Rome. I would request them to rebook you on one of them.
If you don’t hear back from SriLankan and you are based in Australia, I would open a case with Fair Trading and see what the airline then says. You could also post the issue on SriLankan’s Facebook page and also send a Tweet. Sometimes airlines are more responsive to messages that are publicly broadcasted.