Annoying bugs/shortcomings on Srilankan Website

Srilankan Airline has pretty good service standards and fly to quite a decent number of destinations around the world from their hub in Colombo. I have booked 3 different trips on Srilankan this year- to Gan Island, To Colombo and to Beijing, during their February 50% off sale. Because they are a full service airline, flying them is a good experience particularly when we can grab cheap fares.

However, using Srilankan’s website is another story- it has several bugs and limitations and annoying behaviors, which are irritating. I hope Srilankan Airlines’s tech team fixes them asap
Here’s what I have been experiencing on Srilankan

1 No Forgot password button in login popup
Website home page as a small popup to let users login with their FlySmiles account. But if you forget the password, there’s no way you can request a reset. Forgot password option is pretty basic- wondering how designers missed it.

Unable to reset my password, I called the helpline- after long wait and going through multiple options, the human I could connect to transferred to another department saying she’s transferring me to ‘FlySmiles’ team. The gentleman who got the forwarded call said he needs to transfer my call to someone else as this password reset is technical thing. At this moment I lost my patience and disconnected.

A google search threw up this page for password reset- it works- if only a link to this page could be given from the login popup in Srilankan’s home page, life would have been so simpler
2 Can’t login with email
Many airline websites and their loyalty programs allow you to login with your email as login ID. This is a lot simpler, instead of remembering long multi digit loyalty program numbers. But Srilankan won’t let you login with email. You’ve to scan your mails, get your UL Fly Smiles number and then attempt to login.

3 Won’t list my bookings in one place
Upon login, I might wish to see all my past and future bookings- Srilankan has no such provision. I have to retrieve my booking by entering Booking reference number one at a time. Even Jet Airways has this problem. We’ve to store booking details elsewhere and then retrieve it on the airline website- which isn’t really convenient.

4 Buggy seat selection process
I tried selecting seats for my Colombo-Beijing leg on their A330-300. While selecting the seat, it showed Zero rupees as fee. But next stage I was slapped with a payment demand of some INR 1200. Getting ride of this (saying I am fine with earlier seats and don’t want to pay) was a pain. Ignore changes option won’t work, log out and relogin won’t solve the problem- it still says payment is pending- can’t go back to seat selection process (wasn’t available) so that I could select a free seat instead)- had to call and take help of customer care.

5 No search/sort options in Redeem rewards section.
I have 2720 loyalty points. When I tried to redeem, there was no search option- can’t search by points, can’t search by items, can’t sort items in the order of increasing or decreasing order of points. Have to browse each category one by one. Inflight, I had seen a pair of playing cards- the cheapest items that can be redeemed, costing some 732 points. But without a search option, I had to go into each category and browse through multiple pages before I could locate this item.

Then, out of 2720 points, only 720 are usable. 2000 points will remain there, can’t be redeemed. I need 732 points to redeem the playing cards but I am few points short. Only way to redeem it is order online before  your flight.  The time and effort I have to put to redeem just doesn’t seem worth it. I would probably ignore this whole points program as I fly too less and Srilankan’s terms and conditions, as well as process are too complicated. Here’s a detailed experience of me trying to redeem my miles from FlySmiles Account

6. Can’t modify search
While trying to book, we might want to modify the search, change some select parameters (like date or destination alone) and search again. But Srilankan doesn’t give such options, we have to enter every field values one more time. Many airline sites let you selectively modify and retry-saves lots of time. Other airline sites also remember previously used searches and allow reuse. At least I am thankful Srilankan defaults return date to 7 days from onward journey date, which is nice.

These points were from section of the website that I explored. If they review entire website, they will find lot more such possible improvements.

Srilankan seem to have a good feedback collection process-during my Colombo Beijing flight I was asked if I would like to fill detailed feedback form. It was 5-6 pages long, I patiently filled it as much as I could. But it didn’t have some extra space for free text remarks. Also they won’t take my details from my seat number- had to write my name, address and other details again. Hopefully they will take my feedback in this post and improve their website. I had 3 good trips with them this year- to Srilanka, Gan Island and Beijing and will book more in future if I get good price. Just that their website is unable to stay abreast with the experience competition airlines are able to offer. Fixing above isn’t really effort intensive, some directives to IT team and they can fix it.

Hope Srilankan website is improved before I book my next flight with them

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