Sri Lanka Travel

I need to bitch about Air Asia and other travelers

Have I gotten bitchier or have people just gotten more annoying? I still feel my blood boiling when I think about yesterday’s flight from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo.

The main problem started at boarding. I got my passport checked, fine, no problems, I was allowed to get on the plane. But when Artur presented his passport, he was stopped. The guy checking was unsure about the visa requirements for Polish passport holders for Sri Lanka. Artur showed him his email that said his e-visa was approved, but he was still made to step aside while they investigated further. Discussion amongst the employees and a phone call to their boss, they decided that no, Artur was not allowed to board the plane because his e-visa letter was not printed out.

The first reason was so stupid: ‘You need to print it out. What happens if you get there and your phone is dead?’ I said, ‘it’s not going to die, we’ll turn it off now anyway.’

‘You need a hard copy. We can’t let you on if you don’t print it out.’ (This was perhaps ten minutes before the flight was meant to take off.)

‘Ok, so where can I print it out then?’ ‘You have to go outside the terminal, far away. You can go to the hotel.’

You can get visas on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka, and when we suggested that he just apply again for a visa on arrival, all they said was, ‘no, you can’t do that.’ When I said I doubted that everyone else had their visas printed out, the guy said ‘yes, they do, they have them printed out.’ Which is such bullshit because I watched them board everyone else, no-one else got asked to show a copy of their visa. They even pulled aside an Estonian lady but didn’t ask her for proof of visa and then later at immigration in Colombo, we saw her get turned away and directed to the visa on arrival counter because she tried to enter without a visa.

Really, it makes me so angry thinking about yesterday. Eventually, the guy who was being a dick, got a call from his boss. We don’t know what was said, but he ended up letting Artur go, on the condition that he find a place to print out the letter in Colombo airport before getting to immigration. Anyway, the letter says nothing about having a hard copy to present at immigration and we both got through no problems just by presenting our passport.

To think that this dickhead almost prevented Artur from boarding the flight, just because he didn’t print out a copy of his visa letter (which I didn’t have either but they never asked me about) is absolutely ridiculous. The fact that visa on arrival is available makes it even more so.

So we finally boarded the plane, and what did we see? About perhaps twenty or so suitcases in the area where the flight attendants greet you. I already saw people in the boarding queue with two pieces of luggage each (a suitcase and backpack) but then was so pissed that there was no space for us to put our bags. Artur put his under his seat but I made a flight attendant find a space for mine. I find it so unfair that people take two bags and then put them BOTH up in cabin baggage, taking up space for people who actually stick to the rules and only bring one bag. So the people that actually one have one bag have to deal with limited leg space because the others are too selfish with all their crap. They should be forced to put their luggage in the seat in front of them. The AirAsia cabin baggage policy allows you to take one bag and a laptop bag or handbag, but these people are taking things that are much larger than a laptop bag or handbag.

Really, I could rant for hours about these people, it really makes me angry when I think about how much they take. And really, why do they need so much crap for a trip that is, let’s be fair, probably not much longer than a couple of weeks. If Artur and I have managed to travel for nine months with just one carry on backpack each, why do these people need so much for just a few days or weeks? I’m surprised that AirAsia hasn’t realised they could make so much money on these people if they actually checked how much people are bringing on the plane and charge them for it. Or at least it would change the way they travel.

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