Before Your Flight
Make sure that you give us passport and visa scans, and telephone contacts both at your home as well as your destination(s), before you travel. This is all we need to assist you should you have a problem. Tourama has given you your embarkation cards with your eticket. Make sure you fill them out before going to the airport.
Ensure that you have the correct visa before you travel. The business visa is for business, and the tourist visa is for tourism. For the Indian tourist visa, a specific port of entry is usually stamped. So if you have since changed your plans and your port of first entry, you need to change your visa as well.
An email address which could be checked during your journey (however infrequently) would be most helpful. This information would be used by the airline to contact you and assist you should you have any problem.
Please adhere to the ticketing deadlines so that we can meet your requests. Before a ticket is issued, it is more difficult to get confirmation from carriers.
If you have entered your name in the frequent flyer profile in an unconventional way (not title/given name/surname or family name) please inform us so. The first name and family name given in the profile should match the booking for auto accrual of miles. How you enter these details in your frequent flyer profile, has nothing to do with immigration.
You should give your seat and meal requests, wheelchair and other special assistance requests well before you travel. The longer you delay this, the higher the likelihood your requests will not be met.
Check-in (and Re-Checkin in Transit)
a) Seat When you check in you can request for a seat, window or aisle, or even a specific seat is available. More than half the flight would have requested for the few bulkhead seats available, and over a tenth for a free upgrade. Nowadays, these are unlikely to be met, unless you fly very frequently or are a large corporate customer of the airline. The bulkhead seats are intended for infants and differently abled people. But there are other seats which may meet your requirements, and this is not that well known. Refer SeatGuru for more information.
b) Immigration When you check-in at the counter, you hand over your passport and e-ticket, and load your baggage on the conveyor belt. Your baggage will be weighed. For tips on packing, see: baggage. Make sure that all of your hold baggage has your address stickers, one inside, one outside, on them. If there is no one at home, do not put your home address on your baggage, but rather your official address.
c) Boarding passes and re-checkin Then, your boarding pass(es) will be given to you. Note that if you are taking several flights, you should get your boarding passes to your final international destination. Please check this carefully. If you are connecting to an offline carrier (one that does not fly to Sri Lanka), e.g. from SriLankan (UL) to Qantas, you will have to obtain your onward boarding passes at your transit point, even though your baggage has been checked in to your first (or final) destination. See: Missing a Flight. If you are flying via a hub in a large country, you have to re-check your baggage at your first point of entry (incl. Brazil, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Australia and Russia). If you are travelling with two tickets with immediate connections, you have to collect your baggage en-route to check it in for the journey on your next ticket, unless the airlines have been able to link the two bookings.
d) Baggage Checklist. If you are travelling together as a couple or a family, your baggage may be pooled, which means the entire weight will be on one boarding pass, and the other boarding passes will say PLD where the weight in kilograms is. It is best that you do not allow this if you are not interlining your baggage and you have to check it in again at a transit point. Please say so, before the boarding pass is issued. If you are going to Canada, the USA, Australia or Russia you will need to re-check your baggage at your first point of entry to the country, at the counter of the domestic airline concerned, to collect your onward boarding pass. This may involve a little walking, but in most cases, not. It is very important that in addition to your boarding pass, the Baggage Tags, usually one for each piece, are also pasted on your Tourama docket. Keep this with you, because in case of a loss, this is your only proof to locate it, or for an insurance claim. If multiple airlines are involved, they may have Baggage Interline Agreements which means that you can still check in your luggage to your final destination. You should ensure that you have adequate time to re-check your baggage in these cases.
Avoiding Jet Lag and DVT
Take cat-naps when you need to
Avoid late meals and alcohol
Adjust to your destination as soon as you get one the plane
Eat on local time
Get a good night's sleep before you travel
Go for walks in daytime and get plenty of sunlight
Try to sleep at take-off when gravitational forces and a shortage of fresh oxygen make ideal conditions for dozing off
A break in a long flight can help
Noise-cancellation headphones can block out noise and help you sleep on planes
To prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) see: Economy Class Syndrome. Note that this phenomenon is not restricted to Economy Class and is caused by large periods of inactivity or bad posture. It has nothing to do with how much you paid for your ticket !
Misconnecting flights, Flight delays, Getting offloaded, Missing a flight ...
In case of a flight delay of your inbound flight in a Transit situation, please alert an airline staff requesting priority in the Transit Counter queue, so that you can make your connecting flight.
If you have a confirmed e-ticket, it is the airline's responsibility to get you to your destination.
If the flight is overbooked you will be given two options. The first is to travel on a later flight on the same airline. The second is to fly on a different airline through another hub.
If the flight timing is important, the solution offered is to be put on a connection on another airline (arranged by your ticketed airline, do not pay anything) that gets you to your destination on time. Note that this may be impossible if it is a rare destination, and that you will not be eligible for frequent flyer miles if you fly on another airline, if there is no alliance between the two airlines. Always keep your boarding passes, without throwing them away, until you see the miles showing in your account.
If the flight misconnects on an online carrier (which flies to Sri Lanka), alternative arrangements on the same airline or another airline will usually be made.
If you miss a flight at a transit point, you should go to the counter of the Airline concerned, at the airport. Some airlines may only have offices in the city centre, and they may even be closed at the time. In this case, please go to the Airport Help Desk and ask them what could be done. Most international airport staff can speak English.
A last chance would be to find another departing flight gate from that same airline, or that of a codeshare partner or another Alliance member, and ask for help.
Airlines do not provide free accommodation for misconnecting flights if it is not caused by the airline concerned. Even with a delay, that is still within the minimum connecting time of the airport, no accommodation will be provided. So, do ensure that you have your onward boarding passes.
You should always try to first contact the ticket issuing airline (it will be mentioned on the ticket), and not offline codeshare partners.
Losing a Passport, e-Ticket, Boarding Pass, Cash, Credit Card ...
An e-ticket cannot be lost. It is stored in the airline's system, and also on the GDS system, so you can easily retrieve your booking online at an internet kiosk or using by your wireless access device. An E-boarding pass cannot be lost, and it can be re-printed in the same manner. If you have the old type of Boarding Pass, a replacement may be issued at the discretion of the airline. Credit cards should be cancelled immediately by calling the issuing bank. You should have comprehensive travel insurance in order to mitigate the costs involved in disaster situations. If you lose your passport, you should contact the nearest (or most convenient to get to) Sri Lankan consulate for an emergency travel document. While in Europe, you do not need your visa and passport for border crossings within the Schengen area (because there are no borders), but will need it for domestic flights.
Please do not take your National ID with you. It is worse than useless overseas. Keep your wallet in your front right pocket, and your handbag zipped up securely and in front of you. In crowded areas, keep your wits about you. This doubly applies if you are alone, and you are taking public transport.
If you do get pick-pocketed, first immediately call and cancel stolen credit cards. You will need to make a police entry, if you want to claim on your insurance. If you do not have insurance that covers this, don't bother. If language is an issue, a translator can usually be obtained (perhaps at a fee). If there is a Sri Lankan consulate, they may be able to help too.
It is best to keep your valuables in a hotel safe, if you are venturing out. Keep only the money you need for your outing. Before you check out, please always empty your room safe, and leave it open on departure.
Flight Cancellations, airspace closures and other
If your flight is cancelled and your ticket may be endorsed, you can travel on any other airline at no extra cost. The ticketed airline has to, and will, assist you with alternate travel arrangements. If the flight is cancelled due to say, an airport/airspace closure or security reasons, the airline may, at its discretion disregard the conditions of the ticket, and put you on another flight from another location, or give you a full refund.
If there is a force majeure (beyond anyone's control), like the Icelandic volcano crisis in 2010, you will need to look for alternative transportation, and the airline is legally obliged only to refund your ticket price, but may do more at their discretion.
In all these cases, to obtain the latest information, you should contact the airline office at the airport or in the city that you are in. Usually, the contact number will appear on your Tourama Itinerary printout, for each destination and for each transit point on your itinerary. Please keep your docket/itinerary letter/e-ticket copy carefully.
Losing your baggage
If your bag does not arrive on the carousel, don't panic. Go to the Lost Baggage counter near your baggage belt, and put a complaint. You will get a lost baggage report, which will have a reference like this: CDGYY999999, where CDG is the three-letter airport code where you placed the complaint; and YY is the airline code (e.g. UL for SriLankan). This can be used at WorldTracerto find the current location and status of your bag. In most countries (though not in Colombo), the airline will return your bag to you, at the local address specified in the complaint, at the airline's expense.