Have you ever thought of spending a layover of 8 hrs in an international Airport without money, food and unacceptable credit cards?
Well I had a unusual experience of this and the Struggle without money and credit cards at Srilanka Colombo Airport was real.
I had an layover of 8 hrs before my flight to Thailand from Bangalore. Once arrived at Colombo Airport I headed towards Transit area for relaxing.
First thing noticed there were very less seating arrangements and many seating areas were occupied by people for sleeping and for the people who are about to board. Since my time period was long I couldn't access those areas.
Well then I thought of relaxing in lounge, at Colombo there are 5 lounges - Lotus lounge which accepts only Business class people, Araliya lounge which accepts only Diner and priority members, Palm string lounge which accepts only mastercard and lounge pass people, Serendib lounge which accepts only people with invitation and Executive lounge which accept credit cards but only in dollars and expensive 20 USD for 3 hrs. So the lounge options got completely ruled out. I was really surprised that Indian currency/debit cards with international access weren't accepted here.
Later I headed to money exchange counter for getting some currency exchange in Sri Lankan currency for having food and water. When I stopped by the counter there was a note stating "Indian rupees or Any South Asian currency are not accepted for exchange", this really pissed me off as why is Indian currency not accepted here? I got no answer from them and without any further word I had to move further.
I had no money, no lounge access, no currency exchange facility, with no other go, I had to find some vacant seat and have some sleep before the next long flight.
After 2 hrs I started to feel hungry and headed to a restaurant for food, during ordering time they said they don't accept visa cards so I gave my American express credit card and currency acceptable was USD, again what surprised me why Srilanka are using there own currency, why why why???. With no other go I told them to deduct in USD, my bad luck there machine didn't work.
I was thinking I had to spend the night without food but Luckily I had kept the refreshments offered in Flight and I had to survive those eight hours in a single small stuffed bread and free water (thank God water was free).
I had to manage and sleep in a vacant seat to spend night so that I don't get hungry again. The chairs aren't good for a sleep, back pain started hitting and with no other go I had to be awake roaming the airport.
After struggling 8 hrs i headed to my flight where my first priority was food as I was hunger driven.
Truly and deeply disappointed by the Airport facilities.
No proper lounge options, Indian currency isn't accepted at exchange counter, specific credit cards are acceptable, they don't use there own currency, terrible time....!!!!
Anyone travelling via Colombo please do read this be cautioned.