Airport security, customs and immigration rituals are great levellers. It doesn’t matter whether you travel first or cattle class. You are at the mercies of bored officialdom and the humiliations they can inflict. Colombo Airport’S Silk Route “service” claims to spare those who can pay.
The idea is you just hand your bags and documents to slaves to manage the tedious formalities. While you bask in exclusivity. Which only comes from rising lotus like above the muddy throngs. Or as their website puts it
Fly first class on the ground. The minute your plane touches down at BIA airport, you will be whisked away to the plush Silk Route Lounge with dedicated concierge services and attendants to process your papers and collect your luggage.
I can see it’s convenience for the frequent traveler to whom 50 US dollars isn’t big money. The current airport upgrades promise more than the usual maddening crowds. Making this a shrewd time to market such a service. Of course if you got an uncle in the airport administrationn, you might be spared the misery of waiting in line. But it can’t even promise anything as slick as this.
The Silk Route lounge a democratisation of Sri Lanka’s socialist feudalism with money. Perks once the preserve of politicians and their cronies have now been monetised. In less capitalist times such conveniences were only possible with hefty bribes. The privy of organised crime – before they discovered politics.
From a managerial perspective, it is the delegation of low level tasks. Overall quite a contrast to what lay at the end of late night drives to the airport in the old days.
I’ve never taken the Silk Route. I never will. It is for those lacking a private airport for their personal air fleet.
Have have you taken the Silk Route? What’s it like?