Trivia and FAQ

Jaded Travellers are on the look out for more interesting destinations to go to. There are also some intricacies of visa requirements, currency and other concerns.

Here are some of requests for information that we have been asked. It is a sort of FAQ, and some of the questions are not that trivial.

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Number of Sovereign States 206

Number of Member States of the UN 193

Number of European Union Member States 28

Dependent States (defined)

Number of Euro currency Members 18

Number of Schengen Area Members 26

Europe's Schengen Area/Euro Currency/EU membership (summarised table)

The Commonwealth of Nations (British) 54 countries, 1 suspended

The Commonwealth Realm 16 countries Tallest Buildings

Best Museums and Art Galleries

Greatest Cities of the World List of World Cathedrals

Tallest Church and Cathedral Spires Oldest Hotel - World

The Freddie Awards are annual awards for Loyalty Programmes, named after budget airline entrepreneur Sir Freddy Laker

Skytrax awards are the largest independent user-voted recognition awards for Airlines and Airports

What are :
The World's Best Airlines ?
The World's Best Airports ?

What is the cheapest airline and the cheapest time to travel? Airfares are decided on supply and demand, and cost-push factors. There is no "cheapest airline". There is no "cheapest time of the year to travel". The airfare is a function of the origin, the destination, the time of travel, the competition on the route, the time of the year, and the individual load factor on each flight. This is why we need the complete details of your travel to get you the best fare.

Can I skip part of my itinerary and proceed with the rest?
No. If you miss part of your itinerary on the same ticket, the rest of the itinerary will be automatically cancelled. If you cannot travel part of your itinerary, please contact us immediately. The airline will charge to reinstate the booking, and this amount can be substantial. Please avoid Tariff Abuse or Visa Fraud. You will definitely lose in the attempt.

Do visitors need a tourist visa before arrival in Sri Lanka?
Yes, except for countries with reciprocal visa arrangements like Singapore and Maldives. Please refer ETA

Do I have to pay airport tax in Sri Lanka? No. LKR 3,250 is included in your ticket for a stop of over 24 hours. For less than 24 hours (transit) this tax is not payable. Exceptions to the no tax in transit rule are Singapore, London and Sydney.

What is the most beautiful church in the world? St. Peter's (Peterskirche), Vienna, Austria

Can I get a free upgrade?
Usually, no. It may be possible to get an upgrade if you have enough frequent flyer miles to do so. Please book your upgrade online early, as availability is limited. Certain airlines also upgrade at the gate, based on your tier on busy flights, or you could just be lucky.

Can I get a window/bulkhead seat? We will try to get it for you, if the airline allows it, and you give us the request early enough. There are restrictions for bulkheads, such as you would have to be willing to open the emergency door in the unlikely event of an emergency, and you may be seated next to an infant bassinet.

What happens if I have dual citizenship? Use the passport that gives the easiest immigration clearance. e.g. when returning to Sri Lanka, always show your Sri Lankan passport from the destination and in transit. When going outbound, show the (e.g. Australian) passport in Sri Lanka, and in transit and at your final destination at Immigration.

Is there seasonality on tickets out of Colombo?
No. Though some airlines do have higher fares for a few weeks during (northern hemisphere) summer, and major holidays such as Avurudhu and Wesak.

Are Jet fuel prices going up or down ?
If we knew this, we would not be in the travel business. See: Jet A1 fuel price trend

Can Tourama get UK, Australia, Canada, US or Schengen visas ?
Unfortunately not. There is a biometrics (fingerprinting) requirement for Australia, UK and the US, which requires the passenger to be present in person. We recommend that you visit the accredited VFS for this purpose. We can assist with visas for Embassies and Consulates, marked with a only. There is no guarantee that the application will be successful, and you may still have to go personally.

Do I need to have my full name including middle names in the booking?
No. Just any first name (what you are called) and a last name/surname are enough. There is a 27-character name limit which can be included in your reservation, so you might be denied boarding if the name booked is too long. What airlines and consulates mean by "full name" is "not initials". Many countries also no longer accept initials for airline reservations, and any first name is required, when making your visa application.

Why are the seats on SriLankan Airlines' planes not in alphabetical order?SriLankan Airlines is an All-Airbus carrier. Seat letters are based on Boeing seating arrangements, which usually have three seats on either side. Airbus planes have only two. Therefore, two letters for the middle seat on each side have to be omitted for uniformity. The letter "I" is also excluded because of confusion with the number 1. You can find recommended seat maps at, on SeatGuru and on SeatExpert.

What's the world's longest commercial flight?
World's Longest Flights

What is the telephone number of the Emirates Business Class Chauffeur Drive service at Heathrow? Heathrow/Gatwick 0844-800-2777. Black

What are the limitations on Chauffeur on Emirates Business Class in London? It depends on the destination. There are Mileage Limits.

Which is cheaper/better, a Package or piecemeal travel arrangements? It depends on your requirement. Read Packages.

How long should the involuntary stop be, to get a Stopover at Emirates airline expense? Here are the Rules

Can I leave the airport while in transit to another destination? If you have the necessary immigration clearance, you can do so. Within 24 hours, you can (usually) continue your journey without paying airport taxes when you return to the transit lounge.

Is travelling while pregnant, safe? Yes, usually until the 36th week, if there are no complications. Please check with your gynaecologist, and preferably get a letter approving fitness, to show your travel agent.

How do I avoid "Delhi Belly"? Here are the precautions to avoid indigestion

How to get to Timbuktu (Mali), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Kathmandu (Nepal).

Are Schengen Visas valid for travel through/entry to Switzerland? Yes.

Is the Leaning Tower of Pisa the only such in the world ?
No, far from it.

Is there another Colombo somewhere?
Yes. In Paraná, Brazil.

Where does Airline Toilet Waste go? Septic Treatment Storage Tanks, for disposal at destination

What is the difference between VISA and a visa ? The first is a credit card company, the second is the right to enter a country for a person with an overseas passport.


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Tourama (Pvt) Ltd
3/1, 304 Union Place,
Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.
Tel: (+94 11) 2326181