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Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2)  
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Posted (4 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 15489 times:



Yet another of my archived trip reports on an airline that is not very commonly seen on a.net, China Southern Airlines, enjoy!

Note: I flew the same route on SQ just 6 months ago, you can compare both the trip reports.Ironically, both the departure and arrival times are only 5 minutes apart (SQ at 8.05am while CZ is at 8.00am).
Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)


Background
While I was in Guangzhou in March 2009 (I did a trip report for that), my friends contacted me and asked if I would like to go to an overseas immersion trip to Wuhan, Hubei, China for 6 weeks. Before actually setting off to Guangzhou for that trip, I met my other friends who were actually setting off for that city in China (the batch before us). It's not very far from my hometown in China, but definitely very far from Singapore. After some discussion with my parents, I finally decided to have a go at the trip. 6 weeks is long, but it will pass by very quickly with friends around, isn't it?  

After sending in our application forms, we had to go through a rigorous selection process. The first step was to write an essay on why we want to go on the immersion trip. Other criteria was not revealed to us, but I guess it was according to results, attitude and performance in class. Finally after a 2-month selection process, all of us got chosen for the trip which got me elated.

Booking
Booking was done by the school for a special student price (including a 30kg baggage allowance in Y class) but I heard the price was roughly $850 SGD. Our routing for this trip will be SIN-CAN-WUH-CAN-SIN on China Southern Airlines. I knew about which airline we were going to take before even signing up so the flight was not something I really look out for, but I'm still interested to see what CZ has to offer.

The Actual Day
Excited, nervous, scared and curious about what was going to happen for the next 6 weeks. I opted not to sleep the night before as I had to report to the airport at 5.30am. However, my body gave in at 3am so I slept till 4.30am before doing some last preparations. Met my friend (whom sent me to the airport for my CAN trip) and took the taxi to the airport, this time with a heavy heart. Reached the airport and we had a surprise birthday celebration for a fellow friend. Finally at 7am or so, we got issued our boarding passes and had some last words with our families before departing Singapore on a 6-week journey. At 7.30am, it was time to bid farewell to our families for 6 weeks. This is the first time I am leaving my country for so long, so I walked into the departure area with a heavy heart.

Flight 1 - 1st September 2009

Route: SIN-CAN
Flight Number: CZ 352
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Registration: B-6265
Gate: C16
Seat: Unknown
Class: Economy
Scheduled Departure: 8.00am
Actual Departure: 8.24am
Scheduled Arrival: 11.50am
Actual Arrival: Unknown
Flight Duration: 3 hours and 50 minutes (scheduled)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Feiruitao
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Weimeng



After passing immigration, we walked to our gate and noticed that there was a long queue at the security check. Therefore, we decided to sit outside the gate and wait for the line to clear before entering. Upon entering, the good news stuck me; there was a HUGE glass window that allows a superb view of the airplane. Being someone who likes taking photos of planes, this was great news for me!


Close-up of B-6265 at the gate waiting for us


TG Airbus A330-300 HS-TEK still in Royal Barge livery pushing back as TG402 to Bangkok (I'm taking this flight in June). This a/c has since been painted back to TG's new livery.



Air Seychelles Boeing 767-300ER S7-AHM just beside us being prepared for a flight back to Mahe


Upon entering the plane, I found that it was very well maintained. The cabin was sparkling clean and the seats were not torn out or anything. After some delays, we pushed back and headed to the runway for departure. We were delayed at some points until we finally took off at 8.24am. Expecting the crew to serve drinks about 10-15 after departure as I was very thirsty, it did not happen. It was until 45 minutes after departure until we actually saw any crew!


Advertisement on every seat



Shortly after departure from SIN



20 minutes after departure, no crew to be seen



Shades halfway down due to the glaring sun



Wet tissue given out


Finally, drinks came on the traditional service cart. Since I was sitting in a middle seat, I let my friend sitting at the window seat order his drink before ordering mine. After he ordered, my friend at the aisle seat unknowingly ordered before me so I waited for my turn. When my turn came, I was passed a cup of Sprite. I did not order anything and I got the "death glare" from that male FA. Here's how it goes.

The whole conversation was in Chinese
FA: *passes me a cup of Sprite*
Me: I did not order any drinks yet.
FA: So WHAT do you want to drink?
Me: A cup of milk please.
FA: *pouring the milk very unwillingly and passed me without saying anything*

This was not the end yet. There was more to come.


My cup of milk



Packet of nuts handed out


About 90 minutes after departure, a hot meal was offered. I opted for the fish option but was disappointed in what I got. The fish was soggy, the appetizer (which I don't even know what it was) tasted very sourish and had a very awful taste in it. This is the first time I ever left behind any food on a plane. To finish it off, the dessert was like 10 teaspoons of sugar added to a single bowl. It was very very sweet, although I managed to finished it off.


The awful meal (sorry for blurred image)


Since there was no IFE, the rest of the time was spent chatting and taking photos. Alright, there was actually IFE and the headsets were left in the seat pockets. However, the headsets were not working at all and it was difficult to see the small overhead screen so it was as good as having no IFE.


Settling down for another cup of milk after breakfast


An hour prior to arrival, a short clip of the art of Chinese tea was shown on the TV screens. Being a fan of Chinese tea (I'm actually drinking some while writing this report), it was hard to give it a miss. I opted for 铁观音 which means "Iron Goddess of Mercy" in Chinese. It's the most common kind of Chinese tea alongside with others such as 乌龙茶 (Black Dragon Tea), 普洱茶 (Pu'Er Tea) and 龙井茶 (Dragon Well Tea). Sorry for the English names, most of them are directly translated.


Chinese Tea offered an hour prior to arrival



Descending into CAN


The landing in CAN was the smoothest landing I ever experienced in my life (the only plus point).The plane was to continue to SHE with the same flight number but the passengers who were bound for SHE was told to deplane and clear immigration before getting onto the plane for the domestic leg.


Our aircraft parked


After arrival in CAN, we had to get our boarding passes for the domestic sector. Since I had a name change on my document, I needed to wait and go to another counter to get the boarding passes. At the first station where most of them got their boarding passes, I passed my passport to the agent and he said that I needed to wait without giving any reason. After 5 minutes, I passed him my passport again and he said that I had to wait as I needed to go to another counter to get my boarding pass. Finally I got my boarding pass and discovered that I was in the bulkhead seat, which I was elated. Lots of legroom for the 90 min hop to Wuhan!

Score for this flight



Flight 2 - 1st September 2009
Route: CAN-WUH (Wuhan)
Flight Number: CZ 3344
Aircraft: Boeing 737-81B
Registration: B-5191
Gate: Unknown
Seat: 4A (bulkhead)
Class: Economy
Scheduled Departure: 5.30pm
Actual Departure: Unknown
Scheduled Arrival: 6.55pm
Actual Arrival: Unknown
Flight Duration: 1 hour and 25 minutes (scheduled)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © SONGYUAN ANDY ZHENG
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Xu Zheng



I was very excited for this flight as it was my very first flight on a Boeing 737, and on my favourite of the series, Boeing 737-800!


China Southern domestic aircrafts



B-5191, our Boeing 737-800 pulls up into the gate


We pushed back and went on our way to Wuhan. From my seat, I could catch a very clear view of the engines spinning.


CFM56-7B27 engines on our aircraft



Besides having a clear view of the engine, I also had a clear view of Business Class which was just in front of us. There were no Business Class pax on this sector



I love Boeing's windows



Beautiful clouds en-route


Despite being a short flight, a light dinner was served. The food was much better than on the domestic sectors. The noodles were tasty and the snack box provided had some buns and snacks in it which were more than enough for this flight.


Light dinner served onboard



Chinese tea, anyone?


The landing in Wuhan was a tad harder than normal but still acceptable. It was a night landing so I did not take any pictures.

Score for this flight



======================================================================================

Some photos taken in Wuhan and trips we went
















热干面 (Hot dry noodle) One of China's 5 famous noodles, originated in Wuhan

















Three Gorges Dam














































Hope you guys enjoyed this TR

Previous TRs

Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Sardines In A Can - Jetstar Asia SIN-HKG-SIN (by Initious Mar 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2010-04-02 08:16:00]


One way I will fly around the world!
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1349 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 15179 times:

Thank you for sharing this trip and taking time in writing this report! Indeed China Southern is an airline you don't read a report from everyday (especially for us european a.net members). Seems to be quite a standard service, but according to your report it's solid and they get the job done.

Thank you very much for the pictures of Wuhan. Of course I already heard the name of that city but never saw any pictures from there. Seems to be nice, but weather could have been better  

Have fun on your trip there! 6 weeks will go by fast...


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 15136 times:

Quoting Reifel (Reply 1):
Have fun on your trip there! 6 weeks will go by fast...

Thanks! I am actually back in Singapore for 6 months from the trip already! Haha. Check out the flight dates.  But the 6 weeks really passed by VERY fast!



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8535 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 15009 times:
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Nice TR, thanks for posting.

Looks the CZ are pretty standard service wise, a good thing, you know what you are getting.

Loved the pictures of your stay, have only visted China once and loved what I saw, need to go back to see more.

How were the return flights, pretty similar?

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 13 hours ago) and read 14979 times:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 3):

Looks the CZ are pretty standard service wise, a good thing, you know what you are getting.

Their service varies greatly, but nothing compared to the SQ flight I took 6 months ago.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 3):
Loved the pictures of your stay, have only visted China once and loved what I saw, need to go back to see more.

Interesting! Where did you go on your last visit? Also, China is a place whereby you cannot finish exploring!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 3):
How were the return flights, pretty similar?

I wanted to post the return flight too (which were better) but was too tired to do so after 3 solid hours of editing and formatting this report hence the (1/2) behind the title. Will do the return flight tomorrow or some other day I guess.



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinemtaabq From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 13 hours ago) and read 14900 times:

Wow. What an experience! Thank you for sharing.

And thanks also for a great TR featuring an airline one doesn't read about often in these forums.

I can assure you your addition of this CZ trip report will be greatly appreciated.


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 14366 times:

Super photos in China...

Wuhan looks a curious place - I was told it is a big transport hub. Three Gorges looked amazing too and very cool to go through the locks. And the water has gone up still further since I was last there...

What I am always amazed by is how misty China always seems to be. I'd love to see the blue skies!



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6758 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13663 times:

Hi Initious,

very interesting report with great destination pictures!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):

Yet another of my archived trip reports on an airline that is not very commonly seen on a.net, China Southern Airlines, enjoy!

Chinese airlines in general can't be found very often here.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
The whole conversation was in Chinese
FA: *passes me a cup of Sprite*
Me: I did not order any drinks yet.
FA: So WHAT do you want to drink?
Me: A cup of milk please.
FA: *pouring the milk very unwillingly and passed me without saying anything*

Not very impressive...

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
About 90 minutes after departure, a hot meal was offered. I opted for the fish option but was disappointed in what I got. The fish was soggy, the appetizer (which I don't even know what it was) tasted very sourish and had a very awful taste in it. This is the first time I ever left behind any food on a plane. To finish it off, the dessert was like 10 teaspoons of sugar added to a single bowl. It was very very sweet, although I managed to finished it off.

Bad to hear. What kind of dessert did they serve?

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
An hour prior to arrival, a short clip of the art of Chinese tea was shown on the TV screens. Being a fan of Chinese tea (I'm actually drinking some while writing this report), it was hard to give it a miss. I opted for 铁观音 which means "Iron Goddess of Mercy" in Chinese. It's the most common kind of Chinese tea alongside with others such as 乌龙茶 (Black Dragon Tea), 普洱茶 (Pu'Er Tea) and 龙井茶 (Dragon Well Tea). Sorry for the English names, most of them are directly translated.

That doesn't look very good. How did it taste? The tea I recently got on CA tasted like hot water.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13544 times:

Quoting mtaabq (Reply 5):
I can assure you your addition of this CZ trip report will be greatly appreciated.

I do hope so, thanks for reading! 
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 6):
Wuhan looks a curious place - I was told it is a big transport hub. Three Gorges looked amazing too and very cool to go through the locks. And the water has gone up still further since I was last there...

It definitely is! Lots of things to discover. Frankly speaking, I only walked through at most 1/2 of Wuhan despite having stayed 6 weeks there. The Three Gorges was.. MARVELOUS!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Chinese airlines in general can't be found very often here.

I agree, hence I decided to put up this report.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
Not very impressive...

Agree. Almost all the other attendants were about the same.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):

Bad to hear. What kind of dessert did they serve?

Something like sweet potatoes in very thick sugar syrup.. Or something.. Can't exactly remember.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That doesn't look very good. How did it taste? The tea I recently got on CA tasted like hot water.

The tea was not too thick (I guess to save money?). If self-made at home, the colour would be twice as dark as what you see and when drunk it will be a very special taste, which I myself cannot describe too. It's quite a difference from English tea too. When you visit any Asian countries the next time (specifically China, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore) you can buy a packet back and try it yourself. Of course, I'll be glad to share with you the ways to make the tea.

- Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4268 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13519 times:

Hi Initious,

good report and interesting pictures! Thanks for sharing this with us.
CZ seems to be a reliable airline with average service. Not too bad I think. Meals can be a hit or miss (e.g. your fish), but at least the hot offering was nice. We don't get this kind of catering in Europe anymore...
If I have to choose between B738 and A321, I would also go for the Boeing everyday btw. I tend to feel uncomfortable on board the A321s, in particular when seated behind the wing.

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13388 times:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 9):
CZ seems to be a reliable airline with average service.

I think their service was actually below average standards, or probably I was spoiled by SQ! Haha!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 9):
If I have to choose between B738 and A321, I would also go for the Boeing everyday btw. I tend to feel uncomfortable on board the A321s, in particular when seated behind the wing.

I don't know why I do not like the A321s as much as the A319 or A320, but I certain LOVE the Boeing 737-800 (It'd be even better with winglets!)



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5088 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12771 times:

This is such a little gem of a report. CZ is not reported often and I am glad you wrote to share of your experience. It seems CZ is very mediocre and the crew on the SIN-CAN flight was horrid! I have had similar experiences on most Chinese airlines ... though, PH has convinced me that Hainan is a whole different animal  .

Thanks again for sharing,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 12396 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 11):
I have had similar experiences on most Chinese airlines ... though, PH has convinced me that Hainan is a whole different animal

Yeah, I really want to try Hainan Airlines someday! Their products seem great! 



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3245 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 11639 times:

Hi. Nice report - I liked your photos of China, especially the Three Gorges. I'm flying CZ in about 3 weeks ICN-DLC-PEK; the sectors are all pretty short so don't expect I'll get much more than a drink but we'll see.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11325 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
Hi. Nice report - I liked your photos of China, especially the Three Gorges.

Thanks! Hope you've enjoyed it! The Three Gorges was definitely GORGEOUS! 
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
I'm flying CZ in about 3 weeks ICN-DLC-PEK; the sectors are all pretty short so don't expect I'll get much more than a drink but we'll see.

I guess you'll get a mini snack box like what I got in my domestic flight. They even served a snack box on a super short HKG-CAN flight, so there is a possibility you might get one too.



One way I will fly around the world!
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