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China Southern SWA-CAN - Do They Deserve 4 Star?  
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15857 times:



This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

For more details about my trip to China, please refer to the follow trip report which dictates my outbound flight from Singapore to Shantou.

Flying The Orange Star Monopoly - SIN-SWA On 3K (by initious May 18 2011 in Trip Reports)


Introduction

China Southern Airlines is one of the largest airlines in Asia and forms the “Big 3” of Chinese airlines together with Air China and China Eastern Airlines. Back in January 2011, the airline reached a milestone by becoming an official Skytrax rated 4-star airline. However, complaints for the Chinese carrier were still streaming in and some were not convinced that the airline should get a 4-star rating.

China Southern operates a wide variety of Airbus and Boeing from the A300, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333 and the upcoming A388 to the B733, B73G, B738, B752, B772, B77E and the upcoming B788 in addition to a small fleet of ATRs, Embraers and McDonnell Douglas. It is a dream airline for aviation enthusiastics alike to sample various types of aircrafts although the onboard service might not be the dream kind of service one would expect. The airline’s main network is flying domestically in China. Besides having a large hub at Guangzhou, it also maintains a smaller hub in Beijing with focus cities in Changsha, Changchun, Dalian, Hangzhou, Shantou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Wuhan and Zhengzhou. The “Southern” name does not apply to the airline anymore as it has networks spread throughout the whole of China. This also means that you can fly with China Southern from almost any first-tier or second-tier city in China.

I decided to give the carrier yet another chance to prove themselves to see if they really deserve a 4-star rating. They tout themselves as “your home in the skies” although I have never felt that day and have always wished that my flights with them will end as soon as possible. Despite all that, they manage to offer good fares for domestic flights in China which made me fly them time and again, causing them to become my 3rd most flown carrier behind Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines.

This report will cover China Southern’s service on the short route from Shantou to Guangzhou. This intra-province flight is popular among locals as it provides a link for Shantou citizens to connect to the various international flights that China Southern offer out of their main hub.

Due to the huge amount of people travelling between both cities, locals will usually choose to take a bus over a plane as taking the bus only costs 110 yuan while flying may cost anywhere from 400 to 1000 yuan. Not forgetting to mention, the average salary of Shantou citizens are just around 4000 yuan.

Join this crazy foreign man that chooses to fly on this short route between Shantou and Guangzhou. At the end of the report, I will also give a verdict if China Southern deserves a 4-star rating based on this flight and my previous experiences.

Booking Process

Booking was again done on www.ctrip.com, where I always engage them to book domestic flights in China as their fares are pretty attractive. Since China Southern operates both the Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-800 on this route, I wanted to get on the Boeing 737-300 which flies majority of the routes except for the 2nd last flight of the day.

The flight was booked quick and easy. I was issued with my e-ticket a few minutes later for CZ 3857 departing Shantou at 5.30pm and arriving at Guangzhou at 6.30pm, just in time to join my relatives for dinner in Guangzhou. A few days later, I was met with an email stating that CZ 3857 for the day was cancelled and I was booked on CZ 3859 departing later in the day at 9.10pm which happens to be the only Boeing 737-800 flight of the day. Of course, I declined that offer and enquired if I could change to CZ 3581 departing at 4.40pm instead and that request was settled within a day. This has got to be the reason I am ctrip’s loyal customer.

My Life in Shantou

Shantou is still a very unfamiliar city to many a.netters. It is a city located just 400km east of Guangzhou although in reality the lifestyles of both cities are completely different. Shantou citizens take the motorized tricycles which resembles that of Thailand’s tuk tuk to work or school which is a sight that is not seen in any major cities in China. Besides that, they also take the conventional transportation like taxis and buses. However, you will not find any metro in the city; all transportation modes are on the road.


Wonderful home cooked meal


The house I stay in


A local delicacy. It costs only 3 yuan (0.46 USD) for this whole packet and it consists of delicacies such as quail’s egg and prawns!


Beef kway teow, another delicacy. A big bowl for only 5 yuan (0.77 USD)!


Supermarkets may be aplenty in the modern cities we are used to but Shantou citizens will rather visit the wet market and conventional stores to get their daily necessities much like in the olden days. Restaurants are considered a rare treat for most citizens and they choose to visit shops that are family owned which gives a sense of home and the prices are cheaper.


A local family owned eatery


I had the privilege of staying in my relative’s house for my 10-day stay in Shantou. What made me keep coming back here was the wonderful home cooked food and Teochew dishes that I do not get to savour in Singapore plus the wonderful atmosphere of having dinner together with your family members. Sit back and relax as I bring you through my journey in Shantou, China.


This madam has big guts. Her house is on the fifth floor!


Shantou surroundings. Notice how different it is from the likes of our modern cities?


The way home


Almost all flats are equipped with this for security reasons


Shantou Waisha Airport

Shantou Waisha Airport is by no means a modern airport. Right after reaching the airport, you can feel that it is in the 1980s with old style decorations. Check-in counters are indicated by the red marquee texts showing the flight and time when the check-in for that particular flight will be closed. The only modern gadget in the terminal would be the 4 China Southern self check-in machines located right at the entrance.


CZ check-in machines


I got dropped off at the airport at around 1.30pm just after lunch which was 3 hours before my flight. A quick farewell later, I was left all alone to wait at the airport. As I stepped into the domestic departures hall for the second time, I can’t help but to notice the huge difference between this airport and the other airports I have been to. What greets you is a stall selling some traditional tea sets and books and a small café on the other side which is only just as big as a hotel room.

I decided to check in using the self check-in machines to print my boarding pass and choose my seat first. To my astonishment, the row number starts from row 31 which made me think if CZ has sent an A330 or B777 as a substitution. However, the configuration remains as 3-3 so I believe it is still a B737. To test the ground staff’s reaction, I decided to head to the small ticketing counter located at the other corner of the airport to enquire about an upgrade to Business Class for the flight although I am sure that the B733 is in all-economy class layout. As I expected, the ground staff were uninterested in providing information and answers were given with their eyes on their computer monitors like it will be stolen if they take their eyes away from it for just a second.


My boarding pass


After getting my boarding pass, I decided to explore the airport further. As you head further into the airport, you will arrive at the mini domestic arrivals section which is linked together with departures, unlike most airports where both are at different levels. A small duty free shop is present selling the usual but with some uniquely China potteries and tea sets.


Link between domestic arrivals and departures


Where I arrived last time


The proposed airport that is opening in 2014


Selling a Mercedes in the airport. Any takers?

Duty free shop


The timeframe between lunch and dinner time seems to be the rush hour for the airport with several flights departing close to each other. Despite being my 4th time flying through the airport, I have never seen such a crowd in the airport. The PA was kept busy announcing the check-in, boarding and last calls for various flights to domestic destinations. The international terminal, on the other hand, was not even open due to the lack of flights today.

To help pass time, I went to the mini café at the corner of the airport to sit down and have a drink. I also tried searching for a wifi network but to no avail. Despite being small and unattractive, the prices in the café were expensive. A small 350ml bottle of orange juice that would have been sold for 3 yuan (0.46 USD) is being sold for 15 yuan (2.31 USD) here! However, I had no other form of entertainment so I just decided to sit by and let the time pass by.


View from my seat in the café


Food and snacks on sale


After more than an hour in the café, I decided to walk around the airport as check-in will open in just 30 minutes. However, being such a small airport you can finish walking the whole domestic terminal in just 3 minutes which left me standing by the check-in counters and waiting for check-in to open while watching the action going on. Lots of Chinese were queuing up for flights to various destinations like Shanghai, Beijing, Changchun and Wuhan… etc.


Queuing for check-in


I guessed that counter 4 will be assigned for my flight as the check-in for the previous flight closes at 3.15pm and my flight check-in opens at the same time. Sure enough, the check-in was opened and I made a beeline to the check-in only to be beaten by 3 other passengers by 2 seconds. Man, they are sure very fast! However, the agent was fast and I got my baggage checked-in within 3 minutes.

Since there was absolutely nothing more to do landside, I decided to head airside for more exploration since I did not have the chance last time.

[Edited 2011-05-21 07:19:39]

[Edited 2011-05-21 07:25:36]


One way I will fly around the world!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15893 times:

Flying the Boeing 737-300

A short escalator ride from the check-in area brings you to immigration where you identity is checked against the boarding pass and formalities like the security checks are being processed.


Escalator up to departures


Ancient FIDS


Airside in Shantou has more action than landside. The airport features 7 gates in total; Gates 1 and 2 are right after security while you have to go through the long row of shops selling various stuffs from Chinese novels to the usual China porcelain and (fake) airplane models to get to gates 3-7. There was also a small eatery here but I did not bother going in as I was unsure what kind of food they offer.


Rows of shops to the other side of the airport


View of waiting room


CZ lounge in Shantou


I sat at one of the many benches at the shared waiting room looking at various flights boarding to destinations all over China. It’s amazing how big of a country is China! A China Eastern flight to Hangzhou was delayed from 3.45pm to 7pm due to poor weather in Hangzhou and I felt sorry for the passengers having to wait in the waiting room with almost nothing for entertainment except for a few TV sets. Shortly after the announcement of the delay of the Hangzhou flight, a delay was announced for my flight and the new departure time will be 4.55pm, 15 minutes later than the scheduled time due to late arriving aircraft.

China Southern Airlines Flight CZ 3581 – 13MAY11
Origin: Shantou Waisha Airport (SWA/ZGOW)
Destination: Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN/ZGGG)
Registration: B-2926
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
Scheduled Time of Departure: 04:40pm
Actual Time of Departure: 05:43pm
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 05:30pm
Actual Time of Arrival: 06:26pm
Class of Travel: Economy
Seat: 45A

On the other side of the airport, the PA was announcing for the last few passengers to board an Air China flight to Beijing. Interestingly, the announcement goes by the flight number followed by telling the passengers to board the aircraft with the registration number. Like this, “Passengers travelling on flight 3581 to Guangzhou, please proceed to boarding gate 4 and board aircraft 2926 (B-2926) immediately”. I found this a nice way to announce as it makes us a.netters easy to record the registration.

4.55pm quickly approached and I was still waiting in the waiting room with no announcements as of yet. The inbound aircraft has already arrived from Guangzhou and my fellow passengers were also getting impatient. At 5.03pm, a further delay was announced due to a mechanical problem. There was not a time given for this delay but thankfully boarding was announced at 5.13pm which resulted in over 140 passengers rushing for the gate at once.

I was warmly welcomed onboard by a female FA (first time ever on CZ!) and the shuffling down the aisle to my seat in row 45 started. As boarding was not called by rows (which happens for all the domestic flights I flown), there were passengers seated at the front already trying to place their carryon into the overhead bins so it resulted in a very long walk down the short aircraft.

Reaching my row, there was already a gentlemen seated at the aisle seat so he had to stand up to let me pass. Once I sat down, I found out that the seats were very narrow and legroom severely lagging. It felt worser than an LCC seat. I basically could not move at all but I told myself to sit back, relax and enjoy my first Boeing 737 classic flight.


View from my seat


I love the Boeing 737 classic wing!


Very tight seat pitch


FA greeting passengers


Pushback soon commenced and we headed to runway 4 for takeoff. Our liftoff time was 5.34pm, 4 minutes after our scheduled arrival in Guangzhou. I can sense most of the passengers were not so pleased to speak of. On another note, it seems like most of the passengers on this flight will be transiting in Guangzhou and there is just a handful that will be terminating in Guangzhou like me.


Safety demo


Takeoff


Around 15 minutes after takeoff, snack service began. The snack on this sector consisted of a pack of almond biscuits and herbal tea drink or a bottle of mineral water. I guess this is standard service even down here in Southeast Asia as the flight time is too short to do a more elaborate service, even if they wish to. We were flying right above a layer of clouds which make us seem like we were flying quite fast – Makes the time pass faster!


Cabin view shortly after takeoff


I love this view


At cruising altitude


Snack service


Contents of the snack service


Descending


The windows on this Boeing 737-300 are pretty low and for a tall person like me, I had to bend over to peep out of the window and that resulted in me having a backache after the flight. Soon, we started out descend towards Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and touched down at 6.26pm, around an hour behind schedule. By the ATD and ATA of this flight, it actually means that I have got my original flight time (5.30pm-6.30pm) despite being on an earlier flight.

   Landing video can be found here  



Taxi views after landing


Disembarkation in progress


Our belt


Baggage claim for domestic flights in CAN


Baggage claim was fast and soon I was hopping onto a cab on my way to meet my relatives for dinner.

So, back to the question. Does China Southern deserve a 4-star rating? My answer will be NO

Past Trip Reports

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)
Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Good Morning Borneo! - Where Silkair Unwinds... (by initious Oct 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
Irama AirAsia! - Kota Kinabalu To Singapore (by initious Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 1 - Propping To Luxury (by Initious Mar 23 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 2 - In Love With Emirates (by initious Mar 27 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Part 3 - The Arabian Adventure (by initious Apr 15 2011 in Trip Reports)
Great Asia Trip Finale - Brothers In Bangkok (by initious May 9 2011 in Trip Reports)
Flying The Orange Star Monopoly - SIN-SWA On 3K (by initious May 18 2011 in Trip Reports)



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 15448 times:

Hi, thanX for posting...

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

OMG! Very, very sad to read- RIP.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
However, complaints for the Chinese carrier were still streaming in and some were not convinced that the airline should get a 4-star rating.

True, same problem with Chinese Hainan Airlines 5* rating.


User currently offlineckblah From Singapore, joined Jul 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 15239 times:

I find Skytrax ratings a joke. Their world airline awards has like X number of categories (where X is a HUGE number), allowing many many airlines to win multiple awards.

That said, I flew CZ from Dalian to Beijing couple of years back and it was similar to your experience. Short flight, they got the job done, that's all.


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 14835 times:

Great report Daniel. I have been following your upates on this trip since they commenced on Facebook. So i am glad to see you strolling the skies once again.  

China Southern seems to have an attractive hardware offering on their long-haul aircraft, though i do hear of very mixed reviews about them. I am quite interested to see what they have in mind for the A380, and more importantly, where will the airline deploy this aircraft beyond China? ..

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

My sincerest condolences. May he rest in peace, and God Bless his loved ones during these times; they are difficult for us all as he will be truly missed.

Thanks for sharing this TR, and looking forward to more!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineAirIndia77W From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 14145 times:

Nice trip report. Very interesting and nice to see some photos from Shantou.

--Nate


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 14066 times:

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

I am sorry to learn of Sandeep's passing. Condolences to family and friends.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Shantou is still a very unfamiliar city

Thank you for introducing it to us.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
The proposed airport that is opening in 2014

Have they started yet? If not, they had better pull their fingers out.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
only to be beaten by 3 other passengers by 2 seconds. Man, they are sure very fast!

Ha, ha. You'll just have to get out of bed earlier.  
Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I found this a nice way to announce as it makes us a.netters easy to record the registration.

Good to see the airport has A.netters in mind.

Thank you for sharing a very interesting trip report.
Quokka


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8535 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13828 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep

- Very sad to hear, I always enjoyed Sandeep's TR's. My sincerest condolences.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Back in January 2011, the airline reached a milestone by becoming an official Skytrax rated 4-star airline. However, complaints for the Chinese carrier were still streaming in and some were not convinced that the airline should get a 4-star rating.

- I take no notice of these Skytrax ratings, worthless rubbish.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Sit back and relax as I bring you through my journey in Shantou, China.

- Reminds me of parts of Hanoi.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
On the other side of the airport, the PA was announcing for the last few passengers to board an Air China flight to Beijing. Interestingly, the announcement goes by the flight number followed by telling the passengers to board the aircraft with the registration number. Like this, “Passengers travelling on flight 3581 to Guangzhou, please proceed to boarding gate 4 and board aircraft 2926 (B-2926) immediately”. I found this a nice way to announce as it makes us a.netters easy to record the registration

- Interesting way of boarding, is that to save on directing staff?

That seat pitch looked very tight - ouch!

Rgds

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 8, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13385 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 2):
True, same problem with Chinese Hainan Airlines 5* rating.
Quoting ckblah (Reply 3):
I find Skytrax ratings a joke. Their world airline awards has like X number of categories (where X is a HUGE number), allowing many many airlines to win multiple awards.
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
I take no notice of these Skytrax ratings, worthless rubbish.

I used to believe in the ratings until recently HU got 5*, but I was unable to comment on it since I have never been on them. The worst shock was that CZ got upgraded to a 4*! That is absolutely rubbish for sure.

Quoting ckblah (Reply 3):
That said, I flew CZ from Dalian to Beijing couple of years back and it was similar to your experience. Short flight, they got the job done, that's all.

They get you from A to B that's all, true enough.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Great report Daniel. I have been following your upates on this trip since they commenced on Facebook. So i am glad to see you strolling the skies once again.

Hey Roni, thanks for the comment! I will definitely continue strolling the skies..  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
China Southern seems to have an attractive hardware offering on their long-haul aircraft, though i do hear of very mixed reviews about them. I am quite interested to see what they have in mind for the A380, and more importantly, where will the airline deploy this aircraft beyond China? ..

Both their hardware and software is lacking which makes me think what even made them achieve a 4-star rating. I mgiht give them another chance if their A380 product looks good though. However, that will be very very long in time to come as I have some better airlines to try first.

Quoting AirIndia77W (Reply 5):
Nice trip report. Very interesting and nice to see some photos from Shantou.

Hey AirIndia, thanks for your comments!  
Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Thank you for introducing it to us.

Hi Quokka, thanks for reading!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Have they started yet? If not, they had better pull their fingers out.

Construction already started when I visited last June. In fact, the terminal building is almost done from the exterior. I'm confident they'll get it done by 2014. It looks wonderful as an airport and who knows I might be the first a.netter to report on that particular airport again.  
Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Ha, ha. You'll just have to get out of bed earlier.

I will next time, haha.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Good to see the airport has A.netters in mind.

If only every airport does this!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
Reminds me of parts of Hanoi.

Hey Mark! Cool, shall pay a visit there one day.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
Interesting way of boarding, is that to save on directing staff?

Unsure about that. However, there isn't really much confusion going around since the gates were labelled quite clearly and I guess I was the only person who bothered looking at the aircraft reg before boarding the plane.

Quoting debonair (Reply 2):
OMG! Very, very sad to read- RIP.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
My sincerest condolences. May he rest in peace, and God Bless his loved ones during these times; they are difficult for us all as he will be truly missed.
Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
I am sorry to learn of Sandeep's passing. Condolences to family and friends.
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
Very sad to hear, I always enjoyed Sandeep's TR's. My sincerest condolences.

Dear all, on behalf of Sandeep's friends and family, I thank you for the concern.  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineckblah From Singapore, joined Jul 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13380 times:

Hey, you're enlisting soon right? Good luck on that! I never thought I would make it through NS, but viola, everything in retrospect looks so much easier. Cheers!  

User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 13351 times:

Quoting ckblah (Reply 9):
Hey, you're enlisting soon right? Good luck on that! I never thought I would make it through NS, but viola, everything in retrospect looks so much easier. Cheers!

Wow, how did you know? Saw my age in profile I guess? Yeah I'm enlisting this year... I'm also thinking I can never make it through... Haha. Hopefully I survive.  



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineckblah From Singapore, joined Jul 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13319 times:

I saw u mentioned in some other TR. Yea you'll survive, we all did! Some of my current best friends were made while in NS, let's hope you have a good time too.

[Edited 2011-05-22 09:21:22]

User currently offlineLuxair747SP From Germany, joined May 2010, 508 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13319 times:

Hi Daniel,
thank you for this interesting read about a very unique destination not covered at all here on A.net
Your Shantou pictures are really interesting because I did not know much before about this town.
The flight on CZ is not 4 star like in my opinion as well, but they brought you on time to CAN and even served a snack so I wouldnt complain.

Many condolences to the family and friends of Sandeep, who will forever stay in our thoughts as a great member of Airliners. RIP

Im looking forward to the next TR of this series
Thank you again for sharing
Cheers
Johannes


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12861 times:

Hey Chin Keat,

Quoting ckblah (Reply 11):
I saw u mentioned in some other TR. Yea you'll survive, we all did! Some of my current best friends were made while in NS, let's hope you have a good time too.

Well most people do survive do I don't see why I won't. Haha. However, 2 years on the ground is what made me suspect I can't survive. :P

Hey Johannes,

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 12):
The flight on CZ is not 4 star like in my opinion as well, but they brought you on time to CAN and even served a snack so I wouldnt complain.

I actually arrived far later than my scheduled arrival time so I wouldn't count it as "on time". The snack was great however, kudos to the biscuit manufacturer!

Quoting Luxair747SP (Reply 12):
Many condolences to the family and friends of Sandeep, who will forever stay in our thoughts as a great member of Airliners. RIP

Thanks for your kindness, it is deeply appreciated.

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 12080 times:

I noticed there was an error with the link of the landing video. Please find it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yrOeFHWzh0



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1702 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 11840 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Initious,

Thanks for this interesting story on CZ and SWA airport. SWA looks very old-fashioned in comparison to CAN.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

I'm sorry to hear that... My deepest condolences to this family & friends.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
have always wished that my flights with them will end as soon as possible.

Oh, is it THAT bad   

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
As I expected, the ground staff were uninterested in providing information and answers were given with their eyes on their computer monitors like it will be stolen if they take their eyes away from it for just a second.

What an attitude... Apparently they were not at all interested in passenger service.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
View of waiting room

That indeed looks like a place one doesn't want to wait in for a long time.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
the shuffling down the aisle to my seat in row 45 started

Row 45? On a B733?

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Very tight seat pitch

Looks very tight. No wonder with 45+ rows on a B733.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
My answer will be NO

That's a short & to the point conclusion  



Thanks,
Nils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 866 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11566 times:

Thanks for the report, OP. Condolences to Sandeep's family.

However I can;t help but play devil's advocate here and say you might be a little harsh on CZ by insisting on flying on the classic when a more modern plane was offered.


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11275 times:

Hi Sultanils,

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
SWA looks very old-fashioned in comparison to CAN.

The airport is a joint-use military and civil airport so I'd guess they provide only basic amenities for passengers. Thankfully the new airport is opening soon!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
Oh, is it THAT bad

Yes, it is.   You have to try for yourself to find out!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
What an attitude... Apparently they were not at all interested in passenger service.

Not surprising for CZ.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
That indeed looks like a place one doesn't want to wait in for a long time.

Nothing to do except staring at the ancient FIDS.  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
Row 45? On a B733?
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
Looks very tight. No wonder with 45+ rows on a B733.

The aircraft is in an all-economy layout which I believe is nearing the highest density. However, the row starts from 31, not 1. I'd think it's impossible to squeeze 45 rows on a B733 seeing only 30 is possible on an A320 which I believe is longer in length than a B733.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 15):
That's a short & to the point conclusion

I actually expected that even before going onto the plane.

Hello HiJazzey,

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 16):
However I can;t help but play devil's advocate here and say you might be a little harsh on CZ by insisting on flying on the classic when a more modern plane was offered.

I have been on 4 flights onboard CZ's B738 (which I believe is the "more modern plane" you meant) and it was equally disappointing unless you were in a bulkhead or exit row. Service wise it was the same with the disinterested service and no formalities to speak of. Choosing the B733 over the B738 was because I had never flown on a 737 classic before and I wanted to see how does the product compare between both aircrafts but I can say it was exactly the same from seat pitch to service.



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineac033 From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2008, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10983 times:

Hi initious

Thank you for another perfect mainland China trip report.



Obviously CZ doesn't offer an solid product and we will just put a question mark on how they actually got their 4 stars


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10618 times:

Hi ac033,

Quoting ac033 (Reply 18):
Thank you for another perfect mainland China trip report.

Thanks for your kind comments! =)

Quoting ac033 (Reply 18):
Obviously CZ doesn't offer an solid product and we will just put a question mark on how they actually got their 4 stars

I'm sure most (if not all) of us has that question mark in our heads.  

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 866 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10611 times:

Quoting initious (Reply 17):
I have been on 4 flights onboard CZ's B738 (which I believe is the "more modern plane" you meant) and it was equally disappointing unless you were in a bulkhead or exit row. Service wise it was the same with the disinterested service and no formalities to speak of. Choosing the B733 over the B738 was because I had never flown on a 737 classic before and I wanted to see how does the product compare between both aircrafts but I can say it was exactly the same from seat pitch to service.

Fair enough dude. I've never flown CZ myself. I just mentioned the equipment because in many cases older airplanes will have an older generation product.


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 10260 times:

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 20):
Fair enough dude. I've never flown CZ myself. I just mentioned the equipment because in many cases older airplanes will have an older generation product.

I have been on 3 kinds of narrowbody aircraft from CZ (A321, B733, B738) and all of them has the same product. I believe the other narrowbodies has exactly the same product whether new or old. It was a torture flying SIN-CAN/CAN-SIN on their A321 with LCC-style seat pitch!



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9456 times:

I finally found time to read and comment on this installment of yours, Daniel. Once more, you presented us with a really well done trip report. I especially liked how you brought in some elements of your stay in Shantou.  
Quoting initious (Thread starter):

This report is dedicated to fellow a.netter Sandeep Das (AI151) whom has passed away on 20th May 2011. RIP Sandeep.

As I mentioned before, may Sandeep rest in peace.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
The “Southern” name does not apply to the airline anymore as it has networks spread throughout the whole of China.

A name change on the horizon?  
Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Wonderful home cooked meal

I believe it... I just love Chinese food!

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
CZ check-in machines

Can you change the language to English? Otherwise, checking in would be a challenge for somebody not speaking Mandarin/Cantonese (?)...

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
an A330 or B777 as a substitution

Would you still have prefered the Boeing 737 Classic?

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Selling a Mercedes in the airport. Any takers?

I bet. China has become such an important market for the German luxury class car manufacturers. So in Chinese airports they are up for sale, while in German airports they are displayed by rental car companies. Interesting.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
the aircraft with the registration number.

Indeed, that's pretty handy if you can't spot the registration number on the aircraft. I wonder what they actually intend by mentioning it?

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
Very tight seat pitch

I have had a better seat pitch on LCC carriers. Not to mention legacy carriers, like KLM, where the seat pitch on the B734 was excellent.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
The windows on this Boeing 737-300 are pretty low

Wait until you get to fly on the CRJ... now these windows are low.  

Thanks for sharing - I'm looking forward to seeing more from your side!

Best regards,
Marius



Et là tu montes encore plus haut et ça persiste, alors on vole
User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1060 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8942 times:

Hey Marius,

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
I finally found time to read and comment on this installment of yours, Daniel. Once more, you presented us with a really well done trip report. I especially liked how you brought in some elements of your stay in Shantou.

Thanks for your kind comments! =)

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
A name change on the horizon?

Probably.   But they should do something about their service and hardware first.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
I believe it... I just love Chinese food!

I do love European food too.  
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
Can you change the language to English? Otherwise, checking in would be a challenge for somebody not speaking Mandarin/Cantonese (?)...

I am not very sure if I can change the language but I guess it will be possible.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
Would you still have prefered the Boeing 737 Classic?

If they replaced the flight with an A332 or B772 I wouldn't mind actually. However, I don't think SWA has the capability to handle widebody aircraft since the gates are obviously built for only narrowbody aircrafts. Interestingly enough, you only see 737s and A320s around the airport.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
I bet. China has become such an important market for the German luxury class car manufacturers. So in Chinese airports they are up for sale, while in German airports they are displayed by rental car companies. Interesting.

Yeah, I did not see lots of luxury cars on the roads in Shantou though. Most people travel by motorcycles.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
Indeed, that's pretty handy if you can't spot the registration number on the aircraft. I wonder what they actually intend by mentioning it?

The holding area for flights is actually a centralised area so I guess it's to prevent passengers from getting onto the wrong aircraft. I think 99% of the people won't even know where the registration of the aircraft is located so it can only appeal to us a.netters.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
I have had a better seat pitch on LCC carriers. Not to mention legacy carriers, like KLM, where the seat pitch on the B734 was excellent.

Thankfully it was only an hour.  
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 22):
Wait until you get to fly on the CRJ... now these windows are low.

I shall try when I get to Europe someday. Haha.

Regards,
Daniel



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6758 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 8915 times:

Hi Daniel,

finally I have found the time to read your nice CZ domestic report. I really enjoyed reading, reports about domestic flights in China are quite rare here. I flew PEK-SHA on MU and SHA-SZX on FM in late 2008.

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
A local delicacy. It costs only 3 yuan (0.46 USD) for this whole packet and it consists of delicacies such as quail’s egg and prawns!

No thanks...  

Quoting initious (Thread starter):
Very tight seat pitch

Ouch, that looks really bad!


I'll have a look at your other reports later!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 Post contains images initious : Heya PH, Thanks for your kind comments. Its really very nice, a must try! Had my back aching after the flight! Regards, Daniel
26 Post contains images NZ107 : Hi Daniel, Very interesting continuation. We don't get too many domestic flights from China to read! Impressive huh. The A380 is just about added to t
27 initious : Hi Nicholas, Thanks! =) Yeah but I didn't really like the paint job on the nose.. Makes the whole plane look like a clown. The engines attaching to th
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