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China Southern Airlines (Ex SIN) Pics  
User currently offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 171 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 hours ago) and read 10968 times:



Hello all, it’s been quite some time I wrote a TR. Sorry for the long absence. Anyways, I have been following your TRs almost every week. So it’s time I share my latest flight on China Southern.

Took a vacation on a cruise along the Yangtze (3 Gorges), Chongqing and Chengdu early this month.

My last trip on CZ was in 2007 which I wrote a TR on it. From that time to now, I could see the improvements CZ has made.

This TR will be for the flight from Singapore – Guangzhou – Yichang
Return from Chengdu – Guangzhou – Singapore

Check-in was done by SATS. SATS uses China staff for Chinese flights. When I spoke to the staff checking me in in English, she responded all my queries in Mandarin! I have no issues with Mandarin, but this is not service as she clearly knew English but refused to respond in English. I in turn refused to respond in Mandarin too. At least she acceded to my seat request and queries about transfer in Guangzhou. To work with SATS in an international airport, she obviously must be able to converse in basic conversational English. Ah, never mind, now I’ved checked-in, it’s time to enjoy the flight and hols.

Leg: Singapore to Guangzhou
Flight: CZ 532
A/C: A 321
ATD: 0800
ATA: 1200
Economy

Time to board.


Entering a/c with a friendly FA greeting in Mandarin.

CZ has Business class, Premium Economy and Economy.
The female crew were much friendlier, helpful and smiling.
The male ones were just there to do their job and nothing more.
Flight was almost 100% full.

Noticed the female FAs have changed the way how they use their scarf. It used to be tied in big bow ribbon mess at one side around their neck. This time it was neatly folded wrapped around the neck. Look smarter and sharper. Since it’s winter, they are in their winter uniform of blouse and pants instead of their cheapo looking skirts.

The only consistent items in the seat pocket were the safety card and sickness bag. Some seats had bi-lingual inflight magazine, some had only the Mandarin inflight magazine and not all have the duty free magazines. Oh, if you are lucky, you’ll find the air-phones. Mine was missing. Used my phone ear phone instead. Much clearer.

After all pax settled, FAs came done the aisle with local and China newspapers.
Not before. Well done.

Safety Video


IFE: short feature video Chinese programs, Chinese news, Mr Bean


After 1 hour after take-off, the drink cart rolled down.
Very good range of soft drinks, milk, juice, Chinese tea, coffee and beer.

After the drink service, came breakfast.
FA informed the choices were either seafood noodles or chicken with rice.
I remembered in 2007, the FA announced whether you want rice or noodles.
Good improvement, at least to inform you what the rice or noodles comes with.

Choice 1
Seafood with noodles. Came with minced pork appetizer, lemon mousse cake, roll and butter.
The seafood was chock full of fried fish and shrimps in black bean sauce.
Meal was tasty and filling. Well done CZ Inflight Department for their selection of meals and I’m sure increasing the budget.
It was sure so much better than Wholesome Beginnings from you know who . . .


Choice 2
This Chicken in oyster sauce and rice is the boring one seen on many numerous meals on Wholesome Beginnings.


Flight landed on time. More than enough time to take the metro to downtown Guangzhou for some dimsum and back to the airport for the next leg.



Leg: Guangzhou to Yichang
Flight: CZ 532
A/C: B737-400
ATD: 1900
ATA: 2030
Economy

Not a full flight. Most pax settled within 20 mins.
For winter, the guy FAs wore blue jackets on ground.
In the cabin, they wore a blue sleeveless sweater.
Again, the female FAs were pleasant and polite – very interactive, but you must be a Mandarin speaker. Don’t bother the guys.

Managed to change to an empty seat at the emergency exit. FA came to me and informed me very politely about the need to assist if there should be the need. No problem.


Meal – Two choices. Can’t remember what the other one was. This one was pork with rice. Belly pork was fatty and sauce greasy. But appeal to mainland Chinese taste.


Skipped inflight meal for street food in Yichang.



Cruise from YiChang to Chongqing
The boat. Only 100 pax on this ship for 400.
Heaps of space and so private!
Meals, amenities and crew were exceptional.


All cabins with balcony


Cruising along the Yangtze with gorges at both sides.


The massive 3 Gorges Dam



Return Chengdu-Guangzhou-SIN

Leg: Chengdu - Guangzhou
Flight: CZ 532
A/C: A320
ATD: 1045
ATA: 1300
Economy

100% full in Economy
Lots of local mainland Chinese. So it was rather noisy and loud. Boarding was chaotic with pax sitting at wrong seats, swopping seats, loads of cabin baggage. A short delay to get everyone settled.
FAs were very professional in settling the problematic pax.

The a/c


Cabin and seats

A gruff looking local man across the aisle from me kept clearing his throat throughout the flight. He then disposed it in the sickness bag and stuffed it in the seat pocket. Oh, I hope it’s cleared. Note to self – never touch and rummage seat pockets on Chinese carriers. It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance level. I tried very very very hard to ignore it.

Galley


Meal service
This pair of FA serving drinks were super courteous and polite. Even the guy. After saying thank you, he responded with not at all / you’re welcome in Mandarin.
Drink selection was awesome for a domestic sector. Extended range of drinks that included cold herbal tea, white wine, rice milk in addition to the usual soft drinks, juice, milk, Chinese tea, coffee, water and beer. Tried the rice milk, tasted like malt milk (Horlicks), nice.


The ordinary male CZ FA. In Mandarin – what you want to eat, rice or noodles?


Two choices: Noodles with minced pork or Chicken with rice. Mains came with carrot/cabbage salad, preserved veg and roll. Meals were not too bad.


Leg: Guangzhou - Singapore
Flight: CZ 531
A/C: A320
ATD: 1900 (ETD 1900)
ATA: 2230 (ETA 2200)
Economy

Flight was also close to 100% full
Flight was delayed due to missing pax. Had to wait for their bags to be off loaded.
On the bright side, there were a few empty seats behind which I changed to get a window and an empty seat beside me.
On this international flight, boarding was quick and so much quieter.
No drama and everyone settled fast.
Was a bit tired, so didn’t take many pics of the flight.

IFE was on with a Leonardo DiCaprio film.

Drink service before dinner.
Again very good range, however no cold herbal tea and rice milk.
Again FA was very courteous.

Two choices for dinner. Seafood and rice or Chicken and rice.
Took the Seafood and rice. Seafood came with pieces of fish, cuttlefish, Chinese cabbage, carrot and black fungus with white sauce. OMG, the sauce – what a sight! To eat or not to eat?
I’m famished – should I change for the chicken? Why not!
Aghh, the FA apologized that they are out of chicken.
Ok, I’ll brave it. I kept telling myself it’s not what I think it was.
It would need a hell lot of donors – damn it, this is not helping!
Bit by bit I took a bite, ok it tasted like white wine sauce used for western dishes.
The meal was saved by the seaweed, carrot and ham salad which I mixed with the rice. Oh, the preserved veg in a packet was also thrown in. As I said my tolerance level is pretty high, so the meal was somehow finished. What a weird meal, Chinese dish with a western sauce. But the look of the sauce was the killer! (one could have died laughing just looking at it). Dessert was cherry tomatoes. Ok, I’ll forgive as tomatoes are fruits after all. But hard to consider it a dessert.
Looking at the pic again, I must say I was pretty brave to finish it.



Overall, CZ has made vast improvements.
Meals were good (except for the white sauce and the tomatoes). Other than that it was a great improvement since 2007. Domestic leg had two choices instead of only one. Very good range of drinks especially domestic sectors. Female FAs look smarter, they were much conversant, interactive, polite, professional and courteous (in Mandarin though). Announcement in English were an improvement from before too. The male FAs need to learn from their lady colleagues. Other than that, CZ is alright (more improvements can be made though). Can’t beat other Asian carriers, but it’s alright for the price. Do they deserve the 4 Star Skytrax? Hmmm, ok for the improvements made. Maybe at the lower end of 4 Stars.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 hours ago) and read 10767 times:

Very nice report! I fly a lot in China domestically, and there is always these two choices:

MI FAN (rice)
or
MIAN TIAO (noodles)

The cabin crew usually come barking down the aisle MI FAN MIAN TIAO? MI FAN MIAN TIAO?

I think the airline in question dropped the pretentious "Wholesome Beginnings" thing. It's now called "Main".


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1092 posts, RR: 31
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10420 times:

Great little report on how Chinese aviation continues to blossom and slowly meet international standards ( in terms of , politeness and treating aviation as less of a chore ... and what are, well to be honest, much better food offerings than you get on similar length sectors in Europe). I flew CZ once but was too numbed with Tsingtao to recall it properly.

Thanks!

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineloalq From Switzerland, joined Jan 2007, 224 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 8758 times:

Had a good laugh reading your report...thanks! I got my share of chinese carriers (and pax) when I lived in China, nowadays I avoid them at all costs...they are simply not made to the western taste.

Oh the sauce! Brave man you are...



"...this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped."
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8539 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8521 times:
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Nice report and pictures thanks for sharing.

I'll be flying CZ domestically on the PEK-CAN run next year so this TR is of interest, give me a steer on what to expect.

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
CZ has Business class, Premium Economy and Economy.

- Never knew they had a premium economy product.

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
Seafood with noodles. Came with minced pork appetizer, lemon mousse cake, roll and butter.
The seafood was chock full of fried fish and shrimps in black bean sauce.
Meal was tasty and filling. Well done CZ Inflight Department

- Not a bad looking meal to be honest, not that seafood is my thing.

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
CZ 532
A/C: B737-400

- CZ don't operate the 737-400, typo?

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
Cruise from YiChang to Chongqing
Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
A gruff looking local man across the aisle from me kept clearing his throat throughout the flight. He then disposed it in the sickness bag and stuffed it in the seat pocket

- Not seen this on a plane but one of my memories of China is a lot of spitting, quite unpleseant.

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
Two choices for dinner. Seafood and rice or Chicken and rice.
Took the Seafood and rice. Seafood came with pieces of fish, cuttlefish, Chinese cabbage, carrot and black fungus with white sauce. OMG, the sauce – what a sight! To eat or not to eat?
I’m famished – should I change for the chicken? Why not!
Aghh, the FA apologized that they are out of chicken.
Ok, I’ll brave it. I kept telling myself it’s not what I think it was.
It would need a hell lot of donors – damn it, this is not helping!
Bit by bit I took a bite, ok it tasted like white wine sauce used for western dishes.
The meal was saved by the seaweed, carrot and ham salad which I mixed with the rice. Oh, the preserved veg in a packet was also thrown in. As I said my tolerance level is pretty high, so the meal was somehow finished. What a weird meal, Chinese dish with a western sauce. But the look of the sauce was the killer! (one could have died laughing just looking at it). Dessert was cherry tomatoes. Ok, I’ll forgive as tomatoes are fruits after all. But hard to consider it a dessert.

- Hmm, looks grim - cherry tomatoes may well be a fruit but desert they are not!

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
Looking at the pic again, I must say I was pretty brave to finish it.

- Indeed you were!

Cheers

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 offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8056 times:

Hey, Luke, Mark, Docpepz and loalq

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 1):
cabin crew usually come barking down the aisle

Sadly, this has not improved in the domestic sectors. Esp the guys!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Chinese aviation continues to blossom and slowly meet international standards ( in terms of , politeness and treating aviation as less of a chore ... and what are, well to be honest, much better food offerings than you get on similar length sectors in Europe

I'm surprised too. Look out for Hainan Airlines, heard it's catching up fast.
Besides the food, the range of drinks are impresive for domestic!
Just have to endure the bark that comes with it.

Quoting loalq (Reply 3):
I got my share of chinese carriers (and pax) when I lived in China, nowadays I avoid them at all costs...they are simply not made to the western taste.

Ha, ha, not even to us, overseas Chinese too!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 4):
Never knew they had a premium economy product.

There's a separate cabin for the premium economy.
In terms of seating wise, I didn't see any difference.
Anyways, after take-off, curtains were drawned. So don't know what went on in there.
In the international leg, drink and food carts were rolled from the back of economy galley to the premium.
So I suspect meal and drinks are similar.
In the domestic sector, premium pax got their meals on trays, while economy got the boxes.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 4):
Not a bad looking meal to be honest

Oh, yes!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 4):
CZ don't operate the 737-400, typo?

Yep, typo. It's 737-71B

Thanks you all,
Happy holidays!


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7200 times:

Hi

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing it with us! Love the scenery pics


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinekretek From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 6856 times:

Did the Captain do an introductory speech and announcements? When I flew with Chinese domestic carriers, I don't remember this being done, perhaps a difference in culture?

Oh, the incessant spitting that goes on and on in a confined space. I saw an old man spit into a vomit bag and folding with precision along an arbitrary line and neatly tucking in the seat pocket.
Planes still on descent, about to touch the runaway and you can hear almost everyone talking on their mobile phones to announce they have arrived to their loved ones. I think it is a way of showing off their latest mobile phone gadgets, and since the China Open Door policy to show " look, I am wealthy". Pax standing up to collect the handbags from the overhead bins even while the plane was about to touch down. A trip to the bathrooms is an experience itself, everyone has to spit into the urinal.

On a flight from HK to Wuhan on Dragon Air , my mum was waiting in queue for the loo. Out of nowhere, this mainlander and child came from behind the queue and barged straight into the toilet. My mum was so incensed and had a 'word' with her.

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 5):
Ha, ha, not even to us, overseas Chinese too!

Mainlanders behave differently to the overseas Chinese diaspora, even the Chinese food we eat is just different.

They may be cheap, but I vowed never to fly with mainland Chinese carriers, especially on long haul international.


User currently offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6281 times:

Thanks Marc!


Hi kretek

Quoting kretek (Reply 7):
Did the Captain do an introductory speech and announcements

You're right. None from Mr Captain Speaking.

Quoting kretek (Reply 7):
Oh, the incessant spitting that goes on and on in a confined space. I saw an old man spit into a vomit bag and folding with precision along an arbitrary line and neatly tucking in the seat pocket.
Planes still on descent, about to touch the runaway and you can hear almost everyone talking on their mobile phones to announce they have arrived to their loved ones. I think it is a way of showing off their latest mobile phone gadgets, and since the China Open Door policy to show " look, I am wealthy". Pax standing up to collect the handbags from the overhead bins even while the plane was about to touch down. A trip to the bathrooms is an experience itself, everyone has to spit into the urinal.

Oh, things have not changed. I didn't go into the details on my flight. But it's about the same drama that happened. I've seen it so many of times and it is not surprising anymore. Oh, but on my first ever mainland China domestic flight, it was just hilarious just to see them.

Quoting kretek (Reply 7):
mainlander . . . came from behind the queue and barged straight

On planes, the metro, at the cashier, at fast food counters, bus station . . .


User currently offlineORDnHKG From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 191 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5969 times:

Quoting SIN7 (Thread starter):
A gruff looking local man across the aisle from me kept clearing his throat throughout the flight. He then disposed it in the sickness bag and stuffed it in the seat pocket. Oh, I hope it’s cleared. Note to self – never touch and rummage seat pockets on Chinese carriers. It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance level. I tried very very very hard to ignore it.

Well, disposed it in the sickness bag is already consider as good behavior, how about those disposed directly into the seat pocket minus the bag or anything else ? I have seen plenty.

This kind of behavior doesn't only exist in Chinese carriers in domestic flights, it happens on international carriers international flights going in and out of china too. I remembered especially on an UA flight NRT-HKG 10 or 11 years ago, I was sitting by the aisle of 3 seats on the side on the 744, the mainland chinese guy by the window displosed his throat droppings directly into the seat pocket, so I told one of the FA discreetly, he was scolded by the FA immediately, and the FA told me she had written up so that that seat pocket had to be disinfect once it arrived in HKG.


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