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RetroRoo
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Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:29 pm

China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:02 pm

Forgive me if this isn't exactly in the right place.

I'm very keen to hear from people about their experiences flying China Southern Airlines long-haul, particularly in economy and premium economy. I'm flying them soon with some family and don't quite know what to expect.

Any tips on transiting through CAN would be much appreciated also!

Many thanks and happy flighting,

RetroRoo
 
 
anshabhi
Posts: 2265
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:40 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:15 pm

I have flown DEL-CAN-SFO with them, for a $800 round trip!! They are a pretty good budget airline for the fare. Transiting through the new CAN terminal is as breezy as it could be and the in flight beverages, including alcoholic and food are pretty good. Don't have any hopes from the IFE (see the fare, common!!). Also remember to prebook your meal, if you are vegetarian. Rest, I would recommend it to everyone.

You can access wifi once you reach the gate for your connecting flight. Kiosks present there generate a user id/password for wifi by scanning your passport.
Pro Tip: Have a VPN installed before going to China as most social networks like Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp are banned there and you would need VPN to access them.
 
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mad99
Posts: 1287
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:33 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:18 pm

i've flown on them several times. i've been upgraded twice on the a380. Upgrades do not get the biz food only the seat!
 
SRhysJones
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:32 pm

Sorry to dissapoint but i found them awful. Flew 787 LHR-CAN and the leg room was non existant, im 6ft3. The seats had no padding, like sitting on a wooden bench for 12 hours. Transit through CAN is OK, long queues for security though. The other flights CAN - DPS on the A320 were better, more comfortable seats and flights were empty so was able to lay down and sleep.
Last edited by SRhysJones on Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SRhysJones
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:35 pm

Sorry to dissapoint but i found them awful. Flew 787 LHR-CAN and the leg room was non existant, im 6ft3. The seats had no padding, like sitting on a wooden bench for 12 hours. Transit through CAN is OK, long queues for security though. The other flights CAN - DPS on the A320 were better, more comfortable seats and flights were empty so was able to lay down and sleep. Hope nothing goes wrong with the booking as the customer service is terrible. On the plus side, the ticket was cheap!
 
FatCat
Posts: 1038
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:40 pm

SRhysJones wrote:
Sorry to dissapoint but i found them awful. Flew 787 LHR-CAN and the leg room was non existant, im 6ft3. The seats had no padding, like sitting on a wooden bench for 12 hours. Transit through CAN is OK, long queues for security though. The other flights CAN - DPS on the A320 were better, more comfortable seats and flights were empty so was able to lay down and sleep.

If you're 6ft 3'' I'll bet you'll never find much legroom in Economy with any Carrier :rotfl:
 
anstar
Posts: 3383
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Flew their A380 in biz to and from Sydney about 2 years ago. Hard product was good but service wise they are awful... food was nothing to write home about either. If I had the option again I'd pay extra and go with a decent carrier. Transit in CAN wasn't the easiest either.
 
theasianguy
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:31 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:15 pm

I would caution you against reading too much into Skytrax reviews on China Southern. A large portion of the positive reviews are posted by company employees to raise ratings. The TripAdvisor rating is certainly more accurate.

That said, CZ is still the best of the Chinese 3. Given how cheap their fares can be, they offer an amazing value: above average seat comfort, plentiful food, and reasonable onboard service. Do note that all Chinese carriers are terrible at domestic punctuality, and don't expect any help should you misconnect in CAN.
 
EddieDude
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:51 pm

Flew in December SGN-CAN (A320 or A321) and CAN-SFO (77W) in J.

Check-in at SGN was kind of tedious. The agent (I think outsourced by VN or an airport services company) insisted to see my printout of my Visa Waiver Program ESTA receipt (it is electronic so you don't really need to have a printout) and also insisted that I should produce evidence of my accomodation in California and ticket out of the U.S.

I used then my SkyTeam Elite Plus credentials to use the VN lounge and I invited a friend (no SkyTeam status) who was flying VN to SIN around the same time of my flight to CAN. It was a mess. The lounge dragon said I could not bring him in (SkyTeam Elite Plus members may bring guests into a lounge) and blamed CZ's policies for that. We talked on the phone with a CZ agent and after about a heated discussion on the phone, my guest was finally let in. Part of the problem was for sure the VN lounge staff, but CZ made it worse by saying categorically they would not accept me bringing a guest. Fortunately they relented. The wine was hideous at the lounge, but the views of the apron and runway were pretty cool.

The A32X flight to CAN was amazing. J was semi empty and the purser was incredible. She was cute, perfectly groomed and amazingly friendly. The food was okayish. The IFE was in the form of a tablet. I saw a movie that was more or less good... the selection was not that great.

Transit at CAN was fine. I had enough time to explore the CZ lounge and have a drink there. The lounge is big and modern (but in a super strange layout), albeit very crowded and somewhat dark. The food/beverage selection was very poor. The placement of the electric output jacks in the area where I sat was weird also, so my 3-meter long iPhone charger came in very handy. I did not spend much time at the lounge because boarding started very early and CAN is a large airport.

The 77W was in great condition. The seats (1-2-1) are quite nice. If I am not mistaken, they are the same seats that GA uses on their 77Ws. My seat was a window seat but I stupidly selected a seat that was not right next to the window, but that was right next to the aisle. Dunno if that makes sense. Take a look at Seatguru.com to see what I mean. Service was good but not as good as the narrowbody experience. The champagne was fine but the flight attendants were not proactive at all in offering top ups. Dinner and breakfast were meh. IFE was pretty good and I was able to sleep very nicely. I think prior to landing I was told rather rudely to put away my headphones or something along those lines. I definitely did not like that.

Since this particular flight was booked with miles, I have to say I was very satisfied. However, I agree that many other carriers would have offered a much better alternative for SGN-XXX-SFO. My final destination was MEX (I spent two nights in Silicon Valley visiting a friend, but it was not an essential stop that I could have definitely bypassed) and ideally I would have loved to fly SGN-NRT or SGN-ICN with VN, and then AM to MEX, but cost and unavailability of award seats prevented me from taking those flights, which I am sure would have been much better.
 
mdavies06
Posts: 548
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:16 am

As a separate question, does CZ broadcast regular calls for passengers to stay seated at the smallest degree of turbulence in LONG haul flights too? I have only flown them in domestic sectors. In one of my recent sector they issued somewhere around 15 calls to remind passengers to stay seated. In all Chinese domestic sectors I have flown so far, the seat belt sign stayed on continuously.
 
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RetroRoo
Topic Author
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:29 pm

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:01 am

Very interesting!

Seems like if you insulate yourself by bringing your own IFE, and perhaps some decent gourmet food from the airport you can make the most of the flight yourself. I scored a pretty amazing deal (seems to be a theme here) between SYD and JFK in December. We shall see what happens.

Thanks so much for the insights!
 
cskok8
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:37 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:14 am

I flew JFK to CAN on a 777W in J. Seat was good, IFE so so. Meals were bad. Supposed to have 4 choices but one was "not uploaded", another was finished when it came to my turn so only 2 available. 2nd meal was served 6 hours before landing!
 
bgboiflyer
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:11 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:54 pm

Don't fear the reviews as there is definite bias on them. I've these guys since I was a toddler and I've had a good impression with them. Keep in mind they serve "Chinese" or Oriental style food and the passengers are gonna pretty much be that way too, so expect a language/cultural barrier. The seats are comfy and the FAs are attentive and very good. Also, delays are very normal out/into China as the airspace is crowded and not too greatly prioritized for civil flights.
 
Lightning12
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:41 am

Re: China Southern Airlines Experiences

Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:29 am

I've flown CZ in both Y and W from BNE to PEK many times, and I recommend it to you. It is good on price, and seats are usually comfortable on the aircraft I've been on (A320, A321, B777, A330, A380). They usually have good pitch and my legs don't touch the seat in fromt (I'm 172 cm). IFE is usually good, more Chinese oriented. The food is usually good if you are used to eating Chinese food, but it won't seem as good to you if you are used to Western food. If you desperately want Western food, preorder their Western Vegetarian meal. Their catering has improved a lot since I first flew them. Service is usually pretty efficient and fast, from past experiences. Transiting at CAN used to be very bad, but I transited there from international to domestic earlier this year, and it has improved, and now has free wifi. I don't think you have to switch terminals for International to International. The airport has decent food choices, most are Chinese food. Overall, I would recommend it for the value for money.

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