User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:01 pm

**Dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the Tragic MH 370 crash. Heartfelt condolences to family and loved ones. Hope they find the strength and courage to take them through these tough times. God be with them**

Background

Background for this trip is a strange one. My wife and I had plans of an Aussie/New Zealand trip but had no idea when. One fine Thursday morning, I was having a bowl of cereals and thinking about just randomly checking for tickets in March and what did I find – a LHR-SYD-AKL-LHR return for £650.! That can’t be true, can it? Yes it was. By Saturday after convincing my wife this was a good idea, the ticket was booked – a total of £660 including £10 American express card charges – China Southern via CAN, through eBookers

Booking Process

The sector booked via ebookers was LHR-CAN-SYD and return from AKL-CAN-LHR. Whilst booking I also entered my Air France Flying blue membership number. When I received the email confirmation from ebookers, I noticed that seats had also been assigned. The designated aircrafts were A330 on 3 sectors and an A380 on the CAN-SYD sector. I thought I would try and ‘manage my booing’ through China Southern’s website directly. This is when I realised, for an aspiring airline like China southern they have one of the worst, user un-friendly website. I basically could do nothing via ‘the manage my booking’ session, not even log into my booking.

I finally gave up and called the 24X7 international number, based in Shanghai. The Call centre representative was barely able to speak English, but she was able to give me all the details I needed. Firstly, I was told that, to check my booking online, the name had to be in the SurnameFirstnameMr format (I should know that!). At least the ticket was a confirmed one.

Next surprise, a rather good one was that, the LHR-CAN, AKL-CAN and CAN-LHR sector were all going to be on the B787 rather than the A330! So was really excited about that prospect. Looks like China Southern is banking heavily on the Canton Route and sending in their heavies on this route – B787 and A380

Next with regards to seat, she was able to give me my seat numbers, that were automatically assigned, first row seats of economy. I tried looking at the seat map on china Southern website, whilst speaking to her, but was unable to find their B787 seat map, so agreed on 39 A and B which were first row economy seats. For their A380, from the website, I realised that they had economy seating on the upper deck, so quickly grabbed a couple of seats on the upper deck (1 window and an aisle seat) 74 A and C. So far quite happy with the seat selection, but time will tell.

Following on through my roller coaster ride of emotions with China southern (price – Happy, manage my booking – disappointed, seats and aircrafts choice – happy) I got to know that my Air France Flying blue member id has not been recorded (in spite of being part of Sky team) and also got to know that I WILL NOT be able to check in online 24 hours before, as it is currently only available for Chinese residents with a valid Chinese phone number (Maybe some Chinese rule that I am unaware of; Disappointed). So Off to the airport 3 hours in advance in the hope that all goes well.

All in all a mixed bag of emotions during the booking process, after all not much I can complain when the nearest option was via emirates which was £250 dearer, but off course with much better websites, booking process, flexibility, guarantee of a decent flight and the confidence that missing one flight, there will be another EK flight just round the corner! There is a long way for China southern to go, in order to compete with the likes of the big 3 ME and the old legacy EU carriers, or even the South East Asian Carriers, in terms of their website, which is the first point of contact for anyone trying to book a ticket online. As stated in my previous report (China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU ) if a LCC like Spring Airlines of China can have a more than decent website, I cannot fathom why CZ cannot. Over all booking experience a middle of the range 5/10

Casually checking China southern website, I noticed that the seat plan for their 787 had been uploaded on their website. However, there were no seat numbers attached in the picture!

I emailed the customer service and I promptly got a reply in an hour’s time (very good..!) giving me details of the flight number and the associated seats. The representative gave me the live seat map for the flight showing that my seats 39A and B were actually in the middle of the first Economy section  

The first row of economy on the 787 started form row 31. Upon enquiring (another few emails later) I inferred that all rows from 31-38, 42 (first row of the second section economy) and 52-53 (last 2 rows where the seat layout was 2-3-2) had been blocked off and only available on the day of the flight. And due to the irritating fact that I wont be able to check in online, my only hope was to see to it that there were no other influential people on board this aircraft and hope to get to the airport as early s possible to get the best possible seating. Fingers crossed.

My seating for the A380 had been retained – window and aisle seating on the upper Deck (74 A and C)

Sky Pearl – membership registration

I tried to get this done online, but apparently it is not possible for foreign nationals to do this. You need to have a local Chinese ID card and a local mobile number to get this done. Your only other alternative is to email Sky Pearl membership department with all the details and they will get back to you with the details. It involved around 20+ min of international call with to a Chinese call centre for me to get this resolved. It was done quite quickly, but the entire process is very convoluted and it is something, once again, which works against CZ and not in the right direction if they want to be perceived as a global airline.



GCMap for the entire trip
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=lhr-can-syd;syd-cns;cns-mel;mel-akl-zqn;bhe-wlg-akl;akl-can-lhr&MS=wls&MR=1200&MX=720x360&PM=*

GCMaps for this section of the Trip Report:
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=lhr-can-syd&MS=wls&MR=1200&MX=720x360&PM=*

China Southern CZ304: LHR - CAN
Flight Reg: B-2733 ; delivered July 2013
Boeing 787-8 DreamLiner
Seat 52A
Departure time 22:30 (Actual 22:20)
Arrival 18:30 (Actual 17:35)
07 March 2014
Price: GBP 660 per head for LHRSYD, AKLLHR return sector



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Zibo Wang
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Yanan Hou

Day of the flight - Check in

We arrived at the airport around 3 hours before departure. Upon reaching the check in counter, this time, we were not able to get the seats we desired (The last two rows of the 787 – 2-3-2 config). The check in agent gave us an excuse of weight balance. 150 out of 200 was the load factor in economy. Asked us to try at the boarding gate. Instead she gave us a windows seat and an aisle seat, predicting that nobody would opt for the single seat between us.

From here on it was a quick hop through security and airside within no time. An hour after wandering around the Duty free it was time to board.

FIDS at T4
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7976_zps0c0e42f2.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7975_zps6764257d.jpg

At the Boarding gates our seats were amended the seat to 53 A and C, thanks to the very helpful duty manager.

Boarding was quick. They were trying to be strict with hand luggage but it was proving to be more difficult than expected.

On board CZ DreamLiner
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7983_zpsee47b613.jpg

As always the aircraft was immaculate. Happy once again with our seat selection. Due to the number of excess hand luggage Allowed onboard, we had to keep our bag quite far away from us. The cabin crew noticed this and removed some of her items from above our seat to give us some space. Truly humbled by this gesture. Thank you.

Load was 0 in first. 6/24 in J and around 150-160 in Y. Once again rear heavy.

At check in we were told that exit row only for Chinese speaking passengers!! But on board saw a lot of foreign passengers in the exit row. Not sure what was going on there.

Take off was on time, just as my previous experience with China southern. Always been on Time.

Once again a silky smooth take off an into the London night skies.

The drinks and dinner round commenced with in 45 minutes of take off and was very efficient. Just like my previous experience, the Seat belt sign seemed to be in use appropriately, on this DreamLiner.

Dinner was chicken with mash potato or fish and rice. As normal, food tasted good but quantity was less.

Dinner onboard the DreamLiner – Chicken with Mash
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0384_zpsfa56384d.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0383_zpsdd631582.jpg

Water, juices, milk and sandwiches were served in the galley during the rest of the time of the fight.

Service seems to have improved since we were last on China southern. Cabin crew seem a lot more confident in their verbal English and the service was attentive through out the flight.

Once again a lot more foreigners than I had expected. Rest of the flight similar to my previous experience with China Southern DreamLiner (DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern ). Uneventful in the nicest possible way. Didn't get to sleep much in this sector. Maybe due to the holiday excitement.

Enroute to Guangzhou
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0392_zps7d1118b5.jpg

A couple of movies later and a few hours of kip, Breakfast round commenced some 2 hours before landing. Egg with bacon or Chicken noodles was the option for breakfast. Similar to the last flight during the Hainan trip.

Good choice of movies onboard any of the long haul CZ aircrafts – and almost all the time, the IFE worked flawlessly
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8014_zpsb0c37f5b.jpg

A first for me - China Southern cabin crew engaged in a conversation with me! Very friendly and also had a chance to meet the captain. Gave them a very good feed back.

The Superb DreamLiner crew to Guangzhou onboard CZ304 – Thanks Team!
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0396_zps0aff6ed5.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0394_zps041a9aab.jpg

Wife slept for over 6 hours! Another first for her!

Overall this leg of the journey has been flawless! Even got a hand drawn card from the cabin crew.  Splendid!

Few complaints, no choice of alcohol except for beer and wines – Not a deal breaker, but probably a nice to have feature. More importantly, I thought, No announcements from the captain, although I did see one of the captain.

Landed nearly an hour before schedule. I have a feeling CZ tend to over estimate its block time, perhaps in a way a way to mitigate delays. In any case, it seems to work well.

We had a 3 and a half layover at CAN before our next long haul on the CZ A332 to SYD. Transit at Guangzhou is boring and expensive. Better to be prepared with some snacks.

The magnificent aircraft that bought us to CAN – B2733 – one of the first DreamLiner delivered to CZ – July 2013
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7997_zps66dead01.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7996_zps9961257b.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7995_zps301f20f8.jpg

Plane spotting at CAN

CZ 787 – B2736 (delivered Oct 2013)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8009_zps26610a7b.jpg

Air France B772 – F-GSPP (Delivered to Air France on Feb 2001)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8002_zps62298092.jpg

CZ Whale Jet – Jetting off to LAX
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8000_zps8adfb275.jpg

FIDS at CZ Central - CAN
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_7999_zpsa12d99b9.jpg


12 hours done, 9 more to go

China Southern CZ325: CAN - SYD
Flight Reg: B-6516 ; delivered June 2010
Airbus A-330-223
Seat 44K
Departure time 21:05 (Actual 21:07)
Arrival 09:05 (Actual 09:20)
08 March 2014
Price: GBP 660 per head for LHRSYD, AKLLHR return sector



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sergey Kustov
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carlos Enamorado



As soon as we landed at CAN, we had heard the news of the Missing plane, but no further news.

Boarding was on time and bussed. Got some good views of the aircrafts on the tarmac.

Just before boarding at CAN to SYD
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8003_zps6754ead8.jpg

Our ride to SYDCZ A330-200 – B6516 (delivered to China Southern on June 2010)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8008_zpsf576f762.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8007_zps8e902515.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8006_zps303b625c.jpg

As always the CZ A332 looked Great and immaculate interiors. Load wise economy was full. Space available for business and first class and upgrade with cash was available.

Push back was pretty much on time, and within no time we had taken off into the smoggy skies of Guangzhou.

Good leg space onboard the A332
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8012_zpse4cc3e6a.jpg

Load was mainly Chinese with a few foreigners. Within an hour after take off, the Dinner service had started.

Fish with potato or Chicken and rice was the options for dinner.

Chicken and rice dinner option en-route to Sydney
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0405_zps2e4a12ae.jpg

This time around the cabin crew were a bit robotic and cold. There was a noticeable difference between the crew on the 787 and on this A332. I later came to know that the 787 was CAN based where as this A332 was a Shenzen crew.

The leg space is fantastic on the A332 and the cabin, although not as new as the 787, is still very good and spacious. Caught up on few TV shows and then tried to sleep for a bit.

The rest of the flight was very calm and the next thing I knew, it was time for breakfast, 90 minutes before arriving at SYD.

Breakfast options were either omelette or dimpling option.

Yummy Dumpling breakfast onboard the A330 to Sydney
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0407_zps24fc600a.jpg

On the whole the flight was very good. But the crew felt like they wanted to be as far as possible away from where they were. Quite a contrast from our previous flight on the DreamLiner.

IFE was once again very good, albeit my touch screen wasn't working, but nothing I could not manage with the controller. Although on this flight, the Flight information and interactive maps were not working.

Unfortunately the moving maps were not available on board the A330 to SYD (was this perhaps a security issue in light of the missing MH jet just the day before?)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8027_zps5d0bb02d.jpg


Two instances of strange behaviour

1. I had taken a photo of the interiors with my phone in flight mode during the flight. One of the cabin crew saw this and asked me to delete the photo and switch off the phone. Upon questioning him, he said I could take the same photo if I wanted with my DSLR. Which I did immediately as soon as I had deleted the photo from my phone. Odd!

Second time lucky – finally got to click the interiors of the A332
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8016_zps0cc91189.jpg

2. Later in the night I wanted some water. Went into the galley and was asked by the same cabin crew who seemed to be sleeping in the jump seat what I wanted quite sternly. To which I said I wanted water. Another female cabin crew politely obliged. After drinking, he asked if whether now I could get back to my seat, even before I had finished. I said I wanted another glass. As soon as I finished the second glass "now can you get back to your seat" was the stern response to which I said I wanted to stretch a bit. Perfect example of one bad apple spoiling the rest.

Once Again, like many other Chinese carriers, the seat belt sign was on through out the Flight. There seems to be a substantial difference in the soft product offered by china southern DreamLiner and their other aircrafts.

Onboard exercise video before landing at SYD – A super initative
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/CSC_8026_zps8363fa50.jpg


Landing at SYD – Gorgeous sun, blue skies; can’t ask for more
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8032_zps213da99d.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8030_zps1a82f0b3.jpg

Baggage carousal at SYD
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8039_zpsd1283cad.jpg

On the whole this was quite an enjoyable way to get to Sydney, from London. We had no issues and the entire sector was very professional, except for one cabin crew.

Sydney was looking great and couldn’t wait to explore more of the city and the rest of our trip.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the trip, more to follow, so watch this space.!

Safe travel.

Plane spotting at SYD
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8037_zps315f4a71.jpg

Previous trip reports:

DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern
Panda Calling - BA LHR To CTU - Club World
China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU
China United Airlines (KN) - CTU - SJW - B737-700
Norwegian B737 - LGW-TOS-BGO-LGW
Jet Airways: LHR – COK
Barra Trip – that was not to be
LHR - KWI - BA 747 - Part 1 - Middle East - China
Part 5: PVG-LHR - BA - Economy - B777
Part 2: KWI-DXB - FlyDubai - Economy - B737
Part 4A&B - SHA-SJW-SHA - FM: Eco: B737
Part 3A&B : DXB-HKG-PVG: CX & KA :Eco: A333
Morocco Trip - LGW-RAK-TNG-LHR - EasyJet & Iberia
Dusseldorf Calling - BA & EZY - Club/Eco - A321


Sydney Highlights

Sydney by Night
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8110_zpsaa8a3946.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8109_zpse7c0f00e.jpg

Sydney Tower
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8054_zps0b1b55d9.jpg

Panoramic Sydney Harbour view
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0413_zpsd934171a.jpg

Our Hotel in Sydney – Rydges Airport Hotel (excellent location, great staff and a dream view for an aviation junkie)

A room with a view! Rydges Sydney Airport
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8162_zps622612a2.jpg

Heavies
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8120_zps40572b15.jpg

A Heavy taking off from Sydney
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8127_zpsebc2f67b.jpg

Safety card collection at the Rydges Sydney Airport
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8041_zpsa760fe42.jpg
 
ab486
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:26 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:31 pm

Another enjoyable report! CZ look just OK, really. The crew on the second leg didn't sound good at all. The catering looks nice, though. The 787 leg looks far better. It's interesting how the seat-belt sign is kept on for the duration on the flight. Do CZ use T4 at LHR?

Thank you for sharing the non-aviation pics, too!

Thanks again!

Adam
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:38 pm

Quoting ab486 (Reply 1):

Another enjoyable report! CZ look just OK, really. The crew on the second leg didn't sound good at all. The catering looks nice, though. The 787 leg looks far better. It's interesting how the seat-belt sign is kept on for the duration on the flight. Do CZ use T4 at LHR?

Thank you for sharing the non-aviation pics, too!

My pleasure Adam.

CZ are not all that bad to be honest, yes, have a lot of scope to improve though. But over the past 2 months been flying with them extensively, and Yes their 787 service is very good indeed. Bear in mind price wise they are unmatched and for the price you pay, i think its very good.

Yes Seat belt sign kept on through out the non 787 flights. Its more like a 'Do Not Disturb' sign directed towards the passengers by the cabin crew

Yes CZ use T4 at LHR. (Mostly Gates 9 or 11   )
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1772
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:55 am

Hi Newbief1yer!!

Great report on China Southern....I have to admit i truly love the China Southern scheme, but that 787 colour scheme is too colourful.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):

**Dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the Tragic MH 370 crash. Heartfelt condolences to family and loved ones. Hope they find the strength and courage to take them through these tough times. God be with them**

Good dedication to the MH flight. My favourite airline and especially sad since I flew on the 777 on the EWR-KUL route.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
what did I find – a LHR-SYD-AKL-LHR return for £650.! That can’t be true, can it? Yes it was.

That is indeed a really good fare.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Next with regards to seat, she was able to give me my seat numbers, that were automatically assigned, first row seats of economy. I tried looking at the seat map on china Southern website, whilst speaking to her, but was unable to find their B787 seat map, so agreed on 39 A and B which were first row economy seats. For their A380, from the website, I realised that they had economy seating on the upper deck, so quickly grabbed a couple of seats on the upper deck (1 window and an aisle seat) 74 A and C. So far quite happy with the seat selection, but time will tell.
Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
The representative gave me the live seat map for the flight showing that my seats 39A and B were actually in the middle of the first Economy section  
Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
The first row of economy on the 787 started form row 31. Upon enquiring (another few emails later) I inferred that all rows from 31-38, 42 (first row of the second section economy) and 52-53 (last 2 rows where the seat layout was 2-3-2) had been blocked off and only available on the day of the flight. And due to the irritating fact that I wont be able to check in online, my only hope was to see to it that there were no other influential people on board this aircraft and hope to get to the airport as early s possible to get the best possible seating. Fingers crossed.
Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
We arrived at the airport around 3 hours before departure. Upon reaching the check in counter, this time, we were not able to get the seats we desired (The last two rows of the 787 – 2-3-2 config). The check in agent gave us an excuse of weight balance. 150 out of 200 was the load factor in economy. Asked us to try at the boarding gate. Instead she gave us a windows seat and an aisle seat, predicting that nobody would opt for the single seat between us.
Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
At the Boarding gates our seats were amended the seat to 53 A and C, thanks to the very helpful duty manager.

Wow I am so glad it worked out, and I am happy that I am not the only one who fears about a last minute window seat change.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
The Superb DreamLiner crew to Guangzhou onboard CZ304 – Thanks Team!

Great that they posed with you...most crews are quite shy, especially Asian crews.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Overall this leg of the journey has been flawless! Even got a hand drawn card from the cabin crew.  Splendid!

That was a nice gesture. But is that a man with a turban  .

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Our ride to SYDCZ A330-200 – B6516 (delivered to China Southern on June 2010)

Again beautiful colour scheme.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
1. I had taken a photo of the interiors with my phone in flight mode during the flight. One of the cabin crew saw this and asked me to delete the photo and switch off the phone. Upon questioning him, he said I could take the same photo if I wanted with my DSLR. Which I did immediately as soon as I had deleted the photo from my phone. Odd!

I think they might have been worried about sending that photo by text message....but what about sending a photo taken with a DSLR? A bit odd indeed.

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
Hope you enjoyed this edition of the trip, more to follow, so watch this space.!

Truly looking forward to the A380 portion....and like the hefty A380 I hope you have a plethora of photos!!
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
djb77
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 4:00 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:16 am

Good morning Newbief1yer!

Great report, an interesting alternative for getting to Oz!

You commented on the fact that at check-in, you were informed that only Chinese people could sit on the exit row. Well, I had exactly this situation myself on Air China A340 flying from Shanghai PuDong to Frankfurt a couple of years back (but not, however, on Frankfurt to Shanghai.) I had been assigned a central block seat at check-in (online check-in wasn't possible/available) but when I enquired at the gate if I could switch to a exit seat I was told that no, exit rows were only available to Chinese nationals. This was communicated also in a very abrupt manner, due to limited language skills.

However, when I boarded the aircraft I asked one of the European members of cabin crew (on German flights Air China has German/English-speaking cabin crew) why I couldn't be seated on the exit. He explained to me that it is a regulation due to language barriers - in the case of an emergency, communication is most likely to happen in Chinese, as English "fluency" wasn't very high among the Chinese cabin crew. However, the German-speaking cabin crew was manning the emergency exit nearest to my seat and as the exit row was completely empty (almost all the passengers were non-Chinese, go figure) he was happy for me to be sitting on the exit. Which I did, great flight.

djb77
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:36 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
Great report on China Southern

Thanks flightsimboy.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
Good dedication to the MH flight

This was utterly shocking. We had heard of it when we landed. For the next 2 weeks of our trip, and Wi-fi connection that we could connect to, the first news we used to check were for updates of the aircraft. And as you said, the 777 is one of my favorite aircraft too. Still cant fathom how in this day and age a huge aircraft like the 777 can just 'disappear'.!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
Wow I am so glad it worked out

Yes, me too. Been on 5 long hauls with CZ 787 over the past two months and have always been on these last 2 row seats. Perhaps that's the reason my Trip report is favorable towards the CZ DreamLiner. Perhaps it would not be so if i were stuck in one of the 3-3-3 rows.! I don't think i am willing to risk that. LOL..

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
most crews are quite shy

So Far, the 787 crew have always been a pleasure to deal with. i think its perhaps they get a good rest on the way since they are all (CZ 787) equipped with crew rest area.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
But is that a man with a turban

LOL. Yeah.! they knew i was Indian and he figured the best way to represent me was with a turban.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
Again beautiful colour scheme

I think its an acquired taste. I like their scheme - simple yet elegant.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
I think they might have been worried about sending that photo by text message

Perhaps. But i was not happy with the way it was dealt with. I am all into adhering to rules if there was genuine concern, but this i felt was more of a power struggle between him being the cabin crew, and us - the passengers. At the end of the day, no big deal though.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
Truly looking forward to the A380 portion

Ah. The A380 never happened on this trip. The CAN-SYD sector was supposed to be on the A380, but got downgraded to a A332 from March onward. Just noticed that i forgot to mention that in the TR.
We were supposed to be on the A380 from MEL to AKL, during the next part of the trip, but did that happen? Stay tuned for the next part of this Trip.
 
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:48 am

Quoting djb77 (Reply 4):
Great report, an interesting alternative for getting to Oz!

Thanks djb77

Quoting djb77 (Reply 4):
You commented on the fact that at check-in, you were informed that only Chinese people could sit on the exit row. Well, I had exactly this situation myself on Air China A340 flying from Shanghai PuDong to Frankfurt a couple of years back (but not, however, on Frankfurt to Shanghai.) I had been assigned a central block seat at check-in (online check-in wasn't possible/available) but when I enquired at the gate if I could switch to a exit seat I was told that no, exit rows were only available to Chinese nationals. This was communicated also in a very abrupt manner, due to limited language skills

Yes it was quite abrupt for me too. Although i wasn't even given an explanation to why it was so. However i did guess. That's one of main concerns with Chinese carriers - in case of emergency, its going to be a case of every man for himself.
 
User avatar
AirAfreak
Posts: 974
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:40 am

Hello newbief1yer,

Thank you for sharing your trip details with China Southern! It's nice to know there are friendly crews onboard to do group photos and have a little fun! Your meals and cabin photos look nice and also of the A380 I frequently see here in Los Angeles!!! It's the most interesting of A380 liveries so far here at LAX. I really love the KE A380, too!  

Also, I thought it was most interesting to hear about the difference between the Guangzhou versus Shenzen crew... maybe Guangzhou is the more "progressive" city/base of the two?

I hope you have a more pleasant flying experience to Canton without Mister Sour Face re-appearing. Even on the best airlines, there is always "one" who can spoil a near-perfect flight experience.

Enjoy Sydney!

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak  
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:08 am

Quoting airafreak (Reply 7):
Thank you for sharing your trip details with China Southern!

My pleasure airafreak

Quoting airafreak (Reply 7):
It's the most interesting of A380 liveries so far here at LAX

Yes, most certainly one of the better ones around. It makes it look a little less whale like.

Quoting airafreak (Reply 7):
Guangzhou versus Shenzen crew

This was what a CAN based crew told me, hyping up the CAN crew. Not sure how far its true though. Although, from my experience, all the CAN based crew were very good. Tried their best, maybe at times not as polished, but nevertheless, full marks for trying hard.

Quoting airafreak (Reply 7):
Even on the best airlines, there is always "one" who can spoil a near-perfect flight experience

Its a shame though. I feel bad for the other female crew member, who did serve me with a smile.
 
 
ba757gla
Posts: 724
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:00 am

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:22 pm

Great trip report !

Im flying this airline via CAN to MELfrom LHR in May .

Looking forward to the 787.

Are there power sockets on the 787? to charge a phone?
 
CdnCactus
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:50 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:55 pm

Thank you for the report. CZ just started their 787 service here at YVR last month. I don't mind the livery even though it's a busy-looking one...too many now are just plain white with bits and pieces on the tail.

Looks like Chinese airlines are trying hard to improve their soft product. Still got a ways to go from the looks of it, but changes don't happen overnight. Hope your positive feedback would encourage them.

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 5):
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 3):
But is that a man with a turban

LOL. Yeah.! they knew i was Indian and he figured the best way to represent me was with a turban.

Heh. That comic character is actually Japanese in origin ("Crayon Shin-chan") and very popular at least in East Asia. Good for you to not take offence because I can assure you none was intended by the crew by drawing the turban. We have a large Chinese population here in Vancouver so the cultural quirks are well known.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:39 am

Quoting ba757gla (Reply 9):
Great trip report !
Im flying this airline via CAN to MELfrom LHR in May .
Looking forward to the 787.
Are there power sockets on the 787? to charge a phone?

Thanks ba757gla. I am sure you will have a great trip. When i was at CAN, i saw that CZ were sending their latest A333 to MEL, although even if you get the A332, its a neat aircraft (except the crew who could be having a bad day).
There are USB ports available below the entertainment console on both their 787 and A332. No Power sockets though, none that i could see. The USB ports work well. It can be used to charge your devices, or else even view compatible media files, although i have not tried it. But yes, it is very capable of charging phones, iPads, etc. And over the past 2 months, across the 5, 12+ hours of 787 trips on a CZ aircraft, it has always worked seamlessly, except for once, when it was fixed straight away when the cabin crew reset the system.

Quoting CdnCactus (Reply 10):
hank you for the report. CZ just started their 787 service
Quoting CdnCactus (Reply 10):
Looks like Chinese airlines are trying hard to improve their soft product
Quoting CdnCactus (Reply 10):
Still got a ways to go from the looks of it,
Quoting CdnCactus (Reply 10):
ood for you to not take offence because I can assure you none was intended

Thanks CdnCactus.
yes, i think they were sending their 772 previously on this route, but now sending their 787s.
Yes, they are trying hard, and i reckon are in the right direction. I always support the underdog, as long as they give it a good fight, and CZ are definitely pulling their weight on the Kangaroo route. Not the glitz and glamour of Emirates, but for sure they have the grit and determination to make it through. One thing of note - i have traveled quite extensively in China )villages and big metropolitan, alike) and the one thing that irks me a bit is the toilet cleanliness, which seems to be lacking in general. That though, is hardly prevalent on CZ aircrafts (787 especially) as the cabin crew keep them top notch. For a 12.5 hour flight, to have the toilet smelling fresh after the flight, in a full load economy is commendable.!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1860
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:10 pm

Looks like a nice airline. Only problem is that I avoid Skyteam / DELTA. Lousy frequent flyer program.

You got a great fare.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:55 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 12):
Only problem is that I avoid Skyteam / DELTA. Lousy frequent flyer program

Totally agree on that front. Hardly get any points with them. That being said, i think MU are pretty good in earning and redeeming points. CZ, AF and the rest i think are not worth the effort.
 
Thai744
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:25 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:26 am

Great report - thanks for taking the time to write it!

It brought back memories about my travels with China Southern. I actually quite like them as an airline. You can't beat their fares, and yes... their service is getting much better as time goes by.

Just regarding the cabin crew member who told you that you could take photos with your camera but not your phone.
It's illegal to have mobile phones switch on when aboard Chinese aircraft - even if they're in flight mode.
Strange, but true. Chinese passengers are notorious for thumbing their nose at "rules" whilst in-flight, and most of them wouldn't even bother switching their phones to flight mode let alone switching them off if they didn't have to. This is the same on China Eastern for example. (So don't load up your phone with movies to watch.... you won't be able to! Use your tablet instead!)  

As for the seatbelt sign being on at all times, this is also the norm on all Chinese carriers. Again, Chinese generally take no notice of it when it's switched on during turbulence, and they tend to wander around the plane chatting - particularly when in a tour group - so its left on the whole time to try and keep people in their seats. It doesn't work and seems to defeat the purpose of having a seatbelt sign in the first place!

Thanks again for posting a great report!
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:17 am

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 14):
Great report - thanks for taking the time to write it!

It brought back memories about my travels with China Southern. I actually quite like them as an airline. You can't beat their fares, and yes... their service is getting much better as time goes by.

Just regarding the cabin crew member who told you that you could take photos with your camera but not your phone.
It's illegal to have mobile phones switch on when aboard Chinese aircraft - even if they're in flight mode.
Strange, but true. Chinese passengers are notorious for thumbing their nose at "rules" whilst in-flight, and most of them wouldn't even bother switching their phones to flight mode let alone switching them off if they didn't have to. This is the same on China Eastern for example. (So don't load up your phone with movies to watch.... you won't be able to! Use your tablet instead!)  

As for the seatbelt sign being on at all times, this is also the norm on all Chinese carriers. Again, Chinese generally take no notice of it when it's switched on during turbulence, and they tend to wander around the plane chatting - particularly when in a tour group - so its left on the whole time to try and keep people in their seats. It doesn't work and seems to defeat the purpose of having a seatbelt sign in the first place!

My pleasure Thai744.

Yes, great airline and i like the fact that they are striving to get better. Good on them.

Are you sure it is illegal? I didn't know that. Moreover, everyone on that flight were charging their phones through the USB cable. I have also shot most of the food pics, that you see, via my phone camera, as my DSLR is slightly too bulky, especially cumbersome during the meal service. Its always left on flight mode though. And strangely, i did watch a movie via my phone, while in the air. I don't think they enforce the rule very strictly, it looks like.

With regards to the seat belt sign, i agree with you regarding passengers not adhering to it, quite glaringly so on Chinese carriers. But that being said, is no excuse for airlines to not follow the right (International standard) protocol.

And it is always correctly used on the CZ 787, but was not on their A330/A320 and other domestic sectors.

Among other Chinese carriers , Spring Airlines seem to be using it correctly too.
 
Thai744
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:25 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:56 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 15):
Are you sure it is illegal? I didn't know that. Moreover, everyone on that flight were charging their phones through the USB cable.

As you said, maybe not too strictly enforced.

However, I've been on China Southern China Eastern and Air China flights where I've been told to turn off my phone completely. The feeble argument that I was using it in Flight Mode fell on deaf ears. I'm sure it's ok to charge it via USB cable when the phone is off however.

Maybe you just got lucky if you watched a movie on your phone and didn't get "caught?" Or, as you said, maybe they just couldn't be bothered trying to speak English to tell you to turn it off. Chinese crews are really "random" and do things as they come up rather than by the book it seems!

Anyway, I still always take a tablet loaded up with movies now, rather than my phone as I've been burnt before! And I've also been on Chinese flights where the Personal TV's either weren't switched on or weren't functioning, so it's a handy back-up to have.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:34 pm

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 16):
Maybe you just got lucky if you watched a movie on your phone and didn't get "caught?"

Ha.! True that.

Quoting Thai744 (Reply 16):
Anyway, I still always take a tablet loaded up with movies now, rather than my phone as I've been burnt before! And I've also been on Chinese flights where the Personal TV's either weren't switched on or weren't functioning,

I am not surprised. Although Chinese airlines seems to be spending a lot on newer aircraft (Well, CZ at least) and their newer ones, at least, IFE Always worked. Hope i ve not jinxed it.
 
 
etoile
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:22 am

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:51 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
At check in we were told that exit row only for Chinese speaking passengers!! But on board saw a lot of foreign passengers in the exit row. Not sure what was going on there.

Perhaps there are "foreign" passengers who speak Chinese, and even the right dialect. There are even a lot of foreigners who speak English, too.
 
palmjet
Posts: 1230
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:08 am

Nice to see you had good flights with CZ. The 787 looks great in their colours and the first flight made even better by a good crew. Some great personalised touches from CZ.

I've only sampled the A330s so good to see you were about to compare them with the 787.

Thanks for the pics of Sydney as well - one of my favourite cities in the world. Love the safety card collection!

Cheers Palmjet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:30 am

Quoting etoile (Reply 18):
Perhaps there are "foreign" passengers who speak Chinese

Hi etoile. NO the 3 passengers towards CAN did not speak Chinese. They seemed like the kind of crowd who would be an a FR flight to Ibiza - 3 of them in their mid/early 20's, with a bottle of alcohol that they bought from Duty free. They emptied before the flight landed.! they were transiting to Thailand.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 19):
I've only sampled the A330s so good to see you were about to compare them with the 787

Hi Palmjet. Yes i ve seen your TR, although your's was on J wasn't it? Just to confirm, there were no other alcohol served apart from Wine and beer even in J, is that correct?

Quoting palmjet (Reply 19):
Thanks for the pics of Sydney as well - one of my favourite cities in the world. Love the safety card collection

pleasure. Ya the safety card collection was a surprise for me too.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332

Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:02 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Thread starter):
As stated in my previous report (China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU ) if a LCC like Spring Airlines of China can have a more than decent website, I cannot fathom why CZ cannot. Over all booking experience a middle of the range 5/10

Finally! after years, the website seems to be up-to-speed. Just booked 5 tickets from China to Thailand and back, and open jaw itinerary, and it worked a charm. A bit slow to respond, but transparent pricing structure and seat selection was also possible. Good one China Southern.!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CollegeAviator, jetblue01 and 35 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos