After getting off the plane, we saw a CZ representative holding a sign with names of people and the gates for their connecting flights. I saw my name on there with the gate number but there was a 3.5 hour layover, so no need to rush. After walking the long mile (or two) deep into the bowels of the airport, we got into the line for international transit passengers while most of the passengers coming off the YYZ flight went towards either domestic transit or immigration. The international transit line was further divided into economy and business class passengers, so I was quickly through after the agent scanned/stamped my boarding pass and waved me through. After this, it was upstairs into a security check zone and then got dumped out at a Y split for the A gates.
This is where the confusion happened into where the lounge was. Our gate was A123 and I saw the sign and followed it thinking that the lounge would be there somewhere. Also, I still can’t figure out what “The Exit of Flight Cancellations” sign means but I’m definitely chalking it up as a Lost in Translation moment. :)
If I had only turned around, I would have seen this:
Instead, I just followed the sign and kept walking for a good 10 minutes towards our gate.
We came to A123 and the lounge was nowhere in sight. At this point, I fired up the interweb on my phone and googled where the bloody lounge was. Luckily, OMAAT had a report detailing where it was … back where I started … Le sigh. Another 10 minute hot, sweaty walk back to the starting point and I was allowed inside. There was another front desk inside the lounge where you could go either left or right depending on your ticket. The left turn would take you to the CZ First/Business class lounge whereas turning right would take you to the Gold/Silver elite lounge. Guess where I was punted into? I suspect this was due to the fact that it was way too early in the morning for the CZ lounge to be open.
This is a reverse shot of where I walked in from:
Food/beverage station off to the left as you walked in. There was no food hot being served as it was 5.30am and it would be another hour or so before it was served.
As you walked deeper in, there was a larger seating area.
Looking down towards the shower/washroom area.
Plopped my bag down and asked one of the attendants to set up with a shower room. I was called in around 10 minutes later.
After a hot and refreshing shower to clean off the airplane germs, it was back to the seating to relax till it was time to leave for boarding.
45 minutes to departure, I left the lounge for the lonnnnggg walk back to A123. I snapped up quick pics of the CZ lounge as it was open now. Would be trying this on the way back home. Spoiler – nothing great.
Since there was time to kill, I walked around to snap pics of some birdies.
The livery of the CZ 787 is very flamboyant.
Finally at the gate.
With another snaking conga line.
And our bird on the left.
The first row was J class with a wall behind it separating us from economy. All 4 seats in J were taken.
Wonderful leg room for this 2 hour flight to Manila.
PDB of juices or water was offered and I went with apple juice again.
There was one FA working J for the flight. After delivering the PDB, she verbally listed the breakfast menu mains which was a choice between dim sum or seafood noodles. I went with the dim sum.
Boarding was done on time and we were being pushed back.
Even at 8am, there was a bit of a queue for take off – 5 planes ahead of us waiting with other planes landing on the same runway.
15 minutes after take off, the FA sprung into action and started to deliver the goods.
Nothing fancy and was not that great either but it satisfied the stomach.
The thin veil protecting me from the rest of the plane.
Stupid camera – focus on the scenery, not the window.
Smooth descent into Manila and a quick taxi to the gate.
Final mug shot of the bird.
Up next – one day in Manila + flight to Cebu.
China Southern Business Class Lounge
Guangzhou - CAN
Manila - MNL
While Guangzhou airport looked nice and big, the lounge left a lot to be desired. Since we were punted into the gold/elite side of the lounge, my expectations were really low but not as low as what I expected for the lounge at Manila airport (more of that later).
The flight was pretty straight forward with the meal service being efficient and quick but the actual meal itself not being that great.
Arrival at Manila airport was quick and painless. We managed to get through immigration quickly but our bags were close to last to come on the belt. I guess that VIP bag sticker really meant something but not what we were expecting.
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