Review of China Southern flight Vancouver Guangzhou in Economy

Airline China Southern
Flight CZ330
Class Economy
Seat 46G
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 14:00
Take-off 26 Apr 19, 12:00
Arrival at 26 Apr 19, 17:00
CZ   #42 out of 133 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 122 reviews
VFMlife
By 2377
Published on 28th April 2019

BackGround



This trip was booked two month in advance for CAD 800. The transfer time in Guangzhou was about 1.5 hour both ways for a total trip time of 20 hours. As China Southern claims to have improved transfer procedures at their hub in Guangzhou, we decided on this fly this itinerary and share the experience with those concerned about the transfer time.


Check-in


Anticipating it could be busy at check in, we arrived 2 hours and 40 min ahead of our flight. A line had already snaked around economy checking in, and within 10 minutes it grew to twice the length. 30 minutes later our luggage was tagged with “short connection” tag and we received boarding passes all the way to Singapore.


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Security and International Terminal


Three security lanes were open at 11am on a Friday, so there were hardly any wait. Getting to the Skyteam lounge involved walking through duty free shops (promote impulsive buying?) as well as an indoor green space featuring a small aquarium. You will also pass by the plaza premium lounge, the other priority pass accepting lounge in international terminal.


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Friendly therapy dog.


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Skyteam Lounge


Upon exiting the only elevator for the lounge, you are presented with a glass walled floor that overlooks the departure gates. Past the magazine racks, chairs lines the corridor that leads to the food area.



Further to the right is a wine bar with variety of red/white local and international wines. Champaign on ice is also available.



The food area consists of salad, cheese, and deli station, sandwiches, hot food, and a made to order noodle and dim sum bar. The spread was one of the most comprehensive I have seen for a North America non-first class lounge. The noodles were especially good, I went back for seconds.



There are more alcohol in this area. Alcohol is served from 9am-4am due to archaic liquor laws. I made myself a Baileys coffee.


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Boarding


Gate D71 has one of the larger waiting areas complete with its own washrooms. The zoned boarding process was organized and the plane was loaded quickly.



Cabin


The 787-9 economy has a 3-3-3 configuration. The seats are the thin type similar to other airlines with new cabin configurations. Leg room is more generous than some domestic economy flights but it is by no means first class experience. Row 46 is the last row in the first section of economy. You can recline without worry. However the lavatory is also directly behind, the noise can be distracting. It didn’t really bother me though.



Every passenger was provided with a blanket, small pillow, and IFE headset. The quality of headsets are typical for economy class (cheap).


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IFE has a good selection of latest Hollywood films such as Marvel and Star Wars, Fantastic Beast, Bumblee, Animated films from Disney and Pixar. If you have experience with the Panasonic system, they will be similar.

In flight Wifi is also available for free, it require you to sign in using your seat number and last 4 digits of your ID. However there is a limit per flight and I wasn’t fast enough to get it. 


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Catering and Service


Lunch service started with drink service where you can get tsingtao beer/wine/pop/tea coffee.
First meal had choice between beef and rice . The western choice was fish with potatoes. The fish was quite juicy for airline food. My only pet peeve was the salad, I wish they could just put less sauce.
The second meal of this flight was chicken with potato, and pork with rice. 



The crew walked around with water and sandwich in between the meals, but I think the frequency could be improved.


Guangzhou baiyun International Transfer


Upon arrival in rainy Guangzhou, the plane taxied for a long time before stopping at a remote stand. Deplane also took a while as all the economy passengers went down a single staircase. We then got on one of the buses already lined up outside the plane and went on yet another very long ride to the terminal. At this point we thought we were going to miss the transfer.
Fortunately, right inside the terminal we saw China Southern staff holding sign for Singapore flight. They helped us jump ahead a small line at transfer document check (why is this necessary?), as well as the line at security check.
We made it to the gate for our connecting flight about 10 minutes before boarding started.



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Verdict

China Southern

8.1/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.0

SkyTeam Lounge

7.5/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Services8.0

Vancouver - YVR

7.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Guangzhou - CAN

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

The check in experience, and some of soft products offered onboard stopped me from giving the experience 5 star. On the other hand there wasn't anything to complain about and the airline seems to have a process in place for short transfers.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 500226 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 371 Comments

    I remember a few years ago when I flew China Eastern to Shanghai that we were not allowed to use any of our personal electronic devices on board of the flights. I, for example, couldn't even use my ipod to listen music and was simply told to turn it off immediately, so I consider it a good thing that China allows their use now in airplane mode and it definitely makes the ride a tad more comfortable, however despite loving to fly Asian carriers, the massive disappointment for me is their check in lines as they are often way too long and slow moving as their transition to online check in is very slow due to a lot of bureaucracy in their countries (except Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore). Thanks for sharing your report. Lovely read!

    • Comment 500231 by
      VFMlife AUTHOR 9 Comments

      Glad you liked it. I had the same experience as you when flying with Chinese carriers. I'm really glad they relaxed the rule about a year ago finally.

    • Comment 500232 by
      VFMlife AUTHOR 9 Comments

      Glad you liked it. I had the same experience as you when flying with Chinese carriers. I'm really glad they relaxed the rule about a year ago finally.
      China southern at YVR did have machine check in but the UI was not intuitive and it errored out when printing the boarding pass. So I ended up going to the person anyways.

  • Comment 500303 by
    KL651 TEAM 4454 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Pretty good experience, the meals are much better than what we saw here a few months ago and the transfer assistance a huge plus.
    At this price this is good value for money

  • Comment 501042 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4948 Comments

    A really decent product for that price. The Mainland Chinese carriers are notorious for their low fares. That used to also mean iffy service, but the main Chinese carriers have really been improving in both the forward cabins and economy.

    The SkyTeam lounge YVR looks really nice! Lovely photos throughout. Thanks for sharing!

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