We used China Southern Airlines on a singular occasion just under two years ago, when we were travelling from the country’s capital Beijing to Zhangjiajie in the Hunan province. Like I experienced with Hong Kong Airlines, air travel in China was extremely pricey. For this two and a half hour flight we paid just over £100 one way for a single Economy Class ticket. This price included 20kg of checked baggage as well as 5kg of hand luggage as cabin baggage.
According to Skytrax, China Southern are a four star airline with an 8/10 customer rating. It’s a state owned airline and a member of the SkyTeam Alliance along with other airline powerhouses such as KLM and Delta Air Lines, meaning you either can use your SkyTeam air miles to pay for flights in China or register your points to pay for a flight with one of the others. Membership of this group of airlines gave me the confidence and peace of mind to go ahead and book with China Southern, and the ability to use air miles collected from these other airlines made it a more practical choice to make.
When using this particular airline we printed out our own tickets and baggage tags from the designated computers using our passports and booking information. There were a couple of staff around the machines to help in case you weren’t sure how to work them. From there we checked our bags at a desk where we found the staff to be attentive and helpful.
Our flight was on time, something I’ve found to be somewhat of a rarity according to other reviews. The actual boarding process was unorganised and both queues and boarding groups were ignored entirely. The cabin staff were pleasant and friendly. Food and drink were average but all to be expected from a non-luxury airline. This was a smaller plane and so seats weren’t so spacious, but Business Class options with more legroom and arm room were optional. The baggage collection process was extremely speedy and the small size of the airport in Zhangjiajie meant we were off the plane and had our bags in less than ten minutes.
Overall an airline that delivered on service and efficiency. The only downfall was the disorganisation of the boarding and alighting process but I don’t think this is so much the airline’s fault as its just what happens on flights in China.