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China Southern Airlines

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China Southern Airlines

I know there have been some questions asked about discount airline carriers and one in particular was China Southern Airlines. China Southern is China's second largest carrier and growing quite rapidly. I saw a deal on them BKK - LAX return for $575 USD offered on Vayama.com and jumped on it figuring how bad can it be? I had heard from a friend who had taken them before and he said they were alright. Here is a summary of my flights and time in Guangzhou Airport

Bkk - Can. The plane was a 737 narrow body in a 3+3 seating format in economy. Plane seemed in good shape and everything was nice and clean, Decent amount of leg room and seat width considering it was again...ecomomy. Overall a painless and comfortable flight, food was decent enough and the service staff was very attentive and warm compared to China Eastern.

Guangzhou Airport. Transit was easy enough. Didn't seem to be much in terms of shops or food courts in the airport but it was laid out easy enough. I found a nice little ramen shop that also served beer, took M/C so no need to change currency. Staff was very nice and hooked me up on their wifi. Overll a nice little stop over.

Can - LAX. A new A380 Airbus. Seating was good and service staff was friendly and attentive. Overall very confortable and considering how long the flight is not too bad.

LAX - Can Was a bit of a different story on this one. I had booked through Vayama and they had totally screwed up my seating reservations. I asked at the check in counter and again at the gate if there was an aisle seat as they had said i requested a window. I never take window seats and they sound nothing alike so "what happened"? They had told me no aisle seat available but i could move upstairs on the A 380 to a middle seat so ok.

I got upstairs and there was a Chinese guy sitting in my seat but the row in front was completely open so i sat there. Then a male stew comes over to me and tells me there is an Indian Family wanting the row and asked if i would mind moving. He told me of another aisle seat available so i said no problem. When i sat down i noticed again another aisle seat available in the bulkhead on the emergency exit row so i asked if i could sit there and was told yes. That is two aisle seats available from the "No Have" i got from ground staff at the counter and the gate. Not too accomodating! Perhaps because i booked through Vayama???

Upstairs in all seemed to be a bad choice as the seats seemed smaller and the overall room seemed to be much more cramped. The service staff was still ok, warm and friendly. The flight seemed to be warm then cold, warm then cold.

Guangahou Airport. Again transit was no problem just a few very easy steps to follow. It was not yet 6 AM when i got airside so being as shops were closed i had time for a little walk around. There are a few ramen type shops and a few convenience/sundries stores as well as a nice coffee shop. Also found a money changer opening at 6 AM but no ATM's. Also there is a paid lounge you can go into upstairs but i didn't go as my little Ramen shop had opened so i chose to sit there. It seemed as if it was an open air terminal even though it wasn't and was freezing in there so a bowl of hot ramen seemed like a good idea. On the way to my gate i noticed a Burger King and Mc Donalds as well as a few more ramen shops so plenty of choices on your way to the gate.

Can - Bkk. Again another narrow body 737. Very crowded flight and seemd to be a queue for the toilets usually about 10 people long as the plane only has 2 shitters for all of economy, maybe even for the joke of a business class that they had.. Service staff again was ok to good.



737's are not my thing i much prefer the wide body jets over the cramped narrow body planes.. A 380 seems great downstairs but very cramped in economy upstairs, avoid sitting in the upstairs if possible.
Overall very good, some very pretty stews that were friendly, too many dudes though. They offer beer and wine but no spirits. Beer is not cold but they are happy to give you a cup of ice of you so desire. Coffee was very nice however. One quirk is they can't seem to corrdinate the drink carts and food carts. First they serve drinks then about 15 minutes later the food comes out folled by another round of drink carts 30 minutes after that.


Left quite a bit to be desired. Not that it was Chinese style as i do enjoy Chinese food, but just not very good. On the Asian legs was decent but on the long hall i am glad i had the ramen in the airport as the food was pretty bad.
Easy enough and enough amenities to hold you on your layover. Schedule was also easy enough.
In flight evtertainment.
On both asian legs there were only drop down monitors showing a Chinese film with subtitles in English. No behind the seat screens. On the hop across the pond the screens were big and nice but fairly poor selection of movies and games. I was surprised for newer planes no USB charging on the seat backs as well.


For the price you really coundn't beat the deal. Overall, food aside, it was on par with Eva but far less. Granted the food isn't so hot on EVA either. Pound for pound i would give EVA an edge but not for the price. Not nearly as good as Phillipine Air but definitely a step up from China Eastern in every aspect.

Hope this review helps some. Cheers!

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Good review and interestingly ties up with my feelings. For me the issue is price and the times in relationship to connecting flights (I have the time and the patience) and this is variable. Not sure about the States but sometimes the prices are the lowest and sometime up there with the highest. I also had no problem with the planes,staff etc but also complained about the warm beer. I would fly again but they need some consistency in their pricing for me to bother.

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Flew with them in business class from Schiphol to Bangkok and they were fine for the price. Agree about the drinks not being cold enough. Warm champagne and white wine on board and even in the business lounge in CAN none of the fridges seemed to work.

Seems to be common in China.... maybe they don't like cold drinks or are too cheap to turn the fridges up.

A pal flew them LHR to BKK and back via Canton and said, they do what it says on the tin. Knowing him I expect they were the best price-wise. That was Dreamliner and 737.

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I have flown both China Eastern and China southern a few times over the last 2 years, Business class, and even in Business, you have to ask for ice for your beer , but with Business, you get a free pass to their club lounge's in the airports , there the same issue, NO COLD BEER, had to ice/water down my Heineken's !! WTF ?? The food is great though !!

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