There I used to be, sitting in Premium Financial system on China Southern Airways for the very first time for a 15-hour flight throughout the ocean. So what’s the very first thing I did? Kicked off my footwear and placed on the complimentary slippers! Time to stretch out and get snug for the lengthy flight forward.
China Southern is predicated out of Guangzhou, China (CAN), and has been a SkyTeam associate with airways like Delta, Air France, KLM and extra. However the airline is leaving SkyTeam on the finish of 2018. So earlier than that SkyTeam partnership ends, I made a decision it was time to hop on China Southern to earn some last-minute Medallion Qualifying Miles and Medallion Qualifying Dollars with Delta to hit standing for 2019.
Maintain studying to see what it’s wish to expertise the additional room, a couple of added luxuries, and a few disappointments in China Southern’s Premium Financial system cabin.
All About China Southern Airways
China Southern is likely one of the largest airways on the planet, with 750 cargo and passenger planes. It’s performed an enormous position in China’s aggressive aviation business enlargement within the final a number of years. And we’re continually seeing nice fare offers from the U.S. to Asia on China Southern by means of our Thrifty Traveler Premium service, so your probabilities of getting onboard are solely rising.
China Southern won’t win massive awards, nevertheless it’s a firmly four-star airline as ranked by SkyTrax, securing a spot among the many prime 15 carriers in 2018.
With hubs in each Guangzhou (CAN) and Beijing (PEK), China Southern operates loads of flights inside China but in addition has service out and in of the Center East, Africa, Europe, North America, and Australia. The airline flies into Guangzhou from a number of U.S. gateways, together with Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), amd New York Metropolis-JFK (JFK). Not fascinated with visiting Guangzhou or Beijing? No drawback – join onward all through Asia or elsewhere on China Southern.
Sadly, the times of flying China Southern to earn Delta SkyMiles or standing are quickly ending. The airline introduced final month it will depart the SkyTeam alliance, shortly constructing nearer connections with American Airways as an alternative. There’s hypothesis China Southern will attempt to be a part of the Oneworld alliance with American, however that’s removed from last.
I used to be capable of snag this a seat in Premium Financial system from LAX to CAN for $1,000 roundtrip. That was simply $200 or so greater than a normal financial system seat on the time, however don’t be stunned if China Southern needs much more. Fortunately, I used to be versatile on dates and occasions and capable of snag the flight at a fantastic worth.
Thrifty Tip #1: Use Google Flights to seek for your flight by narrowing down airways and sophistication of service to seek out the most effective offers!
China Southern’s Premium Financial system cabin is specified by a 2-Four-2 configuration on their Boeing 777s, compared to their Three-Four-Three configuration in financial system. And it’s an enormous distinction.
Meaning your seat is greater than 1 1/2 inches wider than the usual financial system seat. Whereas which may not sound like a lot, it makes an enormous distinction. For comparability, the usual financial system seats on China Southern (17 1/5 inches) are literally skinnier than Spirit airways (17 Three/Four inches). So the additional room was welcome on this 15-hour flight.
The cabin was sectioned off from each the enterprise and financial system sections. This added some further privateness between the cabins. There have been solely six rows in Premium Financial system – fewer neighbors imply fewer potential distractions! The Premium Financial system cabin additionally had its personal rest room, so I not often needed to wait to make use of the restroom.
This won’t be the most recent Premium Financial system seat out there available on the market, however the additional legroom and seat width have been key to getting off the long-haul flight not utterly beat. My companion and I have been seated in one of many two-seat sections alongside a window. That left loads of elbow room between our seats – no knocking elbows together with your neighbor right here!
I’m 6 ft tall, so the additional legroom in Premium Financial system actually paid off. With 38 inches of legroom, my knees weren’t even near being cramped up towards the seat in entrance of me. However one other main advantage of Premium Financial system was having a footrest. It’s a minor addition, however my flight expertise was considerably extra snug with this function. Time to sit back and attempt to loosen up for the subsequent 15 hours.
Earlier than this flight, I didn’t place big worth in having a footrest. However with the ability to recline with the additional leg room and put my ft up drastically improved my sleep, consolation, and general expertise. In case you ask me, the additional area in Premium Financial system is nicely well worth the further value.
Leisure & Facilities
When arriving at your seat, you’ll discover a pair of slippers, shoe horn, water bottle, headphone, a small amenity package, a pillow, and a blanket. Every seat additionally had its personal studying mild, in fact, a seatback TV to observe films, play video games, and watch your flight path. One factor to notice: the films all had subtitles that would not be turned off.
It might sound easy, however the amenity package had all the fundamentals you want on a 15-hour flight: a toothbrush, toothpaste, sleep masks, comb, and earplugs. All have been essential gadgets to have – particularly if yours are stashed away in your keep it up!
The slippers have been additionally a pleasant contact. I took benefit of those when utilizing the footrest to keep away from having to relaxation my ft immediately on the metallic bar.
Having by no means flown China Southern earlier than, I didn’t know what to anticipate from their crew. Mainland Chinese language airways don’t have the perfect popularity. However I used to be pleasantly stunned! The crew was pleasant, accommodating, and by no means hesitated when their assist was wanted.
In comparison with my experiences in different financial system cabins, service in China Southern Premium Financial system was a particular step up. The crew was attentive – possible a results of the far fewer variety of seats to maintain monitor of in Premium Financial system.
One shortcoming, although, was with drink service. Alcoholic drinks can be found at no cost to all cabins on worldwide cabins, and that’s true with China Southern. However these drinks have been solely on the cart for the primary drink service. So as to get a second glass of wine three or 4 hours into the flight, I had to make use of my name button and ask a flight attendant instantly.
On the finish of the flight, the lead attendant went by means of the cabin row-by-row, asking about our flight and the way they might have improved the expertise. It was a much-appreciated gesture after spending the final 15 hours underneath their care.
Briefly, my expertise with China Southern’s service was on par with what one would hope to anticipate with any airline!
The seats, facilities, and repair have been all an enormous enchancment over financial system. However that stopped brief at eating.
For those who’re anticipating a premium eating in China Southern Premium Financial system, don’t maintain your breath. We have been served the very same meals as the usual financial system cabin. And whereas there was loads of meals quantity-wise, the standard of it left a lot to be desired. Protected to say I gained’t be asking for these recipes at residence.
Each meal was served with a aspect of fruit, dinner roll, Nutri-Grain bar, and dessert. Fortunately, I used to be capable of save each bars from my meals for snacks later within the flight.
Through the first meal service, I opted for the Beef Goulash served with potatoes. This was by far my higher of the 2 meals, nevertheless it was respectable at greatest. The Goulash had a mediocre taste. Add within the potatoes, and it mixed for a “not horrible” meal. However nothing greater than that.
I had hoped for some enchancment within the second meal, however was disenchanted proper as I peeled off the foil off my container. We have been served some commonplace sides with our meal together with our important course. This time I went for the hen breast meal. The under-seasoned hen breast doused in a bland sauce had me pining for the mediocre Goulash from our first meal.
Throughout every meal service, there have been three protein decisions: hen, beef, or fish, paired with both potato, rice, or noodles. I discovered the meals extraordinarily bland. For those who don’t need to be on the mercy of the airline on your meals, be ready to pack your personal.
Many airways are upping their recreation in Premium Financial system on the subject of meals. Delta’s new Premium Choose cabin has some critically high quality meals.
However there was nothing “premium” about my eating expertise with China Southern. Our drinks have been served in plastic cups, we nonetheless ate with the usual plastic cutlery and out of aluminum tins, and the meals itself was mediocre to dangerous.
Lengthy story brief: Don’t ebook this ticket for the meals.
There have been upsides and drawbacks throughout my flight in China Southern Premium Financial system. However on the finish of a 15-hour flight, the extra $200 or so I spent on the seat was properly value it for the additional area. That improve helps so you possibly can hit the bottom operating after a long-haul flight throughout the Pacific Ocean!
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Lead photograph credit score to byeangel by way of Flickr
Editorial Word: Any opinions, analyses, critiques, or suggestions expressed on this article are these of the writer’s alone, and haven’t been reviewed, accepted, or in any other case endorsed by any card issuer.