China Southern Airlines has been expanding its service in and out of Australia. With prices that almost seem too good to be true, more and more travellers are giving this Chinese airline a try – and you should too.
Here is a China Southern Airlines review of our China Southern Business Class flight from Brisbane to Beijing.
China Southern Aircraft: Airbus A330
China Southern Route: Brisbane to Beijing via Guangzhou
Class: Business, seat 3D
China Southern Seat pitch & width: 64 inches of legroom; 20 inches wide
China Southern Seat Configuration: 2-2-2 for a total of 24 business class passengers
China Southern Luggage Allowance: Checked baggage 40kgs (up to 3 pieces) plus carry-on
China Southern Airlines Check In: Check in was speedy and I was on my way to immigration in less than five minutes.
Scheduled flight time: 11 hours flight time plus 2hr 45min hour layover in Guangzhou. Travellers from Brisbane reboard the same aircraft which is handy if your flight is delayed. There’s no danger of missing your connection to Beijing on this route.
China Southern On-time Performance: Around half an hour late due to congestion at Brisbane airport.
China Southern Lounge: Access to the Brisbane Air New Zealand lounge is offered to Business Class passengers. China Southern’s Guangzhou lounge is a stunning, two storey designer den of transiting pleasure. Don’t walk – run – when you land for the transit stop enroute to Beijing!
China Southern Aircraft Condition: Showing a few signs of wear and tear but otherwise well maintained.
China Southern Comfort: Loads of legroom and the seat in front felt like it was miles away. Myriad seat adjustment buttons kept me comfortable (and happily entertained for the first 30 mins after takeoff) and ensured a comfortable flight. Fluffy doonas were provided but the ‘lie-flat bed’ isn’t really flat (it reclines to 160 degrees) and you tend to slip down a bit. I slept well on both flights there and back but then again, if sleeping were an Olympic sport I’d be bringing home gold for Australia.
Being able to lie down was a huge plus and the incline didn’t bother me but other travellers may not feel the same. More storage space and/or seat compartments would have been handy. However, with so much space between my toes and the seat in front, there was plenty of room to stow all my things and more.
China Southern Entertainment: I loved having so much legroom but this meant the entertainment screen embedded in the back of the seat in front was a long way away. The selection of English language offerings was also somewhat limited. I was glad I had brought along an iPad loaded with some favourite movies.
China Southern Service: Efficient rather than warm on the flight over; positively charming on the way back. The crew on the return flight were a delight and couldn’t do enough for their passengers. English is a second language for most of the crew so a little patience goes a long way.
China Southern Food and Beverage: Wines were predominantly European and offered for tasting on request and the crew circulated through the cabin with water on a regular basis. Meals were delicious, fresh and light with an Asian focus. I enjoyed everything except for a dish of goose rice which wasn’t my first choice. Or my second. It seemed that only a few of each course had been loaded so my order was a rather pot luck affair. Almost everything I chose from the menu seemed to have run out. That said, this did make for a few nice surprises but I won’t be ordering goose rice again anytime soon.
China Southern Amenities: Pouch containing quality moisturiser, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs and a seriously good eye mask.
China Southern Verdict: China Southern may not have all the Business Class bells and whistles of some other airlines but the tickets are priced accordingly.
If you have a hankering for the ‘pointy end’ of the plane and are prepared to overlook the occasional shortcoming, China Southern business class flights are worth a look for your next long haul trip.
Disclosure: The writer travelled with assistance from China Southern Airlines.
If you’re looking for things to do when you arrive in Beijing, we climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked a section of the Great Wall of China wild wall, and did a tour of Beijing. We also have some Beijing travel tips to make your time in Beijing more enjoyable.