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“Will never fly this air line again”
Review of China Southern Airlines


Reviewed July 17, 2018

The service was good. The flight was so long they only serve us only three times with no snacks. The food was also awful, There was no variety to the food selection. When asked for a bottle water, I was given a cup of water. There is no legroom or armrest for such a long flight. The seat was not comfortable, they plane was dirty including the bathroom and the blanket was smelly.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank mcpherson876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed July 16, 2018

My flight was for 7:40 am departure so I arrived at 5:40 and stand in line until the check-in counter opened at 6 am. The check-in agent’s English is really good and I have no problem breezing through luggage check in and w/o speaking any Chinese. Security is also quite efficient with many open lines.

The plane is a Boeing 737-800, nice and clean. Basic no-nonsense set up (overhead video) but have more than adequate overhead luggage compartment. The seat is comfortable and the pitch is set wide enough that one can work on a 14 in laptop with enough space to type comfortably. Their safety video follows the recent global trend of being creative. As in other Chinese airline safety video, it has the warning about removal of sharp objects before jumping onto the inflatable pontoon flotation device.

The meal is the basic box + hot entree combo that is common in many Chinese domestic flight. It is more than that offered by the US domestic flight.

Departure and landing were both on time. I clearly see the difference between the people from Wuhan and from other cities in China when they exit the plane: there is less rushing and people seems to be more respectful of fellow travelers. The one hectic, low point was the bus transport from the plane into T2 when we landed in PEK. Luggage handling was efficient enough.

The price (USD 93 from Trip.com) was right for what I expected and I would travel this flight on China Southern Airline again. I would rate this flight 3.5 star.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank PhuVanTu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 16, 2018

I flew with China Southern because I couldn't get a flight due to peak season. The flight overall was good with friendly staff, very clean restrooms, regular drink services and quick boarding on the plane. I was disappointed that the in-flight entertainment screen didn't work and on a long haul flight it can get really boring. I noticed other people having issues with their screens not working. The food was awful and I was served plain pasta for breakfast and dinner. I would definitely recommend packing snacks/food especially if you're on a long flight.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank teahanX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 16, 2018

Overall: I had major problems with this airline that resulted in me having a $3000 charge on my credit card for a month and missing an intercontinental flight home.

This was without a doubt the worst airline experience I've ever had. China Southern has a few redeeming qualities (see below) but overall the airline caused me a massive amount of stress. The underlying problem was that their website does not work for me in the US, and it all went downhill from there. I can imagine that the airline works perfectly well in China, but I would not recommend it for US travelers.

Negative:
-- The China Southern ticket prices advertised on Kayak, Expedia, etc. are wrong: flights were listed as roughly $300 cheaper than they actually were. After spending several days trying and failing to buy tickets online, through Kayak, Expedia, and several versions of the CSAir website (more on that later), I had to buy them over the phone.
-- It takes an unreasonably long time for China Southern agents to do anything over the mail. I was on the phone with them for literally 3 hours to buy tickets. Every time they had to look something up, even something simple, there would be silence for 10 or more minutes.
-- China Southern consists of various entities: a "global" website, a Chinese website (which can be viewed in English), phone agents in the US, phone agents in China...and none of these entities communicate with each other. Because I bought my tickets over the phone, I could not access information about them on the website (even if it was working). Later, when I encountered more serious problems, I often could not get answers from the available agents because some other office had issued the tickets.
-- The ticket China Southern issued to me was a pdf in IATA abbreviation format that was nearly incomprehensible.
-- I was traveling with a companion who was going to go on to Australia after Malaysia, and she had a one-way ticket; her ticket out of Malaysia was not yet purchased. We should have realized that this would be a problem, in hindsight. But China Southern did not tell us until 20 minutes before our flight that she would not be able to board the plane without a ticket to Malaysia. I then had to purchase her a Business Class China Southern ticket (refundable) for almost $3000 for her to get on the plane.
-- It took over 1 month and many phone calls (from Malaysia, so they had to be over skype) for me to get the $3000 refunded. This was partly because it took me a long time to figure out which agency I needed to call to get the refund.
-- I was doing research and had some excess baggage. Apparently China Southern charges an excess baggage fee for each FLIGHT, not each journey, so my 3-flight trip back to the US would have cost $450 for an extra piece. I DHLed it instead.
-- China Southern moved the time of my flight out of Asia 2.5 hours earlier. Apparently they emailed me about this (in one of their difficult to understand emails) some time back in February, but in July when the time came for the flight, I had only my original pdf to refer to. (They never issued me a new pdf ticket). Of course, because I bought the ticket over the phone, I could not check in online. They did not send me a check-in reminder or update email before the flight. Therefore, I had the wonderful experience of showing up to the airport at 1:30am and finding out that my flight was departing in 15 minutes. Of course, I did not make it. I was then rebooked on a flight that got me home 2 days later after a lengthy phone call.

Positive:
-- One thing I can say about China Southern is that although the agents are extremely slow, they seem trustworthy. I did feel confident throughout that I WOULD get my $3000 refund, even though the process was irritating. The agents who helped me buy that ticket were helpful at the gate even though the flight was about to depart. And I appreciated that I was rebooked relatively quickly when I missed my flight, and that it was not held against me that I didn't know about the time change (I didn't have to pay any fees).
-- My new itinerary after my rebooked flight involved 1 night staying in Guangzhou. The airline provided me with a hotel voucher for that night, and I stayed in by far the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed at, which was awesome. Some of CSAir's itineraries from the US to Asia are advertised as being 50+ hours; if, as I suspect, these involve a built-in night at the hotel courtesy of the airline, these tickets would be well worth buying for those who have time.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Teresa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 16, 2018

Checkin at Brissie International was easy / normal, the flight left 30 mins late, but no problem as the second leg (from Guangzhou) was also China Southern, and there was plenty of time for the transfer.
Leg room was okay, seat seemed a little narrower, entertainment system was consistent with other international carriers. The food was so-so, and NO beer?!?
All in all, not the best of economy flying, but nowhere the worst either.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Graham R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC