Airline: China Southern Airlines
Flight: CZ326 to Guangzhou then CZ307 to Amsterdam
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300 then A330-200
Route: Sydney to Amsterdam via Guangzhou “Canton Route”
Seating: Business class
Flight time: nine hours, 10 minutes to Guangzhou then 12 hours, 50 minutes to Amsterdam
In Sydney, the check-in was quick, smooth and friendly with helpful directions to the business class lounge. In Guangzhou, the SkyPriority service gave us preferential check-in and boarding – a real plus.
Never having flown with China Southern Airlines, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than that they’d more than likely have every angle covered and they pretty much did. They upped the ante by giving us a menu as soon as we were seated and offering the choice of when you wanted your meal served. Throughout both of the flights the crew were totally attentive.
Food and beverage
What fresh Chinese favourite did I have to eat on the way over? That’s right, a delicious beef noodle and bok choy soup. Thick, piping hot udon noodles with a crisp green salad which just hit the spot. There was a reasonable variety of wine on offer, but it was amusing when the hostess gave us a taste of the chardonnay and, when we nodded, proceeded to pour a glass of red – a slight cultural difference that added to the experience.
I’ve been assured that the airline is working on improving the selection and number of movies available on the personal screens. TV programs in English were also a bit restricted so anyone with a good book, a laptop or some work to do would definitely have found the time.
This route involved two separate flights. On the first leg onboard an A330-300 the seats reclined to 180 degrees, then on the next leg onboard an A330-300 they reclined 172 degrees. Despite this there was very little difference between them and both went back into comfortable flat beds. But with the 11-button control panel it took a bit of practice for myself and my travel companion to figure out how to get the footrest to raise without the seat going back… and then how to get the seat back to stay upright without the footrest sliding away. I’m sure it happened to all of us onboard and was very funny.
The lack of movie choice was disappointing.
On time performance
No delay for any reason across both legs and the flights departed and arrived on time.