China Southern economy class was very survivable. That’s neither a compliment nor a slight. It was a reasonably priced, reasonably comfortable 2.5 hour flight.
I landed in Bangkok after a redeye on Thai Airways. I had no boarding pass and could not check-in online, but had no trouble checking in and collecting a boarding pass from the transit counter. After adding my Delta number, I requested an exit row seat and was obliged. After enjoying breakfast and shower in the Oman Air Lounge, I approached the gate for boarding. The gate area was largely deserted: boarding had begun early. Please note this flight was in 2016.
China Southern 362
Bangkok (BKK) – Guangzhou (CAN)
Friday, June 17
Depart: 08:40 AM
Arrive: 12:25 PM
Duration: 02hr, 25min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 41C (Economy Class)
Since we are talking about a 2.5 hour economy class flight, rather than dissect every element of in-flight service as I do with a premium cabin report, I’ll make four observations about the flight.
1. The plane was pleasantly filled, the seat was pleasantly comfortable.
Thankfully, I had an exit row, with excellent legroom. The flight appeared about 70% full, with many middle seats open. The middle seat next to me also stayed open. Seats are reasonably padded and do not contain a personal IFE screen.
My seatmate had a snoring problem. I don’t mean to poke fun at him, but he sounded like a jackhammer and snored from the moment we took off to the moment we landed…
2. The meal was exactly what we used to complain about on domestic flights.
30 minutes after takeoff, a hot meal was offered. Fish or chicken were the choices, and I chose chicken. The chicken was extremely fatty, the bread stale, and the mayonnaise kept me away from the vegetables. But the fruit wasn’t bad.
This meal reminded me of why people people complain about airline meals. The food is a lot more than you can even buy on 2.5 hours flights within the USA, but the quality was very poor.
3. The lavatory had a real bar of soap.
Hearkening back to the old days, a single bar of soap was present in the rear lavatory. No liquid soap was available (the built-in dispenser had nothing inside of it):
4. The plane wasn’t in great condition.
Toward the end of the flight, we hit a bit of turbulence and oxygen masks dropped from several rows. It made me wonder if they would actually work in case of emergency.
We landed on time in Guangzhou to a very hot, very humid day. Unfortunately, we parked at a remote stand and had to be bussed to the terminal.
For $180, I scored an exit row seat with an open middle on a direct flight. The flight departed on-time, landed on-time, and included a complimentary meal. Honestly, it was fine. Don’t hesitate to use China Southern if you must. Just don’t expect anything special.