I have not even taken off yet and I’m already regretting my choice to fly China Southern first class. Let’s hope things don’t get worse.
Reserving a seat assignment on China Southern is worse than pulling teeth or booking an award on Korean Air. Yes, it’s that bad. I called in for a seat assignment and after getting disconnected several times, finally reached an agent (after a 20-minute hold) who instructed me to e-mail a scanned copy of my passport to an email address she provided. Only after “verifying” me could China Southern reserve a seat for me.
(And yes, of course I wasted 30 minutes trying to view my booking on China Southern’s horrific website so that I could just reserve the seat myself.)
Anyway, about 24 hours later I received an email acknowledging that I was authenticated in their system. So I called again to reserve a window seat, 2K, on my A380 flight from Guangzhou to Beijing. Done.
Until I checked in and was handed a seat assignment for 1F. What happened to the window seat? The agent at the transit counter had no clue and insisted that all four window seats were taken.
Oh well, I headed to the China Southern First Class Lounge, which is the same as the China Southern Business Class Lounge…and boy was it crowded. So crowded it took me a good 10 minutes to find an open seat.
But at lest the seat I ended up getting had a power port…I could charge my phone and laptop.
The power did not work…
Boarding time approached and I gathered up my belongings and made my way toward the exit. As the only laowai (老外) in the lounge, the agent must have remembered what flight I was on and hit me with some bad news.
AGENT: “Sir, your flight is delayed. You can have a seat.”
ME: “Oh. How long is the flight delayed?”
AGENT: “New departure time…”
She did not know the English word, but wrote it on a scrap of paper and handed it to me.
Lovely. Only a 4.5 hour delay…
(I cannot blame the delay on China Southern…it was attributed to poor weather in Beijing).
So I returned to my seat, which was already taken, and have spent the last five minutes scoping out another seat. An easy chair opened and I’ve decided to plant myself here until it is time to depart. There’s even a working power port.
Things are looking up!