Business Class Review: China Southern Airlines

Baiyun Airport Guangzhou China
Arriving at T2 Baiyun Airport

Flight Details

This review of the Business Class experience with China Southern Airlines is based on the following flight we took on the 3rd November 2019:

  • Flight: China Southern Airlines CZ301
  • Path: Guangzhou (CAN) to Sydney (SYD)
  • Plane: A300-330
  • Duration: 12.25 hours
  • Seat: 3A (Window Seat)
  • Configuration: 2-2-2

Ground Experience

Before I get into the lounge and flight experience, let’s start from the ground!

We had an 8:15am flight from CAN to SYD and arrived at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Terminal 2 around 5:30am for our flight. This was before staffing hours so we helped ourselves to the Guangzhou Airport self-service kiosks.

Will checking into our flight using the self-service kiosk

Unfortunately this means that we can’t exactly review the priority check-in experience. However, we can say that the airport was basically empty at that time and checking into our flight at the kiosk was very quick and seamless.

Since we were there early, we had some time to walk around and enjoy the floral China Southern Airlines installation in the middle of the airport.


Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

This lounge is for business class flyers, Sky Pearl gold/silver card holders, SkyTeam Elite Plus members and VIPs who are due to board flights at Gates 19-24. It’s one of the largest lounges in China with over 200 seats and massage chairs.

According to the China Southern Airlines website, the front desk provides services such as flight information, passenger ticket alterations, membership services and business functions.

Sitting in the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

What’s included in the lounge:

  • Complimentary WiFi (no password required)
  • Buffet serving Chinese and Western Food and a Noodle Station
  • Bar, tea and coffee
  • Chinese Tea Art Display
  • Shower facilities
  • Child minding room
  • Massage chairs
  • Luggage storage units
  • Power sockets on most seats to charge devices

There are no boarding announcements in this lounge so make sure to set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t miss your flight.

The luggage storage section is great for those carrying around bulky items. Will and I didn’t have any check-in luggage so we were hauling around an overnight bag until we found these lockers.

Luggage Storage China Southern Air Lounge
Luggage storage units inside China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

In terms of the food, since we were there bright and early – the buffet was basically free rein for us. We helped ourselves to dim sum, pork buns, stir fried vegetables, rice, noodles, steamed sweet potatoes and congee (there was even a healthy wholemeal version of the congee too!).

Dining Options China Southern Air Lounge
Buffet section in the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

Staff also come around with a dessert cart and the yoghurt topped with Lotus biscuits is simply divine! I wish I took a photo of it before basically inhaling the entire thing.

Will made a bee-line for the Noodle Station when it was his turn to get up for food. After all, who could resist an on-site chef making you a nice hearty bowl of noodles before a long flight home?

Noodle Station Chef Sky Pearl Lounge
Chef making the noodles at the Noodle Station
Noodle Station China Southern Airlines
Noodle Bar Menu next to the congee pot

There were plenty of toppings to go with the congee and noodles too:

Noodle Condiments Sky Pearl Lounge
Condiments for the noodles and congee

The cantonese Shumai (Siu Mai) was a popular buffet option so naturally we hovered over to that steamer after picking up the fresh bowl of noodles.

Dim Sum at China Southern Air Lounge
Shumai at the buffet

And voila, restaurant quality food at the China Southern Airlines airport lounge!

China Southern Air Lounge Noodles
Pork buns, shu mai and noodles at the Sky Pearl VIP Airport Lounge
Shu Mai at the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge
Noodle Bowl from China Southern Air Lounge
Bowl from the Noodle Bar

When our bellies were happy and satisfied, it was time to lounge around.. on the lounges… in the lounge … literally:

Massage Chair at China Southern Air
Will getting comfortable in the massage chair

While Will was getting a bit of shut eye (which was well deserved considering we did about 11 hours of walking the day before) I opted for some quiet time in the private reading room around the corner.

Reading Area at China Southern Airport Lounge
Annie in the reading area at the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

If you have any work to catch up on then you can also access the internet in one of the office workspace too.

Office Area Sky Pearl Lounge
Office space area in the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

For those that have little ones, there are child minding services next to the reading area:

Child Minding Services at Airport Lounge
Child minding area in the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge

We had a pretty relaxing experience at the Sky Pearl VIP Lounge. It’s definitely the front runner lounge option at Guangzhou Airport.


Business Class Flight

Now its finally time to board our flight! We always have a sigh of relief knowing that we can hop straight into the Sky Priority Line to board the plane instead of the regular long winding queue.

Cabin & Comfort

Business Class Flight Guangzhou China Southern Air
Annie in the Business Class slippers enjoying a pre-flight drink

The A300-330 has a total of 30 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. I was seated in 3A which is a the window seat on the left side of the cabin. Will was next to me in 3B and although we didn’t have a partition between us, the spacious seats offered plenty of space for us to feel right at home.

Leg Space in Business Class China Southern Air
Will being impressed by the leg space for his long legs

With all that leg room in front of us, we were eager for that seatbelt sign to switch off so we could lie back in our flatbeds!

China Southern Air Flatbed
Flatbeds on the China Southern Airlines Flight

Every seat in the business class cabin fully reclined into a flat bed and they were extremely spacious, comfortable, stretch-worthy and put us straight to sleep.

Amenities

To assist with our flight comfort, we were also provided with the following amenities:

  • Blanket
  • Headphones
  • Slippers to take home
  • Amenity Kit
Salvatore Ferragamo Cosmetic Pouch
Amenity Kit by Salvatore Ferragamo

The amenity kits were grey pouches by Salvatore Ferragamo.

These aesthetically pleasing amenity kits included:

  • Salvatore Ferragamo Body Lotion
  • Salvatore Ferragamo Lip Balm
  • Ear plugs
  • Toothbrush and tooth paste
  • Hair brush
  • Cotton pads and cotton tips

In the bathroom, was also a selection of APPELLES products (and we all know how much I love APPELLES!) including lotion and hand wash.

Food & Service

We were extremely well fed with the following meals included:

  • Pre-departure drink: Alcoholic, non-alcoholic, tea and coffees
  • Prelude: Cereal or yoghurt
  • Entree: Quesadillas, Dim Sums, Congee, Beef Noodles
  • Snack: Fresh Fruit and Bread
  • Lunch: Noodles or rice, soup, salad, congee
  • Afternoon Tea: Macarons, scones, sandwiches, tea
  • Dinner: Noodles or rice, ham or or pork soup, garlic bread
  • Dessert: Ice cream
  • Snack: Mixed nuts

Here’s a preview of the menu (wish we took photos of the full menu!)

China Southern Business Class Menu

Pictured below were our favourite dishes from the flight. Will chose from the regular menu while I opted for the Oriental Vegetarian pre-selected meals.

Entree at China Southern Airlines
Entree of Dim Sum and Congee
Entree China Southern Airlines Vegetarian
Vegetarian Entree of Noodles, Salad and Soups
Afternoon Tea on China Southern Air Business Class
Macarons, Scones with cream and jam and tea for afternoon tea
Dinner China Southern Airlines
Vegetarian Oriental Dinner of rice and congee

In-flight Entertainment

Every seat was fitted with a 25cm personal TV screen with over 150 multi-lingual shows and 1200 program options ranging from music, TV, children’s entertainment and games.

Magazine Break
Needing a phone break after all that food

The categories for the TV Shows included:

  • Hollywood
  • Chinese
  • European
  • Asian
  • International
  • Classical
  • Kids

And in the TV Section there were:

  • Highlights
  • Cultural China
  • Air Lecture Hall
  • TV Drama
  • Variety Show
  • Documentary
  • Business

I ended up watching my all time favourite movie Up (and embarrassingly crying a bucket load!) and the 2019 version of the Lion King which was one of the brand new addition to the movies section (also cried another bucket load).

And here’s teary eyed me after a long flight of great food, comfortable cushion and tear jerking movies:

Flying Business Class with China Southern Airlines
Arriving home safe and sound in Sydney

Overall, it was an extremely comfortable long flight home. Time went by really fast with all the in-flight entertainment, frequent meals and comfortable beds we were provided with well exceeded our expectations.

This was my second time to China and my favourite Chinese flight experience to date.

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