China Southern Business Class 777-300ER Guangzhou To New York JFK
After Hainan and Xiamen’s business class, I am curious to see how China Southern’s business class will compare especially since CZ is larger and and more established. CZ has been pushing the “Canton route” as an alternative to the ME3, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines between Europe and Australia. CZ has gained some noterity for its beverage choice in first class. Although I don’t know what the champagne is in first class, I am happy to report that the business class champagne is a Taittinger, which is what Cathay offers in business. My previous experience with CZ is that the service can be quite good but the catering is far from competitive. Before I get into the onboard service, I have to say that China Southern did a great job with their transit service for premium passengers in Guangzhou. I was arriving from a domestic Chinese flight and ground crew were waiting for us as soon as we deplaned. They escorted us to an area of the airport where mini trolleys were waiting for us. The trolleys took us through some well disguised tunnels to the international section fo the giant terminal. Our guides then escorted us through security and immigration before pointing us to the lounge and wishing us a comfortable journey. Overall a pretty seamless transfer experience by CZ.
On this flight, I had a great FA and crew who took immediate care of passengers as soon as we boarded. The FA serving my row was always smiling and very formal, addressing me with Mr most of the time. She and the rest of her crew warm and took time to chat with some of the passengers. The crew’s English level on this flight was adequate as well, particularly one male FA who had very little accent, and who I had no problem interacting in English. They were proactive throughout the flight and offered snacks and water often.
The catering continues to underwhelm and disappoint. I really wonder if CZ’s management has ever flown on another carrier and see how other airlines do their catering. My main courses were both oily, and honestly I had better economy meals with Thai Airways and Xiamen. Air Asia and Jetstar had better more fragrant meals… Still haven’t forgotten that black pepper chicken on Jetstar. Anyways the potatoes were completely soaked in oil and the meat lacked any flavor oil. My second main was especially terrible, oily, and tasted only of canned tomato sauce that I did not touch it. The fruit course weren’t popping with color and quality of Hainan’s catering. So far the two airplane meals I never finished were on China Southern.
The seat is the same as Asiana and Hainan’s A330. The window seats are very private and comfortable. Unfortunately, CZ doesn’t seem to provide pajamas or any seat covers for sleeping, which is what Cathay does but EVA and Hainan offers them. Xiamen at least offers a nice pajama set.
I like the fact that there is a mini business class cabin right behind the first class cabin. It makes the seat feel even more private, and you don’t get the sense you are on a plane with 300+ people. The only issue with my seat, which is in the last row of the mini cabin is that its near the storage closets, which means frequent foot traffic from FAs. The last row is also missing a window.
Overall I would say CZ offers good service but Guangzhou Airport’s catering continues to be horrendous. The business class meals are no where near the quality and taste of economy meals I had on Asiana, Thai, and Xiamen. However, CZ did improve their beverage offerings by offering a quality champagne. I would be curious to try out their business class flight from JFK since the catering company is different.
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