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Chinese Airports

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Chinese Airports

Postby MrMan » June 24th, 2017, 9:11 pm

I've been to a couple of Chinese airports. Visually, they both looked pretty good. Guanzhou looks okay, probably better decorated than many of the large airports in the US. Prices are high. Neck pillows are around $20 to $24, i noticed. A relatively small pizza is $10. I spent way too much on flavorless noodles that didn't fill me up on the last trip and ended up getting some food from McDonald's. McDonald's had chicken sandwhiches, chicken patties and chicken on the bone. Some of their chicken was hot, not when you ate it, but a while after. I can usually eat hot food, but this was a little bit different burn. There were no beef hamburgers. That was kind of weird.

Anyway, there are two things that are annoying about the Guanzhou airport. One thing they can't help. It's the weather. I had a flight delayed two hours and missed the connecting flight out of New York City last time. It was also annoying because I was trying to call the US airline partner I was connecting to to arrange the actual seats numbers so I could sit with my kids. It's like no one can help you. The US carrier won't let you book seats on the website since it is a foreign ticket. China Southern cannot be reached on the weekends in the US, and I've had the problem of them not picking up the phone in China.

Another major annoying thing about Chinese airports is that China blocks Google. That means if I get internet, I can't use Google to call phones in the US. So I had to go into Skype. Skype had messed up the password when it merged with the annoying Microsoft network, so it was a hassle to get on. Then they couldn't help me.

From now on, I'm really going to try to get Korean air. The Seoul or Incheon airport or whatever it is allows Internet. Food courts allow little space for those with bags, but have a better selection and probably better prices than Guanzhou. The trip is shorter, too, and I don't have to clear customs before going to my final destination, or wouldn't have the last time, in the US.

China Southern's online service is really good most of the time. i did get a plane with no TVs for each seat on one leg of the flight, but they bumped me up to business class the first time in my life. I'd said before that was never going to happen to me, not while I had little kids. It never had before. But we finally experienced it. It wasn't that big of a deal since we weren't sleeping that much on that leg of the flight.

My experience with Korean Air's in-flight service is that is pretty good. The food is pretty good for an airline, better than China Southern's if I remember right. Stewardesses are friendly on both carriers. They still follow the practice of having young, thin, above-average-looking stewardesses on most of these airlines I've been on that have the long-haul flights. Some of the budget airlines that fly shorter international flights have young, thin, closer to average looking young women. Not that looks matter for what they do, but some of you young single guys might care if you are inclined to date flight attendants.
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby onethousandknives » June 25th, 2017, 12:15 am

Good to know. Reading too many horror stories about China Eastern and Southern airlines, I more or less decided against it. However, to Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc, sometimes you can get a cheap China Eastern or Southern flight for about $500-$600 from the East Coast of USA, whereas on other airlines it might be more close to $900-1000. I decided the Chinese air experience seemed like way too much hassle to save the money, considering sometimes it's possible booking in advance to get the flights where I want for about $700-800.

As far as airports, well, I'd bet pretty few places have worse airports than USA now. Even Vietnam had a nicer airport than all the ones in USA. The only time I got sick on my trip was eating McDonalds from a US airport. US now compared to many places overseas actually does look rather run down and haggard, and you can especially see it in airport conditions. Broken toilets, dirty bathrooms, messed up carpets, floors that haven't been waxed in a while, terminal buses full of dirt and grime. So far the nicest airport I've been in is Taoyun Airport. It's fantastic. One thing I really liked in Taiwan, was at least the 7-11 at the airport was exactly the same price, or maybe like 3 or 5NTD difference (not much) compared to ones on the street in Taipei. Same with vending machines, no massive overcharging, either, same price as outside of the airport. Meanwhile in USA an energy drink is like $5.
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby Zambales » June 25th, 2017, 2:19 am

Guangzhou airport has a similar gate layout to the one at Hong Kong. HK is far superior though. At least it wasn't built during the Ming Dynasty. :wink:

The transit times are shocking. Had one person checking passports for the whole plane. Queued for about 45 minutes. :evil:
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby Zambales » June 25th, 2017, 2:21 am

MrMan wrote:
China Southern's online service is really good most of the time.


When it's not in Chinese. :wink:
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby MrMan » June 27th, 2017, 5:06 pm

One of the stewardess on China Southern I talked to was Korean. They do a good job of being polite on China Southern, and the food is okay when compared to other Asian carriers. Some of the dishes weren't that great, though, compared to some of my experiences with Eva Air or Korean or Asiana as I recall, but those experiences were many, many years ago. All of them beat US domestic service, of course.

The in-flight service is pretty good for China Southern, if the flight isn't delayed. I had a horrible time trying to reserve my family's seats so that they were together. The office is only open 8 hours a day or so and not on weekends in the US. If you call to reserve a particular seat, they want to charge you more money, and per leg of the flight at that. This very cheap, the way US carriers are cheap about food and in-flight service.

The Guanzhou airport looks as good as any airport in the US. But come to think of it, the terminals China Southern uses on the end do not have enough seats. But in the larger terminal, there were some padded benches that could be moved around a bit so that it was even possible to lay down, unlike most airports. If you have someone or a group with you to save your seat and you get there early enough, it's okay. But if you are dead tired and get there an hour or so before the flight, that can be rough. The real downside is not being able to contact Google or Yahoo without some kind of work around that usually only locals or local expats know about. I find their local search engine to be lousy for English language searches.

I am really going to try to get Korean Air flights from now on.
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby MrMan » July 9th, 2017, 4:14 am

I had a good experience with China Southern once when I did not check a bag. I have flown it since, more than maxing out my baggage allotment, taking Delta, and having to arrange certain seats.

I do not like it. Telephone and online customer service didn't accomplish what I wanted. I had to put my family's seats together at the gate. Delta prints boarding passes that are no good on China Southern. They lost three pieces of my luggage. I think they may have delayed another bag once. I think I flew them that time.

From now on, I'll really try for Korean Air for transpacific flights. The routes work better for me, and the service off the plane is better. In-flight service is about the same on both, maybe a little better on Korean air. Lotion and cologne in the bathroom. Extra goodies during the night, like more ramen noodles or those little vegetable sandwiches and such. One flight offered Häagen-Dazs.

Something I have learned is that if Delta says they can check your carry-on baggage and get it to you at your final destination, do not trust them if they another leg of the flight is operated by China Southern.

I've also learned that either my travel agent or HR at the office don't bother to arrange that my family sits together on all flights, especially not the really long ones, just short little hops between countries. I should have asked about that earlier. I've got another flight to Australia coming up on another carrier. I've made sure to ask for an aisle seat. I may try to do that trip with just a carry-on, or use the carry on for my clothes and take an empty bag to bring stuff back in.

If you were living overseas and wanted to get some western food from Australia, what would you get? Do they have any cooked beef products that don't need to be refrigerated? What about cheese?
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby MrMan » July 9th, 2017, 4:14 am

I had a good experience with China Southern once when I did not check a bag. I have flown it since, more than maxing out my baggage allotment, taking Delta, and having to arrange certain seats.

I do not like it. Telephone and online customer service didn't accomplish what I wanted. I had to put my family's seats together at the gate. Delta prints boarding passes that are no good on China Southern. They lost three pieces of my luggage. I think they may have delayed another bag once. I think I flew them that time.

From now on, I'll really try for Korean Air for transpacific flights. The routes work better for me, and the service off the plane is better. In-flight service is about the same on both, maybe a little better on Korean air. Lotion and cologne in the bathroom. Extra goodies during the night, like more ramen noodles or those little vegetable sandwiches and such. One flight offered Häagen-Dazs.

Something I have learned is that if Delta says they can check your carry-on baggage and get it to you at your final destination, do not trust them if they another leg of the flight is operated by China Southern.

I've also learned that either my travel agent or HR at the office don't bother to arrange that my family sits together on all flights, especially not the really long ones, just short little hops between countries. I should have asked about that earlier. I've got another flight to Australia coming up on another carrier. I've made sure to ask for an aisle seat. I may try to do that trip with just a carry-on, or use the carry on for my clothes and take an empty bag to bring stuff back in.

If you were living overseas and wanted to get some western food from Australia, what would you get? Do they have any cooked beef products that don't need to be refrigerated? What about cheese?
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby MrMan » July 9th, 2017, 4:14 am

I had a good experience with China Southern once when I did not check a bag. I have flown it since, more than maxing out my baggage allotment, taking Delta, and having to arrange certain seats.

I do not like it. Telephone and online customer service didn't accomplish what I wanted. I had to put my family's seats together at the gate. Delta prints boarding passes that are no good on China Southern. They lost three pieces of my luggage. I think they may have delayed another bag once. I think I flew them that time.

From now on, I'll really try for Korean Air for transpacific flights. The routes work better for me, and the service off the plane is better. In-flight service is about the same on both, maybe a little better on Korean air. Lotion and cologne in the bathroom. Extra goodies during the night, like more ramen noodles or those little vegetable sandwiches and such. One flight offered Häagen-Dazs.

Something I have learned is that if Delta says they can check your carry-on baggage and get it to you at your final destination, do not trust them if they another leg of the flight is operated by China Southern.

I've also learned that either my travel agent or HR at the office don't bother to arrange that my family sits together on all flights, especially not the really long ones, just short little hops between countries. I should have asked about that earlier. I've got another flight to Australia coming up on another carrier. I've made sure to ask for an aisle seat. I may try to do that trip with just a carry-on, or use the carry on for my clothes and take an empty bag to bring stuff back in.

If you were living overseas and wanted to get some western food from Australia, what would you get? Do they have any cooked beef products that don't need to be refrigerated? What about cheese?
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby xiongmao » July 11th, 2017, 8:25 pm

China Southern is pretty good.

Guangzhou - well I lived there and yes it has crazy weather. If your flight is delayed by a storm then be thankful you don't get to fly through it because seriously the storms there are immense and I thought I was going to get washed away one night it was like the set of The Titanic.

Hats off to Beijing airport staff for getting me on a flight when I had 5 minutes to get to the gate!!! If they know you need to board a flight quickly they will roll out the red carpet for you.
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby Teh Amasin Spoderman » July 29th, 2017, 3:49 pm

Most Asian airports I've been through (Incheon, Hong Kong, Narita, Manila): cleaner, modern looking, strong and professional security (don't have to take off shoes unless you do precheck), more shops and amenities, basic services like wifi and luggage carts are free

Most American airports: outdated, ridiculous "Culture of Fear" TSA, the only amenities I've seen is the ususal Starbucks or Hudson News, and you have to pay $5 for a luggage cart
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Re: Chinese Airports

Postby zboy1 » July 31st, 2017, 5:42 pm

Chinese airports are much better than the States, but compared to other developed Asian countries, it's nowhere near as good.

I always fly out of Shenzhen airport when traveling, which is cosier and less crowded than Guangzhou Baiyun airport. I always avoid flying out of GZ, not only due to the size of the place, but the beaureaucracy as well.

I usually fly with Asiana or Korean airlines when traveling around Asia. Can't go wrong with those two airlines. Good food, afforfable prices, tasty food and good entertainment options make them my carriers of choice in Asia.
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