Fine Travel Consultant Sunita Shalivahan has flown Business Class with China Southern Airlines twice in 2016 (from Auckland). For clients looking for an affordable Business Class option from New Zealand to Europe with full lie flat seats, China Southern is a welcome addition to the New Zealand travel market. Sunita updated the Fine Travel team on her most recent experience.
Business Class from Auckland to Guangzhou
From New Zealand, China Southern Airlines connects in Guangzhou to onward destinations. From Auckland, guests have complimentary access to the Emperor Lounge, which Auckland Airport also provides the public access to for a fee (and it is also the Priority Pass Lounge in Auckland).
Onboard, the service was good and felt genuine, leaving me with the overall impression that nothing was too much trouble (and I'm often asked by first time China Southern Business Class clients "how does the service compare to "tier 1" airlines like Air New Zealand, Qantas and Emirates"). One of my client reviews of his experience with China Southern can be found here.
The seats are quite comfortable and importantly convert to full lie flat beds which is a big attraction given the price for Business Class to Europe is generally under $5,000pp return during the Europe Earlybird season (passengers also receive an amenity kit and slippers).
The seating configuration on the Boeing 777 was 2-2-2 (China Southern Operates a 777 on evening flights and a 787 on day flights). For a solo traveller I would recommend the middle row or an aisle so you don't have to cross over anyone. You can raise the partition in between the seats if you are on your own.
Business Class from Guangzhou to Auckland
At check in at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport there is a separate VIP check in area, and you are treated like a VIP guest. You get priority access to immigration so best to look for priority access queue which is at the end generally.
China Southern Airlines' Business Class passengers have access to a VIP Lounge. The main meals are served downstairs so it is more like a dining hall. It has a little extension further with shower and toilets and a more comfortable seating arrangement.
The upstairs lounge area is much better with shower facility, computer rooms and a VIP room to rest. I highly recommend the VIP room especially when it comes to the layover on a flight from Europe back to Auckland as this can be up to 8 hours.
The VIP room has a double bed, TV and sofa and can be booked for a 4 hour slot. There are 2 massage chairs as well. Light refreshments are available upstairs. You can take your meals upstairs if you wish, that is fine.
All Fine Travel Consultants are experienced selling China Southern Business and First Class.