Our flight was cancelled and rebooked for 6 hours later. We did not get notification of this change. My gluten free meal was not on the flight that was changed. All the airline reps that I spoke with were very unhelpful.
Announcements were made in Japanese, English, and Thai. We were warned about turbulence several times in all languages. Flight to Bangkok from Tokyo had a USB port to charge my iphone, but flight back to Tokyo did not. Service from cabin attendants was excellent. One apologized twice for running out of the lunch selection I wanted to have, even though I was happy with the chicken curry. Courteous staff and pleasant experience, even with a competitive airfare. I would fly JAL again.
Boarding was easy. clean plane, crew was very friendly. I was very concerned though, when we banked left and did a complete circle in the air. An explanation from the captain would have been terrific. I made sure I was the last one to leave the plane and asked him about it when I saw him at the exit. He told me what happened but I would have liked to know while it was happening. Besides that, the coke and pretzels were divine. :)
China Southern's economy seats are spacious for legroom and seat width and the entertainment system is well stocked with movies/TV shows/music. Some entertainment systems will also com with a USB port to charge your device (if it's allowed to be used). All seats come with pillow and blanket to keep you warm throughout the flight.
Any mobile devices that can be used as a cell phone are not allowed to be on or used while on board the flight. This includes mobile phones in flight mode (China Southern explained to me that this is Chinese law), so don't expect to do anything with your mobile phone which means you're basically using their entertainment system. They will stop and tell you midflight to turn off your phone.
Food was horrible, no soap in the bathrooms, and boarding/deboarding in Guangzhou was a test of patience. Having been through Guangzhou twice, despite there being multiple gates for planes to pull into for arrival, they'll always deplane you to the tarmac where buses will be waiting. They'll then drive you to an arrival's terminal where you're forced through a long line that leads to a China Southern desk for them to stamp your boarding pass to wait for your next flight. This line was 30 minutes long for our plane alone and increased as more arrived. Boarding was the same where you get on a bus, stand for 10-15 minutes while they drive you to a plane that was for whatever reason was attached to another gate that no one had access to and you've climbing stairs to board again.
The airport itself is devoid of many food or coffee shops and what's available is expensive and of low quality/taste. Expect to see endless construction, many unclean bathrooms where the toilet seats don't even fit the toilet they've been attached to, and lack of soap in the bathrooms.
Flight attendants didn't speak English; no amenities provided (toothbrush, eye kit, etc.) like Etihad and Qatar provide in economy. There weren't a lot of meal options. There should be double the movies and music offered given that you can go through all of the offerings in one or two legs of a trip. I had four. BBC news didn't work on any leg of the trip and the Japanese news was in Japanese only, no English.
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