Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Flight check: Guangzhou to Auckland on China Southern Airlines

Lincoln Tan flies on the first China Southern Airlines Dreamliner flight to Auckland.

The China Southern Airlines 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Greg Bowker
The China Southern Airlines 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport. Photo / Greg Bowker

The route: Guangzhou, China to Auckland. 9310km.

The plane: Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Class: Business, in a cabin with 24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

The seat: 188cm seat pitch with 55cm width that reclines into a flat bed. Comfortable, but beware of items slipping down the side of the seat while you sleep.

Price: From $4900 return on business class, but economy starts from around $1500.

On time: Flight CZ305 took off on time from Guangzhou, but the faster aircraft cut flying time and landed in Auckland nearly 90 minutes ahead of schedule.

Fellow passengers: Executives of China Southern, an Auckland Airport senior official, media and additional hand-picked crew for the inaugural flight.

Entertainment: A selection of the latest movies, Asian, Chinese and classics shown on a personal 38cm screen. The aircraft provides audio and video on demand, and also has a power socket and USB port.

The service: All smiles and attentive, with the crew happy to chat in both English and Mandarin.

Food and drink: A good selection of Western and Asian meals. However, the crew had little knowledge about their wines, referring to them as "red" or "white".

The toilets: Upmarket hotel feel complete with a fresh flower display, and luxury toiletries.

Luggage: Three pieces of checked luggage weighing up to 32kg plus 7kg carry on.

The airport experience: Business class passengers enjoy a red carpet check-in at the airline's new Sky Pearl lounge at Baiyun International Airport.

Would I fly this again? I'm already planning the next family trip on China Southern's Dreamliner.

- NZ Herald

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