Mark Garrison flies aboard China Southern Airlines’ CZ 3027 going from Guangzhou to New Delhi.

The Plane:

Airbus A330. The plane looked a bit worn with interior walls, seats and decor all looking faded and slightly dingy.

Class: Economy Class.

Price: An $1100 round trip from Auckland to Delhi via Guangzhou.

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My seat: 52G.

Entertainment: There were 10 English language films and some international fare.

On time: The flight left 40 minutes late.

Fellow passengers: Many of the passengers on this flight were on the connecting flight from Auckland. It was largely comprised of Indians who were on their way to India to take part in Diwali celebrations.

How full: I couldn't see any free seats in Economy.

Service: Polite and unassuming.

Food and Drink: China Southern offers very little in terms of beverage choice in economy. As it was early I opted for non-alcoholic options. I also had the coffee which was already mixed with sugar and milk. I had pre-booked an Indian vegetarian meal and while it was promptly delivered it was very bland and uninspiring.

Toilets: Well maintained throughout the flight.

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Luggage: 30kg in Economy.

Airport experience: Guangzhou really needs to up its game if it wants to compete for international travellers. There is very little in terms of food and dining options. Menus for the restaurants reinforced stories I had heard of very high prices at the airport. The boarding lounge was in the basement and was dingy, although it did have a busy smoking room. Wi-Fi was not able to be accessed and I was forced to use roaming data. Passengers were bussed to the aircraft, a journey which took an incredible 15 minutes. Guangzhou airport is in the midst of a massive expansion and the airport seemed to go on forever.

Would I fly this again? No. Guangzhou airport is unappealing and having the aircraft parked at a very remote place ended up delaying the flight by 40 minutes. China Southern customer service is also only available by phoning China and the employees have a poor grasp of English.