Ethiopian Airlines check in staff made a pigs-ear of my check in process. First they claimed I'd missed the flight (my ticket said 2335 on 15 Dec, they changed flight to 0010 on 16 Dec, but claimed that as my ticket was for 15 Dec my booking was invalid). They proceeded to re-issue me with a new ticket a (for the 0010 fight on 16 Dec), but then also tried to change my connecting flights by one day - even though they should remain the same (in effect the flight was only put back by 35 minutes, so why change a booking for connecting flight by 24 hours?). Fortunately on arrival in Shanghai, air china check me onto the correct flight. However, to compound matters, my luggage has gone missing and, bizarrely, Ethiopian airlines issued all foreign passengers with landing cards for Japan - not China!
Punctual departure, early arrival. Cabin crew was very attentive. Plenty of drinks to keep hydrated. Lots of movie and entertainment choices.
Seat cushioning was worn out...not so comfortable for a long flight. Limited leg room. Unless you were seated at the beginning rows of the food service, there was only one food choice left. Also ran out of snacks for the back rows.
Food was better than most. The crew was nice. The flight departed promptly.
The touch screen didn't work, and the bar below the chair that one can step on couldn't hold itself up, and I constantly had to reposition it. The audio port of the seat next to me didn't work either. The plane definitely needs a renovation.
The service was pretty good. I only had an hour to board my next flight, so flight attendants moved me up towards the front of the plane so that I could exit earlier than others. I was able to make it to my next flight.
There was a 3-hour delay after all the passengers boarded. We were all sitting inside the plane without any explanation. At first, the captain blamed airport for not giving any updates on their departure, and a flight attendant that I talked to blamed the local temperature, which was a total nonsense. Later the captain announced that there was an issue with the engine.
My layover was supposed to be 4.5 hours, but it got cut to 1 hour due to the unexpected delay that they had not clearly explained. I had to run to catch my next flight. When I got to my final destination, I found out Air China did not transfer my bag on time, so I had to file extra paper works in order to receive my bag two days later.
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.
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