In Transit – China Southern Airline

When I was younger, I LOVED flying. To the point that I wanted to be a flight attendant when I grew up for a long while. I was mesmerized by takeoffs and landings (I always asked for the window seat) and I LOVED watching movies and sleeping on the plane and going through turbulence and even airplane food (I know, I know, I was a fool).

It’s not like I fly super often, but when I do they tend to be longer flights, like from LA to somewhere in China. As some of you may already know, I am currently in Melbourne, Australia, and to get here I had to endure a whopping 30 hours of traveling (cries). For some reason, the ticket was cheaper if I flew first to Guangzhou, China, and then from Guangzhou to Melbourne. Go figure.

I flew China Southern for both legs of the flight, so I decided to write about my experiences with the airline. Here we go.

So the first flight was a tiring 15 hour flight from LAX to CAN (Guangzhou, China). I asked for a window seat because I love staring outside the window and plus, you won’t be bothered as much. This turned out to be a mistake because I had to awkwardly squish through two seats to get to the aisle to go use the lavatory. On flights I try not to drink a lot of liquids (which is bad, stay hydrated and drink water! Do as I say, not as I do) because I hate using the restrooms, but it is pretty unrealistic to think that I won’t have to go even once during a 15 hour flight…

Preparing for the 15 hour flight. Sigh.

The flight was in an A380, which is a huge, double-deck airliner – in fact, the world’s largest passenger airliner. Pretty neat. I was on the bottom deck, not that it makes any difference….

I was traveling alone and was seated next to a stiffy looking Chinese couple who ignored me for all of the flight. Ah well. The crew seemed to be all Chinese, and to be honest, their English was not very good, although the service was decent.

Now let’s talk about FOOD! 😀

Chicken and rice, with potato salad, ham, fresh fruits, and yogurt
Chicken and rice, with potato salad, ham, fresh fruits, and a wheat dinner roll

As soon as the plane reaches its intended altitude and turbulence settles down, the flight attendants come down the aisle with refreshments, then a meal, and then refreshments again. The choices were, I believe, chicken or pork. I picked chicken. Really, airplane food is really nothing to be excited about. I don’t know what I was so excited about when I was younger. Not much to say about this meal except I didn’t eat the ham – too salty – and bread was dense and cold which took all the joy out of eating carbs, something I normally enjoy.

Breakfast meal. Egg fritatta with potatoes, fresh fruit, yogurt, and a croissant
Breakfast meal. Egg fritatta with potatoes, fresh fruit, yogurt, and a croissant

I forgot to mention that my flight departed at 10:30 pm, was scheduled to land in Guangzhou at 5:30 am, and so it was complete darkness for all of the flight. The second meal came about two hours before landing. As soon as the lights turned on I knew that food was on its way, so I straightened up in my seat and eagerly awaited my breakfast. I chose the “egg” option which turned out to include a strange block of egg-frittata… thing (for lack of a better word) which was flavorless and not very appetizing, some potatoes which were decent (but you can’t really mess up potatoes in my opinion…), fresh fruit, yogurt (which tasted kind of weird, but maybe it’s just me), and a croissant.

I spent the rest of the 15 hour flight trying to sleep (I could only do so after taking allergy medication that induced drowiness) or entertaining myself with watching movies. The first one I watched was “We’re the Millers”. I’ve seen trailers of it and it seemed interesting, and it was just as funny as I thought it would be. The plot centers around a man who is on a mission to smuggle marijuana from beyond the border and enlists some seemingly random people to act as a family in order to avoid suspicion. There were definitely some hilarious moments, and it’s the kind of movie that I wouldn’t necessarily pay $10 to see in theaters, so I’m glad they offered it on this flight.

"We're the Millers". So funny! I recommend it.
“We’re the Millers”. So funny! I recommend it.

I also watched “The Odd Life of Timothy Greene” which I did not enjoy as much, mainly because by then I was restless from sitting on my butt for five hours straight and the story goes at a slower pace so I was losing interest and focus. But… the ending definitely made me cry. It’s a cute story.

Among others I watched were “Race to Witch Mountain”, “This is The End” and “Tron Legacy”, though I did not pay as much attention to them because I was trying to sleep. Also, all of these movies are in English, but with Chinese subtitles, which was annoying. I actually really like watching movies and TV shows with subtitles, because otherwise sometimes I miss what the characters are really saying. I watched some TV as well – CSI and America’s Next Top Model, among other shows.

The next and final leg of my flight was from Guangzhou to Melbourne, Australia. I think this flight was around 10 hours. Sigh.

Scrambled eggs with mushroom, weird fish sausage(?), a very oily hash brown, with fruits and a croissant
Scrambled eggs with mushroom, weird fish sausage(?), a very oily hash brown, with fruits and a croissant

This was the breakfast offered on the flight. The hash brown was REALLY oily. Like, after I ate it, there was a puddle of oil left on the tray. Ugh.

Chicken with rice and vegetables, weird mousse cake, dinner roll, salad
Chicken with rice and vegetables, weird mousse cake, dinner roll, salad

The final meal of my flight was another chicken dish. The notable piece of this meal was the cake thing. I say thing because I couldn’t really figure out what it was. It had a strange jelly-like texture, but it was actually pretty decent taste-wise.

So, in the end, I departed LAX on the night of the 28th and when I arrived in Melbourne, it was 9:30pm on the 30th. Did I really spend two days “in transit”? Well… with the 30+ hours of flying and waiting at the airport, and the time difference, it sure seems that way.

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