Thanks to rolling delays due to poor weather in Beijing, I ended up spending seven hours in the China Southern lounge in Guangzhou. It wasn’t great, but could have been worse.
Guangzhou is a behemoth airport and it took me 15 minutes to find the lounge…no joke. Whether it ever happens, this airport is ready for a massive influx of flights. Simply huge.
I finally found the lounge and was welcomed by two very nice ladies at the front desk to pointed me to my left toward the China Southern Business/First Class side of the lounge. I’m not sure if the “VIP” side was better, but I certainly noticed right away how crowded it was.
Some of my pictures below are from later in my stay, when crowds dipped down. As you enter the lounge, you encounter a large dinning area with tables and chairs, a buffet, and a live cooking station. I wasn’t hungry, but some of the food looked good…while some of it looked quite bad. And what I was surprised to see a very popular baked potato station. Is eating baked potatoes common in China?
Coffee, juice, water, and alcohol were also available.
Seating was annoying because the lounge was so crowded, power ports were sparse, and even when available, I encountered two “dead” ports that did not even function.
Eventually, I waited out the delay in a small room (too crowded to include a picture) that included a semi-reclining easy chair and a plug. Internet worked, albeit speeds were slow and the Great Cyberwall is always annoying, especially as VPNs have become more difficult to use.
Restrooms and showers are available.
Boarding announcements were made in both English and Chinese for delayed flights (which was just about every flight on this stormy night).
One man decided to shave in his seat…
I go back to my opening paragraph. It wasn’t great, but could have been worse. The crowds were bad. Wi-Fi was slow. But it certainly beating waiting out the long delay in the gate area.
Objectively the very same pictures could be described as a highly functional business-class lounges, with reasonable food, decor, etc. The space looks very airy. Easily hands down a lounge that is miles ahead of any major US airlines (a reasonable comparison since CZ also has a highly percentage of domestic clientele), and second only to the CX lounges in nearby Hong Kong, for example.
You didn’t see how packed it was. I think my assessment was very fair.
I’d say United’s Polaris lounges are on this level.
No way. United’s lounges have a la carte dining (western and eastern food), a great cocktail bar, and barista-made coffee. Plus, I’ve visited all the Polaris Lounges and never seen them this crowded.
And you probably won’t find a guy shaving his head (or clipping his toenails) in the Polaris Lounge…
The baked potato section is for the white people.
Not based upon what I saw, unless you want to argue that the dozens of Chinese people eating baked potatoes were trying to be white…
I’d prefer a cat on a seat rather than a guy shaving one -or many- of his body parts.
Chinese people enjoy eating baked sweet potatoes… as do many others.
Baked sweet potato is a thing in Japan, not sure about China.
Sweet potato (along with taro and yam) is very popular in China indeed, especially for a breakfast. It’s considered to be very healthy.
It wasn’t baked Matthew, it was steamed.
You could have asked for private nap rooms, they have 4 of them, if memory serves me well.
The VIP lounge is inferior (no live cooking station, bit smaller selection of food, no alcohol), it’s designated for elite members of China Southern’s Sky Pearl Club. As a F/C passenger you were entitled to visit them both.
From the pictures you attached, I would say this was not very crowded like you empathized several times due to the massive delays and cancellations! I saw this type of crowd even at Toronto Pearson Airport both Air Canada domestic and international lounge sometimes. I am surprised that this would surprise you so much based on your extensive experience!
I take pictures during lulls in the crowds. In order to respect the privacy of others, you will not see pictures at its most crowded points. Trust me, the lounge was packed.
You want to eat potatoes when the rest of the food, the presentation, the hygiene, the people flying with China Southern is terrible, so easy
Thanks for a very helpful review. It’ll help me decide whether to use china eastern (which I gather uses the same lounge).
I guess it was very busy due to the storms, but the staff still managed to keep the food coming out which was a bonus.
When there are delays it’s always nice to be able to take a leisurely shower, and I love lounges which provide decent showers for this reason.