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Thursday, 10 October 2013

14. Flights Are Booked

Well the return flight Australia to London has been booked. The flights were a present so I suppose I shouldn't complain about the choice of airline - but China Southern?! Having flown with them last year Hanoi to Xi'an I did not want to fly with them again. They cancelled the flight, put me on an early morning flight, then had me waiting eight hours in Guangzhou for the connecting flight, and asked was that alright. Well no, it wasn't alright - put me on the earlier flight so I only have to hang around the airport for three and a half hours please. Then they changed it again - this time they had me flying out of Hanoi on the 7th June, then getting the connecting flight on the 6th June. It's like What! Are you serious? After yet more emails, finally, finally they fixed it, but not after a lot of messing around. And - you can't select your seat - you have to have one they pick. That's a real pain. I always like to arrive at the airport early, and it was lucky I do because when I checked my bag in, the person at the counter gave me a ticket with a seat number that I hadn't chosen, and didn't like so I asked very nicely and very politely would they be able to give me an seat and one that was closer to the front. NO aisle seats, they were gone. Fortunately there was one a little closer to the front of the plane. On short flight durations of two hours or so, it may not be so important if you can't get a good seat, but if you're on a long haul flight sitting in the same ruddy seat for 12 hours it will not be a happy experience if you have a rotten seat. Me? I always choose an aisle seat, I feel claustrophobic otherwise. And I loathe being down the back, I feel closed in.

China Southern has the worst website I have ever encountered. Their website really is the pits. Under "Online Services" they have Seat Reservation and says after booking go to Seat Reservation and choose your seat.

Yeah right. You try doing this - put in your flight details, name and mobile only to have a message in red say "Wrong mobile number" Eh? Excuse me, how can that be the wrong mobile? It's not! It's the correct mobile.

After contacting the China Southern office in Melbourne, I am told you can only make a seat reservation if you are in China - you need a Chinese mobile number. You can only do online checkin if you are in China and have a Chinese mobile. Being in a seat not of your choosing on a short flight is one thing but being stuck in it for 12 hours or 8 hours would be terrible.

How dumb is that? I don't know of any other airline that is so ridiculous in it's stupidity - we have people world wide booking international flights and they can't even select a bloody seat? That is just so pathetic. The airline need to get with it and move themselves into the 21st century - stop discriminating against anyone who is not a Chinese national, treat all passenger the same. If they want to attract overseas customers, you need to treat them with respect and not like a bunch of second class citizens.

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