Monday, 9 January 2012

European vacations & Interesting China Southern Airlines

First of all Happy 2012!

So Angela and I returned from our vacations in Europe... with my luggage lost by China Southern Airlines!! Eventually after 5 days I got it back with China SA only giving a one-time payment of $50AUD!! Fortunately the insurance of the luggage provided $70AUD of basic expenses per day... at least there was insurance for the luggage!

One thing that emigrants of Australia need to consider is the distance between Australia and the rest of the world... if you cannot live far away from family and home country Australia might not be the place for you. The hour difference can be huge and the flights extremely expensive if you don't buy them at least 2/3 months before or you don't flight during holiday seasons... or you can always travel in China South Airlines! (This last part was sort of a joke!)

My experience with CSA Airline Company is mixed. The staff is quite pleasant although their English can be quite limited, some of the planes are indeed a bit old but you can also be lucky and travel in a new A380, their website does not allow online check-in and their customer service should be a bit better. Their flights also seem to delay quite a bit so if you are making connections please be aware! What really surprised me was the conditions given to international passengers during the refuel stops through China territory: from lack of information on where to go, to waiting rooms that were as big as a big living room in some of the cases without a close toilet facility, to the impossibility in some cases to enter the tax-free zone even just to buy water or food, this in most of the cases just for international passengers. The cherry on top of the cake was when international passengers had to leave the plane with a sticker in the arm... without thinking I slip a dark-humor joke, "So is this the new holocaust?!", evidently the smiling China Southern Airlines staff did not understand.
I believe that CSA need to do this sort of measure since no visa is necessary but still passengers put their feet in Chinese soil, however in a specific airport which I will not mention you can actually leave the airport premises and go outside!
Well the whole experience was interesting especially during the security and X-ray check where I was normally searched by woman officers! ;-) I hope to visit China and see what else is offered.

Still my European holidays were great, from the evening dinners and pubs in the old part of Lisbon, to the drives and discovery of the unknown Algarve, to the tapas lunch in Huelva, to the bicycle rides along the Amsterdam canals. But more than the scenery was the good time spent with my father, some relatives and friends.

Here is a collection of photos:

Of course miss Europe, Portugal, the Netherlands, my friends and of course my family... but right now I believe that it is important to be away, thankfully my father is always saying "I love you, I would love to be close to you but I believe it's for the best if you keep on going in the path you're in", let's hope he and my heart are right! ;-)

Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in London, UK. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.