Flight Review: Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

  Cruising overnight in Premium Economy China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou to Brisbane isn’t just an upgrade—it’s a sanity saver.  Because let’s be real—nobody wants to spend a red-eye flight crammed in like a sardine.

When the opportunity arose at the gate to upgrade my Economy ticket to Premium at a great price, I didn’t have to think too hard to decide.  Premium economy offers everything from extra legroom that won’t have you knee-deep in regrets to meals that don’t leave you questioning your life choices.

I was flying back from a whirlwind trip around the fabulous city of Changsha and exploring the amazing landscape of Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province, Central China with Wendy Wu Tours. Join me as I reveal why China Southern Airlines premium economy isn’t just an upgrade—it’s a sanity saver.

Where is Guangzhou?

Guangzhou, often referred to as Canton, is a bustling metropolis located in the southern part of China. It is the capital of Guangdong province and sits strategically on the Pearl River, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and significant economic influence, Guangzhou is one of China’s major trade and transportation hubs. The city is renowned for its impressive skyline, bustling markets, and delicious Cantonese cuisine, making it a fascinating destination for both business and leisure travellers.

Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

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The seat back China Southern AIrlines

The seat back -Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

Why Choose China Southern Airlines Premium Economy Over Standard Economy?

The upgrade to Premium Economy China Southern Airlines was not something I expected, but when it was offered at a tempting price at the gate, it was too hard to refuse.  Choosing premium economy over a standard economy on China Southern Airlines offers improved comfort and a better travel experience. The seating is more spacious with extra legroom and increased recline, which assists in a more restful journey.

The seat tray -Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

Seat tray - Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

Premium economy breakfast tray.

China Southern Premium Economy VS Economy Guangzhou to Brisbane

Boarding and Exit

Ooh, walking down the priority boarding lane for the Guangzhou to Brisbane flight was a nice feeling. I admit to giving a few high fives to my fellow travellers and waving to those still languishing in the standard Economy queue. 

Premium economy sits in front of standard economy on the plane, so technically, exiting the plane is quicker, but the urge to exit is strong, and passengers tend to crush forward into any available space.


My nine-hour, 10-minute Guangzhou to Brisbane flight in a premium economy seat left Guangzhou at 9.25 pm and was scheduled to arrive in Brisbane at 8.25 am the next day. Having flown the first leg of the journey from Sydney to Guangzhou on a nine-hour, 40-minute economy night flight, I knew what to expect.

It wasn’t a bad flight, but sitting fairly upright with just a small foot rise for your legs is not going to be much fun.

China Southern Airlines’ premium economy cabin offered a noticeable upgrade from standard economy. The seats were more spacious with extra legroom, which was particularly appreciated during the long flight. The seats also reclined further back compared to economy class, allowing for a more comfortable sleeping position. Each seat had a footrest and adjustable headrest, enhancing the overall comfort during the flight.

The extra legroom, increased recline, and improved seat amenities made a significant difference in comfort, especially on a long overnight flight. I was able to put my feet in a higher position using the food rest.

Dinner - Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane
Breakfast -Premium Economy China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Brisbane

Above: Breakfast and dinner as served in China Southern Airlines premium economy.

Food and Beverage

In premium economy, there was a choice of main courses, accompanied by fresh salads, bread rolls, and dessert options. Throughout the flight, beverages including wine, beer, and soft drinks were available on request.

While the economy meal on the flight from Sydney to Guangzhou was fine, it didn’t fill me with any joy.  However, the upgraded meal service in premium certainly had higher-quality food and beverage options. 

Above: Breakfast and dinner as served in China Southern Airlines economy.

Dinner Economy China Southern Airlines Sydney to Guangzhou
Breakfast Economy China Southern Airlines Sydney to Guangzhou


The service provided by the cabin crew in both sections was attentive and professional throughout the flight. They were proactive in ensuring that passengers were comfortable and had everything they needed.

Amenities on China southern airline premium economy

Premium economy and economy passengers on China Southern Airlines are provided with amenities such as a blanket and a pillow,

Each seat is equipped with a personal entertainment screen with a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games.

The main difference in premium economy was the amenities pack, which includes an eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb and earplugs.  There are also some slippers.

The amenities pack on China Southern Airlines Premium Economy

Premium Economy Ammenities China Southern Airlines Sydney to Guangzhou
Premium Economy Slippers China Southern Airlines Sydney to Guangzhou
wifi China Southern Airlines Sydney to Guangzhou

The Verdict – Is it worth paying for premium economy China Southern Airlines?

For me, yes!  This was the end of a busy trip, and I was tired before I started the long train, bus, flight, and flight journey home. It took me about 30 hours from hotel to home. 

Flying with premium economy China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou to Brisbane was a pleasant experience. The airline offered enhanced comfort, improved dining options, and attentive service, which well justified the additional cost compared to standard economy.

For travellers looking to upgrade their flying experience without splurging on business class, premium economy on China Southern Airlines offers a worthwhile compromise.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is one of China’s busiest and most modern aviation hubs and the main hub for China Southern Airlines.

Located in Guangdong province, this sprawling airport boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including extensive terminals equipped with a glut of dining and shopping options to cater to international travellers.

The airport’s efficient layout and user-friendly signage make navigation a breeze, while advanced amenities like free Wi-Fi, comfortable lounges, and dedicated rest areas ensure a pleasant travel experience.

One of the more surprising features was the face identification process, which showed your boarding gate by your face.  Watch the video to see how it works.

Plan Your Trip?

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Kerry Heaney
Kerry Heaney,
Freelance Writer and Content Producer,
Publishing Editor, Eat drink and be Kerry.

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