In a private dining room inside The Palm‘s DTLA location, I had a chance to learn about China Southern Airlines and have a great lunch with a fascinating group of other travel writers. Little known to me before the meeting, China Southern is actually the world’s third largest airline, operating from their hub of Guangzhou, the business capital of China. The airline connects SFO, JFK and LAX with Guangzhou and offers some great luxury on their new B787, 777 and A380 aircraft, with four-class service on some flights.
China Southern is the third largest airline in the world by traffic volume, and ranks No.1 in Asia measured by passenger volume and fleet size. From its main hub at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China Southern has an extensive network worldwide and flies to 193 destinations in 41 countries and regions every day. As a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, China Southern Airlines cooperates with 19 other SkyTeam members and provides passengers with over 16,000 flights to over 1000 destinations daily
China Southern uses the wide-body A380, B787 Dreamliner and the B777-300ER. Beginning in June 2015, they have increased flight frequencies from three North America gateways (JFK, SFO, LAX) to Guangzhou. It now offers 70 weekly flights between North America and China. In June they launched the first direct flight between San Francisco and Guangzhou and made the San Francisco route a daily service. They also increased flight frequencies from four flights weekly to 10 flights weekly between New York and Guangzhou. The airline offers a free overnight Guangzhou stay for some travelers along with a visa-free Guangzhou city tour for transit passengers.
Aside from the information and delicious food, it’s always fun to dine with a group of travel writers. We all shared stories of our previous adventures to China, some going back decades. It was quite exciting to meet adventurer Richard Bangs and SATW president Paul Lasley.
Lunch was wonderful, starting with a spicy lobster bisque. I’m not usually one for seafood but the spicy broth and the fresh chunks of lobster made it something I couldn’t pass up. For my main course, of course I went with a steak. This was The Palm’s filet mignon, served topped with a cognac lobster cream sauce. Between you and me, I think it was the lobster bisque base, but regardless it was also delicious. The steak, which I ordered medium, was quite perfectly prepared and reminded me why The Palm is so great. It’s the steak and the quality of the meat.
Dessert was a tangy key lime pie, topped with some blueberries. It was a great end to a wonderful and informative lunch.