China Southern airliner

China Southern Airlines

Founded in 1988, China Southern Airlines came into being following the restructuring of China’s Civil Aviation Administration. Since its formation, it has acquired and merged with several domestic airlines to now be one China’s major three airlines with China and China Eastern Airlines. China Southern is a member of SkyTeam and has a distinctive red kapok flower as its emblem.

Contact details

What are my China Southern check-in options?

Mobile boarding passes and priority boarding
Online check-in
Priority boarding
Flying with children
Seating for infants and children
Unaccompanied children
Flying while pregnant
Senior fares
Group bookings
Disabled access and medical equipment
Pets and service animals

Online check-in

China Southern Airlines provides a secure and real-time online check-in service. You can check in online with your booking details here. Before you go, be sure to check out our handy guide of 10 things to do before your flight.

Priority boarding

Sky Pearl Gold Member or SkyTeam Elite Plus members can take advantage of the SkyPriority service, which offers prompt advancement through airport checkpoints.

Flying with children

Infants less than 14 days old cannot fly onboard China Southern Airlines, but if you plan to travel with your infant aged between 14 days and 2 years old, note that you can carry them on your lap and that they cannot occupy a separate seat. The infant fee is 10% of the seat price paid for by the adult accompanying the child. Each adult may only travel with one infant. Passengers with additional infants must purchase child tickets for each additional infant, in which case these additional infants may occupy their own seats. You can also bring one foldable stroller into the cabin per passenger, along with any baby food and necessities onboard, but you must show them to security control staff when boarding.

Seating for infants and children

Free bassinets are offered to babies without seats on flights longer than 3 hours on aircraft types A380, A330-300, A330-200, B777A, B777B, B787 and B777-300ER (B77W). You will need to reserve this service at least 24 hours before your flight via the airline’s website, or call the service center or apply in person at the local ticket offices affiliated with China Southern Airlines. Babies younger than 12 months and weighing less than 25 pounds may have a bassinet if they are less than 25.5 inches in height. Car seats are not permitted in flight.

Unaccompanied children

An unescorted child refers to a child aged between 5 and 12 years who are traveling without the escort of a parent or an 18-year-old traveler in the same cabin. Children below 5 years old without an adult supervising them are not allowed to board any flight. An unescorted young person refers to passengers aged between 12 and 16 years traveling without the escort of a passenger aged 18 years or older, and who have applied for unescorted services.

For these unescorted minors, CSAir only provides an unaccompanied minor service when no flight transfers or multi-segment flight routes are involved. To apply for the service, you will need to contact the airline’s customer service team nearest to you. For a list of local branches, click here and select the Country/City drop-down boxes to select your nearest office.

Note that the unescorted child must be escorted to the departure lounge and an adult must be named at the arrival point to collect the child. You’ll need to provide the address and phone number of this person to CSAir. For more guidance on how to prepare children about to fly solo, refer to our kids flying solo guide.

Flying while pregnant

China Southern stipulates the latest stage of pregnancy that expectant mothers can fly. In most cases, pregnant women who have entered the 33rd week of their pregnancy are not permitted to fly unless they apply through the ticket sales department while making the booking and provide medical certification that includes the following:

  • Name and age of passenger;
  • Date of pregnancy;
  • Flights and dates of travel;
  • Whether they are fit for air travel;
  • Whether special onboard care is required, etc.

The medical certificate must be issued within 72 hours prior to the flight departure and signed by the doctor before validation.

China Southern doesn’t accept pregnant women who are expecting to give birth in four or fewer weeks from time of departure. Here’s our guide to flying while pregnant.

Group bookings

If you’re traveling with a tour group (generally 10 or more people) when making a vacation booking through the China Southern, indicate this when booking and airline staff may be able to negotiate group ticket fares and hotel rates with their suppliers. Group bookings through for flights is not offered as a separate service, however.

Disabled access & medical equipment

China Southern Airlines provides a variety of services for disabled travelers. These include:

  • Electric wheelchair check-in.
  • In-flight wheelchair for passengers who are unable to walk. This service is only available on long-haul international flights departing from or for Guangzhou on China Southern Airlines (and does not codeshare flights).
  • Stair-aid wheelchair for passengers who can enter/leave cabin and walk to/from seat but need assistance when encountering stairs.
  • Wheelchair on airport apron for passengers unable to walk long distances but can use stairs and walk to a seat.

Disabled-aid devices with storage facilities are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If storage facilities and space are not available, the disabled-aid devices will be checked free of charge. More info about traveling with medication can be viewed here.

You will need to apply at least 48 hours in advance for any of these services. You can do so here with your booking details. Further details regarding the airline’s disability policies can be found here. We also have guides on flying with disabilities and traveling with medication.

Pets & service animals

If you plan to travel with your pet or service animal, you will need to apply to China Southern’s service center when booking your seat, or at the latest 72 hours before take-off. The service is limited to one pet or one pair of birds in checked baggage per passenger. Cats and dogs must be placed in an individual cage, while a pair of birds may be placed in the same cage. Pets cannot be taken into the cabin except for guide dogs. China Southern Airlines does not currently accept live pets for onward transportation, and pregnant pets may not be transported.

You will also need to obtain and provide the following certificates:

  • Quarantine Certificate and the Rabies Immune Certificate issued by the P.R.C. Animal and Plant Quarantine Department.
  • Exit and entry or transit permits.
  • Any other certificates regulated by the entry or transit country.

Check out our guide to flying with pets here.

What are China Southern Airlines’ baggage allowance limits and fees?

Carry-on size
Checked luggage size
Extra and overweight baggage charges
Musical and sport equipment

Carry-on baggage allowance

Carry-on baggage refers to bags you can stow in the overhead baggage compartment or beneath your seat. The limits for carry-on bags vary depending on your travel class, destination, cabin location and whether a child is traveling with you. For international flights:

  • Economy and Business classes: 1 piece weighing no more than 11 pounds.
  • First Class: Up to 2 pieces both weighing no more than 11 pounds.

The dimensions of each piece cann

ot exceed 45.2 inches.
For a full overview, click here.

Checked baggage allowance

For domestic flights, the free baggage allowance for each passenger including checked and carry-on baggage is as follows:

  • 88. 18 lbs for First Class
  • 66.13 lbs for Business Class
  • 44.09 lbs for Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers
  • 22.04 lbs for infants
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For a full overview of the international checked baggage allowance based on your arrival and destination points, as well as your fare class, click here.

Extra and overweight baggage charges

Musical and sport equipment

You can have one set of ski gear transported as checked luggage for free if the total weight of the ski gear is no more than 50.7 lbs, and the total linear dimensions are no greater than 80 inches.
Excess baggage fees will apply on surfboards with perimeters of more than 118 inches.

Golfers may transport one set of golf equipment free if the total weight of the equipment does not exceed 50.7 lbs. The linear dimensions of the golf bag must not exceed 62 inches.
For a full overview of what is permitted regarding sporting equipment and their respective size and weight restrictions, click here.

What additional fees does China Southern charge?

Booking fees
Flight cancellation policy
Travel insurance

Booking fees

Contact the airline directly to determine the applicable booking fees for your flight destination.

Flight cancellation policy

China Southern applies the following cancellation policy on international flights:

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Travel insurance

China Southern offers its own E-Trip travel insurance. It covers the following:

  • Passenger accidental death and dismemberment
  • Passenger accidental injury medical costs
  • Flight and luggage delay
  • Loss and damage of checked luggage
  • Loss of carry-on belongings

For more  coverage details, click here.

What amenities does China Southern Airlines offer?

In-flight entertainment
Frequent Flier Program

In-flight entertainment

China Southern provides over 600 hours of audiovisual entertainment on their newer aircraft. Movies, TV programs and audio programs are all accessible. For more details about the latest offerings, click here. The movies are updated every 3 months.


China Southern Airlines provides Chinese and Western-style food in flight, as well as specially ordered food you can reserve 24 hours before departure by calling the sales service hotline or contacting the local sales office. You can also order special meals for children and those with allergies. The food and beverages served onboard are free of charge.


China Southern Airlines has partner VIP lounges available at selected airports. They are open to First Class and Business Class ticket holders as well as Sky Pearl Gold Card and Silver Card members. For more info about China Southern Airlines amenities, click here.

Frequent flier program

China Southern Airlines offers the Sky Pearl Club frequent flyer program which provides members with extra services and benefits throughout China. As a partnering member of the SkyTeam rewards program, the Sky Pearl Club allows members to earn FFP miles on flights with other SkyTeam member airlines as well.


China Southern’s fleet of A330 Aircraft have the following Economy Class seating specifications:

  • Configuration 2-4-2
  • Seat pitch 32 in
  • Seat width 17 -17.5 in

The seat pitch is 35-37 in with 40% more legroom in Premium Economy class.

What about missing or damaged baggage?

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage

You will need to contact a China Southern Airlines or a China Southern Airlines agent and request they fill out a “Baggage Transportation Accident Record” if you find that your luggage has been lost or is delayed upon your arrival. You will be compensated for the delay at the point of origin, any stopover locations or the point of destination. You will receive a tracking number to track if your luggage has been located. If your luggage is damaged or lost, the “Montreal Convention” stipulates that the maximum liability is a fixed amount of 1,131 SDR.

Fun fact

In 2014, China Southern carried more than 110 million passengers annually – one of the few airlines to do so. Only Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines have achieved this feat.

Image source: Mark Harkin, B-2735 Boeing 787 China Southern via Flickr CC BY 2.0

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