Last September 7-8, 2015, I had the chance to fly using China Southern Airlines.
It was my first time to travel by connecting flight. Manila (Philippines) to Guangzhou (China), Guangzhou to Nanjing (China).
My trip totalled 15 hours, 2:35 hours from Manila to Guangzhou etd 7:10pm & 2:35 hours Guangzhou to Nanjing etd 8:25am. I arrived in Guangzhou at around 9:45pm. So i was planning to stay overnight at the airport.
Things I wish I had known when I made this flight:
1.) People in Guangzhou speak little to no English at all. I mean if you don’t know even just some Chinese, it wi be really hard if you get lost.
3.) The domestic terminal in Guangzhou is not open 24 hours. It opens 6am and closes at around 10pm. So if you are planning on staying the whole night at the airport, that might not be so feasible. Just avail of the free hotel!
4.) China Southern Air offers free hotel for passengers with more than 6 hours layover. They also provide free shuttle service to and from the airport! When you get out of the airport, you will be persuaded by many chinese strangers to stay in one of the hotels/ hostels nearby. They offer free transfers — airport to hotel and back in the morning. These are cheap hotels and you could find a room worth 100RMB a night. Do not believe them when they say you do not have a free hotel (even if the domestic airport is already closed when you reach Guangzhou). You could call China Southern Air customer service hotline and demand free accommodation if your layover is more than 6 hours (if you could speak Chinese). If not, then better yet email China Southern Air the day before the flight to confirm your complementary hotel.
5.) After deplaning, you have to have customs check your luggage in Guangzhou. This means getting your luggage from the conveyor belt checked in luggage, then bringing it to customs inside the airport (which is quite near). After this, you can now go to the nearest international counter for china southern and claim your complementary hotel room!
UPDATE as of OCTOBER 2016:
China Southern Airlines offers a Guangzhou day tour! You could go to the nearest China Southern Air counter to reserve a seat. However, this is only for passengers whose flights are from 6pm onwards on the same day.