China Southern, much like many other Chinese carriers run a transit package (or stopover program) for passengers with long transit times – commonly known as a Stopover Paid by Carrier or STPC in short. In fact, some notable airlines also have an STPC policy such as Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Asiana Airlines and Turkish Airlines also have their own STPC policies.
Unlike Air China’s program, China Southern program isn’t that well-defined meaning there can be a bit of ambiguity in understanding how the program exactly works.
To be able to make use of China Southern’s Stopover program, you must be transiting through the airport because there is no shorter flight to your end destination (what is called a forced stopover) rather than because you want to see the city – Some airlines do allow you to do a stopover by choice and let you visit the city for a day or two, but unfortunately, Air China does not have a formal program in place.
To be able to make use of the STPC you must be able to obtain a visa to enter China – such as the 24 hour or 144 hour transit visa
SO LONG AS YOU MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS, AIR CHINA MAY PROVIDE A COMPLIMENTARY HOTEL, TRANSIT TO THE HOTEL AND COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST.
China Southern Stopover Program Eligible Tickets
China Southern currently operates 3 similar STPC programs out of their Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing hubs. All of which have slightly different requirements. its important to know the differences.
Type of Transit
China Southern states that a transit must:
- Connect at its Guangzhou Wuhan and Chongqing hubs; with
- A connection time no less than 8 hours and no more than 48 hours
Chongqing has slightly different rules due to the STPC on offer.
- You are eligible for a Half-Day Trip if you have a layover of 7 hours and depart Chongqing after 8pm.
- You are eligible for a full Overnight Stay if your transit is overnight and is within 48 hours.
Type of Ticket
The ticket can only be issued on China Southern ticket stock – unless it is a domestic leg then Xiamen Air can be used on a codeshare basis. Chongqing Airlines can also be used on a codeshare basis if transiting in China Sothern’s Chongqing hub.
Mileage redemption tickets are regarded as normal tickets, which apply the above accommodation standards as per passenger category and class cabin.
Airline staff and official tickets in any ticketing and reservation status are not eligible for free transit accommodation.
The flight segments before and after the transit must be in one booking.
The fare types eligible are dependant if the two sectors (the flights) are international or domestic flights.
Both of which have applicable fare classes.
For International flights, a ticket must be in fare classes
First Class : F
Business Class: J / C / D/ I / O
Premium Economy: W / S
Economy: Y / P / B / M / H / K / U / A / L / Q / E / G
This mean that the following fare classes are not eligible for China Southern STPC
Economy: V / Z / T / N / R / X
For Domestic flights, a ticket must be credited in fare classes
First Class : F
Business Class: J / C / D/ I / O
This means that all economy tickets are not eligible for China Southern STPC
What is included
There are several perks to the China Southern stopover program including a complementary hotel, transfer to the hotel and breakfast.
Prebooking and availability will be reserved until three hours after the arrival of your flight.
While there is no guarantee you will get a hotel, upon arrival you can go to the transit accommodation desk at Guangzhou airport to see if there are any availability – Prebooking is strongly advised
GUANGZHOU HOTEL RULES
VIP passengers flying in an international fare class F/ J/ C/ D/ I/ O, or Sky Pearl Gold Card members flying in an international fare class W/ S/ Y/ P/ B/ M/ H/ K/ U/ A/ L/ Q/ E/ G are entitled to a Grade A partnered hotels.
Passengers flying in a domestic fare class F/ J/ C/ D/ I/ O on intercontinental routes, and Sky Pearl Silver Card members flying in fare class W/ S/ Y/ P/ B/ M/ H/ K/ U/ A/ L/ Q/ E/ G are entitled to a Grade B partnered hotels.
Passengers flying in a fare class W/ S/ Y/ P/ B/ M/ H/ K/ U/ A/ L/ Q/ E/ G on intercontinental routes are entitled to a Grade C or D partnered hotels.
All group passengers who are eligible for free transit accommodation and fly in fare class G are only allowed to stay in double rooms.
WUHAN HOTEL RULES
Passengers classed as VIP will be allocated a 5 star hotel
Passengers with a domestic transit with both segments being first/business class, Includes any transit of first class/business class in international segments or China Southern Airlines gold card are eligible for a 4 star hotel with a room for each person.
Passengers with a domestic transit with either segment being first/business class, International-to/ from-domestic transit with the domestic segment being first/business class or China Southern Airlines silver card can have 4 star hotel with a room for each person.
All other passengers will have a 4 star hotel or above with one room for two people.
CHONGQING HOTEL RULES
Passengers will be given a 3 star hotel in the Yuzhong District
If you would like a better room you will need to pay the difference
- 3-Star Hotels: Free accommodation for double rooms; RMB 80 /person of price differences are required for single rooms.
- 4-Star Hotels: RMB 100 /person of price differences are required for double rooms; RMB 280 /person for single rooms.
- 5-Star Hotels: RMB 180 /person of price differences are required for double rooms; RMB 440 /person for single rooms.
How to Book
After purchasing a ticket, either:
- Fill out the Wuhan Free Transit Accommodation Service Application Form and send an email to the transit counter of China Southern Airlines (Wuhan). E-mail address: email@example.com, Tel: 027-65590813(working hours 07:00-22:00 everyday).
- Contact the Chongquing reservation desk on 023-966666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before 12:00 on the day before the flight departs.
- For Guangzhou you can simply book online after your reservation by going to China Southern website (Home>Online Services>Transit Accommodation). Once youarrive on the day, go to the check-in counter at Gate 50 of Terminal 2nd the counter will confirm the information about your stay and arrange for a free pickup.
You will need to provide the following: Name, ID Card Number, Both Flight Numbers, Time and Date of Arrival and Departure, Personal Contact Information Available for 24 hours.
Links to the relevant webpages are below