published: 2017-03-11 00:43:30 Filmed on Nikon D5500 with Sigma F2.8 lens. After being to Beijing several times, I have learned Beijing’s pollution can be unpredictable. Sometimes it can get real bad and other times the air quality index is in the 10s or 20s (NYC is usually in the 30s to 50s). In the span of 5 hours, Beijing’s PM2.5 air quality suddenly improved to the 10-20s from the 200s. The air quality remained better than NYC for about 4 days. I was living in the Conrad Hotel in Beijing and had some gorgeous views of the sunrise. For the flight out of Beijing I was originally scheduled to be on an A330 flight. However, aircraft swaps occur often and I was downgraded to an A321. Premium check-in in China is interesting in that you have these separate VIP lounge even for domestic flights. It was very smooth and had absolutely no wait time thanks to the large number of staff. China Southern has a VIP lounge that is shared with Xiamen, whereas China Eastern has a more luxurious looking check-in lounge. From the lounge there is a pathway on the floor that leads you to the security area for premium passengers. It is a very smooth process. Rather than a single large lounge for premium passengers, there are multiple small lounges in T2 of Beijing split between China Southern and China Eastern. A lounge attendant is at the door to welcome you. The lounge can get very crowded but there is plenty of staff to constantly take away garbage and refill the food and drinks. There are various hot dishes at meal times, and yogurt, cold fruit, cereals, and various sugary snacks are served around the clock. There is also an area where you can order fresh noodles, soups, and dumplings. The lounge certainly isn’t the most impressive, but there is ample staff and food options. Luckly for me there was no delay with this flight, and boarding was called on time. Onboard I found myself on a 3 cabin A321 with business, premium economy, and economy class available. The issue with the seats is that there is no seatback entertainment and also no cellphone usage as usual. Business class has IFE stowed in between the seats. Service wise was excellent for this short flight. The FA quickly welcomed passengers with predeparture drinks which included an interesting cocktail made out of beer. It was sweet and pretty good. Wet scented towels were given out and collected. She even took out the slippers and laid them neatly next to me and encouraged me to get comfortable. As usual, I found the service on CZ to warm and friendly. How about the food then? For the meal on this flight I choose the beef noodle, which is a China Southern specialty recommended by the FA. I really liked it. The portion was very generous and it came with nice garnishes on the side. I really like the generous amounts of cilantro and pepper. The beef was also generously portioned. Overall a simple quick flight with CZ with friendly service and good food.