Unless those who travel to Shenzhen or frequent Star Alliance travelers, not many travelers have heard of Shenzhen Airlines. It is a typical regional airline, which is based in Shenzhen International Airport or SZX. From its hub, the airlines fly to most domestic cities as well as some international cities, such as Bangkok and Tokyo. Since the new airport opened last year (right next to the old airport site), the airport nicely has transformed into the new face of Shenzhen with its modern-looking buildings and facilities, welcoming the Chinese and foreign travelers.
Again, Shenzhen Airlines is a regional airline. However, the quality of its passenger services is well above that of its partner Air China’s, though depending on how you would feel. If you are traveling a domestic route as a Star Alliance Gold member, you are more than welcomed to step into Shenzhen Airlines’ premium passenger service lanes, where you can experience priority check-in in its designated area. Upon check-in, you can go through the priority security check, and then you can head walk to one of the airlines’ King Lounges across the hall.
(L) Departure concourse of new Shenzhen International Airport. (C) Friendly Shenzhen Airlines’ ground agents welcome passengers. On Chinese Valentine’s Day of August 9, 2016, they distribute a rose to female passengers. (R) Shenzhen Airlines’ premium passenger lane. Its premium customers as well as Star Alliance Gold members are welcomed to use this designated priority lanes for domestic flights.
Once you step into the lounge, a friendly staff welcomes you and gives you a pager, which would let you know when your boarding time is ready. In the lounge, there is a plenty of space to find your favorite seats while you can also grab some Chinese dishes as well as a bowl of noodle soup. Food is probably not really American’s taste. At least, clean and well-organized lounge is a good place to rest before boarding.
If you are traveling internationally, the smaller King Lunge is available right after security checkpoints. Since it is regional airlines, there are far less international schedule flights than domestic ones. That makes the lounge very tiny, about one-fifth of the size of the domestic King Lounge. However, you still may feel quiet and private due to fewer international frequent travelers.
(L) Spacious domestic King Lounges are available at right after the security points and at the center of departure concourse. (C) Entry into the King Lounge is fully automated. Upon entering into the lounge, the Shenzhen Airlines staff will pass you a pager that rings when your boarding time approaches. (R) International King Lounge is smaller but fewer customers thanks to Shenzhen Airlines’ current smaller international network. Shenzhen Airlines staff will meet you when boarding time approaches and escorts you all the way to the gate and to the plane.
When boarding time approaches, the pager starts to ring and asks you to head to the gate. For the international flight, kind lounge staff tells you when that time comes and escorts you all the way to the gate. If it is the bus-to-plane boarding case, a VIP bus is waiting at the gate for all premium passengers, including Star Alliance Gold members. Upon boarding, a flight attendant may talk to you should you need any further assistance.
Shenzhen Airlines is still considered to be a regional airline. However, this airline may become more popular among global travelers as the city itself is growing faster than any other domestic cities. Currently, the airlines fly single-aisled newer B737s and A320s but it is going to fly bigger twin-aisled A330 planes in coming years to meet fast growing travel demand especially from the home city.
Plus, there are three Starbucks stores available in the airport facility, one in dining areas in check-in concourse and other two in after security checkpoints. Shenzhen airport is probably one of few mainland Chinese airports that you can grab Starbucks coffee into your planes. You can sit back and relax with your favorite coffee on the plane out of modern SZX.
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