The perks of air travel extends from hotel standard airport amenities, numerous shopping choices and even lay over options on stop over countries. One that I was able to enjoy was when we flew with China Southern Airlines going to the Dominican. We had around 13 hours of stay before our next flight and the China Southern graciously offered us a lay over option.
As Adam Coleman, a fellow travel blogger, would put it, “Airlines are being used to enticed travelers to choose their country as a possible country to visit by offering layover programs.” and true to its purpose it was one perk that a traveler could really enjoy.
So we filled up our SkyPearl Club Application form, Immigration slip and took the service bus into the Southern Airline’s partner, the Skyview Hotel at Guangzhou , China. Rationale: Passenger’s are not allowed to stay at the Guangzhou Airport for a long time, that’s why the airline offered us a layover at the hotel. Our immigration cards were noted for transit and lay over purposes only.
After we checked in, we did some free walks around the nearby area to explore some part of the city. Guangzhou is the third biggest city in China, next to Beijing and Shanghai. It is also known as Canton and hailed as the capital of Guangdong Province. I was actually impressed that even on a rush hour, traffic is not a major problem in the city of 14.5 million people. Towering skyscrapers, elevated railways and organized public utility highways are what amazed me at first glance. A clear view of China’s progressive giant economy, plus points for the organized traffic situation.
Meanwhile after some sight seeing we decided to head back to the hotel. Took a light snack and coffee at the hotel cafe and relaxed into the rest bed before the service bus brought us back to the airport for our next flight departure.
It was a good lay over experience, since we came from a long flight and will take another 15-hour flight to New York and then to the Dominicans. This is my thank you note to China Southern Airlines for the rare opportunity to go out and see a glimpse of China.
Airport Lay over Notes:
1. In long gaps between flights, it’s always best to ask your airline service provider if there are available lay over options for your flight. That way you could still enjoy some rest while waiting for your next flight.
2. Always be mindful of the time, always clock in on your schedule to avoid delays or worst miss your flight.
3. Keep important documents at hand, just in case authorities of your host country would need to verify your identification in instances when you decide for a quick tour around the city.
4. As much as possible try the food! It’s always a bonus to be able to taste the local cuisine of the places you visit. (This and Number 5)
5. Bring your international credit/debit cards for ease of transactions in case you want to buy something. Cash in US Dollar is a plus and another plus if you get to exchange it with the local currency.