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Guangzhou Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 169 reviews
3/10
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2/10

"transiting international to domestic was a nightmare"

(United States)

I transited through Guangzhou twice on the following routing - New York - Guangzhou - Beijing, and then Kashgar - Urumqi - Guangzhou - New York. My experience transiting international to domestic was a nightmare. My flight from New York landed at 5.25am, and my flight to Beijing was scheduled for 8am. I barely made it due to a number of bottlenecks that really shouldn't exist in any international airline hub. 1) Landing. Instead of the aircraft taxiing to a jetbridge, we parked at a remote stand and the airport used 3 buses to bring us to the terminal. As I was seated in the back of the plane I was on the third bus of three which meant that we had to wait for every last passenger to leave the aircraft, including those who needed extra assistance in using the rickety stairs to exit the plane - total time standing on the bus waiting for the last passenger to finally board - 15 minutes. 2) Immigration. After reaching the terminal passengers transiting to other international flights were routed through one door, while those of us transiting to domestic flights were sent through the main immigration area. Luckily my flight landed just ahead of 2 or 3 other flights and so there were maybe 50 people ahead of me in the "foreigner" line. In spite of this it took almost 30 minutes to clear immigration. There were only four immigration officials on duty and the airport employee responsible for managing the line kept diverting Chinese passengers to "our" line (in spite of Chinese passengers having automated e-channels and a number of their own immigration officials, and basically zero line). By the time I got to the front of the line there were approx 150 anxious foreigners behind me waiting. Total time spent waiting - 30 minutes (had I been 10 minutes later it likely would have been well over an hour). 3) Baggage. All information I'd read told me I'd need to collect my bags an then recheck them after customs. This appears to no longer be the case but I spent 15 minutes waiting until I asked. - 15 minutes 4) Security. Before transiting to my next flight I had to wait almost 40 minutes in line to get through security. They let one passenger "in" a a time who then has to empty his bag of electronic devices, put it through the machine, get through the metal detector etc. before the next passenger was allowed to start the process. Incredibly inefficient and first class passengers (we assume) kept cutting the line leading to flared tempers with some economy class passengers steadfastly refusing to let first class passengers skip. - 45 minutes. 5). Transiting to domestic section. You are then asked to climb on board a 12 seat buggy that will leave when full for the domestic terminal - 10 minutes 5. The flight information screens are not intuitive at all. I couldn't even find my flight. They are small TV screens that appear to have no methodology as to what they display. I had to ask an attendant to tell me the gate. She did, but then sent me in the wrong direction, wasting around 10 minutes - 10 minutes. Overall the inbound experience was extremely stressful. The outbound experience on the other hand (going from a domestic flight to an international flight) was incredibly fast and smooth. 5 minute wait at immigration, 2 minute wait at security, the international departures area has plenty of signs/screens and the experience was much more like what I have experienced in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"transfer and arrivals was terrible"

(Israel)

Verified Review | The queueing for domestic transfer and arrivals at the passport control in Guangzhou was terrible. The worst I have seen - we almost missed a connection despite having 2 hours 20 minutes. I have instructed my travel agent to avoid using this aitport in the future. The queue system was in groups - not even an organised line. I have no experience about any other facilities as I was all the time in line
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"long queues"

(United Kingdom)

Never again will I use this airport. Long queues for customs and immigration and because of this I actually missed my connecting flight to Beijing. The transfer staff were very unhelpful but I did manage to get home even if it was later than expected. Prices for coffee were extortionate. Would not recommend going there unless all the queues for immigration etc are improved massively and the staff given training on how to help passengers not hinder them. Having air conditioning would be an advantage.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

"plenty of seating"

(New Zealand)

After reading so many poor reviews of Guangzhou airport, I was expecting the worst. To our delight, we found the airport clean, bright, with plenty of seating, good range of food options, free wifi (and we didn't need a Chinese cell number) and the signage in English. Food was expensive but no more expensive than Charles de Gaulle airport which we left. Staff also helpful and spoke English.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
7/10

"international arrival is so limited"

(China)

The place for international arrival is so limited, small and the sign is not apparent. Nobody will check your plane ticket to ensure that you have take you baggage and when I was focusing my phone and missed the place to taking baggage, that I had to wait my friend to help me take that. I think the arrival place before the customs check should have a sign to remind the people about this.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
3/10

"too expensive for the quality"

(Philippines)

Delayed, cancelled and rerouted. After transiting this airport, I've experienced everything. Always due to "bad weather" even if the sky is perfectly clear. Food in restaurants are too expensive for the quality. Very few choices, mostly local dishes available
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"always feels warm and humid"

(United States)

Overall Guangzhou airport is good - it looks modern and spacious. The VIP Lounge could improve -it's too crowded and small and sometimes there are no seats. The food I can't complain about and the Wifi is fine. The airport is too hot - the AC is not cool enough and always feels warm and humid.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJune 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
5/10

"nothing was open till 7am"

(New Zealand)

This was my second time at Guangzhou airport and a very different experience. The first time all of the shops and restaurants were open, but this time we landed in the middle of the night and nothing was open till 7am - 2 hours later. I spent my time walking around, it's not a huge airport so nervous travellers don't have to fear getting lost. The only place to get a drink was from the free water coolers which also dispense hot water, it is therefore a good idea to have a water bottle as there were not many eating places open and it was impossible to understand how much the food and drink prices were. There were plenty of seats for waiting but nowhere to lie down or recline except the floor - even the VIP lounges were locked closed. When you arrive, the transit staff are very good at directing you to the right areas and speak good English. If your onward flight is more than 8 hours you will be given a free hotel room and transport to and from but I have not taken this option personally. Once the shops open you will find that all prices are in local currency and it is very difficult to understand what the price is in relation to your own - everything has to be paid in local currency as far as I could see. I think the airport is missing a trick here at least if they gave the U.S. equivalent most people could then understand what they would be paying. I did not see anyone exchanging money or buying anything. Although not the greatest airport it's not the worst to spend 2 or 3 hours and well worth it as CS is a cheap and great airline to access Australia and New Zealand - just go prepared with your water bottle or a thermos flask.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"would avoid this airport if possible"

(United States)

Verified Review | Arrived from LAX on a China Southern A380 Super Jumbo with 500 hundred other passengers. Transiting CAN to REP. There was a single customs agent for all international coach passengers and the airports inside temperature was 37 F, 3 C (no heat anywhere in the airport). Since there were no shops to buy clothing, my wife and I just shivered quietly on the floor waiting for the happy moment that we could depart. I would avoid this airport if at all possible. Plan for long delays and bring warm clothing in your carry-on. I've also heard there is no AC in summer. We transited there again on our return from Siem Reap, this time with winter jackets in hand and we also ran to the customs area so we would beat the line.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"horrible 18 hour transit"

(Germany)

Horrible 18 hour transit in Guangzhou - long queues and local customers cut in. Ignored at the helpdesk and very unfriendly staff - nobody wants to help. Tried everything to log on to the WiFi. Hardly any staff speak English. If they really want to be an international airport they have to change. Never again.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no