China Southern rolls out SkyTeam's fast-track SkyPriority service

By John Walton, May 10 2012
China Southern rolls out SkyTeam's fast-track SkyPriority service

China Southern Airlines has joined the global rollout of the SkyTeam airline alliance's fast-track SkyPriority lane for frequent flyers and business class passengers.

Aimed at delivering a consistent 'VIP' level of service across the SkyTeam member airlines, China Southern now offers SkyPriority services at its Guangzhou and Beijing hubs.

Special SkyPriority-marked check-in lanes, priority bag tags, priority bag drop, fast-track security and customs queues, boarding passes and boarding lines are spreading across the SkyTeam network.

All SkyTeam member airlines are expected to have the service up and running in more than 1,000 airports around the world by year's end.

Look for the SkyPriority signage and keep an eye peeled for the red carpet (of course!) with the stylised SkyTeam 'swoosh' printed on it.

Don't forget to ensure that the agent at the SkyPriority check-in desk or bag drop has attached the bright yellow priority bag tag "arrow".

Then it's off to the fast-track immigration lane -- especially at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, where you'll need to be eagle-eyed for the relatively small SkyPriority signage.

The fast-track service's benefits are available for business/first class passengers and SkyTeam Elite Plus frequent flyers -- the top tier of member airlines' loyalty programs.

Check out our primer on SkyTeam's frequent flyer tiers and benefits for more information on what you can expect when flying with one of the SkyTeam airlines.

It's good to see that the SkyPriority priority boarding passes stretch to smartphone mobile boarding passes too.

To take advantage of the SkyPriority experience across the SkyTeam alliance, though, you'll need to head further abroad than Australia.

Only China Airlines,  China Southern and Delta are currently up and running with SkyPriority at Sydney Airport, a SkyTeam spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.

That leaves China Eastern, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines (plus members-elect Aerolineas Argentinas and Garuda Indonesia) to put SkyPriority in place at Sydney.

But while abroad, you'll need to make sure that you have the right card if you're not seated at the pointy end of the plane -- SkyTeam doesn't have any Australia-based airline members, and reciprocal access for Qantas and Virgin Australia frequent flyers is limited.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

You wouldnt really say this is coming to an airport near you unless Borghetti makes that decision. As Borghetti says, SkyTeam is a very formidable group. They just dont have the strength in numbers.

20 Jul 2011

Total posts 73

If only OneWorld did the same - then a Qantas card would actually be of some use at Heathrow (or anywhere outside Australia for that matter).

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