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I had a fairly bad experience using China Southern's website trying to select the seat for an existing ticket, even with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox on an OSX desktop. (Trying on a Sunday afternoon Sydney time on 7 August 2016). At least it was in English, though. Is the website optimised for a particular browser, such as Internet Explorer?

Trying to view online services for existing tickets Above: the result of trying to view online services for existing tickets.

An attempt at trying to view some sort of information about an existing ticket Above: the result of trying to view some sort of information about existing tickets.

  • Looks at first glance like a bog standard modern HTML5 responsive mobile friendly website. That's not to say that it doesn't have serious bugs, because it probably does. – Michael Hampton Aug 7 '16 at 9:49
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    This error seems like a server error, not a client side error, so I guess the browser is irrelevant. – Nean Der Thal Aug 7 '16 at 9:55
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    Use their English website global.csair.com, which is as easy to use as many other airline websites--not the English version of their Chinese site (which is difficult to impossible to use if you are not Chinese) – Urbana Aug 7 '16 at 11:28
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    This experience should help you ease gently into the fun you will experience trying to use the Internet as you know it once you get to China (-: – hippietrail Aug 7 '16 at 17:15
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    @HeidelBerGensis Wouldn't be the first time I've seen a redirect or link fail because of the browser (usually the server doing [buggy] detection of user agent). Funnily enough, it was a Chinese website last time too. So, not entirely unheard of. – Bob Aug 8 '16 at 2:53
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You're using the wrong website. Their global website--distinct from the English-language version of their Chinese website, which you show screenshots of--works fine without any fiddly mobile signups or Chinese error messages.

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I haven't got to the bottom of how the website works, but here's some hints:

The page http://b2c.csair.com/B2C40/modules/bookingnew/manage/login.html?returnurl=http://b2c.csair.com/B2C40/modules/order/checkOrder.jsp, which starts off with a frustrating image of a plane above clouds, plus some Chinese text which is done as an image so I can't copy-paste-machine-translate, eventually turns into something more useful:

a more useful image

... which probably won't help you unless you've signed up to them.

One hassle I had with signing up was successfully getting an SMS verification code. Rather than using "Australia", and then entering in 0491 570 156 (not my real mobile number), I had to get rid of the first "0" and use "491 570 156" instead.

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    That's normal with Australian phone numbers. The 0 prefix indicates that there will be an area code before the main phone number. Back when mobile phones were added to the Australian phone network it piggybacked this system by giving all mobile phones the area code 4. This is why landline numbers are shorter than mobile numbers in Australia - unless you're calling into another area code of course. Oh and when there is any other prefix, such as an international prefix, the 0 must be omitted. – hippietrail Aug 7 '16 at 17:14

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