During May 2019 I flew four segments with China Southern form Nanning to Wuhan and on to Jinan and Zhengzhou. It is often hard to tell the difference between these Chinese state owned airlines like China Southern, China Eastern and Xiamen Airlines. Until recently all belonged to Skyteam (China Southern since dropped out) and they all code share on each other. The planes look identical too.
The airport experience is often a major differentiator (which isn’t under the control of an airline). Wuhan, Jinan and Zhengzhou have an enormous, brand new airport terminal that seem bigger than most US airports (though these are secondary cities a best). The Guangzhou China Southern Terminal is easily one of the nicest terminals I have ever seen.
China Southern (like other Chinese airlines) serves a hot meal on flights longer than an hour. This includes a hot entree (not very appetizing but still) plus a snack box including plenty of water. The domestic short haul equipment has no WiFi and no seatback entertainment but the overhead LCD screens every few rows.
All my flights were packed to the last seat and every passenger fought against every other for the first boarding positions. Business Class is only half a dozen seats and there are no boarding groups just your will to step on other peoples toes.
All tickets come with a free checked bags and you can have a carry-on. As long as your bag will fit in the overhead bin there are no restrictions and there is no gate police (like Air New Zealand) has it.
I felt the whole crew made an effort to be on time and certainly boarding was quick (but also raucous). There were no pilot announcements (it seems to be a thing in China) and minimal taped announcements from the flight attendants. Although China is a larger country the big majority of cities are across the eastern seaboard within a two hour maximum flight duration. For a total of two hours it is ok but really there is nothing else to look forward to but the arrival with these China Southern flights.