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Shanghai Pudong Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 182 reviews
3/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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6/10

"expect a lot of delays"

(United States)

Verified Review | Expect a lot of delays when going through this airport (but this is pretty common in China). The air traffic is very busy and a lot of times, flights will not only be pushed back from the gate later than scheduled, but the queue for take off is also often very long. There isn't much to do inside the terminal, since they seem to separate the international departures from the domestic departures within the same terminal. You can't really get to this airport at the last minute because security lines can get pretty long. As long as you are trying to enter the airport (yes, including the check in area), they check you for explosives before letting you in.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 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

"were not willing to help"

(Hong Kong)

It was summer in Shanghai, and the air-conditioning system in the airport was really poor. The body temperature system falsely identified me as having fever which later proved to be a mistake. The interior design of the airport looks old. The direction in the immigration was unclear. People holding passport or HK/Macau residents permits were not directed to the right counters accordingly. The service provided by the staff of the airport was insufficient and they were not willing to help.
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
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"long lines at security"

(Hong Kong)

Another awful experience at Shanghai Pudong Airport. Long lines queuing for immigration (most countries in the world now do not have immigration for departing passengers) and long lines at security which were inefficient and slow moving. Then the inevitable flight delay - passengers told to board first then given the bad news - military delays, technical problems, delays on incoming flights etc. Always dread the trip to Shanghai as I know the travel experience will be bad.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"really does offer a poor experience"

(Qatar)

Considering that this is one of the major airports in China it really does offer a poor experience. I have been through this airport on multiple occasions throughout the last year and it has not got any better or worse. When I arrived at the airport on this occasion everyone was herded into a pen while the bags were swabbed for explosives then it was into the main terminal (T2). It was really busy on this occasion and I was not sure why until a little later. When check in was meant to open a people were queuing it took around 20 minutes before the staff arrived and check in began. Check-in was relatively smooth (but I had checked in online and since I travel a lot I had covered all the bases). From check in immigration was quite quick and efficient (coming into Pudong immigration is quick and efficient too). Security is where you always get issues here, the queue always feels short, but it takes time to get through this time it felt it was because they were being thorough, but in the past it has felt like inefficiency. Your choice of duty free is OK, but then again this is a major airport and it feels really limited. The quality of the local items on offer feels really poor: the tourist tat which you can get in the city for 1/10th of the price. The food and beverages on offer again feel like the quality is poor, but the price is very high. On this occasion the Burger King was closed, as well as others so I was limited to the Deco Cafe. 75RMB for a water and Ginger Ale is very overpriced. The airport WiFi is apparently free, if you can get a message sent to your phone, if you have an international number the message will not go through. One thing which is always nice about Pudong is the fact the people stand outside the smoking room smoking and no-one bothers to stop then leaving areas of the terminal smelling of cigarettes. The gate was located downstairs and was a remote stand. Downstairs is pretty industrial and spartan; I would not go down unless you are at your boarding time, its pretty boring. Boarding was interesting as usual, people start queueing before the boarding announcements are made and then typically you will get locals pushing in at the front (absolutely pointless as it does not get them anywhere). The bus felt dangerously overcrowded, but then again the Cobus is meant to have a 120 capacity and how they get to that figure I really do not know. When we had boarded we were informed that there were 25 aircraft in from of us in the queue and that a flight was only being allowed to depart every 8 minutes. They obviously knew about this before we boarded, but it seamed really silly to have us on a plane that would not be departing for some time. Also 8 minutes between departures is a very poor turn around for a major international airport (Heathrow can handle an arrival or a departure every 45 seconds). Every flight that I have been on in Chinese airspace has been delayed so really I was not expecting anything else.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 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

"unreliable airport with systematic delays"

(France)

Shanghai Pudong is an unreliable airport with systematic delays and random flight cancellations. As such it cannot be used for connections or for flights taking passengers to another airport for a transfer. As an example, during the last week of June flights to Xi'an were delayed between 2 to 6 hours on average. And one out every 5 flights was cancelled. The reason given was the weather despite the very standard atmospheric conditions at the time. Foreign passengers caught in one of these problems should expect a very hard time because the airpport staff are overwhelmed by these constant issues and speak very little English. In order not to risk my flight to Europe from Xi'an, I had to buy an additional ticket and arrive in Xi'an 6 hours in advance (despite the 2.5 hours delay). And by the way, the wifi service which requires a clumsy bureaucratic procedure works randomly too.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJune 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"eateries tend to be local style and overpriced"

(China)

I am a resident of Shanghai, and so, I cannot comment about the transit experience at Pudong airport that so many loath. I have flown in / out of PVG dozens of times, so I am well aware of what it has to offer. This review refers to Terminal 2, which is used for international flights. If it's your first time, have a ride on the Maglev (60RMB), but be advised it's not very useful - it will leave you at the edge of town where you'll need either a taxi or metro to get to your destination. But still, you'll be able to say you rode the world's fastest train, albeit, to nowhere. If you've already done that, and if you have light luggage, then the buses are fantastic. If you're burdened with much baggage then get a taxi to town. It'll take 90 minutes and cost about 200RMB. If you must overnight, you're best bet is a hotel next to the airport. You're miles from town, so don't expect anything other than a sleep and shower. Eat at the airport both before and after your stay. PVG is a modern facility with a spacious ticketing area. Airlines are clearly labeled, and there are escalators and elevators all over. Modern and clean restrooms are located throughout the airport but as this is China, best to bring some emergency tissue. Although there is a plethora of eateries, they tend to be local style and very much overpriced. Burger King is the highlight, but on my last visit, queues were insurmountable. Even the black, `coffee-like' liquid dispensing shop was unable to serve me in any reasonable time, so I opted to board without the customary $5 cup. This is one area where the airport can definitely improve. I don't go to airports to shop, so I'm not disappointed with Pudong's dearth of interesting shops. It's just the usual overdressed, overpriced, duty-free rubbish. Beware of delays in June and July - the monsoon season. I have experienced several disastrous delays due to severe weather, but this comes with the territory. I'd avoid it as a transit place for that reason alone. In summary, if you're transiting to Asia, it's advisable to avoid China altogether. Narita, Incheon, Taipai, all are superior transit airports replete with showers, restaurants, wifi, kid's play areas, cultural centers..
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJune 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo 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

"worst transit we've ever had"

(Japan)

Worst transit we've ever had at Shanghai Pudong. The staff are rude, unhelpful and don't speak English. The WiFi did not work. We had to sit on the plane for 30 minutes because there were no stairs to disembark. Even when transiting you have to go through security where they take all your water bottles, forcing you to buy extremely overpriced water in the terminal, which then may be taken by a second preboarding security check. Every flight we had was late, once causing our baggage to miss a transfer leaving us without bags for 2 days. I will never fly through this airport again.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJune 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
no
1/10

"no line control"

(United States)

About 1000 people in line because of cancelled flight to Newark. No line control. Almost no employee spoke enough english to help. ALL travellers totally confused about where to go (even those with functional flights). Could not have been worse. Signage acceptable, shopping a sad joke.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
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
no
2/10

"staff unfriendly"

(China)

Upon arrival at Shanghai Pudong airport we went the duty free shop to buy liquor and cigarettes. It was a disaster. Too crowded and too small for such a huge airport. Staff unfriendly with poor body language. Luggage came out slowly, and located at the furthest belt even though the rest were empty. Bad experience and food too expensive.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJune 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
4/10

"signage is fairly poor"

(United States)

I don't understand why anyone would down vote an airport for not speaking English when the airport is in a country that doesn't speak English, but it is true that the signage is fairly poor. The first time I went through the airport I had the same problem others have had with international transfer and getting routed through domestic transfers and the 1,000,400 security checks involved. It was about 4 o'clock in the morning, and me and a bunch of other people got sent to the transfer gate, which turned out to be a locked glass door and no signs. Finally people learned by asking various other people that the transfer gate does not open until six. Staff were giving different people different answers. God help anyone with a transfer before that. So we all sat around in a cold white room using what Internet was available across the Great Firewall of China. The gates upstairs have reasonable food at good prices in a fairly comfortable waiting area. Downstairs gates are crowded and the food is god awful, expensive and very limited. Of four flights, only one used a jetway, the others involved long bus rides. It's a stark airport, chilly in color and atmosphere. China Eastern staff were nice, but when possible I will avoid routing through Shanghai in the future.
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
no