Shanghai Pudong Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 177 reviews
3/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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3/10

"an unnecessarily convoluted and aggravating process"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | Total Headache. I travelled LGW-PVG-KIX return in Business on Air China at the end of November 2019. All flights were on the same ticket/booking. Do not presume that Air China International-International is an airside transfer at PVG, as some posts in the net suggest. In my case from London it was most definitely not. Gatwick could not through-check the bags to KIX, meaning it was a 'self transfer' as I feared. (I travelled after the opening of the new satellite terminals). This is an unnecessarily convoluted and aggravating process if you are not prepared for it (I was, having read various forum posts and being prepared for the worst). I had to scan fingerprints and then go through immigration (far left desks at immigration for transfer) where only one sullen person at the desks was processing and another doing nothing but looking over the other person's shoulder. As mentioned elsewhere, you fill in a blue transfer landing card, not the standard one. They checked evidence of ongoing travel to another country and then processed the visa-less entry for 24hrs. I had already missed my 'connecting' flight which was 2.5 hours after scheduled landing from LGW. The flight from London was delayed so I had to re-book at the Air China desk after collecting my luggage (and customs). I duly re-checked baggage and went back through airside. In my experience you must allow at least three hours (due to skeleton staff at non-visa entry processing) and hope that your first flight is not significantly delayed, as it was in my case. In addition, no-one will meet you and rush you through immigration if your flight is delayed in this instance. The (very nice) crew on board my flight said this would be the case but I correctly doubted this. Also, the check-in staff at Gatwick for CA had no real idea regarding the process of transferring at PVG. You're largely on your own. Quite a few passengers transferring with me (experienced ones) were utterly confused regarding the transfer process, where to go, what to do etc. and staff at PVG don't really help at all - and were unfortunately quite abrupt. Hope this helps, as there is very little detailed information that is correct on the internet. Despite the moaning above, I'd actually do it again now I know what to expect (as long as I got the flight as cheap as I did again!) but leave yourself adequate time and be prepared!
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
no
1/10

"airport was so confusing"

(United States)

Not Verified | The airport was so confusing. We had a transit in Shanghai to get on our United flight to San Francisco. When we got off our plane into Shanghai, the trouble started. First we had to do this fingerprint thingy, and if you take more then 1 minute per finger you have to restart. Then immigration felt like forever. We talked to a few of our fellow passengers on our last flight that were also going to San Francisco and they told us that we had to re check our bags. That just wasted a lot of energy. Then we had to wait for 20 minutes in the bag drop line. We had to go through immigration again which took forever, then security, which was a little better. At that point, I was so nervous that we were going to miss our flight. Luckily, by the time we got to the gate, they had a few minutes until boarding. When we got onto the plane, I vowed that I am never transiting in Shanghai again.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2020
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
no
2/10

"hardly anyone knows a lick of English"

(United States)

Trip Verified | Worst airport ever! If you can avoid it please do so, they aren't very friendly to foreigners. Confusing as heck and hardly anyone knows a lick of English.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2020
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
3/10

"hostility towards Western travelers"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Three security checkpoints and passport control for in-transit passengers. The only airport I've ever had do this to passengers. Even if you want to use the Wifi (which is about as fast as a 26k modem and blocks Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter), you need to scan your passport in some machine. Transiting through this airport is like doing a deal with the devil. Want to save a few bucks by not transiting in Hong Kong or Singapore? You'll need to sell your identity and jump through some serious hoops. Just clearing the checkpoints took two hours and needed a sky train. Don't expect any easy navigation either, I had to speak to 5 people until I found someone that could string a sentence together. Most signs are Chinese only. Strong feeling of hostility towards Western travelers in this airport. Also I paid $25 for a bowl of ramen noodles.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2020
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
3/10

"Not the best airport"

(Japan)

Trip Verified | Not the best airport. I had a 5 hour transit at Shanghai Pudong, but a lot of unnecessary documents, long queue due to broken down passport-check machines, requirement to give fingerprints even though it is just a transit. There was an escalator going down to the automated passport-gates, but since most of those were not functioning right, a huge crowed started to pile up. Since the people getting on the escalator did not know about the crowed at the bottom, the situation quickly escalated (no pun intended) into a dangerous pileup, where people were stumbling upon each other at the bottom, not being able to disperse, and being pushed by the next row coming of the escalator. Hope no one got injured. When I finally arrived to the transit waiting area, there was nothing, just 4 souvenir shops and a Starbucks counter (no seats). More important, no place to lay down, only rows of seats with dividers! Other airports have a wide range of furniture for getting comfortable, from reclining seats to strait beds, but here only cold (as in the fabric of the seats are as if sitting on stone), rows of seats with armrest dividers (impossible to lay down). Many were sleeping on the floor. Wi-Fi only with registration through phone number (possible Chinese phone number, but didn't try).
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2020
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
no
3/10

"Transit through this airport is a painful task"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I have travelled through Istanbul, Doha, Dubai, Amsterdam and London in the past. I never had to go through immigration, give them my biometrics, recheck my bags and go through security and immigration again just to transit through the airport. They make you fill so many useless forms and establish your passport for no reason whatsoever. Transit through this airport is a painful task. Most of the airport staff are not able to communicate in English and the food options in Departure area is very limited.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2019
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
3/10

Shanghai Pudong Airport customer review

(Australia)

Not Verified | It took me almost 3 hours to get out of this airport. 1) There is no clear sign at the finger print collecting area that foreigners only need to do it once in their previous trip to Shanghai. The result is we who have already done the collecting have to walk for an extra long distance just to find out we do not need to do it. 2) The custom counters for foreigners are really slow. The line in front of counters for Chinese citizens are four or even five times longer than ours, but they just disappeared in one blink. In the end, the airport had to let us use the Chinese citizen’s counters. 3) There are actually two “green” exits, but there is no clear arrow sign on the ground or whatsoever. People had to wait in a super long queue, waiting to have their luggage scanned. After almost half an hour, when we almost reached the exit, we realised we can actually go through the other door with almost no queue there. And yes a couple of shameful queue jumping during this time too.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitDecember 2019
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"undoubtedly my worst experience"

(Canada)

Not Verified | This is the absolute worst airport! I travel a lot and I've had mild complaints about other airports to transit with, but this was undoubtedly my worst experience. The airport is set up to function much faster for transiters but wastes time having people stand in a long line to see one immigration officer when there are functioning machines for self service which I chose to use when I finally made it to the top of the line. The airport itself has plenty of seating in their gate areas but the place severely lacks options for anything in terms of food or attractions. The options are singularly Chinese with one Starbucks just to appease us foreigners. But it gets worse! I had an 8 hour layover and was unable to purchase food from a restaurant because there are no money changers and they only accept Chinese currency. So I was left to starve. If you must transit through here I'd say get in and out as fast as possible. I for one will never be flying via Shanghai ever again!
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2019
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
2/10

"the worst airport"

(New Zealand)

Not Verified | Honestly, the worst airport I've been to - including staff members, service and the ease for transferring flights. My partner and I flew from NZ and were in transit to London in Shanghai for 5 hours. When we arrived at Shanghai airport, we went to the counter to confirm our transit. They took our onward flight boarding passes which were printed in NZ, threw it away, and told us to stand next to the nearest toilets for 10 mins (they said we were being "quarantined"). Less than 10 mins later they made us go through a strange hallway where the medical/quarantine checks were supposed to happen but didn't. Instead, there were 2 staff members with new boarding passes on their hands. My partner was almost given someone else's boarding pass! Then after that hallway, we had to go through an eerily dark corridor where the escalator to the actual terminal was. The airport itself was lame. No free wifi unless you can receive SMS overseas or go to a computer kiosk (we didn't want to log into our emails using those computers). Not much to do unless you want to eat or shop. Now to the craziest bit. When we were checking in to go back to NZ from London, we couldn't get our second boarding pass from Hong Kong to NZ printed nor our bags checked in, because turns out Shanghai airport staff removed the wrong flight while we were there! Unbelievable. Luckily the amazing staff at Virgin Atlantic Heathrow helped us out. And lucky we came a few hours early because the whole ordeal took about 1hr. Never stopping at Shanghai again, and probably not at any China airports either.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 2019
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

"Travelling nightmare"

(United States)

Not Verified | 4 hours to transit! What should be an easy exercise requires you to go through immigration, collect your bag, get a new boarding pass, check your bag, go through immigration again before you head to your gate. Totally messed up travelling experience. I will never connect in China again. Travelling nightmare.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2019
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