Wednesday, February 10, 2010

waiting & waiting at airport

Arrived reasonably (but not insanely) early at airport, check-in, customs & security were pretty efficient.

As it turns out, my flight is out of the "old" (~10-12 year?) Terminal at the Shanghai Pudong airport. 

Was hungry, got some lunch...this airport is more "traditional" in terms of Chinese style as just about every business within is locally owned and drastically marked up for the captive audience.

88 RMB ($12.88 USD) for a mediocre rice box lunch set? Lame. Oh well...I could have ordered a burger for a little less, but was really doubtful - in my experience with generic airport restaurants in China like this, food quality is usually low & prices are high. 

Was hoping that they had a Burger King, but no luck (if it happened that my flight was out of Terminal 2, however, that would be a different story).

Had also been hoping to pick up some English translations of some Chinese classic books, but no luck there either...a lot of business texts. Guess I'll have to hit up Barnes & Noble or Amazon when I am back in the US.

Oh well...I'm not intending to whine. Here are the positives:

1. There is very decent & fast & free wi-fi coverage. One cannot assume that will exist in some US airports.
2. The baggage cart was free, not an absurd $3.00 or whatever it is in the USA. And someone was solely dedicated to making sure people exiting their cars or taxis had access to carts. 
3. No tips necessary! (This stands in stark contrast to a Delta experience I had in Minneapolis where the lady handling curbside check-in spent 10 minutes extensively helping some other dude with 10 bags, then finally gets to me, has an attitude with me, still takes forever with my two bags, and then when I don't tip her, she yells "Hey, this is a service!" to me...lame lame lame).
4. Airline didn't even turn the scale on when weighing my checked luggage.
5. This part of the airport is spacious, quiet, and has relatively few of the most tranquil places I've been this entire trip. A little odd considering that travel is ramping up for Chinese New Year (the bulk of the population will be taking trains, however

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