Yeahhhhh, so PVG (Shanghai Pudong International Airport). Not the greatest airport in the world. Not quite as nice as PEK (Beijing). On our flight to Shanghai, we had stocked up on tasty snacks before the flight since we were flying United and their economy food is edible at best. We intended to do the same thing in Shanghai, but there is no food in the airport. (Unless you count things like souvenir dried fish and chocolate bars.) There’s a small food court, but nowhere that you can buy crackers or nuts or anything. It’s strange, but if you’re flying out of or transiting through PVG, there’s my warning. For reasons unknown to me, they also searched everyone’s bags right before we got on the plane and confiscated my large bottle of Evian. Sad trombone. Luckily, they didn’t find the bottles of water Mike had put in his jacket pockets.
Oh, and then the lounge. It’s not even an airline lounge, it’s some random lounge that you can get into with Star Alliance Gold. Should you bother? I’ll let these Foursquare tips speak for themselves:
So we left and went to Burger King.
Sadly, it was much better than the lounge.
On the flight, Mike got a kosher meal, as he sometimes does when we fly economy. He’s convinced that there’s more food in the kosher meal. The food is definitely higher quality than normal. I read once that kosher meals are the most expensive meals for airlines to cater in economy. (Wikipedia says they cost the airline twice as much as a regular meal!)
And here’s what I got. I ordered a vegetarian meal (as I sometimes do when we fly economy) but I watched as a flight attendant gave away my meal to someone sitting in front of me. (It had my seat number on it.) I was pretty surprised and when I asked about my meal, the flight attendant disappeared and then wordlessly handed me this bowl from business class with a banana, cereal, and some milk. As you can see here, United vegetarian meals aren’t supposed to have dairy, so I don’t know what’s up with the milk. Even though I’m not vegetarian I am lactose intolerant so I gave this bowl of cereal to Mike (who happily ate it) and I had the banana.
It’s a mystery to me why my meal was given away, but when I submitted a complaint to United they sent me a voucher for $150! Way more than I expected for a missing meal but appreciated nonetheless.
The flight also had wifi, which I always enjoy on flights over the Pacific. It was $16.99 for the entire flight, which is kind of expensive but kept me occupied for large chunk of the 13 hour flight to Chicago. I kind of love United’s super old 747s — they don’t have seatback entertainment but they do have wifi!