The Pudong Shanghai airport departures terminal 2 is the latest addition to this relatively new airport. It offers state of the art facilities, lots of space and some quirky characters I loved finding.
Shanghai has grown significantly in recent years as a holiday destination in China. In addition local economic migration has been significant so it is little wonder the city boasts an official population in excess of 20 million people. To cope with the rise of people coming through the city there has been a significant investment at the major airports. As a frequent traveller to the city for more than a decade I’ve seen the changes and now notice the benefits of going through the Pudong Shanghai airport departures terminal 2 (and 1).
Airports in Shanghai
If you are a foreign visitor to Shanghai then you are most likely to travel through one of the 2 major airports in the city which are Hong Qiao and Pu Dong.
Located closer to the city centre, Hong Qiao is the older of the two airports and in recent years was becoming more focused on domestic flights. Hongqiao Airport has the airport code of SHA. It recently underwent a significant rebuilding, which in my mind was long overdue. Unfortunately I haven’t been through Hongqiao since it was rebuilt.
Pu Dong Airport has the airport code of PVG. It was first opened on 1st October 1999 with a second terminal opened on 26th March 2008. (By the end of 2015 a third terminal is planned plus a further 2 runways, bringing the total number of runways to 5.)
Getting to Pudong Airport in Shanghai
Pudong Airport is located 19 miles east of the city. There is a well maintained road network to the airport.
You can also access Pu Dong Airport via the high speed Maglev train from the Longyang Road Metro Station in the city. In addition you can use the Shanghai Metro (Line 2).
Getting through to the Shanghai Airport departures terminal
Once you arrive at Pudong airport you need to make sure you first know which terminal your flight will be leaving from. A lot of big name carriers now fly from terminal 2 as well as local airlines. (Airline terminal and flight allocations can change frequently so it is best to check your flight details with the official website of the airport which is: http://en.shairport.com/pudongair.html)
I was flying domestically on China Southern Airlines during my most recent visit to departures terminal 2.
Once I entered the main airport departures terminal I was in a long and wide hall. Various monitors advised on the correct check-in desk numbers by airline and flight.
It is maybe worth noting that I’ve never had a problem when checking in for flights in Shanghai although I can’t speak Chinese. Staff on the check-in desks speak good English so this was always a straightforward process.
After check-in the bright hall had signs clearly marking the way to the departures gate.
Once past security I was then greeted with another, long and wide area. A range of shops were present but the selection was maybe not overly generous. I was however intrigued to see what appeared to be an electronics shop with a large TV screen inviting people in to play video games. I’m not too sure if they were trying to sell the TV or the video games.
I also noticed a few of my favourite spots. Yes, the airport lounges. Normally the reserve for business and first class travellers (I was flying economy on this particular day), however they all seemed to offer access for others too.
A Priority Pass would gain you access to the VIP Lounge and others found in Pudong departures terminal 2.
The departures terminal also had numerous attractions for those not using a lounge. Firstly there were numerous charging points if batteries are running low on your phone or tablet.
TV screens were found here and there at gate waiting areas. This is China of course so lots of basketball (which the Chinese love) was on show.
I even came across a display area called Shanghai Pudong International Airport Showcase. Not quite sure how it gained that title but there were a range of porcelain displays and artifacts. I glanced through them but all the writing was in Chinese so I wasn’t able to make sense of it all.
Art was not just unique to this area. As the newest departures terminal in Pudong Airport you could see some displays as you wandered around.
For me, there is little doubt that my favourite pieces of art was a collection of metal statues which imitated travellers. They were dotted across the terminal. It was like a little game to find them and I certainly came across a few. Here are the fun statues I found in the Pudong Shanghai Airport Departures Terminal 2:
Other facilities inside the terminal included water fountains, free internet (hurray) and a cafe area upstairs at the far end of the terminal.
Here’s a selection of more pictures from my visit to Pudong Shanghai Departures Terminal 2:-
Shanghai Airport Hotel
If you are planning a trip to Shanghai you might well need an airport hotel. Probably the closest one is the Ramada Pudong Airport Shanghai hotel which is less than a mile away with a free shuttle bus to the terminal.
If you’d like to explore other hotels within a very short distance of the terminal you will find a list of hotels here. Most of these offer a free shuttle bus service.
I must admit that I do enjoy the experience of going through Pu Dong airport. Especially now that the Shanghai Airport Departures Terminal 2 is complete, modern and comfortable. I think a few more shops would add to the experience and there is plenty of space for them. The facilities are decent and I really loved all the metal statues. I can’t think of a better way to entertain kids when travelling than to track all of these down.