Both Bejiing and Shanghai Airports are Smarter

Beijing and Shanghai airports are among the two most important airports in mainland China. Lot of people complain about their service and management, but the good thing is, both airports get smarter day by day. It is good!

Shanghai Airport Learnt from Beijing to Rearrange the Lanes

At the very beginning, all the taxis in Hongqiao Airport line up in two lanes. When the one in the front stops and picks up passengers, the taxi behind it cannot move. If there is a delay at the front, 5 or more taxi need to wait (sometimes horns).

Photography by Jian Shuo Wang. Taken in August 2004, posted in Shanghai Taxi Colors

Often, it is strange that more than 100 passengers line up there, while more than 500 taxis line up at the other end, but the bottle neck is the pickup area.

The New Approach

Now, the lane was re-arranged, just like the Beijing airport. They transformed one lane into a lot of parking lot 45 degree of the road. All taxi park turn left a little bit and park into the parking lot while picking up passengers. So even if one taxi takes more than the time expected, it does not block the queue.


Taken by Jian Shuo Wang on Jan 10, 2006 at Hong Qiao Airport


Taken by Jian Shuo Wang on Jan 10, 2006 at Hong Qiao Airport

The efficiency greatly improved. Now the bottle neck seems to be the taxi waiting line. Sometimes, there will be open slots, and passengers, but no taxi coming up to the slot.

At least it is a sign of improved efficiency of the picking up area.

Short Distance Queue in Beijing Airport

I heard from taxi drivers that Beijing Airport setup short distance queue just as Shanghai Airport did. If the destination is too near the airport, passengers can take the short distance taxi. They didn’t wait 4 hours or more to pick you up, and they don’t complain if you just got to Sanyuan Bridge. I felt the pain since I always get there, and felt so bad to get on board a taxi.

I didn’t confirm it yet. Not sure whether the taxi saw it or not (rumors often spread quicker than truth). I hoped Beijing airport to have the same approach for a long time.

There are many things can be better in China. There are enough smart people. If people keep making small improvement like this everyday, it can be a much better place.

Problem of Not Having Standard High Resolution Picture

Yesterday’s Shanghai Daily had a cover story on Kijiji and this blog. Miss Fan, the warm hearted journalist asked for high resolution picture that can be printed as a full page of the cover of the newspaper. I do have many pictures but don’t have many pictures with myself on it. Most of them are only the scene taken by myself. Even if there are some, it is not good enough for a cover. So, they used some computer generated image with my outline as the cover. It tells everyone should prepare some photos for us in the future. Just share the tip with you. :-)

Image in courtesy of Shanghai Daily

Image in courtesy of Shanghai Daily

Here is a copy of the left side of the report. Some (about 5) commenters on this blog was also featured there.

Update: Feb 21, 2008

It has been a while since I last visited the Hong Qiao airport. However, the last time I was there, I still saw very long waiting lines for taxis.

I talked with my friends in Beijing and they are very dissatisifed with the taxi queue in Hong Qiao airport. There are just about 5 spots for the taxi drivers to pickup passengers, and many taxis are waiting in the underground garage. Meanwhile, many passengers are waiting in long line at the taxi gate.

The taxi scheduling team need to do something to help people get a taxi quicker, and help taxi drivers to pickup a passenger quicker.

8 thoughts on “Both Bejiing and Shanghai Airports are Smarter

  1. How nice to see changes and improvement everyday!

    Boring Canada, never changes…except we can buy 莴笋 in chinese market now while we didn’t have it years ago.

  2. I am still confused, WSJ, are you head of Kijiji China or just Kijiji Shanghai? and Whats your official title, just curious. Thanks!

  3. Sorry for 2 comments in a row, but I like this observation:

    There are many things can be better in China. There are enough smart people. If people keep making small improvement like this everyday, it can be a much better place.

  4. Actually, the Beijing process for not stopping traffic is copied from other airports – and example is singpore where the rapid efficiency and airport (rated the best in the world) should give a good yardstick of how backward and far from “modern” the chinese airports are. After 3 years away from china I was really hoping to see “world-class” in the new airports, unfortunatly that is clearly not the case, with very slow baggage handeling, and hidous English on the first ATM machinese one sees in the airport. With 2008 comming as can be seen everywhere in the city, I’m wondering how there is going to be a positive impact, if the the foreigners can’t even figure out how to get RMB to spend as the instricutions on how to do something so common around the world as using an ATM can not be understood…


  5. i required flight from delhi -shangai on 21march

    shangai-bejiing on 23 march

    i required a halt for 1 day at shangai

    return flight on 29 march from bejiing to delhi

    or if you had a fligth from bejiing -shangai-delhi

    please quote me cheapest rates with in hour including taxes

    please mail me the timings of depature & arrivial

    Thanks & Regard


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *