Category Archives: Pudong Airport

Metro Line #2 Extends to Pudong Airport

It finally becomes official – tomorrow, the Shanghai Metro Line #2 will extend to the Pudong Airport.

This blog started with a simple question – how to get to downtown from Pudong airport about 10 years ago (with a static page). Finally, the easiest answer is available: just take the Metro Line #2 from Pudong airport to downtown Shanghai. This will replace taxi, maglev, and bus as the recommended transportation.

2-Hour Trip

There are some problems though. It takes 1 hour and 52 minutes, and 8 RMB to complete the trip. There are 30 stations of Metro Line #2 with total length of 60 km. That implies 30km/h speed.

Transition still needed

Passengers need to get off the train at Guanglan Road Station 广兰路 and wait at the same platform to another train to downtown Shanghai. The reason is, the newly added stations don’t have too many traffic. They use 4-cart train to operate on this segment, and the rest line uses 8-cart train. So get ready to transit after 40 minutes.

Time Table

The current time table for the section between Guanglan Road and Pudong Airport is from 9:00 AM to 16:00 PM, with 13 minutes interval. It is expected to get to full time operatoin soon.

In a Hurry?

If you are in a hurry, the best way to transfer between the two stations are still taxi. It takes one hour and about 150 RMB to get you there. Since the two airport is connected by S20 expressway, the traffic is relatively stable.

Metro Line #1 and #9 Transition

Another related news is, the transition tunnel from Line #1 to Line #9 is opened today. The designer leveraged the Grand Gateway garage as the transition tunnel. I have not used it yet, but I got a message from Ryun this morning: “Explored the new maze between #9 and #1, and got lost”.

Experienced Security Guard

Let me record the experienced I had in Pudong airport before I forgot.

At the X-ray security check machine, a female security guard is supervising people to put their stuff into the machine. This is the conversation.

Before I put the bag there, she asked: “Do you have a laptop?” I pulled my laptop out of the bag.

She asked: Anything in your pocket? I used my left hand to pull the wallet from my pocket.

“Phone?” She asked prompted. I got my phone from the other pocket.

“Coins left in your pocket?” She is right again. I got two 1 RMB coins. I laughed.

Then she said without any emotion: “You can go now.” She is right again. I have nothing in my pocket or hand at that time.

Hmmm… This lady is very experienced.

Long Taxi Lines in Hongqiao T2 Too

The biggest hope for Hongqiao Airport T2 was to solve the long taxi line in Hongqiao Airport T1. I complained about it many times.

Now the 4-times bigger T2 opens. My guess was, it will solve this problem. To my disappointment, the problem is still there – not as serious, but there are still many people waiting in long lines for taxi, and there are even longer lines of taxi waiting inn the parking lot. The only bottleneck is, again, the taxi pickup area – the design of this brand new airport is still far from efficient.

Look at this picture: Long lines of passengers.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

In the picture below: long lines of taxis. Pay attention to the taxi lines on the upper right corner of the picture.

© Jian Shuo Wang

My Question

My question, when can this society leverage the knowledge in planning to help to make people’s life easier? Can students in universities, and even the professors really spend some time to dig into details and solve this simple problem? Is there any more effective way to handle this? In an airport with billions of dollars of investment, why just some parking lots can block people and waste their precious time in queuing for taxis, from morning to night, 365 days a year, and for years?

Hongqiao Airport T2 Opens

Tomorrow, the Hongqiao Airport T2 is going to open. I really want to go there and take a look myself, maybe this Saturday. I hope I can get some photos and report back to my readers about the new addition.

A quick overview of the new airport (before my more detailed report).

The Airport

The T2 is west of T1 (the old terminal). It is basically a new airport – 90% of the airlines will move to the new T2 (no wonder they didn’t made too much improvement to the crowded T1 in the past few years – makes sense).

They share the same run way with the T1 – there are already two runways before T2 opens.

It is 4 times bigger than the current crowded T1. My biggest wish is, find a better taxi solution!

Transportation

Metro Line #2 will extend to the Hongqiao Airport T2, and other two stations further. The metro ends at 22:30 pm – late enough for most passengers. If you miss the last metro, you can still take the night bus – a new alternative to taxi. Please note: since the T1 is no longer an important hub, Metro Line #2 will skip T1 – you need to take shuttle bus between T1, and T2, before the Metro Line #10 opens this October, which connects the two terminal.

Another change worth noting: the shuttle bus #1 connecting the Hongqiao and Pudong airport will change its starting point from T1 to T2 of Hongqiao Airport – a natural shift that won’t affect most people.

The Service

According to Shanghai Daily, the new airport will offer 80 check-in counters, and 47 security counters.

I don’t know more details of this hub – need to go there to check out.

Transportation Hub

The new Hongqiao Airport T2 is not just an airport terminal. It is also part of the new Hongqiao Transportation Hub. The future Shanghai-Beijing high speed train and the future Maglev from Pudong airport will stop at the new Hongqiao Train Station. More metro lines will extend to this hub. The whole area has been well surrounded by newly built elevated highways (photos) – another mega project. In summary, there will be 30 new roads around this hub.

That is an amazing outline of the future.

G15, G50 and Hongqiao Airport

With the new naming system for the national highways, the intersection near the Hongqiao Airport becomes significant – the G15 and G50 runs west, and south of Hongqiao Airport.

G15 = Shenyang – Haikou Expressway – a 3715 km long expressway from the north most city Shenyang to south most Haikou.

G50 = Shanghai – Chongqiong Expressway – the 1900 km long expressway from Shanghai to Chongqing (near Chengdu) in the southwest.

Although people don’t do it, you can just imagine that people in west or north or south of China can conveniently follow a round all the way up to Hongqiao Airport — that is the power of a well planned round and an easy to use name. Putting Hongqiao airport to this bigger picture, it is more exciting to watch.

Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 to Open

Before we are aware of, the city of Shanghai expanded beyond the speed of thinking.

2 years ago, Pudong Airport Terminal 2 just opened. In just 2 years, another giant terminal – Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 will open on March 16, 2010.

Look at this satellite image. The T1 is small on the right, and T2 is much bigger on the left:

Map credit: Google Maps

According to news report, this terminal will be 4 times bigger than the current T1. I always complained about taxi, especially on Fridays, and they didn’t do too much about it. I guess this time, the taxi won’t be the bottle neck for the new terminal.

After the launch of the new terminal in one week, most of the domestic airlines in the current Hongqiao Airport will shift there, leaving the current T1 just serving Spring Airlines, and other few flights.

I remember there were discussion of abandon Hongqiao airport and shift all air traffic to Pudong airport long time ago, but the needs for flights are always higher than the capacity of Hongqiao and Pudong added up together. Then Hongqiao Airport was kept (some residents near the airport were too early to be happy about the news that the noisy airport will be closed). Now, when the Hongqiao Railway Station (the station connected to Beijing by high speed train) is located there, and Metro Line #2 and Line #10 extending there, the Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 is the new center of transportation stage.

On Sunday, I tried to drive to that area from Beidi Road 北翟路. The huge viaduct has already been built for the Beidi Road, and S20 (formally A20). That will be the main road reaching to the terminal 2. It turned out the adventure is completely a failure, since the Beidi road was completely destroyed for the construction of the elevated highway. I chose to make U turn after get into it for 500 meters.

I will try to visit that area again in one week, and report what the new terminal looks like. In fact, it is not just a terminal – it is the framework of a super transportation hub that has never existed in China.

P.S. Chris of Shanghaieye.com posted photo of the terminal on his blog.

Metro Between Hongqiao and Pudong Airport

It is reported that the Metro Line #2 will connect the Pudong and Hongqiao airports by May 1, 2010, just in time for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Currently, the most effective transition between Shanghai Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport is still by bus or taxi. The Maglev is not a feasible approach yet, since it just arrives at Long Yang Road Station. You have to transit to Metro Line #2 first, and then transit to Airport shuttle at Jingan Temple Station, or taxi.

In 2010, with the east extension of Metro Line #2 to Pudong Airport, and the west extension to Hongqiao Airport, people can directly take Metro Line #2 to complete the transition. It is still not the fastest way. The pending Maglev, and event taxi or shuttle bus are faster than Metro, but the 1.5 hour is so much more reliable than other approaches.

So stay tuned, and wait… I will update as soon as Metro connects the two airports.

Pudong Airport T2 Behind the Security Gate

I took many photos of the Pudong Airport new Terminal 2 after it is completed and opened to public. However, the previous entries only described the area outside the Security Gate. It is just because my flight was in T1 at that time. Recently, I traveled to Beijing via Air China, which departs at T2, so I can complete my report about T2 of Pudong International Airport.

In case you are interested, check out my previous entries on T2

The Area

The T2 is of the curve shape from the side, and you won’t miss the boarding area by looking up – there are big sign saying: Domestic Boarding on top of the roof. I love the bold and very visible signs in public spaces like airport.

At the time I write this article, they have a special security checking line for flights to Beijing. Hopefully after Beijing Olympic, they don’t need to bother to strengthen the security as much as before.

The shape of T2:

The Carpet

One of the key difference between T2 and the older, smaller, and colder T1 is, T2 starts to use carpet. The whole area after the security check counter is covered by nice brown carpet, which makes it more like an international standard airport.

The Gates

All the gates in T2 are named using convention like Cxxx. Here is the display board:

Look at the gates. The T2 is just like T2 – a very very long line of gates with stores on both sides:

It looks like me that the gates are arranged this way:

    54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94

52

50

51

53

    55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69      71 73 75 77 79 81 83 85 87 89 91 93

On the right side of the terminal are four gates:

96 98 97 95

just in the opposite position of gates 52, 50, 51, and 53.

(Some gates in the range of 70 – 79 are not available or opened).

Basically, the whole area is divided into section 5 (50 to 59), section 6 (60 to 69), section 7 (73 to 79), section 8 (80 – 89), and section 9 (90 to 98). Try to get your section first, and then get some idea about where your boarding gate is. Mine was C85 last time.

This is the what the new gate looks like:

In the middle of the two wings, there are four additional far-parking-flights boarding gates:

On the left are gates C220, C221

On the right are gates C222, C223.

Although there are only four gates, I suspect that they are highly utilized. Passengers need to take the shuttle bus to get to plane, something I will avoid if I can.

Boarding Bridge

The boarding bridge of Pudong Airport T2 is also different from T1. The main difference is, it offers two bridges, one to the upper level (for arrival) and one for the lower level (for departure passengers). That makes the logistic much easier because the two group of people now never see each other and don’t share public area, and can avoid many mistakes.

Special Rear Areas

The gate C50 – 53, and gate C95 to C98 are at the north and south end of the whole T2. Unlike other gates, the area only have one level. That is where is the lower roof covers if you see from outside (the roof of the two rears are significantly lower than the main part). But from inside, it is much higher since it is two level combined:

Chinese Elements

Just on the south side of the middle point of T2, they have a water frontier.

Water flows quietly along the wall:

and stones sitting in the water.

This is the entrance of the whole T2. You need to clear all the security check before you use the elevator to go downstairs to arrive at T2. Pretty strange design: you need to use elevators to go up for the security check and use it immediately after you complete it.

The Stores

There are much more stores in T2 than T1. However, their business is no so good since the T2 is just put into use.

They have some nice brand shops immediately on the left hand and right hand when you arrive at T2:

As a new father, I found the children’s place in section 7 of the T2 very cute:

Internet Access

They have a big badge saying: Wireless Internet for Free. The area is just at the side of gate C52 on the north end of the T2. You need to really walk hard to get there.

If you also visit the T2 of Pudong Airport, please feel free what you see in the comment section.

Shanghai Pudong Airport Terminal 2 (T2)

How exciting! Shanghai Pudong Airport Terminal 2 just opened today – exactly today, and I am lucky to happen to travel to day, on March 26, 2008. So I had the opportunity to experience the brand new terminal on its first day. Here is my report.

Overview

There are two airports in Shanghai: Hong Qiao Airport (the older one), and the Pudong Airport (the newer one). I am talking about the Pudong Airport.

Geographically speaking, Pudong Airport is at the south bank of the entrance of Yangtze river into the East China Sea. Pudong Airport is the major airport in Shanghai. It is at the east sea coast of Shanghai – 30 km from city center, or 40 km from Hongqiao Airport.

image

There are one terminal building in Pudong Airport and two runways. Now, the second terminal – almost the same shape of the first one was built and put into operation today.  With the two airport and 3 runways, it has 224 plane parking lot, 70 boarding bridges, and 2.4 million square meters of plane parking area. Now it has the capacity of 60 million annual passengers with 60 airlines covering 90 International cities, and 70 domestic cities.

The second terminal is much larger  than the first one. Here is a table:

Item Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Floors 3 3
Building Area 280K sq. meters 480K sq. meters
Boarding bridges 28 42
Airlines Counter 204 352
Stores and Restaurants area 10K sq. meters 20K sq. meters

* Data source: brochure of Pudong Airport Terminal 2

My Journey of the Pudong Airport Terminal 2

My journey started from the Maglev train station. The train station, and the track are the perfect line dividing the airport into two part – on east is the T2, and on the west is T1. These two are pretty mirroring each other, with connecting walking path.

image

I started with the red building, and immediately after you leave the Maglev and use the elevator to get to the second floor of the Maglev train station, you have an important decision to make: going to T1 or T2, since they are on opposite side of you. They have a table to help you figure out which terminal you should use.

DSC04008
Caution: This map is only valid for a very short period of time (one month), and when you are checking this back, it may already be out of date. Check with latest information, since when the chart was drawn, the airlines are in the transition period.

Central Path to T2

I decided to use T2. turning left (or right depending on which wing you are in the Maglev station), you see the central path:

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To my pleasant surprise, the Central Path, is full of sunshine. It is wider than the T1 since it combined the two path into one wider path, and have windows on the ceiling. Look! It is very bright!

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The ceiling with curtain made it a perfect combination. Look up!

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At the middle point of the Central Path to the T2, there is an exit for the Airport Shuttle Bus. The bus still start from the T1, as I described in this article: Bus Schedule of Shanghai Pudong Airport. This bus station, on the east side of the Maglev train provide service to T2, as the first stop of all airport shuttle bus, before they leave the airport.

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Meeting Point

The other very important improvement of T2 is, it has a big meeting place. The big orange square put people who want to meet each other in the square – pretty lovely design.

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Looking back, it is at the end of the Central Path.

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Sunshine Terminal

If you ask me to give a name to the new terminal of Pudong Airport, I won’t hesitate to give the name of Sunshine Terminal!

Its walking paths have many ceiling window like this:

DSC04028

and the sunshine pours down, and made some artistic shadows. I have another article specially written for the sunshine  and shadow of Pudong Airport T2.

Equipments

They have nice equipments, like these – a fancy telephone booth. The only problem is, I don’t know how to make a phone call with the booth after play with it for some time.

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On the screen, they have some Olympics message today (March 26, 2008)

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From the a little bit dirty window, you will see that you are pretty close to the huge T2 – you are in the middle way in the central path.

DSC04040 

Parking Lots

The parking lots of T2 is also improved from T1. As you can see from the photo above, the parking lots start to have identification colors, like this:

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Entering the T2

Finally, I completed my 3 minutes walk in the Central Path, and start to finally enter the T2 main building. Before entering the building, you are provided with a chance to go down to the first floor (arrival level)

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This is pretty handy for passengers who don’t want to wait for the slow lift, like in T1.

T2 Main Building

Here is the hall of T2:

 DSC04062

Brand-new display board:

DSC04065

and some artificial plants along the way:

DSC04067

The automatic check-in counter should be put into operation soon:

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They also have decent restaurant like this:

DSC04074 

and my favorite Ajinsen Ramen:

 DSC04073

Roof of T2

As in the Central Path, the roof of T2 is also the highlight of my tour in T2. Look at the leaf on the roof and the sunshine!

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It lit up the whole building, and I would expect the new terminal will consume less power than the T1.

DSC04090

The sunshine leaf is also decorated outside the main building:

DSC04096

and I have to say, the leaf is BEAUTIFUL!

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Summary

After my tour of T2, I feel very excited. T2 is far beyond my high expectation. It IS a modern airport. I challenged the usability of Pudong airport, and gave negative comments on staff of Pudong Airport, but the opening T2 completely changed my mind. Both the design, the hardware, and service of the new building is a completely new stage of the airports in China.

 DSC04106

Congratulations to the completion of the T2 of Pudong Airport. It is a great archivement, and I am  so happy to have such a modern, bright, comfortable airport in my city!

Sunshine and Shadow of Pudong Airport Terminal 2

As I said in the other article, the best part of Pudong Airport Terminal 2 is the design of ceilings, and the window, so it allows sunshine to pour in, and create shadows as well as lightening up the building.

These are the ceilings, with curtains (which avoided direct sunshine)

DSC04028 
(This picture is taken at the meeting point)

and this:

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Shadows

This is my favorite: X in T2.

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I believe every time I visit the T2, I will take photo of the amazing shadows it created. I don’t know who is the architect of the Path, but I want say, you really made a great design.

DSC04103

Shanghai Pudong Airport Terminal 2 to Open

This is the second part of the article:  PVG: Second Terminal to Open.

This is an important notice to passengers to Pudong Airport. It may be even more important to frequent travelers to PVG than first time visitors, since habits will cause problem. I hope this information is provided in a timely manner to my readers, and please do read it if you are coming to Shanghai.

Moving Time

The Terminal 2 building of Shanghai Pudong International Airport will start trial operations on March 26th. BTW, I will be on business travel to Beijing on that day, and I will surely report that with photos. Many airline companies are going to move to the new terminal. Here is the plan.

Moving Plan

1) 0:00, 26 March 2008- The 1st stage moving, Carriers which are scheduled to move within the first stage are:

  • Air India(AI),
  • Alitalia Airline (AZ),
  • British Airways(BA),
  • Shanghai Airlines (FM),
  • Garuda Indonesia(GA), 
  • Malaysia Airlines(MH),
  • Northwest Airlines(NW), 
  • Philippines Airlines(PR), 
  • Qantas Airways (QF),
  • Qatar Airways(QR), 
  • Royal Nepal Airlines(RA), 
  • Transaero Airlines(UN),
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways(VS),
  • Air Ukraine(VV)
  • Cebu Pacific Air(5J)

It seems the only airline that may affect my travel is the Shanghai Airlines (FM). I never used other airlines before.

2) 0:00, 29 April 2008 – The 2nd stage moving, Carriers which are scheduled to move within the 2nd stage are:

  • Air Canada (AC),
  • Finnair (AY),
  • Royal Brunei Air(BI),
  • Air China (CA),
  • Cathay Pacific Airways (CX),
  • China Southern(CZ),
  • Emirates (EK), Dragonair (KA),
  • Deutsche Lufthansa (LH),
  • All Nippon Airways (NH),
  • Air Macau (NX),
  • Air New Zealand(NZ),
  • Asiana Airlines (OZ),
  • Singapore Airlines (SQ),
  • Russian Airlines(SU), 
  • Thai Airways (TG),
  • Turkish Airlines (TK)
  • United Airlines (UA)

In this second list, the most significant airlines are China Southern, Air China, Air Canada, and obviously, United Airlines. There are the airlines that may affect me most.

Moving Schedule

The Moving time will be 0:00 on 26 March and 29 April. Before 0:00 on the moving date (26 March and 29), if any flight delays their take off or landing, the operation will remain in T1 or based on the announcement of the individual airline.

Ground Transportation

1) Passengers may take Airport Shuttle Bus to T2. Connections to the Maglev Station have also been created.  People driving or taking taxis to the airport are advised to take the A20 and follow the signs to arrive at T2.

2) A special road and Airport Shuttle Bus will be available for the convenience of transfer passengers among T1 and T2. Shuttle bus service provided between 6:00am to 9:00pm only.

3) Please pay your attention to the direction indicators before the entrance to airport hall.

Contact

The airport hotline, +86-21-9608-1388, can handle questions regarding the new terminal building.

PVG: Second Terminal to Open

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Credit: Xinhua News Agency

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Credit: Xinhua News Agency

By the end of this month, the second terminal of Pudong Airport will be opened. I will make sure I am the first one to cover this news, and take inside out pictures of this new terminal.

Thanks to the architects that the second terminal has different shape of the first one. As illustrated below: the first terminal (the current one) looks like a seagull and the second terminal looks like a wave.

image

This terminal will boost the capacity of the airport from 20 million per year to 60 million.

Disclaimer: I have not personally visited this new terminal so far. The photos are found on the Internet.

My Photo Archive of the Area

Below are the location of the second runway, and the second terminal – as you can see in the photo, there are large space between the current runway, and terminal and the sea (the water on the top of the photo). That is exactly the location of the second terminal.

Picture 102

Picture 017

Above is the shape of the current terminal.

shanghai.pudongairport-birdeye.map

Airport Construction Fee for Connection Flight?

Hello! First, thank you for your informative site, it has been very useful.

I travelling to China this week. My flight arrives to Shanghai Pudong on May 13. The same evening I’ll be flying from Shanghai (Pudong also) to Wuhan. I was wondering about the construction fee you mentioned at your site. Do I have to pay it before entering a certain area?

I suppose there are some waiting areas (before the check-in)? I’m travelling alone and have to wait the whole day for my flight to Wuhan. I think it’s wise not to leave the airport so that I don’t miss the flight.

I hope you have time to answer, thank you already!

Best regards

from Finland

For the Airport Construction Fee, you still have to pay for it. Here is the reason.

If you transit to another flight in China airport from an international flight, and you don’t enter custom gate, you don’t need to pay for the fee. For example, if you are transition in an airport in China for international flight, for example, from SFO – Shanghai – other Asia countries, you don’t need to pay for airport construction fee.

In China, however, based on my knowledge, you always have to clear the custom or enter the custom gate at your arriving airport, like Pudong Airport, before you can transit to another domestic airport, so it is for sure that you need to pay the fee.

Whether Included in Ticket

It is worth checking to see whether the fee is included in the ticket price already. If you buy the ticket in China, it is for sure that it is included. From Sept 1, 2004, all tickets have that fee included. I don’t know about your travel agents. I checked expedia.com and it does not seem to have that fee included.

Check it in case you don’t need to pay it twice.

Maglev

You may try maglev if you have some time – it may take 1 hours for round trip (14 minutes in trip, and up to 40 minutes for waiting). Check these entries.

Avoid Hong Qiao Airport on Friday Night

Everyone, if you travel to Shanghai, definitely avoid Hong Qiao Airport on Friday night. Never ever think of landing in Hong Qiao on Friday night. There is a simple reason for that – there is just no taxi that can help you get out of the airport.

Last time I used Hong Qiao Airport, it took me 40 minutes to get a taxi. That is not that bad. Today, it is much worse than last time.

Look at this illustration of the terrible situation today:

Illustrated by Jian Shuo Wang

If I count it correctly, there are 631 people waiting for taxi at the airport!

I was astonished to see how long the line today at 10:00 PM when I arrive from Beijing. Based on my last experience, it should take at least one hour to one and half hour to get a taxi.

As I complained last time, there are hundreds of taxi down in the garage. They also way for 3 to four hours to pick up a passenger. The bottle neck is clear – the pickup area.

This is a serious problem to solve for Hong Qiao Airport.

Me? I am not the first time passenger to face this situation. I made up my mind to walk out of the airport and to the downtown – with one hours I can even walk to the downtown instead of waiting for the taxi. There are much bigger chance to get a taxi on the way out of airport. Lucky as I am, I found a taxi at the Hong Qiao Airport hotel – 5 minutes walk from the crazy line of people.

40 Minutes for a Taxi at Hongqiao

It took me 90 minutes to fly from Shanghai to Beijing, but it cost more than 40 minutes to walk from the end of the line to the door of a taxi. That is the increasing problem for Hongqiao Airport.

Long Long Lines!

I hesitate to choose Hong Qiao Airport now, especially for the night flights. The public transportation does not really work – there is no metro to Hong Qiao, and there are not many bus route. Taxis seem to be the major transportation for the island of the airport (the airport seems to be an island for me).

Last time I am back from Beijing, I arrived at 9:00 PM, and I waited in the several hundred people line. The line was horrible. When I arrived at the door of a taxi, it was already 9:40 PM. That was almost half way from Shanghai to Beijing.

Improvement? Yes

There WERE some improvement. I observed the management changed lots of approaches on the parking spot to allow more effective pick-up. Now, there are 6 lanes to pick up passengers concurrently. That is much more effective than the 4 lanes in the past, but the demand for taxi increased dramatically. Many flights arrived at the same time, and the airport was like a train station. Hopefully the extension of Shanghai Metro #2 will solve the problem.

Shanghai Airport City Terminal

pass-by asked about the Shanghai Airport City Terminal. Your guess about what the terminal is “supposed” to use is right, but it does not works that way.

The Terminal

Besides Hongqiao and Pudong airport, the Shanghai Airport Authority built an Airport City Terminal near Jing An Temple. The tall building was designed to allow passengers to check-in baggage in the downtown, and go to airport without large luggage.

It was not Fully Used

The terminal started operation on Sept 9, 2002. Three years past, only one airline moved into the terminal – Shanghai Airlines. All the other airlines have started move yet. The recent news said the China Eastern Airlines have plan to move into the terminal building within 5 years. What 5 Years? They said they are consider to move in before 2010. Other airlines still don’t issued any announcement of any plans yet. Now only 2 out of the 18 counters of the terminal were used, by Shanghai Airlines.

Why

If you look at what you need to do with the only airline – Shanghai Airlines, and you will know the reason why this terminal is not popular.

1. Passengers need to check-in 2 and half hours before departure time. That is 2 hours more than required in Pudong Airport. 2 Hours are long enough to get to Pudong airport using the slowest transportation – bus.

2. Passengers have to double check-in their package at gate 44 in Pudong Airport, 40 minutes before departure.

This is ridiculous. It seems the only service the City Terminal provides is to help you to move your luggage from the terminal to the airport, and you still need to get the baggage at the airport again.

3. Only flight after 11:30 AM can be checked-in in the Terminal Building.

4. Only flight at Pudong Airport is served. Most of flight of Shanghai Airlines is domestic and depart at Hongqiao. No wonder there is only 4 passenger per day used the terminal, according to a local newspaper.

5. Transportation to the Pudong Airport by your own. Since there is no train directly connect the City Terminal and the Pudong Airport, passengers need to use the Metro Line #2 and transit to the Maglev at Long Yang Road Station. About one hour is needed. Passengers can also take Pudong Airport Shuttle Bus #2 (there is a stop right at the City Terminal).

Do Not Recommend to Use it

So my conclusion is, don’t use the terminal (even if you take Shanghai Airlines flight), and directly go to Pudong Airport – unless your luggage is big enough that you can not even take with a taxi (chances are, they cannot be taken by aircraft).

Hope the City Keeps Learning

This is an example of huge investment (300 million RMB) and little (or zero) return. Since many things are the first in the country, including this terminal building, there are a lot to learn. I hope with more and more 1st mover project going on, Shanghai doesn’t make too much mistakes like this.

P.S. Of cause, it needs time for the City Terminal to be fully unitlized, and for the city to learn… Just be patient.

Second Run Way for Pudong Airport

The second runway for Pudong Airport has been put into usage recently, and the second terminal building is under construction. It means, very soon, the Pudong Airport will be twice as big as its current size.

I went to the Pudong Airport twice in the last weekend, once on Saturday and once on Sunday. Every time, the airport is crowded and full of people. I remember when I visited the airport about four years ago, I didn’t see many people and I wonder – will it be a project that aims to be big, huge, beautiful, but wasted too much money? It turned out my worry was not necessary. Now, the capacity of the first terminal building is not enough for sufficient transportation, especially the UA and CA flights in the afternoon – it is almost as crowded as a train station – the long line goes in Z-shape till to the entrance of the terminal, blocking other passengers’ way. According the plan, when the second terminal is completed, the third and forth will be constructed so the Pudong Airport will be four times as big as the current one.

Hong Qiao (SHA) v.s. Pu Dong (PVG) Airport

I read two travel books these days: one on Boston (by Marie Morris) and the other on New York (by National Geographic Society). Both of them offer a section on transportation, like Entering Boston or Gates to New York. It is very helpful and let understand the locations of LGA or JFK.

This experience reminded me that not many people really know the difference between PVG or SHA. Let me explain it.

Map

Here is the typical Jian Shuo Wang style of map:

map-pudong.vs.hongqiao.png

© Jian Shuo Wang

Wendy rated 7 point out of 10 for this map. I thought she may give a 9. :-(

Differences

As you may guess, neither of the airport is located in the downtown.

Hong Qiao Airport (SHA) is much nearer to the city than Pudong Airport (PVG). SHA is on the west of the city and PVG is at the far-east. A20 is the outter ring of the city. SHA is exactly located at west part of the ring while the PVG connects to the A20 via a highway A1. You get the idea, right? Refer to the map.

Hong Qiao Airport (SHA) is older than Pudong Airport (PVG). SHA was the first airport in Shanghai. PVG was built when the expansion of Hong Qiao Airport became impossible when the city grows and surrounds the airport. The equipment of Hong Qiao Airport became old while PVG is brand new.

Hong Qiao Airport is for domestic flights only. Pudong Airport serve both international and domestic flights.

Pu Dong Airport is bigger than Hong Qiao. With the second run way constructed, it aims to be an international aviation hub like Tokyo or Hong Kong.

Pu Dong airport has MagLev connected to the Metro Line #2. There is no Metro or Maglev for SHA.

Similiarity

No Metro (subway) access at both airport.

There are airport buses for both airport, and Airport Bus #1 connects the two airports.

Avis serves at both airports.

How to Choose

Unless you are flying between Shanghai and large cities in China, like Beijing or Guangzhou, you often have no choices. For international flights, the only airport to depart and arrive is PVG. For many small cities, there are only very few flights every week and there is only one possible airport, SHA or PVG.

If you do have choices, you can consider the following factors:

  • Price. The construction fee for both airports are the same (50 RMB for domestic, 90 RMB for international flights and 10 RMB for short distance branch flights), but the transportation from the airport to other places are of big difference. It takes at least 100 RMB to get to downtown from PVG, while the price is about 60 – 90 RMB for SHA.
  • Are you an Airport fan? If you’d like to see a modern and beautiful airport, definitely go to PVG. PVG has great architecture and great facility. Beside that, you can also take a ride of Maglev and experience a train running at 430 km/hour. For business travelers who fly between Shanghai and Beijing so many times a year, they often choose SHA because it is nearer to the city and smaller, which means less money, less time and less walking distance.
  • Arrival time. If you arrive late, SHA may be better since the Maglev closes at 5:30 PM now and you only have two choices to leave the airport – bus or taxi.

Airport Shuttle Bus #7 Starts to Operate

In additional to the existing 6 lines of airport shuttle buses, a new airport bus line started operation.

Time Table

At Dong Fang Rd.

First bus: 6:30

Last bus: 21:40

At Pudong Airport

First Bus: 7:50

Last Bus: 23:00

Price

Ticket price starts from 2 RMB.

Bus Stops

  • Dongfang Rd.
  • Pudian Rd.
  • Centuary Park
  • Longyang Rd. Metro Station
  • Keyuan Rd.
  • Zhangjiang Nong-gong-shang super market
  • Chengxi
  • Chuansha bus stop
  • Pudong airport

PVG: 2nd Runway Under Construction

Shanghai is sunny today, but the temperature drops by 8 degrees C. The winter is coming! The cold, freezing Shanghai winter is coming!

I send Wendy to the airport and she will begin her happy journey to Europe. She will have a meeting at Munich, Germany and visit Italy, Austria and France…

After I saw the China Airlines flight disappeared in the sky at 12:30, I had a walk outside the Pudong Airport. I bet not many passengers ever tried to walk out of the airport – it is by the sea and there is barely no buildings around.

The Second Runway

Heading to the east of Pudong Airport, you can walk to the sea shore by theory – if there were not the trench. I will talk about it later. (East is the direction you face when you step out of the gates of the Departure Hall.)

shanghai.pudongairport-birdeye-with.names.wandering.jpg

Passing the Maglev station, and pass the highways, and a wood bridge, I reached an area behind the trees – the massive ground area with no trees and no buildings. This is the report about the second runway and the second terminal building of Pudong Airport.

The authority is now working on the preliminary work for the second runway which is expected to be finished by the end of next year and has started to collect designs for the second terminal from firms worldwide. Xinhua, Nov 22, 2003

The Preliminary Work

The vast empty land should be the Preliminary work. It is almost the same size of the current airport terminal. The land is about 1 meter below the land of the current airport. The “footprint” of the bulldozers are clear on the ground. I was surprised to see such a huge project base there. (Wendy said I maybe happier to be a construction worker – she always said so when I show my interest to the construction bases.)

I marched about 10 minutes toward the harsh winter strong wind and almost reached the sea shore, but a deep trench lied before me. It was about 2 meters deep and 2 meters wide and there are water inside. I have to turn left, hoping to get around the trench since I saw the left end of the trench. 15 minutes later, I said “shit” when I found out that the trench is a square, defining the area of the second runway and the terminal building. I have to walk along the trench and found the wooden gate through which I entered the construction base.

The Shopping Malls

The shopping mall mentioned in the Xinhua report is also under construction. The building should have been completed, if I didn’t make mistakes.

Updated Got the GPS from Sebastian

I went to the SJTU Minhang Campus to meet Sebastian and got his GPS. It is a very nice GERMIN eTrex Venture. I entered to waypoints into the GPS:

KFC CAOBO N31.17026 E121.42917

JSW HOME N31.17053 E121.42356

Credit: Garmin’s website

Nice. :-)