4pm CST (GMT +8)- Well, it’s departure day! I’ve spent 17 days here in China shooting video and stills in tea fields around Hangzhou and Wuyi, which are south of Shanghai, for a startup my cousin is doing. I took American in economy here and upgraded to business last night for around $660 which isn’t bad in my opinion on a 12 hour flight. Departure isn’t for a few hours so I’ll inundate you with my experience here at the airport and on the plane too.
First off, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) is a massive airport, very airy and spans a ton of acreage. It’s incredibly nice inside too, easy to navigate, clean, and has free wifi which is a nice touch. Side note: the wifi is slow, trying to download the newest Top Gear, I’ll try streaming it instead.
When I checked in, the priority line for American Airlines was a bit of a shit show. Tons of families with tons of bags (9+ bags for a family of 4!?!), so it was really slow. Immigration is very hot as well; temperature wise, not sexually... as there seems to be no a/c working in that area and you’re packed in the queue as the Chinese like to do (no personal space here really). There is a panda store that sells panda stuff right outside the security line though!
After 30 min of security and immigration, I said goodbye to my cousin and his wife who were traveling to Newark, and then made my way to the Air China first class lounge which American Air and a few other airlines share; Emirates has their own lounge here too at gate 71. The lounge itself is quiet and has tons of drinks (randomly tons of Budweiser cans, lol), cocktails and coffee/espresso drinks at the bar. There is a buffet upstairs too, plus showers and massage chairs. I opted for the espresso and a NY Times downstairs while I listened to some of John Mayer’s new music (good stuff).
Now I’ll sit here until 5:15 or so and make my way down for boarding. Then I’ll update again!
Edit 1: 9pm somewhere near Korea
Got to watch episode 6 of Top Gear! The AMG GTR portion had some of the best editing and cinematography I’ve seen in Top Gear ever! Also, had a white russian whilst I watched that.
After that, I boarded and sat in my seat, 7A, for around 30 min while boarding finished and we got clearance to taxi for takeoff.
Also, turbulence... Lots of it. Not sleeping anytime soon it seems, but I did eat some pretty good food for airplane food. And what’s the deal with airplane food? something Jerry Seinfeld. Any who; this is my 1st time in business class on a 787; the last time I was in first class was in 2004 with my dad on a 767/777? to Hawaii. Service is top notch and the attendants are really professional. I had the duck breast with a curry sauce, plus a pretty good tart. 2 glasses (actual glasses too) of champagne didn’t hurt either. Off to sleep once the turbulence stops!