The new city in Shanghai as viewed from the Bund.
The new city in Shanghai as viewed from the Bund.

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.

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UGHHHH
UGHHHH

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!

insert panda song here...
insert panda song here...

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).

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USA! USA! USA!
USA! USA! USA!
Illustration for article titled Live updating - my experience in business class PVG - LAX
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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.

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Illustration for article titled Live updating - my experience in business class PVG - LAX

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.

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Illustration for article titled Live updating - my experience in business class PVG - LAX

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!

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