I just returned home from my trip to Shanghai and Beijing. I was flying with American Airlines and as an Executive Platinum with American I was flying Business Class direct from PVG to LAX after my first original flight (PVG-ORD-LAX) was cancelled due to the first officer being sick. American Airlines has a codeshare lounge partnership with Dragonair and Cathay Pacific which are two great Asian airlines. For Executive Platinums, Platinums and passengers flying First or Business class they are invited to visit the lounge before departure. Due that my original flight departing at 2:00pm was cancelled, I had an 8 hour wait at the lounge before boarding AA182 at 10:00pm back to Los Angeles and like I always say, delays or cancellations can be saved by having lounge access.
The check in at the American Airlines Business class counter went smooth, the agent handed me my boarding pass, lounge invitation and tagged my luggage, from there I was able to proceed to customs. What I liked about customs is that I was able to skip a big line due to flying Business class and also my status benefits with AA helped speed up the process. I cleared customs in less than 5 minutes, make sure you have the proper documentation filled up because if you don’t – it will delay your process of clearing it in matters of minutes. I then proceed to Security which offers a security station for First and Business class passengers which I loved (similar to TSA Pre-Check). – I only had 2 other passengers ahead of me. However, you do have to remove your laptop out of your bag and remove everything out of your pocket – it’s simple and the security staff was friendly. Finally done with the basics and I was on my way find the lounge that was located right across gate 68 and 69, you can take the elevators or stairs to the lounge.
Before entering the Lounge you will see the following sign.
When you first enter the lounge you are required 3 things:
- If you are flying American Airlines, the check-in agent will provide with an invitation to the lounge pass exclusive for you and a guest if they are flying with you on the same flight. This pass shows that you are flying either First or Business class and you are an elite status flyer. So don’t lose the invitation and keep it in hand.
- Passport it’s a must to show upon arrival to the lounge as they will ask you for it.
- Boarding Pass (All boarding passes) if you are flying to more than one destination within your journey.
Once inside the lounge, you will see the following.
Once the staff has reviewed your documentation you will be clear to enjoy the lounge. It doesn’t take long for them to check you in and get you on your way – but I did noticed that the traffic of this lounge is heavy, especially during the late afternoon and those red-eye flights departing to Asia, Sydney, Los Angeles,etc.
Things that impressed me about the lounge:
- The Staff & customer service: The staff was super friendly, attentive, caring and welcoming making their self available for anything that I would need during my visit to the lounge. I had a flight cancellation and without hesitation I was able to come back into the lounge without any problems.
- The Food: They had all kinds of food available for the guest visiting the lounge. Asian cuisine, sandwiches (all kinds), soups, rice and more. They really focused on keeping the passengers fed and stocked up during their wait at the lounge.
- The drinks: Entering the lounge I noticed they had a full bar of soft drinks and closer to the gates overlooking the terminal they had another full bar of alcoholic drinks and more soft drinks with different kinds of beer as well, I thought that was a nice touch from the lounge. I started with a diet coke zero and went on to have a cold beer for a bit of relaxation. Nothing too fancy 😉
- Bathroom: The bathroom was spotless, they had a staff member always cleaning it and making sure everything was in order. If you needed anything he would help you in any way to get it to you. Clean & they also had a private restroom if you wanted to change, I did not see a shower room, which it would have been nice to shower and refresh myself after a few long hours of waiting
- The view of the tarmac: As a plane fanatic, I had incredible views of the tarmac watching planes take off and land.
- Cleanliness: You will notice that they have a cleaning crew walking around the lounge every 30 minutes to collect the trash and keeping the lounge clean and organized. The cleaning crew is aware of everything that it’s happening at the lounge and once done with a meal or a drink, they will come and get it from you right away.
Bar, Drinks & Food Selection:
Overall thoughts on the lounge – This is a wonderful place that I would visit over and over during my next trip to Shanghai,China. As an elite flyer for American Airlines, it is a no brainer for me to use their invitation to this lounge while waiting for my flight. I highly recommend it to those who are granted access to it. The attention to detail was perfect and the cleanliness from the staff to keep things in order was greatly appreciated. If you have the opportunity or you are in transit at Shanghai Pudong International airport and have access to this lounge, I highly recommend visiting it. A very complete lounge offering everything you need.
The Business Center of the lounge offers state of the art iMacs, iPads & telephones. The Business centers features a cubicle style type of room and very secluded as well. The lounge also offers a wide variety of sitting sections with charging stations as well.
Have you visit this lounge? What would you like to see them improve?
Best, John Carter.