Review: Shanghai Airlines Lounge, Shanghai Pudong, China

Our Thai Airways flight contracted with the Shanghai Airlines Lounge to provide a space to relax in before our flight. The Shanghai Airlines Lounge was a comfortable space in a groovy looking terminal, despite wishing for some better food and beverage.

This post is one chapter in our Around the World in Star Alliance First Class via China, Thailand and Spain. This trip was booked using Air Canada Aeroplan miles. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Read more from this trip:

Review: Shanghai Airlines International Business Lounge, Shanghai PuDong, China

“The Shanghai Airlines International Lounge offers a relaxing place to lounge before your flight, made cooler by the contemporary vibes of the Shanghai Du Pong Airport”

Getting There and Checking In:

Returning to the airport, at about 2.5 hours prior to departure, we retrieved our checked luggage from self storage and made our way upstairs to the Thai Check in Desks. We were flying today Thai Airways Business Class Shanghai to Bangkok. The business maze and lines were overflowing as without any staff or logic to why the lines were configured the way they were. I suspect many people were using shortcuts to circumvent the maze. 

A whole group of Thai people were seated on the floor next to the check in. I wouldn’t mention this – but it was out of the ordinary that you find 20 people seated on the ground next to a check in desk. It stumped me – and I should have taken a photograph, but didn’t (laughing).

Thai Airways Business Class Check In

Accessing the Lounge:

We were checked in and invited to use the Shanghai Airlines International Departure lounge (by invitation). Access today was granted based on the Business Class Service of our ticket on Thai Airways.

Based on the signs outside, we made our way through and at 3:30 PM on a Saturday, the lounge was stuffed full of people. It was nearly impossible to find two seats together. We managed to split a four square of chairs with another traveler who left shortly thereafter.

The lounge entrance from the main concourse was central and easy to find. 

Shanghai Airlines Lounge Entrance

Inside the Shanghai Airlines Lounge:

The nicest part of the lounge again was the architecture of the building. The lounge is elevated over top of retail on the international concourse and large glass windows are open to the aircraft on the apron for all to see.  

Shanghai Airlines Lounge Reception
Seating Area, Shanghai Airlines Lounge
Great Daylight Windows, Shanghai Airlines Lounge
Seating Areas
Contemporary Views from the Lounge

Food and Beverage:

By this time, after scrubbing around Shanghai and the earlier flight in the morning, I was looking forward to a cold Vodka Tonic with ice or even a glass of Sparkling. Maybe I was setting my standards too high? When I got to the lounge, I realized that I was!! 

The bad part? There was a very limited selection of alcohol. On offer was Chinese red and wine wine. There were zero spirits to be found. There were several kinds of canned beer – Asahi, Tsingtao, Budwiser and Calsberg in the fridge. This was consistent with our Chinese lounge experiences. 

I settled for a glass of the Imperial Palace Chardonnay. The food, like the PVG Domestic and PEK Domestic Lounge didn’t look too appealing, despite the lounge being operated by different companies completely (Air China vs Shanghai Airlines). I opted only for the drink only knowing we would be fed on board. It also made me appreciate the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounges (I am thinking of HKG and SIN specifically) and the Dim Sum steamers that they have there. For an expanding market such as China, I’d love to see some better catering in their lounge offerings. 

Limited Food and Beverage that consists of Wine or Soft Drinks

Thanks to the glass, we were able to see the soothing purple of our Airbus 330 arriving to the gate at PuDong. We headed down for some last minute souvenir shopping and to check out the gate area.

In conclusion:

Like many of our other Chinese lounge experiences, the Shanghai Airlines Airport Lounge was unfortunately no different. It featured a lovely and spacious environment to hang out in prior to your flight. The Shanghai Airport was pretty sleek and designed with a contemporary vibe thanks to it’s open air ceiling and flowing architecture. Unfortunately, the food and beverage left a little bit to be desired. Those looking to relax with an iced drink may be a little disappointed as this is more of a spacious holding room instead of a luxurious food and beverage oasis.

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