Review of China Eastern lounge 36, Pudong, Shanghai (PVG). By Chuck!
This is quite a nice lounge in Shanghai (PVG). My flight arrived about 4AM, and after some international transfer follies some other passengers and I arrived at the lounge about 5AM. The MU lounge 36 sits next to another lounge, 39. Even though lounge 39 is branded Air France, SkyTeam Elite members flying MU aren’t allowed in.
The lounge was easy to find, just a few steps from the security screening area at the departure gates and up the escalator. It was already open, and checking in was very quick and easy.
I was happy to see that this lounge has showers, the Delta App didn’t list this amenity and the Priority Pass (PP) app said their lounges in Terminal 1 didn’t have showers either.
Upon arrival I was working hard to figure out a way to get over to Terminal 2, where the PP app said several PP lounges do have showers. An immigration officer shut me down quickly on that idea – you have to exit security to get to Terminal 2 and you need a boarding card for a flight there to get in. No way I was going to go through that again after the flailex in JFK the day before. And to think that some people say that squids can’t be taught!
The lounge is situated on two floors. The first floor is where you check in, there’s a hot food bar with local food options and some other items (breads, broiled bacon/mushroom mixture, etc) for breakfast, and a couple of beverage stations. There is also a bank of lockers that you can use for free. Using the lockers is intuitive and easy, but I found the fingerprint reader feature to open the lockers to be very fussy. I had to call an employee to open my locker several times.
Moving upstairs, there’s a room with 4 power recliners and 4 fancy massage chairs with a variety of massage options from which you can choose, and 2 showers! These shower rooms are huge, you could have a small meeting in there (see the pictures below). The showers in Schiphol (AMS) and Paris (CDG) were, at best, a third this size. The shower I used was quite clean, except for this one door. I don’t know what’s behind it, but they need to open it up and give it a good cleaning.
There’s a station for food and beverages, and there’s also a computer room, but excluding the showers the highlight for me was those massage chairs after my 14+ hour flight from JFK.
Maybe I should explain my fixation on showers. For most of my flying life I’ve flown across the world with no chance to get clean, and that includes those 24+ hour Cat B flights from Norfolk, VA to Bahrain that I took more times than I care to count. I’m not knocking the AMC pax terminals, I love those guys and am very grateful that we have that option. But, I’ve never seen one that had an easily accessible shower (maybe that’s changed since I took my last AMC flight 8 years ago?), and I never had any sort of status with an airline until last year when I was able to hit Platinum status courtesy of a bunch of flights and a couple of strategic AMEX credit card sign ups. When I took my first shower during my 6 hour or so layover in Schiphol enroute to Ghana last September I was blown away by the difference it made for me. So, now I actively seek out opportunities to get clean while I’m traveling.
One downside to PVG, there are A LOT of mosquitoes flying around. I probably saw 30 or more inside the lounge itself, though I saw far fewer in the main terminal when I went exploring.
Overall my experience in PVG in general, and in the China Eastern lounge specifically, was quite good and I look forward to my next opportunity to visit.