CHINA EASTERN SHANGHAI BUSINESS LOUNGE: REVIEW

Lounge: China Eastern Business Lounge

Alliance: Skyteam

Location: Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Lounge Rating: 4/5 Stars

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China Eastern has a shocking reputation for doing a whole lot of nothing. No customer service, no decent aircraft, etc.  With no prior experience or exposure to their product a lot of stories I had heard were tales that until now were for me unproven and wanted to give the airline the benefit of the doubt.

Using the China Eastern lounge for the first time in its Shanghai hub, The Australian Traveler was eager to check in and see if it would be wowed or not surprised by the lack of ‘premium’ about the lounge.

 

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Lounge access options

  • Business and first class passengers.
  • Eastern Miles Gold and Platinum members (SkyTeam Elite Plus) departing on a SkyTeam carrier.
  • Associated third party lounges may be available in certain locations where a SkyTeam partner lounge is not available. Due to its partnership with Qantas, certain Qantas elite status members may be eligible for lounge access at China Eastern locations when flying with China Eastern.

Lounge location and opening hours

Once you have cleared security turn left inside the International terminal and the lounge is there. The China Eastern Shanghai Pudong Business Lounge is open daily from first to last departure.

 

Ambience

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Upon walking into the lounge I was surprised by how sparse it was. Whilst there wasn’t any natural lighting in sight, the lounge still managed to have a buzz about it, even at 11pm at night. The seating arrangements were comfortable but I found that the number of chairs on the floor made the lounge feel crowded. Bathroom were also well maintained and appointed, offering shower facilities for those going between work meetings.

 

A bonus (which may seem tacky for some) is the massage chairs. Yes there is some debate on whether the chairs work or not but at the end of the day if you want to simple recline especially after a days work or a transfer between airports than these big ‘sofas’ do the job to unwind and ease into the evening.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

A number of food and drink stations scattered toward the back of the lounge. Despite the number of stations there wasn’t a lot of food options on offer (ie. salad and a handful instant packaged food like sandwiches). There seemed to be more of a focus on desserts with a number of sections stocked with weird and wonderful delights for this with a sweet tooth.

 

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Drinks wise there was a couple of decent drops there to be enjoyed but again the range was limited in terms of wine and spirits. Coffee, tea and soft drinks were also available.

 

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The wow factor however has to go to the noodle station where a chef is on site to make noodles to your liking. The noodles are tasty and quite filling with your choice of spicy beef or pork. The only downside was the weird cafeteria tray that was handed to you whilst lining up for a bowl of noodles. I felt the experience made it feel more primary school canteen than premium lounge.

 

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Verdict

I was expecting to write a negative review around this lounge based on previous experiences with some Chinese lounges but was more than pleasantly surprised with what I experienced. Sure it isn’t up there to the lofty standards of Qantas or JALs lounges but it did provide a decent space for those wanting to work or unwind.

The downside was the limited food and drink range. If it weren’t for its outstanding noodle bar this section would have been extremely disappointing.

Overall this lounge is by far one of the best in China (not difficult considering some of the shoeboxes they call lounges littered through Chinese airports) and a hopeful sign of things to come for other lounges across China in the future.

 

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Comments

Have you experienced China Eastern Business Lounge at Shanghai Pudong International? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – was it outstanding or did the lounge fail to take off on your expectations?

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