Shanghai Lounge Experience - travelling F

Old Jan 5, 19, 3:01 pm
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Shanghai Lounge Experience - travelling F

Hi All

Just thought I'd share my experience of the Shanghai lounge. We were travelling First on Amex 241 (Flights both ways were good). In Shanghai there is no difference whatso ever between travelling F or J. We used the China Eastern lounge, the Cathay lounge is closed for refurb. I had expected something much grander and found it to be fairly basic for international business class.

We were directed to a section of the lounge dedicated by a BA sign. There was a basic breakfast buffet with no hot food. There were no BA staff present. Next to that was an area dedicated for Cathay with a Chinese style buffet with some hot food. However what struck was that there was also an area designated for the Virgin flight. It was decked out with Virgin branding, including a model aircraft. It had a much fancier buffet with tables laid out with drink displays etc. A member of staff in VS uniform ensured that BA passengers weren't able to get near to their buffet. VS passengers were able to use the BA/CX areas if they wished. So Virgin laid on a lounge experience for their business class passengers that exceed the experience for BA F passengers.

VS went to the trouble of making a special effort whilst it seems that BA couldn't be bothered to offer anything but the basic lounge offering at PVG, even for F passengers. Of course we were on a 241 with fantastic value but if I had paid for the £8k ticket that was on sale a couple of weeks before our flights I think I would have been disappointed
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leisureflyer1234 is offline  
Old Jan 5, 19, 3:34 pm
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I think I used the same lounge last time i flew from Shanghai.. I do remember that my favourite thing to eat was the pot noodles 😊 To be fair as it’s not a BA lounge I was happy to take what we were given..
ThatT1Feeling is offline  
Old Jan 5, 19, 3:58 pm
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I have been through this lounge travelling in First a couple of times in the last two weeks and I fear you may not have explored properly. The ‘BA’ bit of the lounge is effectively the half of the lounge Cathay have permanently taken over, save they add an additional BA sign whenever the BA flights are scheduled. I know the area you are referring to with the BA sign which indeed leads to the cold buffet but walk around the corner and there is a hot buffet (effectively on the other side of the wall to the cold buffet), there is a bar, fridges stocked with drinks, the ubiquitous Cathay noodle bar (about two feet from the BA sign) and there are some fabulous showers that put the T5 Elemis showers to shame (not hard, I know!). The Virgin half of the China Eastern lounge is dedicated for a couple of hours to Virgin (the staff then dismantle the model Virgin plane and walk it comically through the BA bit) and then it seems to return to China Eastern for the rest of the day whilst the Cathay half remains Cathay. However, ime any passenger can sit anywhere. For what it’s worth, I thought the Virgin buffet looked awful!
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starlight is offline  
Old Jan 5, 19, 4:27 pm
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@leisureflyer1234: If you had posted in advance of your trip, we could have advised you to avoid the lounge. There are semi-okay dining options in the terminal, but the best way to play it is to check in at t-65, and head straight to the gate.
moondog is offline  
Old Jan 5, 19, 5:52 pm
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I’m sat in this exact lounge and saw this thread, so thought I’d chime in.

I can totally understand your disappointment OP, especially if it was taken as a one off, special trip. The unfortunate reality though is that whilst China is wonderful for a variety of reasons, service and First Class travel are not on the list.

When I was last in this lounge in early December, we sat in the area which is currently cordoned off for Virgin customers—so I was quite surprised to see the sign and model plane this morning. Not sure if this will assuage your disappointment much OP, but the food offering back then was more-or-less identical (in selection and lack of quality) to that of the “BA/Cathay” end.

This honestly is as good as lounges get in the entirety of Mainland China, and if you were hoping for the usual Cathay experience and the ‘ubiquitous Cathay noodle bar’, then the old lounge would have left you feeling even more disappointed.

Having said that, IMHO I find there is very little difference between this and what T5 has to offer (unless perhaps you are a drinker).

As moondog notes, best to arrive at all Chinese airports as late as possible and pass through the lounge quickly (I’m astounded by the numbers already waiting for said Virgin departure a solid 4 hours early). But I totally understand that's hardly any consolation for what was meant to be a FC experience.
georgeontherun is offline  
Old Jan 5, 19, 11:57 pm
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Agree with the above, the only way to get a decent lounge out of China is unfortunately to fly EK. Once the CX lounge reopens perhaps it will have been refurbished to the standard of BKK/TPE and there will be a decent oneworld option at PVG, but until then the best advice is to arrive at PVG as late as you feel comfortable doing for the time being.

I'm guessing the reason VS go to special effort here is that they struggle to fill the flight a bit more than BA do on this route given less connecting traffic and so have to offer something a bit more 'special' as a result.
lost_in_translation is offline  
Old Jan 6, 19, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
I'm guessing the reason VS go to special effort here is that they struggle to fill the flight a bit more than BA do on this route given less connecting traffic and so have to offer something a bit more 'special' as a result.
Indeed I would speculate (without any evidence) that VS struggles to make money on their PVG and DEL routes and that these may be next in line for the chop.
Ldnn1 is offline  

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