I am currently in Shanghai, China at the Pudong International Airport and it’s been quite the experience. Although, the airport is clean, is beautifully designed (I love the ceiling) and is convenient and most staff are polite and helpful, this layover has been an absolute nightmare. I originally knew I would have a 22 hour layover here, however the plan was to be sitting in a VIP lounge eating and drinking freely and getting some sleep. That didn’t turn out to be the case because both VIP lounges are past security check-points and you need to be checked in to get there; which you can only do 4 to 5 hours prior to your flight’s departure. What a clusterfuck!
So, I have spent the last 14+ hours in the terminal bouncing from one seat to the next trying to get comfortable. My ass hurts, my back hurts, I am sleep deprived, dirty, stink and need a hot shower and comfy bed. However, I have met a couple of awesome people while waiting that have shared their experiences and my misery with me as they are going through similar wait times.
A gentleman named, Sui Kuan has been my lounging and phone charging companion for the past few hours. He’s Chinese but lives in the Netherlands and happened to miss his flight and got stuck in Shanghai airport for 24 hours. We’ve been sharing stories about travel and our kids and have been watching each other’s bags while the other one uses the restroom or grabs a bite to eat. Quite the polite and friendly gentleman.
Along with him, I met a fellow Torontonion; Fifi, who also took the cheap ticket option and has a 22+ hour layover in Shanghai before catching her flight to Indonesia. Fifi and I have been chatting with each other since we boarded our flight from Toronto Pearson airport. She’s going back home to visit her family and has been an absolute delight to chill and chat with.
You always hear of those travel stories of meeting random people at the airport and sharing your experiences and here I am living it. Thankfully though, I only have a couple more hours before I can check-in and get some rest and food in the VIP lounge. But I will caution anyone that’s planning to use VIP or priority lounges for layovers to research the timings and location of the lounges before planning a ridiculous number of hours in an airport to save money on a trip. Totally not worth the exhaustion but definitely was worth the experience.
Well, my darlings, thats how this trip is going so far. I’ll write more once I arrive in Phuket. Visit my Instagram page to see all the pictures I’m posting and stay tuned for more. Xoxo