Review: Air China First Class Lounge – Shanghai Pudong

We arrived at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport after a quick, 35-minute commute from the Grand Hyatt Shanghai on the metro and the maglev.  First Class check-in was painless and uneventful, as was the short trek through immigration and security.  We made our way directly to the new Air China lounges, located near gate 71 in Shanghai-Pudong’s Terminal 2.

There is one large desk with a ton of Air China agents to direct you to either the First Class or Business Class lounges.  Since I was booked in first class for our short flight to Tokyo-Narita, we had access to the First Class Lounge.

I really hadn’t read a whole lot about this lounge, so I was anxious to see what it was all about.  I must say, my expectations were quite low for this lounge, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

An Around the World Trip — Oktoberfest and Asia

Upon entering, we found a lovely space that was virtually empty (there was only one other passenger in the lounge the entire time we were in here).  The lounge feature a pretty cool design with a circular buffet that is stocked with multiple hot and cold selections.  There’s also a full-service bar with a pretty nice selection of liquor and wine.


Buffet Area and the Bar

We settled in and set out to hit up the breakfast buffet, as we didn’t have time to eat much at the Grand Hyatt.  The lounge featured several hot entrees and an impressive selection of fruit, pastries and desserts.  I had some pastries and some fresh, scrambled eggs.  It was quite a nice buffet for breakfast.

One thing I did notice is that despite the lack of patrons, the chef and lounge attendants were constantly refreshing the food selection with fresh new food right out of the kitchen.  I appreciated the freshness, but it did seem like a bit of a waste.


Lounge Overview


Small Plates and Desserts


Hot Breakfast Selection

The lounge itself has plenty of seating areas as well as a separate dining area where one can take in a meal.


Air China First Class Lounge Dining Area

After breakfast, we still had about a thirty minutes to kill before our late morning flight.  So we did the only logical thing at that point in time — we went to the bar!  The bar featured quite a nice selection of liquor, wine and beer.  The overall design of the bar was very chic and visually appealing.  There was a bartender who happily served us a couple of drinks before the flight.


Air China First Class Lounge Bar

Air China First Class Lounge Shanghai - Bar and Lounge Overview

Air China First Class Lounge Shanghai – Bar and Lounge Overview

Thirty minutes and a couple of scotches later, we were informed that the Tokyo-Narita flight was starting to board, so we made the short walk to the gate to begin our long journey home via Tokyo!

 The Verdict…

I was pretty impressed by this lounge.  The design of the lounge was especially unique and modern, and I loved that.  Though it does lack a view of the airport tarmac, the food and alcohol selections at this lounge are fantastic.  Service in the lounge was solid — most of the attendants stayed out of our way, and only made themselves present when it was apparent we needed something.  For example, there was not a bartender at the bar until we sat down at the bar for about 30 seconds — and then one magically appeared.

Given the relative lack of quality lounges at Shanghai, this lounge is an oasis in Terminal 2 at Shanghai-Pudong!  Air China really did a nice job with this lounge — if only they in-flight product would follow suit!

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