Day 0 - Oct 15 Friday night 1055pm
Reached Changi airport T3 and was quite happy for the fact that even though we were travelling by China Eastern, it is terminal 3 we are boarding the flight. i have not boarded a flight in T3 and was excited. Unfortunately, the experience of checking in was not a happy one.
The tour we signed up since Feb's Natas tour was with tour agency Super travels. We sealed the deal primarily because it was pretty cheap. for 8 Days in Korea + Jeju and free 3 days Shanghai, we only need to pay $1510 at that time. Subsequently, as the date draws nearer, there were additional taxes to be paid due to the change in airport and dunno what tax. The tour package amounted to about $1688 which was still reasonable.
This being my first time on tour, i always thought that there's the privilege of group check in. However, we were told to join the normal queue by this ah pek who stood there to 'welcome' us. We were confused but continued queuing. When we saw another tour group using the group check in, we were puzzled though we were told that even if we do group check in, we will have to check in family by family, individual by individual. Quite crap shit actually. When we completed our check in, somebody popped out of no where and asked to check our arrangement. We asked who he was and he said he's with Super. So we made our complains to him and ask why our seats were different for our Shanghai to Korea leg, he just said not to worry, when we reach Shanghai, he asked us to go to the counter to request to change. We then challenged what if cannot change, he said sure can. In the end, we complained and say how can the agency ensure that our seats can be changed when we reached Shanghai, what if cannot, then how?
The person then say that he's just a freelancer with the travel agency, that made us even more pissed. However, in the end, we had no choice. Boarded the plane and headed to Shanghai about errr.. 6 hours ride i think? China Eastern sucks coz they don't have any online entertainment, so just try to sleep our way through the flight. Somehow we managed and reached Pudong airport.
It was cold that morning and Pudong airport is pretty huge for the fact that we had to take a bus to the immigration area. We were possibly grouchy and that some persons were quite rowdy and just shoved their way in the bus. When we reached the immigration area, we were faced with more confusion.
We didnt know where to go, lucky we can read mandarin and can speak mandarin and can understand mandarin. We realised there that even though we were transiting Shanghai, we still need to go through immigration and then re-check in again. Imagine our irritation in the chilly morning as the whole process was not detailed to us. We were also pretty helpful coz we also informed the rest of the tour folks as to what needs to be done.
In the end, we managed to check in to our flight to Korea and spent 4 hours of transit time in Pudong airport. We hope that when we reach Korea, things would be better.
Took some pics whilst waiting.
The expo design China Eastern plane
Declaration counter as per signboard
the official mascot for the expo
still wondering why the interior architecture is as such in general, the airport is pretty clean and looks pretty new. My impression of the airport was quite good.