Our next stop after Xi'an was Shanghai.
Bad weather in Shanghai shut the airport down and no flights were going in or out. We were given a little bit of information, but for the most part all we knew what that it was delayed with a potential for a cancellation.
At first the delay was short, so I went wandering around a little bit and tried to find some internet so I could contact our hotel and let them know of the delay. I came across this ice cream stand, which at first I thought looked yummy, but on second glance I noticed it made me laugh more than anything else.
This was actually what it said on the ice cream stand. While it may be true that one scoop is the same calories as an apple, that misses out on so much more that I was just speechless! Can't even believe they tried to make that comparison. And while I am glad there aren't too many calories in a scoop, I would still argue that the apple is the better choice. For a treat, if that was your goal, this size scoop would be a good option, but it definitely shouldn't replace the piece of fruit! I never saw the size of the scoop, but I was curious to see if it was smaller than a standard half cup scoop.
Eventually everyone was getting antsy with the delay and just overall not knowing. I was pleasantly surprised with how well Air China handled the passengers. It far exceeded anything we encountered Royal Air Maroc when we were stuck in Barcelona (that was a complete and total night more, you can read more HERE). I know this was domestic, but if their customer service and plan for delays can exceed what is offered for an international flight, that really says a lot. It was also day time and I know in Barcelona it was very late at night and not many employees were around to help, which made a bad situation a lot worse.
First, Air China brought a hot meal out for every passenger on the flight. They set up a hot food cart near the gate and passengers could come up to get their meal and the airline made a mark on their ticket to ensure no one was trying to take more than they should have. The meal had meat in it so I didn't take one, but Ryan did. I ended up buying a small meal at one of the restaurants nearby. About an hour later they came back with a small snack and a soda for everyone. It was a very nice and unexpected gesture. Again, it was very well organized and they made note of which passengers came for their snack and who did not. They also checked IDs along with the tickets. We weren't the only flight delayed leaving Xi'an so I suspect this occurred at other gates as well.
Eventually we were told that Shanghai would accept flights after 6 pm. Our scheduled flight time was 12:15 pm and we took off at 5:45 pm. While this wasn't the worst delay to experience, it was still a pain to be delayed when we were hoping to get a little of Shanghai in on our first night.
On the flight I was served a vegetarian meal, so this made up for not having something vegetarian earlier. I was also impressed to see a meal was served on the flight. Our original flying time was not over a meal time so a meal wasn't even planned. This was a nice surprise and I was glad to see they had something vegetarian for me.
When we arrived in Shanghai we decided to take the Maglev train over to the city and then from there the plan was to take a subway. I rode the maglev train back in 2005. The Shinkansen in Japan also goes very quickly, but it is a little different from this type of train (some use maglev technology). This train goes faster than the Shinkansen. You can see here we are starting off and going around 200 km/h.
Things pick up a little and before you know it you are going 300 km/hr. During rush hour times, like in the morning just before lunch, speeds will increase. The ride from Pudong airport to Shanghai is very quick.
From the train station in Shanghai we had to figure out how to get to our hotel. We started to negotiate for a cab, but we quickly discovered it was a scam and had to work our way out of a potentially sticky situation. The part that was unreal was that a cop was watching and allowed them to try and rip us off. He even laughed a little when he saw how uncomfortable we were. It was late at night and we walked to what looked like a legit taxi stand. It was, but that didn't stop the fake guys from setting up shop just in front of the real taxis. The man gave us a price but told us we needed to get in a minivan because of all out things. He tried to usher us to a minivan in front of the cab that was really at the front of the line at the taxi stand. We declined and when we tried to leave we ended up surrounded by a group of men (all "taxi drivers"). Ryan is a big guy (anyone over 6 ft will do the trick!) so that really wasn't going to stop us and we quickly pushed our way through with everything and headed to the subway station. We got on the line we needed to take to the station by our hotel. It ended up working out beautifully. We managed to pick the exact exit (out of over 14 options) we needed and came right up in front of our hotel.
We were welcomed by the staff and escorted to the front desk. We stayed at the Yangtze Boutique hotel. I had a room upgrade from one of my rewards cards, so thankfully they had something still available. We indicated that we would want breakfast each day and they offered us (this time at cost) another room upgrade. This would be just a little more than the cost of breakfast for 2 and with the room we would have breakfast included. Sounded like a good deal to us (we already intended to eat breakfast there each day so it wasn't a huge sell for us) and I am glad we did this because the room was amazing! It was a very large suite with a lot of space, 3 small balconies, and a giant bathroom.
Nice for reading and getting caught up on homework.
The bathroom was seriously huge.
It was late and we were't familiar with the area yet, so we ended up just going across the street to grab some dinner. Kervan, a Turkish restaurant, was right across the street.
We started off with some hummus.
Not quite pita, but it was still pretty good bread.
For my entree, I went with the smoked salmon. A lot of meat dishes were on the menu so I had a little trouble picking something out. Thankfully I wasn't too hungry, so this was perfect.
Ryan had some kind of "pizza".
I've got to say we were pretty beat by the time so we walked back across the street and headed to bed. The next day was also going to be long with lots of sightseeing, so rest was the best idea.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever had a flight delayed? How did the airline treat you? When was the last time you splurged on a room upgrade?