Shanghai airports enhance inbound foreign passenger experience

A view of the Lujiazui financial center in Shanghai's Pudong New Area from the Bund. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

The Shanghai Airport Group has introduced seven initiatives aimed at facilitating inbound services to enhance the overall travel experience for foreign visitors in the city.

For inbound travellers without domestic SIM cards, a new feature called “Passport Identification Login” has been launched.

Travellers can use their phones to capture passport information at the airport’s free Wi-Fi login page, enabling seamless internet access with just one click.

At both Pudong and Hongqiao international airports, 14 points have been designated for the sale of SIM cards and mobile data packages, allowing travelers to purchase domestic SIM cards immediately upon clearing customs.

These points support foreign currency and bank card payments and are staffed with dedicated personnel for assistance.

Plans are in place to establish mobile operator service centres in terminals 1 and 2 of Pudong Airport to offer professional communication services to inbound travellers.

Service points for Shanghai Urban Tourist Cards and transport cards have been set up at Pudong and Hongqiao international airports, accepting foreign card payments and making it more convenient for inbound travellers to switch between taxis, buses, and subways.

As a designated area for inbound payment service demonstration by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, Shanghai’s two major airports continue to enhance foreign bank card payments and domestic mobile payment capabilities.

Over 400 merchants in both airports accept various transaction channels including foreign currency cards, WeChat Pay, digital renminbi, and Alipay, with clear indications of accepted payment methods.

In addition, dedicated inbound payment experience service counters have been set up to guide inbound travellers on mobile payment and foreign bank card linking.

The Shanghai Pudong International Airport has added three currency exchange points in the Departure Restricted Area of Terminal 1 and the Arrival Public Area of Terminal 2.

Additionally, the Hongqiao International Airport has set up a temporary currency exchange point in the International Departure Area of Terminal 1 to meet travellers’ currency exchange needs.

Currently, there are 16 currency exchange points, seven banking outlets, and five international card-compatible ATMs across both airports.

To further enhance the inbound passenger clearance experience, the Pudong International Airport has collaborated with Customs and Border Control to improve service details.

This includes the addition of multiple form-filling stations, multilingual immigration card instructions, directional signs, and the introduction of visual baggage loading/unloading progress indicators at 35 international baggage carousels.

Inbound travellers can monitor luggage handling progress in real-time, enabling them to prepare for baggage collection in advance.

To provide a seamless experience, a one-stop “Inbound Facilitation Service Point” has been established in the arrival halls of Pudong and Hongqiao airports.

This service point integrates services such as Wi-Fi registration, SIM card and transport card sales, currency exchange, mobile payments, and manual inquiries, in one place.