Shanghaiist is always relieved to hear that we’re flying out of Hongqiao rather than Pudong airport. First, Pudong is just so far away (anyone know if they’ll be extending the Maglev anytime soon?). Second, the food at the Pudong International Airport is … well, we don’t want to bring it up again (literally). Not that Hongqiao is brimming with quality dining establishments, just that it’s so much quicker to get there from the city and it’s often for a domestic flight, so you don’t feel the need to kill time by eating.
However, once our return flight has landed back in Shanghai, we begin to curse Hongqiao airport as much as Pudong. And we do this because of the taxi queue. If every person in that queue stood right up next to each other (and they do), the line would equal twice the length of the Great Wall. Or something like that.
Problem is that there are only two taxi stands out at Hongqiao, and one of them — the “short ride” queue — seems specifically reserved for people who just want to drive around the airport parking lot for a while. You know, just for a lark. That leaves one “long ride” taxi queue with an inordinate number of people waiting in it.
Good news. The paltry two queues has just been increased to a whopping twelve:
The new stands are part of a three-month renovation of the airport aimed at improving traffic flow around the two terminals.
The renovation, which cost 4.96 million yuan (US$620,000), covers an area of 4,500 square meters around the terminals.
There are now six taxi stands outside each of the airport terminals. Roads running alongside the terminals were also expanded so that they can handle more vehicles.
The five-lane road leading to Terminal B has been expanded to 10 lanes, allowing faster traffic flow.
The seven-lane road near Terminal A has also been expanded to 10 lanes.
We’ve thought of a cheaper method of achieving the same result. Why not set up a stall giving away free food from Shanghai’s two airports to people when they get to the head of the line. The queue would disappear in minutes.