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Day 1 – The Journey

Our taxi to the airport was with a company that I've used for years – The Air Travellers Executive Car Service. I thoroughly recommend them if you're in the North-West London area – courteous, friendly, always on time, and a reasonable price.

We'd booked all our air travel independently, as we were not returning to Heathrow. Www.lastminute.co.uk did us proud, with very reasonably priced one-way tickets on Emirates to Shanghai at the start of the tour. The only down side was that the total journey would take around 20 hours, including stop-overs, but this was in two hops, and we could stretch our legs for 4 hours in Dubai along the way. We were offered a reasonably priced upgrade to Business – but we decided against it as it was still a reasonable chunk of money that we felt could be better spent on other things.

The best thing about the journey was that we arrived the night before the rest of the tour group, so could get at least some hours sleep and a shower before we met them straight off the flight the next morning.

The plane to Dubai was one of the new Airbus 380's – a double-decker. We were beginning to think we should have taken the upgrade to Business! The journey was uneventful – a typical long-haul get-it-over-with type flight. One mini-gripe – the airlines are definitely cutting back on the number of times they come round with the free booze! Just the once this trip – nowhere near enough to knock us out for the journey! One plus with Emirates – you can choose your meal type if you indicate in advance. We'd marked Art for a fresh fruit platter – very tasty.

Dubai Sunrise

Dubai is a typical major city 'hub' airport – we could have been in Heathrow. So nothing special to report. It's very noticeable that every single flight is for Emirates – there are no other companies that seem to use the airport at all, and it just goes to show you how big the Emirates airline organization is.

From Dubai to Shanghai we were on a much smaller plane. Again nothing specific to report though – only one trip round with the drinks trolley again (definitely wishing we'd taken the upgrade now….)

Shanghai airport reminded us a bit of Auckland – it's about the same size, and is a 'typical' new airport. It was very efficient too. We were expecting to spend some time coming through passport control, baggage and customs – but we were through and sitting on the shuttle bus to our hotel in well under an hour.

Shanghai immigration had a small box on their desk with 5 options so you can mark the Officers conduct, making the experience very polite, would not this be a great idea for USA immigration

Our hotel in Shanghai was the 'Shanghai Airlines Travel Airport Hotel', booked through www.hotels.com. There is a free shuttle bus every half hour to and from the airport. And it was a very nice hotel. Clean, comfortable, with all the things you expect in an airport hotel. We were tucked up in bed and snoozing by 1:00 am.

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holidays/abroad/china/day_1.txt · Last modified: 2010/08/22 03:16 by art
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