Friday, April 28, 2017

Qantas business class from Sydney to Shanghai became a nightmare

It is our first time to fly into Shanghai.
We were on a cruise ship last time when we visited this mega city.

We will be joining Queen Mary 2 cruise ship in Shanghai.
Our cruise segments are from Shanghai to Dubai for 20 nights.
It is part of Cunard's QM2 World Cruise 2017.

The package we booked though on-line travel agency is included 
Airfares for round trip, 2 nights in luxury hotels in Shanghai and Dubai, 
Airport transports, Tours in both cities and QM2 cruise for 20 nights.
We liked irresistible price and booked it right away without second thought. ^^

 Shortly after take-off Sydney airport,
we were passing Sydney's west Parramatta area.

 Rosehill Gardens Racecourse near Parramatta 

 Sydney Olympic park where 2000 Sydney Games were held 

 Flying Kangaroo on red flat land of Australian outback 

 Business class for this flight's seat arrangement is 
zig zag so that passengers can stretch their legs
and it becomes 180 degree flat bed.

 Crab meat salad with champagne as appetiser 

 Grilled salmon fillet with squid ink noodles as lunch main course

Catching up with movies for few hours and 
a short nap after the lunch to make it up to our early wake up this morning.

 Blue eye fish for dinner

 After nearly 11 hours flight,
we were flying over Shanghai 
and it is sunsetting 

 This airport must be the biggest in the world.
It is huge!
It took more than half an hour for taxing
since we landed to the gate.

Shanghai Pudong Airport.

Fact is Australians don't require visas to China, Shanghai anymore 
if we leave the country within 3 days.

There were hundred of other Aussie passengers at the airport
 look like they would also join QM2.

Problem started when we were told to join the other line
at the immigration entry.
Soon, the line is escalating to hundred of people
who look confused.
We showed them our paper work and documents
which prove that we will join the ship the day after tomorrow.
But they keep saying they have to check.
Checking what?!#$@

It takes more than 5 minutes for each passengers with immigration officer
but they were all told to stand behind the officer who still holds passports.
Everyone including us is getting really frustrated.

About one hour passed, a Chinese speaking Qantas air crew were called in.
According to her, the officers don't believe that
 the cruise ship is coming to Shanghai
the day after tomorrow.
And they are checking on the list of Cunard booking website
whether our names are on it.
But we were told our names and booking numbers do not exist on that.

Another two hours passed by.
Some of us got the passports back and told to go while
 some of us were standing behind
the officer and just waiting with confusion.

Finally, three hours later standing behind the officer,
we got our passports back and told to go, too.
None of us want to know what happened.
We were just happy to leave the airport
and enter the city.

What a welcome to the country.
Not sure if there would be a next time
but I will make sure to get the visa to the country.