Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users. Wheelchair users, however, will experience a much different situation from that in the United States. If you plan to check a wheelchair at the check-in desk or use an airport wheelchair, things will run quite smoothly.
However, if you have a power wheelchair which you intend to take to the gate or aircraft door, expect difficulty at check-in. Because powered wheelchairs are essentially foreign to Chinese airports, airline agents and representatives will often tell you that the chair must be checked at the desk. This is NOT true. Stand your ground and insist you be allowed to take the wheelchair with you. This will take time, so it is critical that you arrive three hours prior to departure with a power wheelchair. This is true even for airlines such as American, Delta or United.
Wheelchair passengers will be escorted through security by an airline representative. Do not turn this down, as it will speed up your experience at security.
If you will require a loaner wheelchair to traverse the airport and terminal or need another type of disability assistance, contact your airline directly. For more information, or to read frequently asked questions about air travel with a mobility disability, consult our Wheelchair Users’ Guide to Air Travel.
Shanghai Pudong has two terminals. With 84 airlines serving the PVG airport, it is important to consult signage or contact your airline so that you arrive at the correct terminal. If you take the Maglev or subway line 2 to the airport, signage and departure flight schedules/gate listings will be posted outside the station.
Not all aircraft receive a jet bridge. If your flight has been assigned to a remote “gate” on the tarmac, you will be taken to the aircraft on a bus. A wheelchair lift truck will be used to help you board the aircraft. Aisle chairs are available if you require one.
Pudong airport is one of the most advanced in the world and its modern design makes it accessible. Elevators/lifts are available and accessible restrooms are spread throughout the airport and terminals.