If you’re like me, when you land in a new airport, one of the first things you do is look for free wifi. Now what frustrates me the most at an airport, or anywhere as a matter of fact, is how 1) there isn’t free wifi and 2) they make you jump through hoops to connect. Free wifi is becoming more and more an expected service and the good news is that the Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of those airports. That said, it is a little trickier than most places to connect which is why I decided to put together this quick post.
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Methods of connecting to #AirportPVG-Free-WiFi
The wireless network or SSID that you’re looking for on your phone is #AirportPVG-Free-WiFi and once you’re connected, this will pop up.
If you look at the bottom, there are two options for logging in. The first method is by SMS and the second is by a special username and password.
Let me help you walkthrough both methods so that you won’t be without data when you land in Shanghai.
Method 1: via SMS
This method only works if the SIM card you have in your phone can connect to a cellular network in China when you land. I, for one, had issues primarily because I realized after the fact that I hadn’t enabled international roaming but that’s another story.
I would say that this is the easiest method because all you have to do is pop in your phone number and with any luck, you’ll receive a text message with the code you can use to log in.
Not much explanation is needed here as this is pretty easy to do.
Method 2: via Username and Password
You’d think this is easy but especially if this is your first time in Shanghai and you don’t speak the language, it’ll be trickier than you think.
Let’s break this up into two parts: arrival and departure.
Arriving at PVG
If you’re landing in Shanghai, you’re going to have to wait until after customs and picking up your bags until you can get a username and password. This means only when you go out into the public arrivals hall will you be able to start this process.
Thing is, they don’t exactly have an information desk for you to go to. In the name of automation and convenience, they’ve actually installed machines near the door you exit.
Once you’re at the machine, change the language to English and follow the instructions that will lead you to scanning your passport below. Once your passport has been scanned, a slip will be printed from the machine. Use this username and password to log into the wifi.
Now if you’re leaving Shanghai, it’s a little different which is why I wanted to highlight this new set of steps.
Similar to arrivals, you’re going to need to look for a machine to print out one of those slips. The machine you’re looking for is between gates 75 and 77. It’s a little hard to spot unless you know what you’re looking for.
This machine is actually a little different from the arrivals one (don’t ask me why) and it’s a console that seems to do a bunch of different things. I couldn’t figure out how to switch it to English so I’ve taken a sequence of photos to show you what you need to tap on to get things going.
Ultimately, what you want to do is get the machine to scan your passport. Once approved, it’ll print out a slip with the username and password and that’s how you’ll be able to log in.
The one thing to be careful of is that I had a lot of trouble scanning my passport. It’s a larger glass scanner and what I learned after numerous attempts is that you have to place your passport at the top left corner of the scanner. Otherwise, it won’t be able to successfully read your passport.
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Well that’s it! Hopefully you’ll be able to get on the wifi at PVG. If anything, ask the help desk at the airport for “free wifi” and they should be able to point you in the right direction. Best of luck!
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Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
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Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
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If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.