20 January 2017E Makarov
Me and my wife were going to Europe from New Zealand with a transfer at Pudong and it turned out to be a bad choice for me. Of course the airport is big and shiny, and I must give it to them -- passport control and security people are professionals. But when it comes to the human factor, such as interpreting the rules and caring about others, I'd say it's the worst.
When checking my luggage, I was told that I cannot carry my guitar into cabin and that I have to put it as check-in because the soft case was "too big".. despite the general rule for musical instruments and that it was allowed on (!) CHINA eastern when flying from NZ. I had two check-in bags already (same for my wife), and didn't want to pay 200USD for an extra one, so I've decided to put the guitar out, fill the case with some of the contents of one of my bags, and throw the bag out with the rest of the stuff. I wrapped the guitar in some of my clothes, but the manager told me it was "still too big" even though its base fit into the 2 dimensions given for checking (he said it was "too tall", weird logic).. so I had to take everything off and play the game of pretend.
Finally, I cannot say the overall weight of the plane decreased substantially -- 3 to 5 kilograms at most. I'm also sure they had an extra storage in the plane -- I used the cupboard couple of times before, when overhead lockers were full. Still, I had to carry the wrapped guitar by the griff, jacket hanging on one of my hands and another item which was quite flat and wide so it was stuck in the X-ray at security and we forgot about it since we had too much on us already. I tried to call lost&found of this terminal afterwards, but they said they haven't found it, even though I can hardly imagine how such a big piece can go missing.
For that I'd like to thank the manager at the counter who made me sweat for an hour while re-packing my bags. I guess some representatives of this culture enjoy playing with their power, so to all of you decent folk out there -- please be careful and aware.