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April 29, 2011

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More duty free shops in airport

MORE duty free shops are set to open in Terminal 1 at Hongqiao International Airport this year, Shanghai airport operator said yesterday.

Passengers will also be able to enjoy free wireless Internet access at both terminals.

These are a part of a program, mainly in Terminal 1, to improve facilities and services, said Jin Dexiong, deputy general manager with the airport.

Another initiative will see passengers informed of the taxi waiting time at the airport.

Jin said the airport has seen "great improvement concerning boarding, waiting and shopping."

Hongqiao airport won the Most Improved Airport category in the World Airport Awards 2011. This was based on survey results from 11.38 million questionnaires completed by more than 100 different nationalities of airline passengers for Skytrax.

Hong Kong airport was named Airport of the Year in the awards.

The operator will renovate Hong-qiao's check-in facilities, VIP room, toilets and retail units and offer free WiFi - a service already available in the newly built Terminal 2.

Airport officials added that 18 more flight information screens will be added to Terminal 2 and more electricity charging facilities provided.

But passengers said the airport still lags behind in some aspects, such as toilets, lounges and restaurants.

The airport came under heavy criticism from passengers complaining that prices in some restaurants were much higher than their outlets downtown. The operator held talks with businesses to lower prices and promised "the same prices throughout the city."

Hongqiao airport handled more than 30 million passengers last year.

The airport ranked 19th in terms of customer satisfaction worldwide among 154 airports last year, according to survey by the Airport Council International.

Shanghai's other airport, Pudong International, ranked fifth.


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