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Airports to offer Expo-delay food, accommodation

Shanghai airport authorities announced Saturday that airlines will offer free food and accommodation for delayed travelers during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The announcement said that, during the Expo, airline companies must give travelers free drinks and meals for delays of up to two hours and that airlines must offer free accommodation when the delay is over four hours.

This is just one of the 25 commitments made by 16 different parties including Pudong and Hongqiao airports, China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines, Air China, and China Southern.

Luo Anping, communications officer at China Eastern, confirmed the rule but said that the details are not yet clear. "Similar actions are not widely practiced in other airports in China, but Beijing had similar rules during the Olympics."

The customer service department of Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern, and Air China all claim they have not received any notice about this regulation so far.

China Southern said that they have heard of the policy but that it is only for flights landing in Shanghai's two main airports, Pudong and Hongqiao.

"Delays are very common. Once I was leaving for Qingdao from Shanghai, and it was delayed for three hours, there was no food or drink or anything offered to us," Xu Luyan, a 25-year-old Shanghai resident told the Global Times. "It surely is a good thing, but I doubt they will continue this after the Expo."

"So far, it's all for the Expo period," said Su Weiwei, communications officer at the Shanghai Airport Authority. "Airline companies are responsible for the free meals and accommodations, so it depends on how they handle it I guess."

An estimated 1.15 to 1.68 million more travelers will land in those airports this year than in an average year. Passenger volume at Shanghai's two airports will reach over 7 million this year, and the city's four terminals are capable of an annual volume of 10 million.