Flight E-I-E-I-O

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Yesterday I took part in the operational trials for the new Terminal 2 in Dublin airport. Terminal 2 opens in eight weeks and will be operated by the Dublin Airport Authority.

So we all had to be there for 11.30 and we were bussed to a briefing area where we were told what was expected of us and where we had to go. We were all given scripts that we have to follow which had different scenarios. I was there in my own but there were also couples, families, seniors and people with disabilities including wheelchair users. All in all there were 800 volunteers involved yesterday.

Terminal 2 is going to be the base for most trans-atlantic flights by the sounds of things and airlines using it will include Aer Lingus, Delta and Continental.  Staff from all the airlines were there making sure everything worked. My script told me that my name was Niamh Phelan,I had to check in to fly with 2 bags to CCC, Cayo Coco, Cuba (if only). The guy beside me was Sinatra, F.

We were dropped at the front door where I collected my fake luggage. Then I had to do everything you’d normally do for a flight. Find on the board which desk I had to go to and check in my two fake bags. I got a fake boarding pass and had to proceed to Gate 403, taking in the sights along the way.

The Terminal is very spacious, probably seemed even more so as there wasn’t the usual amount of traffic. Unlike Terminal 1 there is a lot of glass in the building which makes the place very bright. The bathrooms are nice, everything is top notch. The departure gates are upstairs, there are some nice escalators and stairs to get there. There is still construction going on so there was hoarding around some places and what seem like pieces of art are still covered.

boarding passThe section going through the screening area is again spacious and the walk to the departure gates isn’t far at all. Everything is well signed throughout the terminal. The only thin gI would say is when you reach the gates, the sign says 401- whatever straight ahead when 401-407 are through the US Immigration area.

US Immigration was fun, I had fun with my officer who joked about my fictitious flight on my invisible plane. I wasn’t impressed though, he said the Giants wouldn’t make the play offs. What was even funnier was the other officer giving a volunteer a really hard time, wondering if he had packed his own bags, how long he was staying for and why he was going away to Cuba for three weeks on his own.. Hilarious!

The DAA took really good care of us and gave us coffee and sambos before we went to the gates. There were also newspapers galore for us that didn’t stop the couple across from me giving out. Actually they were really funny, almost that they took part in the day to see what they could get out of it. He had a BLT sambo she had Egg Mayo , I know this because he said they should eat one of hers each because BLT would last longer. He complained that there was a Hardback  Finding Nemo graphic novel and not a DVD in his newspaper (???)

It took the airline staff a few goes to get the Tannoy at the right level. Everyone knew this was an exercise and happy to say , ‘No we can’t hear that’, or ‘yes we can’. The couple across went to the desk and complained they couldn’t hear. Now remember, we were not going on a real flight. They stood at hte desk asking how long they would have to wait before being told to sit down. Then she loudly complained that she should have brought her book.

When we went through the gate we were then given another script as if we had just arrived. Coming in, the arrival area is huge and the baggage reclaim area is so easy to get around. There seems to be about ten custom posts for busy times. Outside the meeting area is huge, the whole thing is just so easy.

Really enjoyed the day, it was great to see what the place will be like. Hopefully next tim eI’m in Terminal 2 I’ll be heading off to somewhere nice.