Sunday, December 23, 2012

Volunteers test Dubai Airport’s new A380 concourse, and voice their opinions (good and bad) on Twitter!

Dubai International Airport has completed the latest trials for its much-awaited Concourse A, after thousands of volunteers from across the UAE participated in various tests.

Volunteers line up! (Image: @fahadspeaks)
Marketed as the world’s first purpose-built facility for the Airbus A380 aircraft, Concourse A has been earmarked for a grand opening at the beginning of next year, although an exact date is still awaited.

Local volunteers - including adults, children and those with special needs - were invited to test out a selection of duty free shopping outlets, food and beverage facilities, information centres and the airport train (which offers a direct connection to Dubai Airport Terminal 3).

A campaign to recruit the volunteers was a massive success, it seems, and the trials were fully subscribed. Perhaps this could be attributed to the special benefits offered to volunteers – such as goodie bags (click here for a photo) and free lunches at one of the food court outlets – or maybe the public were keen to visit the world-class facility before its actual launch.

Dubai Airport Concourse A (Image: @fahadspeaks)
Results from the trials will be collected to highlight any potential issues with the processes, systems and facilities, allowing them to be ironed out, according to Paul Griffiths, CEO of +Dubai Airports.

"Prior to opening it is imperative that we are diligent in testing every aspect of the passenger experience across the new facility," he commented in a press release. "The trial has yielded some very valuable insight which we will be analysing and acting on in the days and weeks ahead. I would like to thank all the volunteers who took time out on their weekend and brought their families along to lend support to the trial. They have become part of Dubai's aviation history."
 
So what did the volunteers think about the trials? After a quick scan on Twitter, most were raving about the experience, although some were a little more critical about the waiting times. Here are some of the highlights:
“It was a great experience being in the world’s only A380 terminal. The volunteer programme is something unique and a great success. The terminal is awesome.” @Arun1999

“I say thumbs up for me! The advance trial was fully-packed. Thank you Dubai Airports for the experience.” @clen-david

“I think it was pretty good. Something different, getting the public to come in and be volunteers. The coolest part is that there’s a monorail to get from one part of the airport to the other. The goodie bag was great too.” @Nabila_Sharani

“Excellent arrangements for the second trial of Dubai Airport’s Concourse A for the Airbus A380. Thank you for making us part of the operational trials.” @jkhamisani.

“The trial was pretty good. Dubai raises the bar higher with every new thing they do. I’ve been to both trials, the second one was a bit messier.” @FaresAsadi

One user, however, seemed less impressed with the management of the trials, posting the following message to Dubai Airports:
"Complete chaos with your airport trials! Sitting here clueless on what to do. My pass is with your staff. And massive confusion. Is this how you treat volunteers who took out time to give u feedback? Expected better management.” @fahadspeaks
Were you a volunteer? How did you find the experience? Feel free to post your comments on this page.

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7 comments :

  1. Thanks Muhammed for the comment - and the gift pack looked pretty nice too, lucky you!!

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  2. I thought it was very well organised considering the numbers - there were a few bits missing obviously - hence the trial but they had thought of most of the details. The train ride between terminals was a treat! Shades of Singapore!

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  3. Robeel, you need an RSS feed on this blog!

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  4. Hi Mita, sorry for the delayed response, I think I have figured out how to add the RSS feed now! Hope its working and thanks for the feedback. Happy new year!

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  5. Volunteering for such kind of projects is a standard practice, especially for A380. I remember sometime end 2005 or 2006 when Airbus was searching around 800 something like volunteers from the employees to conduct evacuation procedure tests. Clever practice to motivate and familiarize Airbus enthusiasts and customers from all over the world, and raise the value of the brand...

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  6. Had a wonderful time & it was a nice experience too.

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