As I don't do trip reports, today 09 October 2010 was a very special at Dublin Airport and a experience of a lifetime for everyone and myself taking part in the new Dublin Airport Terminal 2 trials. Therefore its worth doing up a trip report, but without pictures because we were told we're not allowed to take pictures inside the terminal. As this was the last of the trials and with the most people, I decided to give it a try.
I arrived outside the C car park at around 11.10ish queueing up to collect the pink parking ticket where the T2
trials staff directed me to go straight up to Level 5. Once I parked the car and headed to the lifts, there were trial staff there directing us to take the lift to ground level. Once outside the car park, there were trial staff at around 15 metres intervals directing us to arrivals at Terminal 1.
Once I was inside the arrivals at Terminal 1, we're supposed to go down to area 14. While people were directed the long way by the kiosk and around the toilets and behind the escalators, I took the shortcut over to the escalators, which only involves walking past the bar
Down in area 14, there was a long queue for registrations but the queue didn't took long until I reach one of the desks to register myself for the trials. I used my driving license for registration, while the staff gave me the info pack with the script or briefing sheet as some would call it, a pen and a trial volunteer badge (for trial volunteer identification purposes). Then I was told to sign the registration sheet and I was ok to go. While I walked to the food and drink stands, the staff who registered me ran up to me and said 'I've forgot to give your driving license back'. That was unusual, I thought she handed everything back. Then I was given a danish and a apple juice. My briefing sheet shows that I will be on the EI9996 to MUC
departing at 14.15 at gate 421 and my identity for today trial was PALMER. Then I met AuleyAir beside the escalators, we chatted a little while we were waiting for EI320 and EIBusiness. Then EI320 and EIBusiness arrived and once thery're registered, they got the pink sticker and they have wait behind in area 14 to queue up in the pink sticker queue. AuleyAir and I was curious about the pink sticker. Anyone without the pink sticker including AuleyAir and I were directed back up to the arrivals and walk across the car park and follow the footpath to T2
which there were trials staff directing us to T2
Once outside T2
there were pallets loaded with suitcases and the staff there loaded the trollies with between one and four suitcases. I was given two suitcases and headed to check-in. Once inside the terminal, I feel its kind of cramped, less spacious than looking from the outside. I queued for check in for the first time and I got a red sticker on my badge. The queue for check-in was really slow, around 90% of the check-in desks were opened. I hope once T2
is opened and all the check-in desks are opened the queues moves faster. Once I checked-in and got one of my suitcase tagged, the check-in agent should have gave me the bording pass other than ripping it up and discarding it (I collect them)
. I was told to queue up to check-in again. This time I got a blue sticker and I got my boarding pass with the baggage tag stub stuck on it, very realistic indeed
While both of us were looking at our boarding pass, we've noticed that we're going on a widebody a/c because AuleyAir got a K seat I think and I got 43A. While I was thinking that I'm done and finished with my empty trolley, I was told go outside and collect a few more bags and check in again. This time I got three bags, at the check-in queue I got a green sticker. I checked in one bag and was told to queue up to check-in again. This time I got a white sticker, while queuing up for check-in this time, AuleyAir decided to take a peep what's inside the suitcases that made them so heavy. There was cardboard. I took a look at mine and its cardboard also, but I think there's something between the cardboard that made it so heavy. Once I was directed to one of the check-in desks, I got two bags checked in and got my boarding pass. Off we go to departures.
We went up two flight of escalators to reach the departures area. This is area feels very spacious compared T1. The queue for security check was short but slow. The shopping area was smaller than I expected, but it seems that there's a restaurant area and/or more shopping area on the upper level which the escalators leading to it was sealed off. We finally met up with EI320 and EIBusiness in the shopping area. Then we found out that EI320 and EIBusiness with the pink stickers were acting as connecting PAX. We decided to go and have a look at the toilets in the shopping area. The toilets we went into only have two cubicles! According to me, thats not enough cubicles unless T2
designed capacity is less than T1. Somebody didn't do their maths correctly! The toilets at T1 are huge! I wonder why the toilets at T2
We then headed to pier E which is known as the 400 series gates. I quite like this area because it has an amazing view outside. One of the drawbacks in this pier are the travellators! The travellators are very narrow compared to the ones at T1. While walking down the pier to gate 421, there were stands offering us water, coffee, tea, sandwiches, crisps, apples and bananas along the way. Along the way we've spotted an ex-Ryanair 738 with it's titles removed, Europe Airpost 737, a private BBJ
, Aer Lingus A330 EI
and some unknown livery 737. The EI
A330 was parked up on gate 422 was the flight to FAO
. People with FAO
boarding passes can board the plane. Unfortunately we didn't get to go on a plane. While waiting, EIBusiness started snapping a few pictures of pier. The boarding call for our flight EI9996 was made and everyone who answered correctly on the quiz sheet got entered in a draw, the prize was a digital camera and the other one was a flight to London. Unfortunately none of us four won anything. We were given brirfing sheets as arriving passengers. Some people were given an Non-EU slip for immigration purposes, the vast majority of people got the EU slip.
Then it's time to board for our imaginary flight which was a few seconds walk in the door and up the escalator. On the escalator there were some smashed glass panels seen on the way up. I wonder what happened to them? The walk up to immigration was ok, but we avoided going onto the dreaded narrow travellators.
Once we reached immigration. The queue on the EU lane was packed. So we queued on the All Passports lane. The person in front of us had the Non-EU slip and the immigration officer was asking her some question because she had the Non-EU slip. There was some drama going on with the person in front and the immigration officer. We were laughing only because this was a trial and the person in front was a bit over the top
I don't really like the gate thingy after the immigrations where you push it open to go into the baggage reclaim area. I'm not sure if they're electronically operated or not. But anyway those gates looks horrible!
It was not easy to find a trolley at the baggage reclaim area because the trollies were hidden at one end. The baggage caroussels look similar to the ones at HKG
. They look kind of nice I think. Our suitcases supposed to come out of caroussel 1 but it doesn't seem to be moving so we took the suitcases from the FAO
flight on caroussel 2. In reality its impossible to do this, taking someones luggage. The oversized baggage collection belt is unbelievally small. The baggage service desks are hidden on the other side of the building, unlike the ones at T1 which is right in front of you as you walk to reclaim your baggage. Then there was customs, red green blue channel, we exited through the blue channel. I was a bit surprised to see a perfume shop just after customs and before exiting to the meet & greet area. We headed down with our luggage to the check-in area because EI320 and EIBusiness didn't get to see the T2
check-in area nor used the T2
check-in as they were connecting PAX.
We were told to leve our luggage behind and queue at the other end to havd up our briefing sheet and to de-register. We were given a slip to write our details in for a draw. We were then given a bag containing a baggage tag chocolates, danish, orange juice and a slice of caramel shortcake. Then it was time to walk back to T1 and then it was the time for us to go.
I've enjoyed every bit of it today even though I didn't step on a plane. After all I've got free parking at Dublin Airport for once
Finally! It's been great meeting you today, AuleyAir, EI320 and EIBusiness.
Hope to see you soon in some a.net meet or at some airshow or anywhere!