Organisers are hoping feedback from participants will help to improve the level of service offered to passengers from November.
Four trials are taking place, as well as a full trial day involving 1,300 passengers on Monday October 27.
The first batch of ‘passengers’ will be picked up in Paphos and taken to the airport on Thursday. This trial will ease staff into their new roles, by only having to attend to 100 passengers, in the first instance. This will be increased to 500 on October 23, and will culminate with the last trial day on October 27.
All participants will have to take part in one trial day and the final day. They are also being offered €50 worth of Debenhams and Super Home centre shopping coupons, and a gift from Hermes. In addition, each participant will also be entered into a draw for €5,000, which will be held on the final rehearsal day.
The ‘passengers’ will arrive and depart from the airport, bringing with them their valid passport and hand luggage. Interestingly all passengers are requested to pack without prohibited items, so they pass through baggage control freely.
The airport will supply the luggage to be used as part of the check-in procedure.
Each rehearsal will be three hours long, and the duration of time for the ‘passengers’ from pick-up to drop off will be five hours. Participants will also be required to fill in a short questionnaire about their airport experience.
In addition, a number of chosen passengers will be asked to role-play emergency situations. These will cover medical emergencies, lost luggage, declaring goods at customs, and to assume the role of passengers with reduced mobility.
Passengers will be handed dud tickets before commencing the usual check-in procedure.
The volunteers don’t actually get to fly anywhere, and only travel as far as the departure gates where they will be transported back to arrivals, to carry on the scenario as passengers who have just landed.
These exercises are all part of the staff training programmes, which Hermes airports hopes will ensure a smooth and well oiled travel experience for passengers using the new Paphos international airport form November.
Both Larnaca and Paphos airports have been a cause for concern in the past few months, as they suffered problems with check-in, baggage handling, parking and ground staff.
n Places for the airport trials are limited, as the interest has been substantial. However, there are some places left, and if you are over 18 years old, and would like to take part in the scheme, please contact connective communications on 22-870088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
By Bejay Browne, Cyprus Mail, October 08, 2008