Proud To Be a T3 Trial Passenger!

I read in the papers sometime last month that the management of Dubai’s newest airport, Terminal 3, will be conducting a trial and will need volunteers to act as passengers. Volunteers need to be either a national of the UAE or those on resident visas. So Masood and I applied online, and got accepted. We went to the airport yesterday morning at 10:30 am with our passports and printout of the email.

First off, we received a pink folder, which included a blue “Proud To Be A T3 Trial Passenger” badge, pen, a welcome note and introduction, a script for the departure process, a script for the arrival process, two feedback forms, two e-tickets, and a visa to Damascus. Oh, and we were instructed to get 2 bags as our luggage.

The airport was HUGE, very new (of course) and modern, and very beautiful. It was extremely tempting to get a few quick photos, but the instructions were very clear. However, I spotted a few parents discreetly handing over their phones to the children, while the little ones took photos.

Outside the departure area were loads of old and worn out suitcases and bags. We picked out two somewhat decent looking, not so old bags, and placed them on our trolley. Then we proceeded to the check in counter. I was Michael Kaleena and Masood was Adams something. The lady asked for our passports, checked in our bags, and gave us our boarding passes. She also wished us a safe and pleasant journey.

There was this Caucasian guy, who apparently didn’t want to load the heavy suitcases on his trolley, so he picked up smaller-sized bags. When he approached the counter to check in the bags, the lady accepted the slightly bigger bag and told him that he could hand carry the smaller one. Poor guy. We saw him hand carry that worn out, dirty, old hand bag all over the massive airport.

While we waited for our pretend flight, lunch was served: garden salad, a cup of yogurt, chicken tikka, chicken biryani, fruits, and a can of soft drink. Food was really, really good.

There was too much walking involved in this new airport. It was MASSIVE. It was, however, nice to notice that the management has conveniently arranged for several restrooms, electric cars for the elderly, handicapped, and pregnant women, prayer rooms, and customer service desks. The directions within the airport were clear, and passengers could easily find their way around. Security was impressive. There were two ambulances on stand-by outside the building.

Upon our supposed arrival from the Damascus flight, we went through immigration, collection of luggage, and security check. I saw one security personnel open up a suitcase and examine the contents. I realize that the management has randomly placed certain stuff in some suitcases/bags, and therefore the security were screening our dummy bags quite strictly. They were being tested too.

We then filled out the feedback forms, and headed towards the exit gates. There was a huge crowd gathered at the exit, apparently collecting the free goodies from the airport staff. These free gifts would be awesome because it would always remind us of this unique experience, so we joined the crowd.

Not everyone was pleased with this commotion though. The man with a British accent behind me felt agitated with the crowd, and made his point clear as he spoke over the phone in a rather uncomfortably loud voice, “The trial is over, but I’m stuck here in the massive heave of humanity trying to get the free bag of goodies.” Then after the call, we heard him tell his female companion (who remained quiet throughout all this), “I wanted to say something harsh, but I don’t want to take the risk.” Heads turned to look at him. It wasn’t like he was FORCED to be there with the crowd. He could’ve taken the other exit. But no, he stayed there with the rest of us, and picked up his free bag of goodies before leaving the airport!

On our way out, we were given a bottle of chilled energy drink, which absolutely felt good at the moment!

Here are the gifts we received yesterday…


  1. Absolutely Fantastic!!!

    It was really an amazing experience, and moreover we are “PROUD TO BE DUBAI’S MASSIVE T3 TRIAL PASSENGERS” 🙂

    ~ I must say that overall, it was great fun 🙂

  2. Very interestingly narrated. My brother was also one of the trial passengers & he was called ‘Helen’. He had to remove his belt because the scanners kept beeping & they wouldn’t let him pass.

    At least you got a decent white shirt. He brought a bright lipstick-red one. He enjoyed his ‘trip’. The only complain was: “If they went to all that trouble to make it as authentic as possible, why couldn’t they also make us ‘try’ the A380 & take us on a short trip to Kish Island!”

    ~ LOL at Helen! Oh yes, the security was really tight. I suppose they are under tremendous pressure. The lady officer took me inside a room, and had me remove my headscarf to make sure I wasn’t hiding anything there.

    My exact sentiments! I was telling Hubby that they should’ve at least fly us off to Kish, to which he said, “Trips to Kish are banned already.” And yes, the white t-shirt is decent indeed. Perhaps your brother got the red bag, because our blue bag contained a blue t-shirt 🙂

  3. This post made for a nice read!!! Good one! Sounds very impressive!

    ~ Thank you! Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you stopped by 🙂

  4. Wow grt to hear , u & masood bro visited 🙂

    this post makes us eager to see the new terminal hehe!!

    ~ Perhaps you can have a stop over at the T3 next time you fly back home via Emirates Airlines.

  5. Nice experience! Dubai seems to be full of these free stuff … is it true everyone is very rich there and government subsidizes everything?!

    When we next go to Bangladesh maybe we will take a layover in Dubai.

    ~ Free stuff serves to lure the public into volunteering or buying something much expensive, hehe. Everyone is certainly not rich, not even half of the population. There are those who are filthy rich, but most of the residents are middle class people struggling with the increasing prices and rents. And no, the government doesn’t subsidize everything. I wish it would, considering this is a wealthy nation.

    Make sure you visit between November and April, when the weather is pleasant 🙂

  6. I can see the effect of trail passager on Masood..Fly Emirates:)

    ~ Oh yes, he got his ‘trial passenger’ fever all day yesterday! 🙂

  7. Wow, that is so cool! An interesting experience indeed. Never had the pleasure of something like this, but would love to try!

    ~ I’ll let you know when Dubai looks for volunteers for a possible Terminal 4 🙂

  8. What a neat experience. You got some great souvenirs. Seems worth waiting in line. Sorry you had to put up with the obnoxious guy behind you!

    ~ The A380 aircraft model is definitely worth waiting in line. And we got two of them!

  9. The trial at the new airport was a wonderful experience. I had a chance to walk through the airport and saw the latest technology used for the comfort of passengers. The elevators and escalators were found to be an attraction to the new airport.

    ~ Thanks for stopping by and sharing your T3 experience, Anil.

  10. InshaAllah will try one day 🙂

    happy independence day, looking forward to ur inspiring and positive post on Pakistan 🙂

    ~ Happy Independence Day to you too! I have my post ready for tomorrow 🙂

  11. I was one of the passengers in the trial run. I got a yellow bag but i did not get the keychain 🙁 anyways it was a wonderful experience.

  12. cOuld u please tell me how did you apply online for T3 trial passenger

    ~ There was a link to an online application form in Khaleej Times. We registered ourselves there by providing our contact numbers and email address. That’s all 🙂

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