LAX Wants 500 People to Act Like Bad Customers to Test Out Its New Concourse
Have you ever been an impossible passenger or had a meltdown at the airport? Now, Los Angeles International Airport is asking you to do just that — on purpose this time.
The airport is looking for 500 people to pretend to need extra assistance, be sick, or just act difficult to test out its new Midfield Satellite Concourse, which is set to open this summer, the Los Angeles Times reported. This test will be the first time the airport has conducted a full Operation Readiness and Transition drill.
“We are going to write scenarios to check the processes that happen on a given day,” Robert L. Gilbert, a strategic advisor at the Los Angeles World Airports, told the outlet. “With 150 to 300 people going through the...concourse, some will be in wheelchairs, some will be young people racing for the gate, some will be elderly.”
The 750,000-square-foot concourse will be accessed by an underground tunnel, as it is not connected to other terminals, The Points Guy reported. It will have 12 gates at first, and potentially grow up to 15 eventually. The concourse will feature large panoramic windows for plenty of natural light and be shaped like an ocean swell (to complement the roof of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which looks like a breaking wave).
Volunteers will be asked to fill out a survey and, if picked, will be emailed their characters the day before the test, according to the Los Angeles Times. The drill is set to take place about six weeks before the concourse opens.
“We simulate that this is a peak hour, peak day, peak month,” Gilbert said. “This is where our volunteers are very important.”
The airport hopes to test everything from emergency responses to how concession workers operate, the Los Angeles Times reported, noting scenarios could include a plane blocking a gate for incoming flights, a passenger breaking their leg, or a child getting lost.