Portland International Airport Recruits Thousands for “Dress Rehearsal”

Participants get $50 to try out bag check, security and more on Aug. 3.

Portland International Airport south lobby (Port of Portland)

Portland International Airport needs thousands of locals to try out its new main terminal before it opens in August. It’s paying faux travelers $50 to test out the new check-in and bag drop areas, plus go through security. The Aug. 3 gig will take about two hours.

Sign-ups end July 15 and, like air travel itself, time is of the essence: Though the dress rehearsal was just announced, one of the two volunteer slots is already filled. The 1:30 pm session still has space, according to the Eventbrite sign-up.

In addition to the $50 Visa gift card, attendees have the chance to win bigger raffle prizes.

“But best of all? They’ll get to say, ‘I helped open the new PDX,’” said Allison Ferre, Port of Portland spokeswoman, in a statement.

The gig involves “acting out” two or three different traveler scripts and then sharing feedback with PDX after each one. The dress rehearsal will involve a lot of standing, sitting and waiting, just like a regular travel day.

PDX is in the midst of a $2 billion overhaul that kicked off in 2019 and is set to wrap up in 2025. The main terminal was supposed to open in May, but got delayed to August due to unspecified safety concerns. It features a 9-acre roof made out of local Douglas fir.

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