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Kansas City International prepares for first holiday travel period since new terminal opened

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Nov 16, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City International Airport officials are excited for the first holiday travel season since the new single terminal opened up earlier this year.

But with that excitement comes a reminder that things might be a little different this year than what people have grown accustomed to in years past.

LINK | Coverage of the opening of the new single terminal at KCI

While the busiest stretch of travel will be between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26, airport officials say things will start to pick up as soon as Friday, Nov. 17.

“The Kansas City Aviation Department, airlines, concessions and airport stakeholders look forward to sharing the new terminal with our Thanksgiving holiday travelers and strive to make the airport experience outstanding,” recently named Aviation Director Melissa Cooper said in a release Thursday.

After the new single terminal opened in February, those using the airport experienced issues with picking up and dropping off passengers. During this month’s peak travel periods, the airport plans to have additional traffic control and Kansas City International Police Department officers on patrol to keep things moving.

“Officers will institute strict illegal parking enforcement and towing illegally parked vehicles will commence if needed,” the release from the city said. “Handouts will be provided to drivers in parked cars waiting improperly to ensure they understand the rules of the curb.”

Airport officials also hope additional wayfinding signs on the way into the terminal and inside will help passengers navigate arrivals, departures and baggage claim.

The airport says it’s beefed up cleaning routines both outside the terminal and inside — including the bathrooms — with new machines and cleaning supplies helping to keep the shine.

For passengers using airport parking, the airport plans to increase patrols using security vehicles and re-position security guards. Security cameras and license plate readers are also being used to keep track of cars entering and leaving.

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26, live jazz will ring through the airport from the baggage claim area.

The airport said it is hopeful work will be completed prior to the Thanksgiving rush on repairs to moving walkways. The airport cited a manufacturing defect for knocking the walkways out of service. Airport technicians are also working to repair cosmetic issues in certain bathrooms around the airport.

“As we approach the holidays, we are preparing to ensure travelers have a positive, efficient traveling experience through the Kansas City International Airport,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in Thursday’s release. “Travelers will notice more frequent and thorough deep cleaning of restrooms and walkways and even live jazz music by local artists.”

Updated airport information is available on its website,