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KCI ready for increased holiday travel traffic

Travelers push ahead with Christmas plans
KCI Christmas
Posted at 4:00 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 07:04:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City International Airport is a hub this week as travelers move forward with their holiday plans.

Ticketing, screening, reuniting, waiting for luggage - the gears of air travel keep turning this Christmas week. For some, it’s been a while.

"It's probably been about eight years since I’ve been in Kansas," Emily Cain, who traveled to KC from Texas, said.

For some, coming home for the holidays can now serve as a welcome surprise.

"I’m surprising a lot of people," Private Danielle Nay, traveling from Fort Lee, said.

Gifts and gathering, those are top of mind, but for the second straight Christmas season, pandemic considerations for every family are top of mind, too.

"I’m in the medical field so I have to be vaccinated," Mary Grace, traveling to Kansas City from San Antonio, said. "My son and daughter in law are adamant about choice. You know, it's their body, their choice."

"We've already discussed, everyone's being tested. We've all been vaccinated," Cain said.

TSA has reported that more than two million passengers per day have gone through checkpoints this week. Airports and airlines said they’re ready for the traffic increase.

"This week's flight schedules are certainly significantly above where they were just a week ago as airlines are bringing in capacity for the peak season," KCI's Justin Meyer said.

KCI isn't the only place taking note.

"From a staffing perspective, you know, we're feeling confident we added more than 200 domestic flights and are able to handle all of these extra travelers and we've actually hired more than 5,000 people this year," Nicole Carriere, a spokesperson for United Airlines, said.

Travelers on their way out the door need to be ready, too.

"Masks are required on airport property, that includes on aircraft in the terminals and on buses that is not an option. That's a federal mandate," Meyer said.

Travelers also need to be ready for lines.

"Fortune favors the prepared so you definitely want to make sure that you're getting to the airport at least two hours early for a domestic flight," Carriere said.