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Passengers approve of new Kansas City International Airport terminal 6 months after opening

Passengers at KCI
Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 28, 2023

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Megan Abundis

The Kansas City International Airport is putting up some impressive stats — July marked the third consecutive month one million passengers passed through it.

It comes as Monday marked six months since the new terminal opened.

KSHB 41 News Reporter Megan Abundis checked in with passengers to see how they feel about the terminal since it opened.

“Immediately getting right off the plane you can tell the open space, open seating — more options for food,” said Tori Nicholson, a KCI traveler.

Darren and Connie Wright also weighed in on improvements they've seen.

“A lot of improvement; a lot easier to get in the gates,” the Wright's said.

Passengers say you can get from the curb to the gate in under 10 minutes.

“I fly several times a year,” Eric Hall said. “One of the best airports I’ve been in actually.”

Sharlie and Terrell Thomas are also frequent fliers and are also pleased with the new terminal.

“We’ve traveled a lot, I felt like I was in a real airport," Sharlie Thomas said. “The bathrooms were nice, they were clean — the people were courteous.”

The new terminal comes with plenty of Kansas City favorites, like barbecue.

“Plenty of seating, prices aren’t too bad,” the Wright's said.

People who serve there say business gets better every day.

“It’s been great having everyone come in from all around the world and see what Kansas City's about, it's almost like its own Kansas City district,” said Jameson Miller, with Guy’s Deli.

KSHB 41 saw people asking the help desk some questions, with many asking how to get out to rideshare or up the parking lot.

The new terminal is taking some time to work out, and that’s why airport staff are pushing some reminders.

“Every day we have people seeing it for the first time, so there a lot of questions," said Justin Meyer, interim director of aviation for KCI. "Finding rental cars, or where the ticket booth is."

Six months after its opening, Meyer said passengers are still adjusting to parking.

“We are encouraging people to make use of the cell phone lot — just to the south of the cell phone we opened an overflow because we did see an increase there," Meyer said.

They encourage people to be vigilant about pulling to the terminal once the traveler is at the curb, as the curbs are for active loading and unloading, and unattended vehicles will be ticketed & towed.

KCI reminds people that one can park in the garage for free for 30 minutes.

One employee who works at a business inside KCI described it being difficult to get to work on time, based on the economy lot shuttles.

“Trying to get here is really hard and the shuttles aren't always on time when they say they are going to be on time," said Daelyn Whitby, who works inside of KCI.

KCI said changing employee parking is in the master plan. They said Terminal B will be demolished while the parking garage will be retained and later used for employee parking.

“The conversion of the former Terminal B parking garage to employee parking, which will allow those employees that are able to park there and walk in rather than the shuttle, which they’ve been doing for years," Meyer said.

The airport says it will also soon add more, permanent signage.

Still, most say this is the way they want to start their trip, so KSHB 41 asked passengers to grade the new terminal.

From parking, to pick up, restaurants and vendors, and overall convenience, most passengers gave the terminal an A.

KCI staff says the terminal is on pace to serve 11.3 million passengers this year.