KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Memorial Day marks the first test of Kansas City International Airport’s new single terminal during a holiday weekend.
KCI moved operations from two terminals to the new $1.5 billion terminal in February.
Travel agency AAA expects more people to fly to destinations this holiday than Memorial Day 2019, the last Memorial Day before the COVID19 pandemic.
KCI predicts a similar return to 2019 passenger volume. Leaders said Wednesday’s number of passengers was the highest since 2019.
They predicted Friday’s traffic would eclipse Wednesday’s, estimating roughly 21,000 passengers to depart from KCI.
“We don’t feel it, don’t feel it,” said Yolanda Merritt, who was on her way to California with her husband on Friday.
The Merritts use CLEAR, a kind of pre-check security option. They said the service made going through TSA security checkpoint a breeze.
The TSA expected to screen 2.6 million passengers across the country Friday.
Coworkers Trish Samson and Ella Higgins arrived at the airport early to avoid any delays. They said the amenities at the new KCI made passing the time easy.
“It’s a good size I think,” Higgins said. “It doesn’t take too long to go through the security and the barbecue was good.”
Samson added, “Everything is new and it’s not too big.”
One frequent traveler admired the new terminal’s design.
“Since Kansas City has redone this airport as of recent, the check-in process is a lot more efficient,” Tom Jowers said.
Another reason why KCI expects increase in passengers this weekend is it’s adding a new airline. Sun Country launches its service to Minneapolis-St. Paul Sunday.