Rebuilding Kansas City International Airport?

No matter what you call Kansas City International Airport, call sign MCI or as the locals call it “KCI” it has seen better days. As a kid growing up in the 1970’s you could fly all over the world from this airport. Now not so much. They advertise 38 nonstops flights.

kci-nonstopflights-xx

However some of these are very limited schedule. Heck it’s hard to find a flight to Denver at times. United only seems to run turbo prop Q400’s there from KC. Sad.

Southwest just unveiled a new Missouri themed livery plane this week at MCI. Nice tribute but the local media barely noticed. I had to find out about it on a blog post about Southwest.

http://michaelwtravels.boardingarea.com/2015/04/southwest-airlines-plane-has-new-specialty-livery-missouri-one/#sthash.uD5bQctq.dpbs

SWA

Now Southwest CEO made remarks at the airplane event saying KCI needs to make improvements but don’t do too much or we can’t afford it. Nice. The newly elected KC board is in discussions to do something with the airport. Due to it’s pre 9/11 design it’s not easy or fun to fly through/from for sure.

Maybe the folks over on the Kansas side of the border should build a new airport. The Southwest lease commitment ends in 2016. Surely they could get it off the ground by then (Pardon the pun). At least if they did it would be closer to most people that live in the metro area.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2015/04/15/southwest-ceo-mci-airport-improvements-needed.html

Why MCI (KCI) isn’t my favorite airport

I recently moved back to my home town Kansas City. I grew up in the area. My family is from here so that is sweet. We had been living in St. Louis for the past 16 years so I got used to STL and saw that airport move from TWA to AA and then de-hubbed which is sad.

My memories of MCI (or known locally as KCI) are of the many trips that I or family members took. I remember my Dad filling out an old paper Mutual of Omaha travel insurance application at the airport as my Sister flew off to Europe in High School. I remember picking up my Sister and her Husband at Midnight one New Year’s Eve maybe 20 year ago there. I mostly remember how open the airport was. It was designed to be a TWA hub airport where you could drop off at the door and be just steps away from the gates. Great idea (at the time). Unfortunately 9-11 happened and now the small gates aren’t so open anymore. They have added security checkpoints and you can’t just walk in and out of the gate areas down the long hallways. They took out the AA lounge and many other features.

I will still love “KCI” but it’s a pain now. The gates are jammed packed:

2014-08-03 08.54.01

There’s not enough seating, the restrooms are tiny and it’s just no fun. Like this photo above where you can see into the bar through the big windows but you can’t actually go into the bar. Everyone looks so happy.

Arrival isn’t much better. Although the planes unload the luggage near the gates into the TINY luggage carousels it always seems to take forever. To make it worse they always seem to want to load multiple planes onto the same carousel like most other airports do.

It’s not all bad though and you get used to any airport I guess. ┬áBesides now we have Spirit Airlines ! Which ain’t half bad for a short haul domestic airline with a 35 pound bag limit on checked luggage !

I’m sure Kansas City will spend a ton of money to remodel it one day. I can only hope they would rebuild it further South since it’s so far North out of the city.

2014-10-08 11.12.51

Another little known triva fact about KCI is that it’s near where a famous Bonnie & Clyde shootout took place at the Red Crown Tavern and Tourist Cabins back in the day.

http://www.emissourian.com/news/state/article_94853afa-b316-11e0-ac3e-001cc4c002e0.html

Which reminds me of the Brantley Gilbert video