KCI expects 350,000 Thanksgiving travelers, preps for stress-test ahead of single-terminal airport

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:22 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - KCI is expecting upward of 350,000 travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday, a 14 percent increase from 2021.

This is the last Thanksgiving before the opening of the new $1.5 billion single-terminal airport, set for a March 2023 launch. Now, the airport wants your help testing the terminal out before it lifts off.

Applications are open now for a stress test. KCI will pick between 1,000 and 1,500 people to participate; so far, 5,000 have applied. Click here to see that application.

Think of the test as a scavenger hunt of sorts. You’ll be handed a list of things to find upon arrival: A boarding gate, restaurant or bathroom, for example. Then, you’ll take a survey to tell the airport how your experience went.

Justin Meyer, KCI’s deputy director of aviation, said they hope to take the feedback from the test and turn it into tangible fixes in time for the actual opening.

“One of the things that is a common phrase that I’m saying to my team is that we’re going to learn a lot really quickly once that terminal opens, and part of that learning curve if we can push it forward with this terminal test helps us in terms of signage and way-finding and processes and procedures,” Meyer said.

If you’re picked, they’ll let you know in mid-January. The test will be about a month after that and should take a couple of hours.

As for the heavy Thanksgiving travel, Meyer suggests arriving two hours before your flight time to account for all the extra traffic from the parking lot, to the ticket counter, to the security checkpoint.

“It’s important to remember that this travel holiday brings all sorts of travelers: Frequent flyers that were last week in Boston for work and now this week are heading to grandma’s house, but also grandma might be traveling too for the first time in a year or more,” Meyer said. “It’s just important to remember patience for the folks traveling around you, and just to give yourself plenty of time.”