KCI travelers keen to see new terminal

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 10:31 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - With just eight days to go before the new airport terminal opens, people have been joking about the current state of the existing terminals.

Monday morning, photos hit Reddit showing starkly slim snack options for Delta passengers at Terminal B. A candy rack has just Life Savers and Mentos. The refrigerated section had a handful of sandwiches, a few Corona beers, an ample supply of Bud Light and a slew of Sprite. No water. No other soft drinks.

“Hope you like Sprite!” the caption read.

The posting prompted a string of jokes about a “college breakfast” of “Six Bud Lights and a pack of Mentos.”

It also had many speculating that the current concessionaire was choosing not to re-stock and that airport staff had “given up” on maintenance in places like restrooms.

Aviation department spokesman Joe McBride said he couldn’t speak for vendors but insisted the aviation department is committed to keeping up with maintenance in the current facility while simultaneously preparing to open the new one.

The person who posted the photos told KCTV5 that concessions staff did re-stock soon after he took the photos.

A commenter who chimed in about the lack of amenities at Terminal C the same day explained they were more amused than aggravated.

“Honestly, it was a great way to close out the old terminals -- just sort of underscored why a new facility is going to be so great,” the person wrote in a direct message to KCTV5.

The struggle to find food and facilities inside security has been a common complaint for decades and is likely one reason why voters gave the new terminal the green light.

David Campbell, who lives in Georgia, flies in and out of KCI several times a year.

“After flying here for the past 20 years, I’ve always found it shocking that there’s nothing. I mean, you get through security and the restrooms are like you’re going to the county fair,” Campbell after claiming his baggage Monday night.

In the public areas, some retail shops are shuttered. Displays are scattered inside, devoid of merchandise, like something in a zombie film.

McBride noted that many restaurants and retailers closed when COVID came along and never re-opened because it was hard to get staff to return.

Gathered around baggage claim Monday night, Campbell wasn’t the only one smiling when asked about the new era on the horizon.

“I’m really excited to see what they have,” said Jay Jarrett.

Jarrett was getting ready to drive back home to Lee’s Summit from a vacation in Florida.

“Hopefully there’s a lot of new restaurants and bars, things like that,” Jarrett said. “It all sounds very nice. Hopefully it is. I wish my flight was a week later.”

“Maybe it won’t be so bad showing up early,” said Campbell. “Maybe there’s a restaurant you could hang out for a while or a restroom you could use that’s pretty decent after security, so kind of excited to see what happens.”

The aviation department has created a virtual tour of the new terminal. You can find it here.

Specifics about the new design can be found here.