Busy holiday travel season begins at KCI

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:27 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - It’s one of the busiest travel days of the year whether you’re traveling by air or by land. AAA says the holiday travel period is going to be the busiest in years. 55 million people are expected to travel by air and 49 million more will be hitting the roads.

This busy holiday season will be the first for KCI’s new terminal. Officials are expecting to see more than 400,000 travelers from today through November 28th. That would be a 15% increase from this time last year.

KCI has added a few features to make things easier for travelers. Including orange balloons to show people where they need to enter the security lines.

Families we spoke with say the whole process has been pretty smooth. Among the more than 405,000 people expected to come through KCI over the next ten days were Dustin Vasquez and his daughter Brooklyn. 

“We’re flying out to Indiana and I’m going to have her for the week and holidays and stuff,” Vasquez said. “That will be nice and then I’ll throw her an early birthday party.”  

The Bowles family surprised their son Jamison with a Thanksgiving trip every child dreams of. 

“We just surprised our son by letting him know we’re going to Disney World,” Lauren Bowles told KCTV. “So that’s exciting. It was about 15 minutes ago because we told him he had a doctor’s appointment.” 

At KCI, the dream of making it through security checkpoints without long lines has been just as exciting.

”I used to sit here when I was younger and wait for hours just to get through security,” Makenna Larsen recalled. “But now I can get through in a matter of minutes.”  

Bowles added, “We were honestly nervous to travel because we heard this was one of the busiest days. But looking at the security lines, this is great. It’s a lot smoother and easier than the old airport.” 

Anyone arriving at KCI needs to also be in contact ahead of time with whoever you’re picking up. Simply sitting along the curb can easily back up traffic. So, unless your passengers are ready to go, you have to keep moving or you will get a ticket and risk your car getting towed. 

“If you get here early, find the cell phone parking lot and look for signs to stage until you hear from your traveler,” Joe McBride, KCI Communications Manager, stated. “And you don’t want to get up until they’re out on the curb.”

KCI leaders estimate it takes about 20 minutes to get from the terminal to the arrival pick-up area. But that doesn’t include waiting for a bag you checked to come through.