Every once in a while I will try to bring you guys some of my thoughts on various airports I have been to, where I will talk about ease of use, my thoughts about the airport, and the best locations to spot! This is my first report like this, and it will be over Kansas City International Airport (MCI/KMCI) .
Kansas City International Airport
Located in Missouri, 20 minutes away from Kansas City, MCI is a great airport. It has a "drive to your gate" design, which makes it one of the highest ranking airports in the country, in terms of ease-of-use.
Checking in usually takes no time at all, and after you check in you walk to security, which is at most a 45 second walk from the check in desk!
Here is the view of when you step through the doors of MCI...your at the desk!
Security at MCI is very efficient, and it doesn't take too much time to go through security....but the TSA in Kansas City aren't always the friendliest people in the world!
Once you are in the gate area....you're on your own! There are VERY LIMITED food options! A couple of years ago there was NOTHING post-security, but now the airport has added little stations that sell food and beverage items, which are very expensive! (but what else is new? everything post-security at almost every airport is very expensive!)
I haven't visited all of the terminals yet, but a couple of years ago there were no bathrooms post-security, and to go to the restroom you had to get outside of security, and go through it again! I know that this has changed in some of the gate areas, such as the Southwest gates in terminal B, but I am not sure about the other airlines.
Shops, Terminal + Thoughts:
The shopping options at MCI are not very good....but who seriously goes to the airport to shop? There are several stores that offer the basics, like candy, magazines etc...oh, but you can find "The Wizard of Oz" items in various shops throughout the airport! --even though MCI is technically not in Kansas (it's in Missouri!)
The terminals at MCI are very easy to navigate....they are just big semi-circles! They are designed really nicely, and have huge windows in areas which provide a very good view of aircraft movements! The tile on the floor is especially nice! It isn't the cheap and disgusting tile you would see at every other airport, it is a nice shade of blue, and looks very professional!
As an airline geek, I do have to say...this airport sucks! This is a very spotter un-friendly airport! This is one of those airports that doesn't seem to like people who like aviation. There are no good spotting locations, and if you do go spotting, you will probably be approached by security. I really wish that they set up a program like some other airports have, to help promote aviation among the community. (I think LAX and YYZ have programs like this) But the movements here aren't good anyways...unless you are into seeing a bunch of Southwest, Midwest, and regional jets! ....although that seems to be a majority of the traffic, we do get aircraft such as the 757 from UA and AA, as well as MD-80s, 737s, and A320s from other airlines as well...
As you can see from this picture, it isn't always busy.
Even though spotting isn't the easiest or the best at this airport, the baggage claim areas have huge windows where you can watch planes taxi by! The windows cause discoloration of photos, and have really bad reflections, but if you are watching planes for the fun of it, it is still a good location!
The MCI Difference
I feel that there is one thing that Kansas City International Airport has that no other airport in the US has.....the best people! I have never run into a disgruntled employee at MCI, and everybody is very helpful. A good example of this was a couple of years ago I was coming back from a trip on Delta, I accidentally left an item on the aircraft, and didn't realize it. As I was walking out of the airport, a Delta employee came up to my family and handed the item back. I don't even know how he knew it belonged to us, but I was really happy that they made the effort and was able to return the item!
Kansas City International Airport also has "ambassadors" and there are a lot of them located throughout the airport. They are there to make sure everybody gets where they are going, and to assist anybody who needs help. They are really friendly, and are really fun to talk to! I've seen other airports with similar programs, but the people at MCI are a lot more friendly!
Overall Kansas City International Airport is one of the best I have ever been to! While to an airline geek, it sucks due to lack of interesting movements, it is still an amazing place. It is probably the easiest to use airport in the entire US, and the people are very nice.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading my thoughts about Kansas City International Airport! I will try to do more of these in the future, and if you want to write a report about your favorite airport and have it posted on here, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org