I’ve been in Kansas City for just over a month. While I didn’t arrive by plane this time, all the other times I’ve come and gone from KC, have been through the Kansas City International Airport.
Only once have I driven myself to said airport. I’ve parked at the B-11 post, the one that gives props to the Jazz Museum, in the economy lot. I’ve looked out at the airport on I-29 a mile before I could reach it and wondered why I couldn’t just drive up from that first vantage point. I’ve told myself that I’d rather pay $27 for four days of travel instead of just one.
I like to get to the airport early. I tend to carry a lot of things, but I’ve reduced them down. Even with the reduction, I sometimes forget to charge my phone or I don’t have time to eat or I have something that just doesn’t fit well into my purse.
Or, maybe I did everything right and I got to the airport on time. Because I spent 45 minutes getting there from Midtown, by car, I didn’t have time to check and see that my plane was delayed by an hour. Thankfully, I checked the screen before I hit security, but how would I know that the Pig and Pickle would have fed me ok? And that’s only for that one gate in Terminal B going to DC. The gate I use to fly to Charlotte is even less inviting and just as restricting.
Oh the horror if I’d ridden the bus out and learned I’d still have to find a way to pass two more hours of time.
You may think this is whiny. That I don’t get it. After all, I’m new. I shouldn’t expect shiny newfangled things in Kansas City. That’s what other cities do, even though we want to be other cities sometimes.
People. The Piedmont Triad International Airport, my home airport in Greensboro, is small. It doesn’t have a lot past security. But we have managed to lower the lights, put in at least a reasonably priced bar, newsstand and clean, normal sized bathroom past our security gate. And before security, a nice small mall of sorts, representing our proud North Carolinianess, our Natty Greens beer (They’re our Boulevard) and some nice rocking chairs. You know I love my airport rocking chairs.
When I go to Charlotte and Raleigh, I appreciate their toys. But 9 times out of 10 I’m going out of the same gate and that gate only has limited things. But I only hang out at the gate if I think my flight is coming soon. Except at MCI. There, I’d rather have the security chore done.
However, to avoid being one of those people, who complain without actions, this is what I think a new MCI should do:
— Be a masterpiece of what this city is. Make it look like the Plaza or Union Station on the outside. If we are going to spend the money, create a modern/classic airport blend that will get people and the airlines to want to be based here. (and their favorite airline will want to come here)
— One security line. Or maybe four like Charlotte, but easy access to all gates no matter what line.
— Clean, spacious restrooms. Remember, it’s me and my carry-on and we need room. I’d also like to only have to deal with my own human waste, thank you very much.