Navigate holiday travel through KCI Airport with these insider tips


Hundreds of passengers wait for help at KCI Airport as Southwest Airlines deals with delays and cancellations.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – This Thanksgiving will be much different than it was in 2020, including what travelers flying out of, or through, KCI Airport will experience.

The Transportation Security Administration predicts that 20 million people will travel by air this week. That includes more than 300,000 passengers utilizing Kansas City’s International Airport. That’s 40% busier than it was over the same time period in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The busiest days at KCI are expected to be Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Kansas City’s Aviation Department warns a lot has changed at the airport since last year. Much, but not all, of the change is attributed to construction of the new terminal.


Due to construction, all traffic now utilizes a new traffic pattern to reach the terminals. Roundabouts are in place for drivers to follow. Keep in mind that you’ll reach Terminal C before you arrive at the roundabout for Terminal B. A video provided by the airport shows drivers what to expect.

Economy C Parking Lot is Closed

Economy C Parking Lot is closed for repaving. Follow signs that will direct drivers to Economy A. Shuttles will then take passengers to Terminal C.

One thing to note, there are no electric vehicle charging stations available in Economy Lot A.

Mask Mandate

Masks are required by the federal government for anyone on an airport shuttle, while in terminals, or while on a plane. Security agents will ask travelers to temporarily lower masks at security checkpoints.


There are things you can do to keep your trip through the airport as easy as possible.

Check-in Options

Utilize online check-in whenever possible.

The check-in area will be some of the busiest places at airports across the country. By checking in online and accessing an electronic boarding pass, you’ll be able to avoid the check-in counters, if you don’t check luggage.

When it comes to checking luggage, consider only taking what you really need. By only taking carry-on luggage you can avoid the check-in area, as well as baggage claim after you land. And you won’t need to worry about lost luggage.

If you do need to check luggage, consider using a skycap at the curb, if your airline offers it.

TSA Precheck

If you have TSA Precheck, make sure it’s on your mobile boarding pass before you arrive at the airport. If it’s not, you’ll either need to go to the ticket counter to get it added, or stand in a security line with everyone else.

If you chose to use a paper boarding pass, check the top of your pass before leaving the counter to make sure it shows up.

Security Screening

Make sure you know what is allowed and what isn’t before you pack your bags, that includes food. TSA says if you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, it must be packed in a checked bag. Passengers are allowed to bring solid foods such as cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints.

TSA also provides information about the top five most asked about items.

The airport asks travelers to arrive at least two hours ahead of flights, and to check FlyKCI to real-time flight information.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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