MCI - The Definitive Thoughts....

Old Jun 24, 13, 9:18 am
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MCI - The Definitive Thoughts....

OK, I get a kick out of the many DEFINITIVE THREADS that exist. In fact, I have always wanted to create a DEFINITIVE THREAD DEFINITIVE THREAD but have not for fear that mods will toss me


So about MCI....It has been a while since I have been in this terminal (1998 last time) and have never connected through. Ended up with a cheap fare option and with budget cuts, am trying to save where I can and take one for the team.

So - Sunday, June 23....MSP-MCI-ATL-FLL

I can see the appeal for local MCI travelers to have the TSA right at the pod of DL gates and basically walk from the curb. On the other hand, if you want to find food, you are really stuck. MCI-ATL was delayed and so I went up to the KC Crown room lounge thing at gate 58 and they had already closed their kitchen. The little snacky area had nothing but garbage.

Besides that, MCI baggage decided to put my bag on the claim vs. moving it the 20 feet to gate 57 for my connection so I am without luggage today.

MCI based travelers, I am sure it works good for you - but for anyone needing to connect though, I would suggest skipping MCI.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 9:24 am
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I fly into MCI a good bit and it is what it is.

Pros:
-Nice to be able to get out of gate area quick on arrival
-Not many medallions/great upgrade chances
-Pretty good aircraft
-Courteous staff everytime (personal experience)
-Boulevard beer stand prior to security

Cons:
-TSA lines here are slow, unorganized, and Skypriority for them is a joke
-Not enough terminal waiting room. Lots of standers and no room to move with the gate lice who seem to be mostly kettles. Also noticed this as one of the few airports where people needing pre-boarding have a hard time due to the congestion
-Food options past security are horrible
-Baggage takes forever to acquire from baggage claim. Skypriority tags on bags often ignored
-KC snowstorms can shut this place down quick
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Old Jun 24, 13, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by MrAAUGA View Post
I fly into MCI a good bit and it is what it is.

Pros:
-Nice to be able to get out of gate area quick on arrival
-Not many medallions/great upgrade chances
-Pretty good aircraft
-Courteous staff everytime (personal experience)
-Boulevard beer stand prior to security

Cons:
-TSA lines here are slow, unorganized, and Skypriority for them is a joke
-Not enough terminal waiting room. Lots of standers and no room to move with the gate lice who seem to be mostly kettles. Also noticed this as one of the few airports where people needing pre-boarding have a hard time due to the congestion
-Food options past security are horrible
-Baggage takes forever to acquire from baggage claim. Skypriority tags on bags often ignored
-KC snowstorms can shut this place down quick
I used to be based out of MCI, but was primarily a UA flyer at the time. No experience with DL at MCI. That said, MCI as an airport is a joke. Yes, you can get out of the gate quickly, but that's about it. I find security lines there to be worse than anywhere else, because there are so many TSA lines they're all insufficiently staffed. I've had the longest TSA wait ever waiting for an F9 flight at MCI.

Restrooms and food are scarce, if your flight is delayed. So it means back out through the security, unless you see the line stretches all the way around the terminal. In that case, suck it up and deal.

KC's trying to build a new, single terminal. I sincerely hope they get it approved (despite considerable, crazy, local resistance) because I expect I'll fly into there before too long. I have lots of family in the area.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by MrAAUGA View Post
I fly into MCI a good bit and it is what it is.

Pros:
-Nice to be able to get out of gate area quick on arrival
-Not many medallions/great upgrade chances
-Pretty good aircraft
-Courteous staff everytime (personal experience)
-Boulevard beer stand prior to security

Cons:
-TSA lines here are slow, unorganized, and Skypriority for them is a joke
-Not enough terminal waiting room. Lots of standers and no room to move with the gate lice who seem to be mostly kettles. Also noticed this as one of the few airports where people needing pre-boarding have a hard time due to the congestion
-Food options past security are horrible
-Baggage takes forever to acquire from baggage claim. Skypriority tags on bags often ignored
-KC snowstorms can shut this place down quick
It is my home aiport but giving a balanced reply, I agree with the above. OTOH IND was my home airport for a while -and it is a TOTAL DREAM --IMHO. As a PM my UG out of MCI is indeed good.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 10:33 am
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I travel MCI about twice per year as PM and all the above is spot on.

Weekday UG's are easy but TSA and gate seating (or lack of) is joke.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 10:41 am
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Can't Disagree At All

I'm a KC native, and when the airport was built, it was ahead of its time, and fantastic for local traffic. Today it's way behind the times, and just fair for local traffic. As noted, transferring in KC is uncomfortable. Post security restrooms and food options are improving, but still bad and very limited. There is indeed strong local sentiment to keep it as is, and the $1 billion estimated price tag on a replacement may cause that sentiment to prevail. Perhaps there is a compromise position to be found, combining the best of what is, with the reality of today's travel and security requirements. I recently flew through the new Love Field terminal in Dallas, and thought it was fantastic! We need some bright minds to get to work being creative and resourceful, instead of being entrenched in a position and just saying no (hmmm........kind of sounds like Congress today).
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Old Jun 24, 13, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by orr333 View Post
OK, I get a kick out of the many DEFINITIVE THREADS that exist. In fact, I have always wanted to create a DEFINITIVE THREAD DEFINITIVE THREAD but have not for fear that mods will toss me
Better still are the OFFICIAL THREADS... started by very non-official FT members.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 11:09 am
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Mostly Agree

As a MCI-based DM, I agree with most of the comments. MCI was designed and built before airline security started (actually, I think security started almost the same time the terminals were finished; but were designed and mostly built prior to the early 1970s events that led to security). It'd be a dream if there was no security, but now it's a mess (and nearly intolerable) for any connecting passenger. As a local, the ability to park in the underground garage and take an escaltor right to your gate is awesome.

TSA is generally pretty good at the entrance to the Delta gates and usually enforce the SkyPriority, but I have seen them let this slide from time to time.

It's actually much worse now than it was a few years back prior to all of the airline mergers. Now Terminal B has DL and SW (both had significant presence pre-merger and both moved their acquisitions to Terminal B instead of spreading it out a little. So the two largest carriers at MCI are crammed into one terminal while A & C are barely half-used.

Now MCI is just going to close Terminal A and force everyone except DL & SW to C.

The good news is there is a new terminal being proposed, but the Mayor and the Airport Administrator need to do some PR work to get the locals on board with a new terminal--they claim it will still provide for convenient parking and access. Parking is key at MCI. A local columnist at the KC Star had an article in the past few months (and I don't have the actual numbers handy), but the numbers were something along the lines of annual revenue for MCI: $20 million landing fees/gate rental, etc. from airlines; $15 million in concessions and non-airline income; and $60 million in parking fees--leading the columnist to quip that the MCI Administrator isn't running an airport, he's running a parking lot that happens to be adjascent to some runways!

At any rate, I feel sorry for anyone who has to connect at MCI (especially after DL closed the SkyClub), but hopefully we'll get a new terminal in the next few years.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by bmh3s View Post
As a local, the ability to park in the underground garage and take an escaltor right to your gate is awesome.

ABSOLUTELY

TSA is generally pretty good at the entrance to the Delta gates and usually enforce the SkyPriority, but I have seen them let this slide from time to time.

Totally agree

So the two largest carriers at MCI are crammed into one terminal while A & C are barely half-used.

True -and crazy

Now MCI is just going to close Terminal A and force everyone except DL & SW to C.

This makes sense. Spread the cost over many years. Close C - concentrate the TSA a little. Demolish C and then start a total new build -design like IND if at all possible.


At any rate, I feel sorry for anyone who has to connect at MCI (especially after DL closed the SkyClub), but hopefully we'll get a new terminal in the next few years.

Reopen the Skyclub would be nice but is of course a pipedream. Or a club that airlines share?

Last edited by GRALISTAIR; Jun 24, 13 at 2:25 pm
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Old Jun 24, 13, 12:10 pm
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I'll repost my recent comments on MCI (and the current proposal to demolish and rebuild terminal A) from another site:

Could, theoretically, all of the current KCI daily flights operate out of one of the three terminals currently in use?

If so, perhaps the redevelopment of KCI could utilize the existing structure of one terminal.

The big problem now as discussed above, is flight departures. Flight arrivals are a piece of cake -- you are on the curb a few moments after leaving the plane. Departures are crammed into areas that are probably less than 10% of the terminal space. But if the entire terminal were secure, there would be plenty of room.

DFW was originally architected quite similarly to KCI, but the plans were later altered slightly to enlarge the secure area. At DFW the horseshoe terminal buildings, with the exception of a few entrance points, is wholly the secure area. The exit doors are one way revolving doors. If KCI could consume a few yards of the inner circle drives for structures for the nonsecure functions (ticketing, baggage claim, and TSA), they might be able to turn one (and eventually two) of the existing terminals into a mini DFW.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 12:17 pm
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I don't know about everyone else, but personally I like KC and think it is primed for growth just by having Google Fiber. Lots to do, lots to eat, and relaxed atmosphere. I think a new airport or significant changes to MCI could really boost that city and surrounding area....
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Old Jun 24, 13, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by MS02113 View Post
Better still are the OFFICIAL THREADS... started by very non-official FT members.
I have wondered the difference between definitive and official. I guess that makes this the OFFICIAL DEFINITIVE THREAD on MCI! But with a title like that, it may need to be locked down for minimally double diamonds, possibly triples.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAAUGA View Post
I don't know about everyone else, but personally I like KC and think it is primed for growth just by having Google Fiber. Lots to do, lots to eat, and relaxed atmosphere. I think a new airport or significant changes to MCI could really boost that city and surrounding area....
I was raised and lived 35 years there. 300 days per year you will deal with some sort of icky weather event. If lucky it will only be 35F and grey but it can be well over 100F with high humidity, storms, etc. Or, maybe -20F and 10" of snow? Ice, Hail, etc.

BBQ, incredible musical range of styles and midwest hospitality abound. But the weather, the weather. Not sure how Google Fiber can make up for the weather???
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Old Jun 24, 13, 3:25 pm
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http://www.kmbc.com/news/kansas-city...x/-/index.html

Local news report April 2013
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Old Jun 24, 13, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Ti22 View Post
I was raised and lived 35 years there. 300 days per year you will deal with some sort of icky weather event. If lucky it will only be 35F and grey but it can be well over 100F with high humidity, storms, etc. Or, maybe -20F and 10" of snow? Ice, Hail, etc.

BBQ, incredible musical range of styles and midwest hospitality abound. But the weather, the weather. Not sure how Google Fiber can make up for the weather???
Techsters don't care about whether... we are inside programming all day :P

KC is actually becoming a startup hub because of GF. Could make a push for more investment dollars. Bunch of articles talking about people flocking there for the internet alone; crazy I know but makes a difference.

Agreed, weather is bi-polar in KC but that is half the fun hah
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