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MCI Airport - Innovative Private Approach

MCI Airport - Innovative Private Approach

Old May 12, 17, 7:41 am
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MCI Airport - Innovative Private Approach

While not specifically Delta related, Delta and Delta travelers like me would benefit from this:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/busin...150073187.html

If you've ever flown in/out/thru MCI, you'll likely agree it is an outdated mess.
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Old May 12, 17, 8:32 am
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I for one hope Kansas City voters get their heads out of their behinds and become supportive of this plan. That airport is dreadful.

Signed,
A former Kansas City resident who's seen what better looks like, and still flies back from time to time.
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Old May 12, 17, 8:43 am
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True, but I'm not convinced of the importance of having all airlines in a single terminal. With WN having lots of flights and refusing to interline with anyone, it would make a lot of sense to have them in one terminal and the legacy carriers in the other terminal. Other LCC and ULCC carriers have a small presence and could fit into either terminal, especially if they don't interline at all with the legacies.

If two terminals can be considered, the next question would be whether one or both of the current terminals can be renovated in a cost effective way. This might be much cheaper than tearing down all existing structures and building one big new terminal (not in that order, of course).
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Old May 12, 17, 8:44 am
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Please continue to follow this thread in the FT Midwest Forum
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Old May 12, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
True, but I'm not convinced of the importance of having all airlines in a single terminal. With WN having lots of flights and refusing to interline with anyone, it would make a lot of sense to have them in one terminal and the legacy carriers in the other terminal. Other LCC and ULCC carriers have a small presence and could fit into either terminal, especially if they don't interline at all with the legacies.
WN may not interline today, but their new reservation system allows for it in the future.

Originally Posted by jrkmsp View Post
I for one hope Kansas City voters get their heads out of their behinds and become supportive of this plan. That airport is dreadful.

Signed,
A former Kansas City resident who's seen what better looks like, and still flies back from time to time.
Completely agree. The Delta gates at MCI are horrible. Cramped, over crowded and way beyond outdated. Try getting a cup of coffee at 4:30am. It's not going to happen.

Last edited by iluv2fly; May 12, 17 at 4:20 pm Reason: merge
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Old May 12, 17, 9:16 am
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I've been flying in and out of MCI since 1988. When Delta had a Crown Room above its gates, I enjoyed MCI. After they closed the club, not so much (there is a restaurant/bar in the former club space, the Kansas City Royals Grill).

With the demise of the likes of Braniff, Eastern and TWA, and the failure of US Air to establish a hub there, the airport largely fell into the hands of Southwest (about 15 years ago, I regularly flew their BWI-MCI-OAK and return direct flights).

There are few facilities at MCI. Unlike airports like IAD, where the regional growth sprawled on all four sides of what was 50 years ago a distant farm field, the growth in Kansas City has been away from the airport, into Johnson County, Kansas (there are political and tax reasons for this). The airport is still about 20 miles from the center of KC. The rental cars are located at a distant consolidated center, requiring a 10-15 minute bus ride.

I found a pretty good article about the history of MCI:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/polit...till-love.html

The only inaccuracy was that your carry-ons weren't searched in the 1970s. I remember carry-on bags being hand-searched by private security employed by the airlines at least as far back as 1970, when my mother and I accompanied my dad to MKG (which was a busy regional airport in those days, particularly the year they closed GRR to rebuild its runways), and I watched my dad's bag get vigorously tossed by the rent-a-cop there.

I can't precisely remember when metal detectors were introduced, but I do remember the incident where former US Senator Vance Hartke refused to pass through one at EVV (an internet search revealed the year as 1976).
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Old May 12, 17, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
True, but I'm not convinced of the importance of having all airlines in a single terminal. With WN having lots of flights and refusing to interline with anyone, it would make a lot of sense to have them in one terminal and the legacy carriers in the other terminal. Other LCC and ULCC carriers have a small presence and could fit into either terminal, especially if they don't interline at all with the legacies.

If two terminals can be considered, the next question would be whether one or both of the current terminals can be renovated in a cost effective way. This might be much cheaper than tearing down all existing structures and building one big new terminal (not in that order, of course).
It's a nice idea in theory, but from everything I saw the costs to modernize and staff two existing terminals will exceed the costs of a new build. So, while, yes, I don't think a single terminal is in itself necessary, it's the most cost-effective way to deal with the current disaster that is KCI.
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Old May 12, 17, 11:06 am
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Living in KC, the airports current setup is great. Car to gate in 5 minutes, every time including holiday weekends.

If I were travelling to KC for business, it would be terrible, there is nowhere to charge devices and nowhere comfortable to spend time. It simply is not designed for the security theater world.

I only support this if they build a Skyclub....though thats probably a pipe dream given the current state of growth in KC.
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Old May 12, 17, 11:58 am
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MCI is great if you're in a hurry or if you don't want to spend a lot of time at the airport. The bus from the rental car facility to terminal is probably the biggest variable. Everything else is easy.

But once you have to actually spend sometime there, oh boy.
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Old May 30, 17, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by thepaul500 View Post
Living in KC, the airports current setup is great...

If I were travelling to KC for business, it would be terrible... It simply is not designed for the security theater world.
It's terrible for visitors; there is no merit to getting from the jetbridge to the curb in two minutes if it then takes you another 40 minutes to wait for the rental car shuttle, ride it, collect your car, and find the road to KC.

And MCI is obviously useless as a connecting hub because there's no way to insert a whole-concourse security chokepoint and create a secure transfer zone.
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Old May 30, 17, 7:29 pm
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With recent updates in the C Terminal MCI is getting better. The car rental center is crap being so far away but it's no worse than places like PHX or LAS, etc.

I don't care for the single terminal concept for this airport. I think they should build out the hallways to widen the gate areas toward the curb. Add an outside hallway for non-secure waiting. Build a walkway (even a covered outdoor version would be OK between B and C). There are no operations in A. I would also like to see a couple airlines clubs. Maybe a priority pass or something in B and C each. They closed the AA lounge in C a few years back but at least the new American and United gate areas are much better in C.
Other wishlist items for MCI:
Move the "new" cell phone waiting lot to a place where you can watch the planes instead of in the hole by the taxi stand.
Build a new Marriott (or other hotel) at the terminal area. The current Marriott is so very bad.
Have the KCMO leadership include JOCO customers in the decisions on how to improve the airport.
Take the Circle parking back down from $15.50 to the old $12.50.
Improve the super slow baggage handling. It can be OK at times or super slow. There is no excuse, heck the planes are like 50 feet away from baggage claim.
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Old May 31, 17, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
It's terrible for visitors; there is no merit to getting from the jetbridge to the curb in two minutes if it then takes you another 40 minutes to wait for the rental car shuttle, ride it, collect your car, and find the road to KC.

And MCI is obviously useless as a connecting hub because there's no way to insert a whole-concourse security chokepoint and create a secure transfer zone.
I find the rental car arrangement at MCI quite good. It's a quick trip from the terminal to the center... faster than many other airports.
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Old May 31, 17, 9:45 pm
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I, for one, hope they replace it. The airport is an eyesore and bad image for what is a progressive city.

As other's have noted, if you have to spend ANY time at the airport, it is severely lacking. A single terminal, with improved facilities, post security paxex and even more flight options is necessary for our city.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 8:10 am
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I've lived here in KC for 14 years now, and the airport is certainly better than it was when I first moved here. Back then only US Airways had bathrooms after security.

The two terminals currently used have about the same square footage as the proposed new single terminal. However, the problem is that the current terminals have too much square footage outside of security and not enough in the secure areas. As for the secure areas, the airport has more than half a dozen separate secure areas for less than 40 gates. That's over half a dozen security checkpoints for less than 40 gates. Who cares, TSA pays for that? However, there are still security checkpoints that do not have PreCheck, and they're unlikely to get PreCheck because they're only used part of the day (e.g., Delta has a gate area that is only used a few hours a day, so the security checkpoint does not have PreCheck and is unlikely ever to get it because it is only used a few hours a day for a few flights).

Security is usually okay, especially PreCheck for the gates that have it (American just got it at all their gates in the past few months), but sometimes it's not at some checkpoints, yet other checkpoints are empty at the same time. It is inarguably highly inefficient to have so many security checkpoints for the number of gates that KCI has.

The fundamental problem is that the gate areas at the airport are just too small. KCI has less square footage per emplaned passenger than most other airports ( KCI Benchmarking ), and too much of that square footage is outside of security, and of the square footage inside security it is all isolated, so while Southwest has some restaurants inside of security, those at the other 75% of the gates in the airport can not get to those restaurants. The main Delta gate area is a disaster at peak times, tomorrow between 540AM and 7AM they will have six flights depart from their main gate area which has four gates, those six flights are a 737-900, 2x737-800, 2x717, and an EMB-175. That's 796 departing seats, plus crew, staff, and airport employees, crammed into a gate area that is probably not big enough for half that by modern standards (i.e., adequate seating and restrooms). If one of those flights is delayed, and especially if ATL has issues (which has two of those six departures on a 737-900 and -800), it is not a good situation.

The estimates to renovate the existing terminals were about $500 million, and this could be quite a reasonable approach because they could renovate Terminal A, which is not used now, then move Terminal B or C there, renovate that terminal, then move, logistically it's pretty straight-forward. The problem is then you're spending $500 million to end up with a 'fixed-up' 45 year old building that still has some of the short-comings of the existing design.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
The problem is then you're spending $500 million to end up with a 'fixed-up' 45 year old building that still has some of the short-comings of the existing design.
I think there is no point in "fixing up" a terminal conceived before modern security needs or hub/spoke networks took hold, and not adaptable to either. MCI could be a great hub if transfers weren't so onerous and amenities so lacking.
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