Kansas City International Airport
Consistently ranked near the top of the North American Airport Satisfaction Studies by J.D. Power and Associates, Kansas City International Airport is a medium sized airport serving over 10 million passengers annually. Located 15 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, the airport serves as an important hub for airline traffic in America’s Heartland.
The history of Kansas City International Airport dates back to the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1951. With the destruction of facilities for the city’s two hometown airlines, Kansas City undertook a massive building project that would support a new airport capable of handling 10,000-foot runways.
In 1956, the first jet runways were made operational and Kansas City International Airport, then called Mid-Continent International Airport, was open for business. By 1966, intense pressure from the airlines would lead to an expansion of the airport into Kansas City’s main hub. After working out a host of initial design flaws, the airport’s three terminals eventually took on the unique ring shape structures that remain distinctive today.
A major set of renovations completed in the 2000’s saw Kansas City International Airport equipped for the 21st Century. The many improvements included expanded room within the terminals, additional retail space, better lighting, new baggage claim devices, updated restrooms, and new arrival/departure screens.
Kansas City Airport Amenities
In addition to a number of shops and places to eat, Kansas City International Airport also offers a wide range of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, to make passengers trips as convenient as possible. Airport Information services and counters are readily available, as are Airport Ambassador volunteers that can be identified by their red blazers. Additionally, each Terminal is equipped with ATMs and a business center.
Special attention has been paid to making the airport easy to navigate for all customers, including those with disabilities. Special Traveler Services include standards like curbside assistance at the terminals, convenient parking, handicapped restrooms, and plenty of elevators. However, the airport goes above and beyond with services such as Text Teletype for the Hearing Impaired, Visual Paging, Braille, and even service dog relief areas.
Although traveling to and from the Kansas City International Airport is currently limited to access via car or bus, the airport is located off two major highways. Public options are extremely limited in both numbers and time. Currently, there is only one bus service operated by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and it features service limited to weekdays during business hours.
A private option includes scheduled shared shuttle services to regional cities and military bases. Other options, such as taxis, are available but car rental is certainly the most convenient for most travelers. A consolidated rental car facility is located on the airport property and each terminal is equipped with multiple rental car shuttle bus stops.
Parking at the Airport
For locals, parking at Kansas City International is one of the major reasons that the airport was ranked the “third least miserable airport,” by U.S. News & World Report. Thanks to the unique circular structure of the three terminal buildings, parking is located just across the street from the terminal entrances. Indeed, the close proximity prompted slogans such as “The world’s shortest walk to fly,” and “Drive to your gate,” when the airport was first built.
In addition to the garage parking options that are available close to the terminals, three additional economy parking lots are available near the airport entrance. A free Blue Bus runs every 15 minutes from the terminals to these more distant options. Other parking options such as valet and disability parking are also available, although it is recommended you schedule the latter in advance to ensure the best assistance.
Airlines Serving Kansas City
Kansas City International Airport grows in popularity each year. As more people choose to discover the American heartlands, the airport becomes more important for travel for those who want to see the nation’s midsection. One airline company that services the airport the most is Delta. They offer flights from Kansas City International Airport to almost every other major airport in the United States on a routine basis. Delta has quite a following at the airport, and customers truly enjoy their flying experiences with the company when they fly in and out of Kansas City. Most of the popular flights there are connected with Delta in some way.
Southwest Airlines also has a gigantic presence at Kansas City International Airport. For those looking to take flights out of the country, Southwest offers the best bet for international travel. An enormously popular location for people flying out of Kansas City International Airport is Paris, France. Southwest is proud to offer that flight on a frequent basis for its business travelers as well as vacationers. Tickets for flights with Southwest are coveted among travelers in the Kansas City area, and the company does a great job servicing its valuable customers. They truly help Kansas City open up as a gateway to the rest of the world.
United Airlines boasts some of the best available flights at Kansas City International Airport. Their services to San Francisco are particularly appealing to those who are looking for a traveling route to the west coast. United also routinely transports Kansas City travelers to locations such as Miami, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Those who are searching for business flights to major cities for meetings will likely find the ticket they’re looking for with United. As a plus, customers often praise the outstanding professionalism of the staff aboard United flights.
American Airways serves plenty of customers in the Kansas City vicinity. If you can’t get a ticket with the other airlines, then you’ll be glad to know that American is a good consolation prize. They regularly fly customers to almost any location they could want. Popular destinations in particular include Los Angeles, Detroit, and Boston. It’s easy to get a ticket for an American flight, even at the last minute. They’re professional with their speed and efficiency in booking flights, and they can easily accommodate you if you have to change your plans within a reasonable amount of time of your flight.