Thousands of workers at Kansas City International Airport are gearing up for the annual rush of holiday travelers. The Kansas City Aviation Department expects an increased number of holiday travelers compared to 2009. To keep things at the terminal curbs running smoothly, KCI Airport Police Traffic Control Officers will strictly enforce parking rules. Curb use is restricted to active passenger loading and unloading.
The Air Transport Association, an airline industry trade organization, expects 43.6 million passengers to travel on U.S. carriers over the upcoming winter holidays, up approximately 3 percent from the 42.3 million passengers estimated to have flown during the same period in 2009. The holiday travel period is defined as the 21 days spanning Thursday, December 16, 2010 through Wednesday, January 5, 2011. ATA expects daily passenger volumes to range from 1.7 million to 2.3 million during the holiday. The busiest days are expected to be December 21-23, December 26-30 and January 2 and 3, based on sample data from the 2009 winter holiday period. On the busiest days, average load factors may approach 90 percent, indicating very full aircraft.
The Kansas City Aviation Department plans to serve more than 679,000 passengers during the holiday period, up five percent over 2009. The department recommends that travelers arrive at the airport terminals 60 to 90 minutes prior to departure, two hours before international flights, and encourages travelers to check in online.
The Transportation Security Administration offers one family lane at every checkpoint in the U.S. for people that need a little extra time to get through security. Everyone must have a boarding pass and valid government photo ID to enter the security checkpoint.
TSA has launched the ?See Something, Say Something? campaign to ask travelers to be vigilant during the busy holiday travel season by reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement. The public plays an important role in security.
More passengers may encounter Advanced Imaging Technology this holiday travel season, which is a critical layer of security that enables TSA to screen passengers for a wide range of threats. Passengers who choose not to be screened with this technology can opt for alternative screening, which will include a pat-down.
Check TSA's Web site tsa.gov for a complete list of prohibited items and other security information.
Parking at the terminal curbs is not allowed and curb use is restricted to active passenger loading and unloading. Traffic Control Officers will strictly enforce no-parking rules, including asking drivers waiting curbside for passengers to move their vehicles.
There is plenty of on-airport parking available with 23,000 spaces comprising Garage, Circle and Economy lots. Many holiday travelers use Economy, which is the least expensive airport parking option. There are 15,000 spaces at $6.00 per day, dedicated terminal-specific lots and free environmentally-friendly natural gas shuttle bus service. For seeing off or welcoming family members, the charge is $1.00 for the first 30 minutes in Garage and Circle lots. Terminal B Garage is often full so one may park in A or C garage and take the Red Bus to B. A coupon for a free day of Economy parking can be downloaded at flykci.com. Check out the new nearby Park Air Express valet parking. A coupon for one free day of valet parking can be downloaded at parkairexpress.com.
The KCI web site makes travel easier even before passengers reach the airport. Flykci.com offers real-time flight, parking and weather information (local and destination), flight booking, driving directions and interactive KCI maps. Users can even sign up for email or text message flight status updates. The site links to airlines, rental car agencies, hotels, TSA and other related sites. There is a coupon for a free day of parking and one can enter for a chance to win two free airline tickets.
Here are some general tips for traveling through KCI this entire holiday season:
? Check flykci.com for real-time flight and terminal information for your flight or anyone you may be meeting or seeing off.
? Allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park and check in. If you park in any of the 23,000 spaces ON-AIRPORT you will save a few minutes. Check out the new nearby Park Air Express valet parking.
? If you are picking up or dropping off use Garages and Circle lots where parking costs $1.00 for the first 30 minutes. DO NOT park at the curb.
? Passengers who are prepared for security screening before they reach the checkpoint help make the process easier for both themselves and other passengers.
? Check TSA's Web site tsa.gov for a complete list of prohibited items and other security information.
? For bookings prior to November 1, 2010 TSA advises passengers to contact their airlines or booking sources prior to arriving at the airport to ensure they have provided their full name, date of birth, gender, and Redress number (if applicable) as part of their reservations.
? Remember 3 simple steps to security:
Have your ID and boarding pass out and ready
Take off shoes and jackets
Take out liquids (in a baggy) and laptops
? Follow 3?1?1 for carry-on luggage when bring non exempt liquids:
3 ounce bottle or less for each liquid, gel and aerosol;
1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold all small bottles;
1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.
? The liquid restriction applies only to carry-on bags. Pack larger quantities of liquids and gels in your checked baggage. Infrequent travelers or individuals not familiar with these rules can place all liquids, gels and aerosols in checked baggage.
? TSA recommends that passengers do not travel with wrapped packages. In order to determine if a package is a threat, a security officer may need to unwrap and inspect the item. If you are traveling with gifts please wrap them after you reach your destination.
? Pack all your coats and jackets in your checked baggage when possible. All coats and jackets must go through the X-ray machine for inspection.
? When in doubt, leave it out. If you're not sure about whether you can bring an item through the checkpoint, put it in your checked bag or leave it at home.
? If you have any small items that are prohibited at the security checkpoint, use Checkpoint Mailers at KCI to mail it to yourself.
? To ensure safe and healthy holiday travel, passengers are encouraged to follow CDC tips when traveling, including:
Stay home when you feel sick
Get your flu vaccine
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
Wash your hands often
The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general tax fund revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation or maintenance of the airports in the system. Visit flykci.com. Find us on Twitter at twitter.com/KCIAirport and Facebook at facebook.com/KCIAirport.