Thousands of workers at Kansas City International Airport are gearing up for the annual Thanksgiving holiday travel rush. Airport officials suggest that travelers are prepared and arrive early. To keep things at the terminal curbs running smoothly, KCI Airport Police Traffic Control Officers will strictly enforce parking restrictions.
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, projects that 25 million passengers will fly during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period. A4A expects the number of passengers traveling from Friday, Nov. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 3 to increase by 1.5 percent from 2012, and airlines are adding seats to meet growing demand. Planes are expected to be more than 85 percent full on the busiest travel days, which are Wednesday, Nov. 27 (2.42 million passengers), Sunday, Dec.1 (2.56 million passengers) and Monday, Dec. 2 (2.36 million passengers). The Kansas City Aviation Department expects to serve more than 402,000 passengers at KCI Airport during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period, also up 1.5 percent from 2012.
During the busy holiday travel season, passengers are encouraged to check flykci.com for flight status and check in online and print out itineraries and boarding passes at home. Travelers are advised to register with their carrier for electronic flight updates, providing cell phone numbers in case of delays or cancellations and allow adequate time for security screening and checking bags.
The Department recommends that travelers arrive at the airport terminals 90 minutes prior to departure, two hours before international flights.
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 also links to airlines, rental car agencies, hotels, TSA and other related sites.
Check TSA's Web site tsa.gov for a complete list of prohibited items and other security information.
In order to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible, TSA has expanded its TSA Pre ✓? program to additional airports and airlines nationwide. TSA Pre✓? is an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. TSA Pre✓? operations are available at more than 100 airports nationwide when flying on a participating carrier. Carriers currently offering TSA Pre✓? in Kansas City are Delta and Southwest. United will have it in the near future.
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. Economy Parking is the least expensive airport parking option at $7.00 per day. 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. Family seeing off or welcoming travelers may park in Garage and Circle lots. The charge is $1.00 for the first 30 minutes.
KCI Economy parking may be used as a ?cell phone lot? to await arriving passengers. Stay in the Economy Lot up to two hours for FREE.
Holiday Travel tips
? 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, arriving 60-90 minutes prior to departure. If you park in any of the 23,000 spaces on-airport you will save a few minutes. If desiring to park off-airport check out the 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 or your car will be ticketed and towed. KCI Economy parking may be used FREE as a ?cell phone lot? to await arriving passengers for up to two hours.
Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. To alleviate misunderstandings at the security checkpoint, TSA is reminding travelers of the following tips:
? 3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less and all bottles must fit in 1 quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening.
? Gifts: While wrapped gifts are allowed, security officers may need to unwrap a gift to resolve an alarm. TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process. Small snow globes are allowed in carry-on luggage when packed in a passenger's plastic 3-1-1 bag.
? Food: Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance. For more detailed information, visit: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/traveling-food-or-gifts
? Children 12 and under and adults 75 and older: TSA has modified the screening procedures for children 12 and under and adults 75 and older.
? Check for prohibited items: Travelers can use the ?Can I bring my...? app on www.TSA.gov or www.TSA.gov/mobile to check what items are allowed/not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the ?My TSA? app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.
? Prepare for security: Have a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID and boarding pass out and remove liquids and large electronics, including laptops, from carry-on baggage. Remember to remove shoes, outerwear, and bulky jewelry and empty pockets. Place valuable items in a carry-on bag.
? TSA?s Wounded Warrior Screening program: This program allows expedited screening and curb to gate service for this trusted group of citizens. Wounded warriors or their care coordinators can contact TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline. In addition, at airport checkpoints nationwide, U.S. service personnel in uniform with proper identification, whether traveling on official orders or not, are not required to remove their shoes or boots unless they alarm the technology.
? More Travel Tips: Check out TSA?s helpful Traveler Information site for more useful information to help ease the traveling public through security checkpoints. Additional holiday travel tips are available: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/11/tsa-2013-holiday-travel-tips.html. Airlines for America also has travel tips at http://www.airlines.org/Pages/Passenger-Travel-Tips.aspx
The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., 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 for more information. Find us on Twitter and Facebook.