Thousands of workers at Kansas City International Airport are gearing up for the annual rush of Thanksgiving holiday travelers. To keep things at the terminal curbs running smoothly, KCI Airport Police Traffic Control Officers will strictly enforce parking restrictions.
The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, expects many full flights during the upcoming Thanksgiving travel season. In total, ATA expects about 23.2 million air travelers will fly on U.S. carriers? domestic and international routes during a 12-day period surrounding the holiday ? a 2 percent drop from 2010. In order, the busiest air-travel days for the period are expected to be Sunday, November 27 and Monday, November 28, followed by Friday, November 18. The Kansas City Aviation Department plans to serve more than 378,000 passengers at KCI during the holiday period.
The Department recommends that travelers arrive at the airport terminals 60 to 90 minutes prior to departure, two hours before international flights. It also encourages travelers to check in online and print out itineraries and boarding passes at home.
Over the past few months, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented a number of new risk-based security measures, including expedited prescreening initiatives for known travelers and airline crewmembers, modified procedures for screening passengers 12 and under, and other changes.
TSA has implemented new procedures that reduce the number of pat-downs of passengers 12 and under. Passengers 12 and under are also able to leave their shoes on when going through security checkpoints.
TSA has upgraded all millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology units at airports nationwide with new software to further enhance privacy protections by eliminating the image of an actual passenger and replacing it with a generic outline of a person. Passengers who choose not to be screened with this technology can opt for alternative screening, which will include a pat-down.
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.
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. Economy Parking is the least expensive airport parking option at $6.00 per day. For seeing off or welcoming family members, the charge is $1.00 for the first 30 minutes in Garage and Circle lots. 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. KCI Economy parking may be used as a ?cell phone lot? to await arriving passengers. Stay in the Economy Lot up to one hour for FREE.
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.
Holiday Travel tips
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, 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 as a ?cell phone lot? to await arriving passengers. Stay in the Economy Lot up to one hour for FREE.
? Be prepared. Passengers who are prepared for security screening before they reach the checkpoint help make the process easier for both themselves and other passengers.
? Remember 3 simple steps for faster security screening:
1. Have your ID and boarding pass out and ready
2. Take off shoes and jackets
3. Take out liquids (in a baggie) and laptops
? Follow TSA?s 3?1?1 for carry-on luggage when bringing non-exempt liquids:
o 3 ounce bottle or less for each liquid, gel and aerosol;
o 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top baggie to hold all small bottles;
o 1 baggie 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. Snow globes of any size are not permitted in carry-on bags because officers cannot accurately determine the volume of liquid.
? 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.
? 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 Airport Mailers at each KCI checkpoint to mail it to yourself.
? Check TSA's Web site tsa.gov for a complete list of prohibited items and other security information.
? To ensure safe and healthy holiday travel, passengers are encouraged to follow these tips when traveling, including:
o Stay home when you feel sick
o Get your flu vaccine
o Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
o 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 and Facebook.