I’m almost afraid to type this next sentence because I live in the fear of the emails I’ll be receiving, but I’m going to go for it. Why is anyone in Kansas City against a new airport?
Full disclosure: I don’t know a soul who works at the engineering firm with the new proposal and although I do admit to having a crush on Sly James (I do love a man in a bow tie), I have never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Now back to my rant. Have you been to KCI lately? It’s not great. Granted it’s not a dump, but it’s approaching dump adjacent.
I get it. People don’t like change. There’s a comfort level associated with KCI because it’s what we’re used to. Just like you could be used to that lumpy sofa in the basement with the stuffing oozing out that smells like fish sticks and curdled cottage cheese no matter how much Febreze you spray it with.
But, come on don’t we deserve better?
Five-plus years ago when my family was visiting Kansas City to see if we wanted to move here, KCI was my introduction to this amazing region. After five minutes in terminal B I asked my husband if we really wanted to make the leap. I had seen better airports in Third World countries. If you’re coming in from out of town, the airport is real downer.
Yes, yes, yes, I can already hear you saying, “Who cares about visitors. It’s convenient to residents. I can get from my gate to my car in five minutes.”
Well, first congrats on that (#lifegoals) BUT who’s to say that the new airport wouldn’t be just as or more user-friendly. And while we’re on the subject of convenience, can we talk about what’s not convenient at KCI. I don’t know where to begin. It’s a long list, but I’ll start with the restrooms.
Once you’re through security you’re trapped in what is basically a holding pen with just a smidgen of accoutrements. (Seriously, people: your local QuikTrip shouldn’t be nicer than a major metropolitan city’s airport.) God forbid if you have to use the bathroom. I can’t speak for the men’s, but the ladies’ rooms in the assorted gate areas of KCI are the size of the bathroom in a Barbie’s dream house. I’m talking three tiny stalls with a line out the door.
In no universe should you prefer using the bathroom in a plane at 40,000 feet than using the restroom at an airport. I’ve seen women cry, beg and once a mom with two kids offered to pay all of us standing in line $10 if she could get jump to front and be the next one in the stall.
Why are we OK with this?
Next on the not convenient list is how by sticking with the “it works for me” attitude, we’re going to really hurt ourselves when the airlines start decreasing the number of flights into KCI. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to drive to St. Louis to make a flight. The major airlines already try to avoid having any layovers here because of the lack of services.
And let’s talk about services. Over spring break I flew United out of Terminal C and it was as if I was at an airport located in Podunk, Kan., population 23 people and a herd of cattle. The terminal had the eerie feeling of a ghost town and I couldn’t even buy a Diet Coke.
I could go on, but sadly for me, my word count is limited. The bottom line is it’s time Kansas City. A new airport is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. We can’t wait much longer or the future will fly right past us.