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Excellent news on the airport, but must women wait for decent restrooms?

Beware, women. Step through that gate and risk long lines to some pretty pathetic restrooms. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take years for a fix.
Beware, women. Step through that gate and risk long lines to some pretty pathetic restrooms. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take years for a fix. File photo

Yea, hosannas and hallelujahs that ground has finally been broken for the new single terminal KCI. I was getting worried. For a very long time it had seemed like it was all talk and little to no action

My joy in seeing some work commence knows no bounds. I’m also going to be super positive and believe the very optimistic estimate that the new airport will be completed by 2023 with 130 roomy new bathrooms.

That gives us about four more years to suffer through the indignities of the current airport. I know I’ve complained, some may say vigorously, about KCI. And even with a new airport on the horizon I’ve still got some solid concerns. Primarily, that now that new airport is underway, little to no maintenance is going to be done on the current airport.

This hypothesis is based on being at the airport approximately four times over the course of the last three weeks and concluding that it’s a hot mess and the absolute worst are the restrooms.

Once you enter into the lock-down zone known as the Southwest gate area, the women’s restrooms are atrocious. I’m sure the bathroom facilities in a Soviet era bloc prisons were more accommodating.

Yes, I’m very aware that me whining about the KCI restrooms is nothing new, but trust me they have deteriorated even further. Plus, before I receive a flurry of emails telling that “smart travelers use the much nicer pre-security restrooms,” please note that not all bladders are built they same and that sometimes you’ve got to go post TSA.

Believe me when I tell you that I try to avoid the KCI restrooms. I cut down on my fluid intake two hours before departing for the airport and avoid any liquids once I arrive. But sometimes duty calls and one must avail themselves of the services of a KCI toilet.

This is quite a hat trick. First, you have to wait in a line that, if a plane has recently landed, rivals the waiting time for the Seven Dwarf Mine Train at Disney World. (Never mind that nothing says welcome to our city like a women’s restroom with two freaking stalls).

Then, once you get in a stall, there’s the issue of making sure the door stays shut, because apparently locks are seen as a non-essential expenditure. I considered myself somewhat coordinated and being a tall woman I have long arms, but I fear even Elastigirl known for her agility and stretchability would have a hard time holding the bathroom door closed while trying to get down to business.

Finally, once you do manage to commence your business you discover the toilet seat?

Is this going to be the new normal for the next four years for KCI? Is any maintenance going to be deemed a waste of money because everything is going to be demolished down the road?

I know the low-ball estimate for building the new airport is $1.5 billion and I get it — that’s a whole lot of money, but that doesn’t mean we can just overlook things like locks for the bathroom doors or functioning toilet seats at the current airport.

If nothing is done by the time Terminal B says goodbye to its last passenger, the ladies rooms will make the haunted latrines at abandoned mining camp look like luxury living.

I believe not only do we deserve better but so do our bladders. Consider that for some female guests, their first Kansas City experience might possibly be our airport restrooms.

Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com

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