For years, Kansas Citians have been nearly unanimous in their praise of Kansas City International Airport.
One would be hard-pressed to find any airport in the U.S. where passengers can drop passengers off more easily and within minutes they are at their gate.
Long lines of inspectors that are commonplace at other airports do not exist at KCI. Long-term parking in the economy lots at KCI is efficient and cheap.
So many KC folks are a bit perplexed that despite being so consumer-friendly KCI has announced plans to consolidate into a single terminal.
On Kansas City Star reporter Steve Kraske’s weekday “Up to Date” public radio show on KCUR (89.3 FM) show today he featured Kansas City’s aviation director Mark VanLoh. He outlined the advantages of constructing a new 37+ gate terminal on the site of the current Terminal A to house all the airport’s traffic.
VanLoh outlined how costs could be cut by the TSA with one area for screening (although he admitted the TSA has not requested it), how the parking would improve for business passengers willing to spend $22 a day for parking, and how more efficient the entire operation would be.
A caller to the show then outlined his concerns and said it seemed as if the airport was ignoring the customers and really focusing more on non-customer issues. He felt the airport was losing its customer focus and moving in the wrong direction.
VanLoh’s response likely stunned some travelers when he stated he works for the airlines and not the flying public. He said his goal is to make things easier for the airlines, and not necessarily for passengers.
His response dramatically showed that KCI customers can complain all they want about the planned consolidation at the airport, but the consolidation is a done deal.
In a story in the The Pitch one commenter noted:
“This is idiots in government at work. In the past, I traveled for a living. Hands down, KC has the most efficient passenger airport in the nation. However, it doesn’t make you walk through many shops on the way to transportation. So, less money for bureaucrats.”
Dana Wright was succinct discussing the plans to change KCI on the “Dana and Parks” radio show on KMBZ 980 AM today.
“We need to change KCI Airport—said absolutely no one,” said Wright. “We have the greatest airport in America.”
Despite that comment and similar ones VanLoh made it clear he doesn’t really answer to them. And doesn’t really care what they think.