Airport Terminals

Kicking the Tires on the New Terminal at Kansas City International Airport

Courtesy Build KCI

Stuck at the Airport and more than 600 Kansas City area residents participated in a simulation test at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) on Tuesday.

The modern $1.5 billion new single terminal officially begins operating on February 28, 2023, and will replace a trio of 50-year-old terminals scheduled to host their last flights on the evening of February 27.

Here are some snaps and observations from our visit.

The test passengers, all volunteers, had a variety of itineraries and were ta. sked with going through the steps of a trip. That included parking in the new 6,100-space parking garage, checking in at the counter, dropping off baggage, finding their gates, and heading to the baggage claim to retrieve luggage.

Area resident and test volunteer Barb Schulte received a “ticket” that had her flying from Kansas City to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She was instructed to bring an oversized bag that weighed at least 20 pounds and had filled her bag with magazines, an afghan, and a pair of winter boots.

The 16-lane central TSA checkpoint area is still being completed, so travelers didn’t have to go through the security checkpoint experience. Shops, bars, and restaurants are not yet open, either, but the volunteers could see that branches of many familiar local brands will be represented.

Travelers also got a first look at amenities that will be available to ticketed passengers, including $5.65 million worth of public art, all-gender restrooms, a sensory room, indoor and outdoor pet relief areas, all-glass jet bridges, an inclusive play zone, and more.

KCI’s commitment to inclusiveness includes gender-specific and all-gender restrooms (all with red light/green signals on the stalls to let users know what’s open) as well as 15 family restrooms and restrooms with both child and adult-sized changing tables.

Chairs and work tables throughout the airport include plenty of power ports. And we are pleased to see that the high work tables are equipped with wireless charging spots.

Most test travelers we spoke with were, like us, impressed with all the natural light, the wide-open corridors, the increased seating, and all the amenities the new terminal will deliver.

Airport officials will be reviewing the feedback testers share in online surveys in advance of the February 28 official opening. But right away it was clear that easy-to-fix issues such as larger and increased directional signage would be helpful in some areas.

We’re looking forward to returning in a few weeks when the shops and restaurants are open, when the first in-airport barbecue smokers are in use, when the live music stages are operating, and when thousands of passengers are taking off and returning from adventures.

And we’re looking forward to learning more details about the gate-pass program for non-travelers that will be rolled out by the end of the year.

For now, the City of Fountains is definitely ready to wow with a brand new airport terminal.

(Stay tuned for more stories from our pre-opening visit).

Kansas City is Winning it. On the Field & at the Airport

This is Kansas City’s moment. Not only did the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII, but on February 28 the city will celebrate the long-awaited opening of a brand-new airport terminal.

The new 1-million-square-foot, $1.5 billion single Kansas City International Airport (MCI) terminal will be one of the most inclusive in the U.S. and will include $5.6 million in commissioned art.

Dining options will include many unique to the region and there will be stages for live music

In addition to more than 6,000 parking spaces, there will be 15 family restrooms, 10 infant feeding rooms, a family play zone, and 39 all-glass passenger jet bridges – the most glass jet bridges at any US airport.

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As you may imagine, there are a lot of details to attend to before the official switchover from the 50-year-old terminal to the brand-new one.

And one of those details involves testing the usability of the terminal for passengers.

So on February 14 – Valentine’s Day -hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people who volunteered back in January and ‘won’ a test-day ticket will show up at the new KCI terminal to participate in a simulated travel day.

The Stuck at The Airport terminal testing team will be there too. Because we love airports. And because we especially love new airport terminals.

We’ll share notes and images on social media during the test day but will include a full report about what we see here.

And, oh yeah, we’ll also be in town for the parade and other festivities for the new Super Bowl winners.

Stand by for souvenirs.

Courtesy BUILD KCI

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What’s Inside The New Terminal A at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport (EWR)

We haven’t been there in person just yet. But we’re delighted to see the photos the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is sharing of the new $2.7-billion terminal Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

The new terminal replaces the old Terminal A which first opened in 1973 and features fresh passenger amenities, impressive artwork, digital technology, and more than 60 regional dining and retail outlets representing national, global, and local brands.

Stretching out over more than one million square feet, the new Terminal A at EWR has 33 gates, and common-use check-in, security, and baggage claim areas built to easily handle an estimated 13.6 million passengers a year. Flights for Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Blue and United Airlines will operate out of this terminal.

The seating areas are diverse and inviting. And the kid’s play areas look like so much fun.

Fresh Art in Terminal A at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

And then there’s all the art. The work of 29 local artists is included in the terminal, with two major pieces serving as permanent anchor installations.

Karyn Olivier’s aluminum and stainless steel work, titled Approach, is made of up two 50-foot suspended sculptures that celebrate flight with different views of Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey in daytime and at night.

Between the Future Past, a mural by Layqa Nuna Yawar, celebrates the diversity of Newark, New Jersey, and the New York metropolitan area.

Photo by Zack DeZon, Courtesy Public Art Fund NY

More details to come once we get in there and walk the terminal from one end to the other.

(All photos courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, except where noted).

Airports not giving up on Twitter just yet

Hundreds of airports around the world use Twitter as one of their tools to share news and updates with the public.

The social media site is in flux (to say the least) at the moment. But for now, it’s still a great way to find out at a glance what some of our favorite airports are up to.

On Monday, for example, we learned:

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has installed a cool, new eyeglass-cleaning machine;

Miami International Airport (MIA) has a new art exhibit;

Santa is scheduled to stop in at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) on November 26;

Tampa Executive Airport (VDF) hosted a cool fly-in;

Two former Detroit Red Wings spent time at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) signing hockey pucks and meeting fans;

An oh-so-cute member airport therapy dog posed for harvest-time photos at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX);

And, as part of its 60th anniversary year, Dulles International Airport (IAD), reminded us of the mobile lounges that were used to transport passengers between the terminals and their planes.

Orlando Int’l Airport’s new Terminal C

Orlando International Airport (MCO) will officially open its new 15-gate, $2.8 billion Terminal 3 later this month. The first flights are set to take off beginning on September 20.

The Stuck at the Airport new terminal team will make its way to MCO soon. But in the meantime, here are some photos and information about what’s in store.

Airlines flying out of the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

Confirmed airlines that will operate out of the new terminal include Aer Lingus, Azul, British Airways, Caribbean, Emirates, Gol, Icelandair, JetBlue, Lufthansa, and Norse.

What’s inside the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

The Terminal features a skylight-capped Boulevard that connects ticketing, security, concessions, gates, and baggage claim.

Public art in the new Terminal C and Orlando International Airport will include a variety of giant digital canvases by Gentilhomme Studio.

Windows on Orlando, above, is a triptych of 32-feet-tall displays spanning 110 feet. Content includes a rocket launch sequence filmed in the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center and an afternoon ride under open skies with cowhands rounding up cattle.

The Moment Vault is an interactive 360-degree digital experience located in the Palm Court section of the terminal. The installation uses digital technology that allows travelers to interact with 23 different scenes that range from schools of bioluminescent fish to a trip to the surface of Mars.

The Portal, still to be completed in the arrivals hall, will be three stories high, with 32 custom curved screens suspended in a helical frame. 26 scenes will tell the story of the transformation of Central Florida from natural springs and ranchlands to the dawn of Disney and the launch into space exploration.

Shops and dining at the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

 Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld will be represented among the dozen retail locations. And among the two dozen food and beverage outlets will be Shake Shack and Orange County Brewers.

Stay tuned for more photos and details about what the new Terminal 3 at Orlando International Airport (MCO) has in store.