Kansas City International Airport

Swifties at San Jose Airport + Authors at MCI + Musical Astronauts at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

San Jose Airport is Ready for Taylor Swift Fans

Thousands of Taylor Swift fans, known as “Swifties,” will be flying into San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC) this week on their way to Levi’s Stadium, where Swift will be performing on July 28 and 29 as part of her Eras Tour.

The airport is ready with friendship bracelets for trading and SJC goodies for sharing on Thursday, 7/27, in the Terminal B bag claim around 4 pm, while supplies last.

Summer Lit Fest at Kansas City International Airport

Here’s a great idea that would be great to see at every airport:

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) is hosting a Summer Lit Fest with a pop-up event that will feature readings and book signings by Kansas City authors.

The event will take place on Friday, July 28th, from 11 am to 2 pm, at the post-security Turn the Page KC store.

Here are the authors participating:

  • Former Kansas City Mayor Sly James will discuss and sign “Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie” written by Aja James and Audrey Masoner;
  • Jim “Stinky Feet” Cosgrove, author of “Bop Bop Dinosaur” and “Sullen Sally”;
  • Chris Meggs, author of “Twas the Night Before Tipoff” and “Go Chiefs Go”;
  • Julie Snodgrass, author of “The Search for your Best Furever Friend” and “Puppies on Parade”;
  • Christle Reed – “I Can be me in KC;” and
  • Crystal Everett ‚Äď  ‚ÄúMommy and Mari Move It.‚ÄĚ

Astronaut band to perform at Seattle’s Museum of Flight

Bandella, a band made up of five former astronauts and guest artists, lands for two shows at Seattle’s Museum of Flight on July 29.

Bandella includes Canadian astronaut¬†Chris Hadfield, who performed a solo performance¬†video of David Bowie’s Space Oddity while floating in the space station. The four other astronaut artists include¬†Cady Coleman, Dan Burbank, Ken Cockrell, and Steve Robinson, with Micki Pettit as the lead singer.

The concert will blend music with stories from space, plus a Q&A with the audience.

Art Tour Of The New Kansas City International Airport (MCI)

Courtesy Clark Weitz Clarkson.

When the new 1-million-square-foot terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) officially opens on February 28, $5.6 million in newly commissioned art will be on display.

Here are images of some of the key pieces:

“Fountain (KCI)” by Leo Villareal

“Molten Swing” by Soo Sunny Park

Credit Clark Weitz Clarkson

“The Air Up There” by Nick Cave

Credit Clark Weitz Clarkson

“Ornithology” by Willie Cole

Credit Clark Weitz Clarkson

“Let The Music Take You” by George Rodriguez

Credit-Harriet Baskas”

“Wings” by John Balistreri

Courtesy of the artist

“Cloud Gazing” by SOFTlab

Credit – Clark Weitz Clarkson

Airports Offering Mock Airplane Cabins

A few months back we shared the story of the mock airplane cabin installed at Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) designed to give flyers with a wide range of special needs an opportunity to become familiar with a realistic aircraft cabin. 

The 33-foot-long cabin was once used to train Delta’s in-flight teams in Atlanta and includes a (nonworking) lavatory and 42 standard coach seats from a retired Boeing 737.

Delta shipped the cabin in pieces to the Minneapolis airport, where it was reassembled in an unused retail space. Airport carpenters added cutouts so that every row has a window, and local youth artists painted the cabin and the surrounding walls with blue skies and landscape to make it sensory-friendly. 

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) Has a Mock Cabin Too

When it opens to the public on February 28, the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) will also have a mock airplane cabin. Like the one at MSP, this one is designed to help ease the fears and anxieties of first-time fliers, children, and those with special needs. That includes those with sensory issues, autism spectrum disorders, auditory and visual disabilities, and more.

Called the Kansas City Air Travel Experience and located just past security in the Concourse A Concessions Atrium, this mock airplane cabin is part of a decommissioned Airbus A321 and includes seats, windows, overhead bins, and other true-to-life aircraft parts. 

“Passengers” who book a mock airplane flight go through all the steps of a real flight. That includes checking in at a kiosk that is like one being used at the airport and receiving a boarding pass to show at the ‘gate.’

They then enter a ‘jet bridge’ with floor-to-ceiling wall graphics that mimic the glass jetways of the new terminal.

Once on the mock plane, passengers have a 15-minute ‘flight’ experience that covers boarding, the safety demonstration, taxi and takeoff, cruising, landing, and deplaning.

To make it feel as real as possible, a video simulation created by Kansas City-based Dimensional Innovations plays outside the cabin windows while ambient audio plays inside the cabin.

Here’s a video that shows what the experience is like.

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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