United Airlines to change terminals at KCI - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

United Airlines to change terminals at KCI


Update: The switch is now scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 5.

Airlines normally move passengers, but Thursday, United Airlines will be moving terminals at Kansas City International Airport.

Officials said all United flights will operate in Terminal C at KCI in a newly remodeled space from gates 61-69 at the beginning of the terminal.

It's the first step in clearing out all of Terminal A. United moves into Terminal C on Thursday, and U.S. Airways will follow.

Travelers leaving before Oct. 31 on United but returning on or after that date, should be aware that they will return in Terminal C.

Officials say passengers parking in the garage or circle parking can use the Red Bus to get to their vehicles. Economy parking lot users should use the transfer station in the economy lot.

Airport officials and others are pushing to build a new single-terminal KCI on the grounds of Terminal A, but many residents oppose that plan.

Airport leaders say it is a cost-saving measure, combining things like security into two terminals instead of three.

But some travelers worry what else consolidation could bring.

"I think it is going to create a lot of congestion," KCI traveler Ron Unruh said.

And it is just a foreshadowing of the long-term goal to move all airport operations into one terminal that would be built on the current site of Terminal A.

However, the overall $1.2 billion plan still is not finalized.

"They need to get it approved, have a plan, a design, a layout and a format so that it makes sense. The cart is way ahead of the horse on this one," Unruh said.

Making any change has been controversial, but many are split.

"Kansas City has a great airport. It is really, really easy to get into and out of. I can arrive here 30 to 45 minutes before my flight and have plenty of time," Curtis Morrison said.

For traveler Wendy Byrne, the one terminal system is an OK idea.

"Having things in one place, instead of having to travel so far between terminals, it is a little confusing," Byrne said.

Supporters say the one-terminal system would also bring more flights to KCI, improve security, reduce energy impact and costs and attract new retail inside.

"It would be great to have more options, whether it be restaurants or shops, or whatever, just if you have time in the airport, something to do," KCI traveler Michael Schaefer said.

But for travelers used to their trip in and out, nothing is worth the trade.

"It is extremely convenient. If I was in a different city doing this, totally different situation," Morrison said.

An advisory group formed by Kansas City Mayor Sly James is still meeting to discuss the airport's overall plan.

It would be funded through plane ticket fees, federal grants and bonds. Voters would have to approve the bond sale, even though airport leaders say it would use no local tax dollars.

There is no word yet on when that vote could be.

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