The Case For a New KCI

My reason why we should build a new airport? My bladder.


Fasten your seatbelt, put your tray table in the upright position and brace for some turbulence in the form of aggressive complaining because I’m about to go off about how the metro needs a new airport. I’m literally queasy with anticipation, as in perhaps requiring the services of an air sickness bag, over the Nov. 7 vote about building a new KCI.

   As a Kansas resident, I don’t have a say in the matter, but that’s not going to stop me from sharing my opinion (sorry, not sorry).  In fact, my very pro-new-airport stance is based on one thing and one thing only: my bladder.

   I’m aware that might sound at worst crazy and at best that I require some sort of urgent medical attention,  but trust me, the bladder argument is not only sound, it also surpasses any other talking point about the airport.

   I can sense that you’re still stuck at the whole, “I might be mentally fragile area” of concern, so to alleviate your fears I will take the most popular sentiment about keeping KCI just the way it is — the convenience factor — and bladder bust it.

   Because I consider myself a fair person, I will concede that, yes, being able to literally kick someone out to the airport curb is super expedient. I will also give you that if you’re willing to pay $23 a day AND if there is room in the garage, it can be hassle-free to park and then saunter into the airport.

   What these convenience junkies don’t take into consideration is that dropping off your loved ones at the curb is not a KCI anomaly. Even at much larger airports (think LAX, the second busiest airport in the United States as well as one of the largest international airports in the world) the curbside stop, drop and go is still a thing. Therefore, I’m calling that KCI convenience claim to fame bogus.

   Now on to the whole, “I can get off the plane and be at my car in mere minutes” much ballyhooed bologna. You sure can if you 1) were lucky enough to find a space in the garage and paid a premium for the privilege and 2) don’t have any checked luggage. Let me now serenade you the story of the average KCI traveler.

   You deplane, proceed to the baggage carousel and pray that the aging piece of equipment that creaks and groans more than my 300-pound Aunt Florence Marie trying to sit crisscross applesauce will be able to make the perilous journey and deliver your luggage.

   When that epic adventure is finally completed, you go outside to wait and wait and then wait some more for the “Blue Bus,” all the while trying to pre-position yourself so you’ll be first in line when the bus stops and don’t get stuck with your luggage, or worse, a fellow human being, in your lap.

   When you get on the bus, you jockey for a seat and then settle in for your journey to economy parking. If you parked in lot 13, I hope you brought a snack because it’s going to take a while.

   Will someone please explain to me how all this is super convenient? Sure, if you want to spend the money you can have a speedy deplane-to-your-car experience, but for the rest of us who like to pack more than a change of underwear and don’t want a parking bill that’s more expensive than our Southwest flight to San Diego, the current KCI is no holy grail of expedience.

   In fact, the whole deplane-to-car scenario takes so long that on the way home I have to detour to the Barry Road Quik Trip to use the bathroom. That’s all the proof you need for the whole convenience myth to be bladder-busted!

   Now, any local knows that you use the restroom before you go through security and venture into the gate area. This is because the toilet facilities inside this “gated community” are reminiscent of an abandoned mental hospital where the spirits of deceased patients are still lurking and looking for suitable indoor plumbing.

   It’s not like I need three-ply toilet paper from a public restroom, but it would be nice for an airport that has on average more than 30,000 people using it every day to have ladies’ rooms in the gate areas that have more than three stalls. Oh, and wooden stall doors that aren’t cracked and appear to be repurposed from latrines at a Boy Scout Jamboree would also be a significant upgrade.

   May God have mercy on your soul if you’re already through security and your plane is late because that’s going to mean one thing and one thing only —you’re going to have to go against your insider knowledge and heed nature’s call in a KCI “gate” restroom. Say your prayers that’s it’s not the one near Southwest’s Gate 30 (shudder). I’d rather pack an adult diaper in my carry-on than suffer through that indignity.

   So, as you can see, based solely on my bladder, KCI needs some love. It’s a bona fide hot mess that has the power to affect our economy. For instance, if Kansas City is lucky enough to make any kind of short list for Amazon’s second headquarters, I’m sure hoping the decision-makers from the tech giant fly private and don’t have to traipse through KCI. And Lord help us if they do and have to use the restroom because if that happens the dream of 50,000 new jobs will be flushed down the toilet.