Monday, December 26, 2011

kansas city airport

Kansas City Airport


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A few photos from the Kansas City Airport, taken during a layover on my way back from Florida. It was supposed to be a 2 hour layover, but it expanded into most of a day when our original plane developed mechanical issues.

Kansas City Airport

I quickly realized this was not going to be my favorite airport in the world. The Wikipedia link above mentions that the airport design was TWA's 1960s vision of the "Airport of the Future", a glamorous jet-setting hub for globe-crossing 747s and SSTs. Part of this vision was the idea that you could pretty much drive right up to the gate and hop on the plane with as little hassle as possible. Which might have been really convenient and fabulous at one time, but wedge in some modern TSA gates and bulky security-theater gear, and it becomes a confusing, claustrophobic sort of place.

I actually had to leave the secured zone just to find a hot meal (and, ok, a margarita or two), and had to go back through security -- complete with a full body scanner -- to get back to my gate. Later (as the layover dragged on), I discovered there was supposed to be a Boulevard brewpub somewhere else in the airport & thought I'd track it down. But not only would I have had to pass through security at least one more time, I'd also have to take a shuttle bus to another terminal. So I reluctantly chalked that one up as impractical. Which was a shame, since the food options at the airport are pretty minimal otherwise. I was really hoping there would be a reasonably authentic barbecue joint somewhere in the airport, being Kansas City and all, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case.

Kansas City Airport

If you don't want the security gate hassle, all they've got are some snack bars -- cold sandwiches, fruit plates, that sort of thing. Oh, and beer. That was one nice thing about the place: They're operating under Missouri liquor laws, which are about the most lenient in the nation other than Louisiana and Nevada. So I walked over to a snack bar and got a fruit plate and a semi-local IPA. They have to open the can for you, but then you can just carry the beer back to the gate to enjoy at your leisure (although you can't bring your open beer with you onto your plane, apparently). So there's that, anyway.

Kansas City Airport

Oh, and here's a sign you won't see at the Portland airport. I kept overhearing people -- like myself just passing through -- muttering the word "tornado", like it's the one solid fact people from either coast know about the Midwest, and they don't like the sound of it. Which is amusing considering the East Coast has hurricanes, and the West Coast has earthquakes and even volcanoes, and that doesn't seem to scare people away. I think the Midwest needs better PR people or something.

Kansas City Airport

Kansas City Airport

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