emseeeye
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WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:10 am

Its amazing now that the airlines are starting to see the cost increase they are starting to voice their opinion on whether on not they want to pass any increases on to passengers to help fund a new terminal.

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/11/13...uthwest-airlines-wants-bigger.html

The issue that I now have with WN is they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Also, since WN owns 50% of the traffic they seem to have tunnel vision on the future of MCI. There are all the other carriers operating as well. The airport authority cannot neglect what the other airlines issues are just to appease WN.

Also, over the last couple of years wasn't WN's position that they couldn't grow at MCI due to space?
 
sccutler
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:29 am

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):

Its amazing now that the airlines are starting to see the cost increase they are starting to voice their opinion on whether on not they want to pass any increases on to passengers to help fund a new terminal.

It would be seriously foolish if they did not voice an opinion.

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
The issue that I now have with WN is they cannot have their cake and eat it too.

What is the "cake"?

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
Also, since WN owns 50% of the traffic they seem to have tunnel vision on the future of MCI.

Again, their business model is not the promotion of the success of their competitors.

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
The airport authority cannot neglect what the other airlines issues are just to appease WN.

Nor should they.
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PHX787
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:39 pm

Is MCI going to finally scrap that 70s terminal they have and build something more 2010s? I love the design aesthetically but at the same time it's not useful at all.
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enilria
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
There are all the other carriers operating as well. The airport authority cannot neglect what the other airlines issues are just to appease WN.

To be honest, no airline wants to spend another nickel.

Is the terminal in MCI awful? Yes.
Do the airlines care? Largely No.
Do the passengers want to pay another $7 or $9 every time they fly for it to be nice for 10 years? Probably not.

So, this is one of those situations where the govt sees the "bigger picture" and forces something they think is overall for the public good on everybody involved. Whether it is really in the public good is debatable...and it is being debated.
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:13 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
The issue that I now have with WN is they cannot have their cake and eat it too.

What is the "cake"?

I think the "cake" means that they (WN) can't expect a new terminal and think that the costs to build and operate it won't go up.
 
usflyguy
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:35 pm

Quoting emseeeye (Thread starter):
Also, over the last couple of years wasn't WN's position that they couldn't grow at MCI due to space?

And then some walls were removed on the secure side where the gates are and more space was opened up and gate areas were combined which made operations more efficient.

Ask Indy, building a new terminal and having costs skyrocket doesn't bring new service...
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 5):
And then some walls were removed on the secure side where the gates are and more space was opened up and gate areas were combined which made operations more efficient.

Yes, though there are only 7 or so gates in the "WN secure zone." If they want sterile connections between all of their gates--a reasonable goal--growth is indeed limited.
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FATFlyer
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:14 pm

Sounds like a replay of the new terminal construction arguments at SMF.
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knope2001
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:50 pm

Southwest has 7 gates in a single holding area...37-45 (there's no 42 nor 44) but they also have two other gates down the hall which they also use, 32 and 33. Those were AirTran gates, but now they rotate usage and there are definitely connections which need to re-clear security.

Today, for examlpe, flight 473 arrived from Dallas at 10:50 and flight 162 departed for BWI at 11:20. That's a valid connection and looking at tomorrow (for example) it's the earliest available flight. Today the MCI-DAL flight arrived at B37, and the connecting MCI-BWI flight departed B33, meaning a walk out of security, down the hall a ways, and into another security area. The KCI flight information lists the inbound DAL flight as arriving 15 minutes late at 11:05. One would hope they held BWI's 11:20 departure until connections made it over, but that's not exactly a low-stress connection.

If KCI builds new and airline fees reach a level Southwest doesn't feel reasonable to pay, they can rework things that a lot more connecting flow now using KCI traverses another city. KCI will certainly still have a lot of Southwest flights which serve a lot of local passengers, but less connecting flow means fewer nonstops. Maybe they see fewer IND and MKE flights, maybe PDX goes seasonal instead of year-round, maybe plans for a MCI-PIT flight go south, etc.
 
rampart
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:59 pm

It seems to me the best approach to add space to the existing rings terminals is to build inward. Cut a couple secants in the circular drive, use that inward space to expand ticketing and baggage claim, and completely free up the existing ring terminal to become airside, post-security. As for the drive, it might follow the exterior edge of the square parking garage on one level. Lose some close-in parking, but that's OK. (EWR, MDW, and LAS have done this.) My plan preserves the convenience that the locals love (walk to the gate), would maintain the existing footprint, would cost less than a new facility clear across the airport, and could be built mostly without closing the existing concourses. I may have to rough up a diagram to post here. Later.

-Rampart
 
tyler81190
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:40 am

Honestly, this is going to happen one way or another. The Aviation Department does not need voter consent to build the terminal, as they do not plan on using ANY local tax dollars. Also, I have serious doubts about WN's capacity after the Wright Amendment goes away.

On the Airport's side, they have the "Shiny New Terminal" syndrome. A new terminal would greatly reduce security screening costs, and open up the storm water system to be repaired so they can stop being fined by the EPA for polluting the ground.

On the Passenger side, It would mean the end of the "drive to your gate" concept. Many people love that about MCI, but there are many people who buy their tickets from 3rd party vendors that offer connections and interlining in MCI. Some I have seen: AA to UA, AS to UA, UA to DL, DL to AA, AS to DL, AS to AA, and US to just about everyone. This new terminal would be a life saver for these passengers.

Playing devil's advocate, the airport does not care about how easy it is to drop off or pick up, it makes them no money... Parking fees for short term or long term do. Passengers sitting airside at a bar does not make money, Landing fees, parking (aircraft) fees, PFCs, and leased gate save does.

In the proposed plan, the sterile area would be Common Use, which would give airlines flexibility for light days, or for IROPS. The proposed site is where Terminal A currently sits, which by the way will become vacant on Jan. 10th with the move of US to Term. C.

I will be shocked if they do not begin to tear down Term. A within a year from now. As Term. A is the oldest terminal, it is also the first to be empty. You do the math, empty terminal sealed off, cut utilities means a rotting building. They will use that as an excuse to tear it down quickly.


For the new terminal, a single security point means easier use of the space, more restrooms in sterile area, more food, and shops. It also means cheaper operating costs for TSA (Firstline) and easier upkeep for the Aviation Department!

T
 
blhp68
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:48 am

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 8):

Hey Knope, if I am not mistaken, the airport spent about 1.5 million dollars to construct a secure bridge walkway from the main southwest gates to the AirTran gates. This means that you would not have to leave security if you are connecting.
 
tyler81190
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:03 am

Quoting blhp68 (Reply 11):
Hey Knope, if I am not mistaken, the airport spent about 1.5 million dollars to construct a secure bridge walkway from the main southwest gates to the AirTran gates. This means that you would not have to leave security if you are connecting.

That is true... Only Southwest has that bridge though...
 
PITrules
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:28 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 9):
It seems to me the best approach to add space to the existing rings terminals is to build inward. Cut a couple secants in the circular drive, use that inward space to expand ticketing and baggage claim, and completely free up the existing ring terminal to become airside, post-security.

Or an outward expansion? Plenty of airside space to do this, with the exception of sacrificing a few gates on each end of the middle terminal. Shouldn't be a problem as MCI can spare the extra gates.
FLYi
 
rampart
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:35 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 13):
Or an outward expansion? Plenty of airside space to do this, with the exception of sacrificing a few gates on each end of the middle terminal. Shouldn't be a problem as MCI can spare the extra gates.

I thought of that, too, but would be more disruptive to operations than my original suggestion, as in it would take gates out of use during the expansions. But I suppose if they have an entire terminal to be mothballed soon, that isn't as much of a problem.

-Rampart
 
tyler81190
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:43 am

Quoting rampart (Reply 14):
But I suppose if they have an entire terminal to be mothballed soon, that isn't as much of a problem.

The Aviation Department is not temporarily mothballing it. They have said it will not reopen.
 
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knope2001
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:07 pm

Interesting idea to build inward. I've thought about building upward, but

Quoting blhp68 (Reply 11):
Quoting knope2001 (Reply 8):
Hey Knope, if I am not mistaken, the airport spent about 1.5 million dollars to construct a secure bridge walkway from the main southwest gates to the AirTran gates. This means that you would not have to leave security if you are connecting.

Interesting! I'll be there in a week and will check it out. If this exists it would make sense why they're using those gates at all -- other than for an originator or two they should be able to serve everything (including the AirTran flights) from their 7 previous gates.
 
blhp68
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:39 pm

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 16):
Interesting! I'll be there in a week and will check it out. If this exists it would make sense why they're using those gates at all -- other than for an originator or two they should be able to serve everything (including the AirTran flights) from their 7 previous gates.

As a resident, I recall reading about this bridge but didn't actually stumble upon it until I had a flight out of gate 32. I went in the checkpoint for the main gates and then after passing through security, realized my gate was in the wrong area! Luckily the bridge saved me a trip back through security!

Photo is courtesy of the KC Star from their article.

 
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knope2001
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:25 pm

Thanks for the pic! I'll have to check it out next week.
 
Boeing717200
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:44 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 13):

Could go landslide too. Close a terminal, drop the parking structure and elevated roadways, secure the entire building as a single concourse, build a pax processor with bridges from security to the gates like a wagon wheel and add a new parking parking structure and roadway. Rinse and repeat.
 
mhkansan
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:54 am

MCI needed a clean sheet terminal on the South side of the terminal. It's closer to the city, and would fix decades of poor terminal facilities at MCI.

MCI is one of the saddest air service stories in the US. Once it was a huge played in the national air transportation system. Everybody had transcon flights stopping in MKC with 707s, 727s, etc. Vanguard Airlines, Frontier's hub, the US Airways hub, Braniff hub, and of course the TWA hub... All that service evaporated largely due to really crappy connecting facilities.

Now, even though MCI is the best positioned transcontinental hub in the USA, there are no airlines left to open up a large operation there, except WN, which has relatively high service levels there mostly due to Wright.

Hopefully the airport authority won't cock this new terminal up also. Actually, I hope they do. Maybe it would mean more traffic at MHK? Ah, that will happen regardless.
 
Boeing717200
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:57 am

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 20):

As long as they build a terminal and not some monument to the staff they'll be fine.
 
skywaymanaz
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RE: WN Wants Bigger Voice In MCI's Future

Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:03 am

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 20):
even though MCI is the best positioned transcontinental hub in the USA

There have been many on here questioning that premise for years. I hate to say it as a KC native who grew up near KCI and briefly worked there but I tend to agree. There are huge blanks on the map to the west and north that make it a lot less desireable than say MSP for connecting feed. That said the terminals are a joke. It was tolerable before 9/11 when security was more common sense, less invasive and fast. I don't doubt some of the fixes proposed above are possible but you're still putting bandaids on a 40 year old building. There aren't to many terminals left in the US that are this old. I can think of a few but most had fewer problems and have either been radically remodeled or demolished. WN was a major player at MCI before it was added into the Wright zone. Even with Wright it is NOT a desirable connecting point due to the facilities. There may well be some connecting traffic that drops off post Wright but they'll still be the biggest airline there by far. Maybe I just have shiny new terminal syndrome too but I really believe it is the only long term solution. I've travelled to SGF a few times on business and love what they've done with their new building. The old one was hemmed in by the airport layout and once it could no longer be expanded it was replaced. That wasn't without controversy there either, especially with competition down the road at BBG.