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Travel Tips

Have questions about parking, our services or simply looking for general air travel information? You’ll find all the answers you’re looking for here.

General Travel Questions

  • Airlines recommend that you complete the check-in process at least two hours before you departure time. To accomplish this, you may need to arrive at ticket counters/kiosks even earlier in case of long lines. If you are parking in our Economy Lot, please allow 20-25 minutes to allow for time for our complimentary shuttle to make its route to the terminal. If you are parking at an off-campus provider, please allow 20-30 extra minutes of processing and transit time. 

  • Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, passport or other acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency (MissouriKansas or full state list) on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card. For more information on this federally mandated act, please visit the Department of Homeland Security website or the Transportation Security Administration website. A passport is still required for all international flights. For information about obtaining a passport or visa information, visit the website for the Department of State

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific rules about what can and cannot be packed in carry-on and checked luggage. Please visit the website for the TSA for a complete list of prohibited items, as well as packing tips to make your travel go as smoothly as possible. In addition, we also recommend that you check with your individual airline for any further security and baggage requirements. Each airline has different rules about the number of items they allow travelers to carry-on or check as luggage. Some airlines may charge extra fees for luggage.

  • Visit our Healthy Travel page to see all that KCI is doing to protect your health while traveling with us. The Kansas City International Airport works closely with, and takes guidance from, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please visit their website,, for the most current information regarding travel notices, communicable diseases, vaccinations and other tips. 

Baggage Tips

  • Carry-on baggage is a small piece of luggage you keep with you in the overhead cabin of the aircraft while flying. Some airlines allow you one carry-on bag for free in addition to one personal item. (Personal items are usually kept on the floor under the seat in front of you and include items such as a laptop computer, purse, small backpack, briefcase or camera case). However, some airlines charge a fee for the overhead carry-on bags. Please check with your specific airline for its official policy regarding the cost and size restrictions for carry-on baggage. 

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will screen every carry-on bag and personal item that will fit through the x-ray machine. Please note that although a carry-on bag may fit inside an x-ray machine, it may not meet size regulations and be oversized for a particular airline. It is up to each individual airline as to whether you will be able to carry on a particular bag. It is best to contact your carrier before traveling to confirm their carry-on policy. Or check with your airline at its ticket counter or check-in desk before proceeding through the security checkpoints.

    For information on screening procedures for gate-checked and larger items that will not fit through x-ray machines (strollers, car seats, wheelchairs, etc.), please visit this section of the TSA website

    Always keep your belongings in sight during screening. You are responsible for your property as it proceeds through the screening process. 

  • Checked baggage is luggage you check-in at an airline's ticket counter or curbside if available. These bags will not be accessible during your flight. TSA is mandated by federal law to screen 100% of checked baggage. Bags may need to be opened during this process. When locking your checked bags, please use a TSA Accepted and Recognized Lock. If your baggage needs to be opened and inspected, TSA may have to break unrecognized locks to access your bags. TSA will not reimburse passengers for unrecognized locks broken as a result of the security screening process.

    For additional tips, go here.

  • For additional tips, visit TSA's website here.

Traveling with Children

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required to screen everyone, regardless of age, in order to ensure the security of all travelers. Many TSA Officers are parents themselves and understand travelers’ concern for their children. Security officers will approach children gently and treat them with respect. If a child becomes uncomfortable or upset, security officers will consult parents about the best way to relieve the child's concern. For official TSA rules and regulations, please click here

    • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes on during screening.
    • TSA will not ask travelers to do anything that will separate them from their child.
    • Passengers cannot leave babies in an infant carrier and attempt to put it through the X-ray machine. Babies should be carried through a walk-through metal detector by a parent or guardian.
    • All carry-on baggage, including children's toys, bags and items, will be screened. Please let your child know that their blanket, favorite stuffed animal or toy will have to go through the X-ray machine and then will be returned to them.
    • All child-related equipment that can fit through the X-ray machine should go through the X-ray machine. Examples include: strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats, backpacks, and baby slings.
    • If possible, please collapse or fold strollers and any other child-related equipment while in the queue. Please put any items in the stroller pockets or baskets, in a carry-on bag or in the bin X-ray belt for inspection. Plastic bins are provided to deposit such items.
    • If any equipment will not fit through the X-ray machine, security officers will visually and physically inspect it.
    • Ask a security officer for help gathering bags and equipment, if needed.
  • At Kansas City International, we pride ourselves on creating welcoming and safe spaces for all families. Family restrooms are available throughout the terminal. These are larger bathrooms with a changing station, space for a stroller and a lockable door.

  • Nursing rooms are one-family rooms. The spaces features adjustable lighting, comfortable seating, a toddler toy, large changing and washing areas and a lockable door. 

  • Air travel can be challenging for children with autism. The changes in routine, unpredictability, crowds, new noises and sights can all make the experience difficult for people on the spectrum and their families.

    To help make the travel more accommodating for all, we’ve built an onsite flight simulator and sensory room that can help you and your child get comfortable with travel before your scheduled travel date.

    For more information on the Kansas City Air Travel Experience and sensory room click here.

  • Children of all ages and abilities can play and unwind safely in a fun, aviation-themed area prior to boarding. Presented by Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, the play zone features kid-sized versions of a plane and an air traffic control tower, each with smooth surfaces, low platforms and transfer stations for wheelchair users and persons of reduced mobility. Ticketed passengers are free to enjoy the play zone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no reservation needed.

    Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City is a volunteer organization providing children with developmental disabilities the equipment and opportunities needed for activity and inclusion. Learn more about Variety KC here.

  • The Sensory Room is an interactive space designed to help travelers who are neurodivergent and may become overwhelmed by a bustling and unfamiliar place. Designed for those with autism, dementia or other sensory processing challenges, this space features calm, tiered and tactile-based zoned activity areas, fidget chairs, no loose objects, fully cushioned general areas and carpeted, nonabrasive flooring. The Sensory Room is open to ticketed passengers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no reservation needed.

  • Prepare For Confidence

    Flight travel can be stressful even for the most seasoned passengers, and possibly overwhelming for first-time travelers or those who are neurodivergent. In addition to navigating the various terminal procedures, boarding the plane itself can present a challenge.  

    The Kansas City Air Travel Experience Room provides a true-to-life space to gain experience with check-in, security screening, boarding and flight procedures, all in a calm and controlled atmosphere. Users are guided through every step of the air travel experience inside a section of an actual Airbus 320 fuselage, with working overhead storage bins, seat belts, tray tables and lavatory, providing hands-on experience in a safe environment. Through practice, the room can help calm fears and ensure a better, real-life flight experience in the future.

    Peace of mind for travelers with needs pertaining to:

    • Autism Spectrum/Asperger’s Syndrome
    • Anxiety
    • Dementia
    • Hearing/Visually Impaired
    • Claustrophobia
    • Aerophobia/Fear of Flying
    • New or uncertain travelers

    What to Expect During Your Simulator Visit

    Users and caregivers gain experience with check-in, TSA screening, boarding and in-flight procedures, helping to ensure a smoother, calmer real-life flight.


    • Users are introduced to airport announcements, welcome to gate introduction and instructions.


    • Airport announcements inform users their designated section is now boarding.


    • Users are introduced to sounds of travelers walking on a hard surface, suitcases crossing thresholds, chatter of voices, etc.


    • Users are prompted by activation prior to entering jet bridge. Time delay messaging welcomes incoming guests to the airplane cabin.


    • Users are prompted by boarding activation and messaging on in-cabin display.


    • Users are introduced to engine and cabin sounds replicating flight from takeoff to landing.  

    Visit our Specialty Rooms page to reserve your time.

Traveling with Animals

  • You must contact your airline or travel agent before arriving at the airport to determine your airline's policy on traveling with animals. Each airline has its own policies for traveling with pets and service animals. For a list of airlines at MCI Airport, click here.

  • Once at the airport, you will need to present the animal to the security officers at the screening checkpoint. You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by the security officers. Your animal will never be placed through an X-ray machine. However, you may be asked to remove your animal from its carrier so that the carrier can be placed on the X-Ray machine. Visit TSA's website for official rules and frequently asked questions.

  • At Kansas City International Airport, there are a total of four pet relief areas. Two are indoor and post-security checkpoints near Gate A8 and Gate B54. A third animal relief area located in a secure area within U.S. Customs and Border Protection for arriving international flights near Gate A18. These oversized spaces feature a large basin with artificial grass and a water spray nozzle to wash down the area. There are also plastic bags and supplies to clean up any solid waste. A fourth animal relief area is in the outdoor courtyard at the north end of the bag claim area - Arrivals level, outside of security.

Traveling Internationally

KCI Airport has nonstop routes to two international countries:  Mexico and Canada. See which airlines serve these routes. Foreign countries may have special procedures and regulations for travelers flying there. Please check your airline's website for specific details. The following government links may also be helpful to you: