KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City International Airport predicts to be extremely busy heading into the Memorial Day weekend.

The aviation department expects 20,000 people to fly out of the airport by Friday night. Just as many will arrive in Kansas City, making it the busiest time for KCI Airport since 2019.

The most congested times at the airport are expected to arrive throughout the day Thursday and Friday as people rush to make the most of the long weekend.

Experts warn travelers should allow extra time to get through KCI Airport traffic, security, and to the gate. Those who haven’t flown out of the new terminal should also expect to walk further to a gate than at the previous airport.

Parking could also become an issue at times throughout the weekend. The aviation department said Wednesday evening the terminal’s garage is already more than 80% full.

Another issue anyone heading to KCI Airport will face is traffic. The aviation department reminds everyone to use the cell phone lots while waiting to pick up passengers. Drivers should park in the cell lots until the traveler leaves the terminal and is standing next to a column at the curb. The traveler can relay the number to let the driver know exactly where they are located.

Traffic backs up when drivers park at the terminal’s curb and wait to pick up travelers.