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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s out with the old and in with the new at the Kansas City International Airport. 

After years of planning and construction, the new $1.5 billion terminal opened Tuesday morning.

The first flight departed at approximately 5 a.m. on a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. The first flight to land at the new terminal was a Southwest flight from Chicago that arrived at approximately 7:40 a.m. 

After years of planning, travelers are enjoying a new type of airport experience. The new terminal features dozens of new restaurants and shops, new parking options, upgraded restrooms and increased accessibility options for people with various disabilities.

“Flying out of the old terminal was always incredibly convenient because it was easy access to my car. But it was so lacking in amenities, and this place looks beautiful right now. It’s gorgeous,” Felix Tollinche said after arriving on the first flight in.

Father-son duo Gary and Graham Morsche were also excited. They took the last flight out of the old terminal Monday night and the first flight in Tuesday morning.

“To land here this morning and get off the plane and see this — we’ve just been taking pictures of the airport,” Gary Morsche said. “It’s just phenomenal, fantastic.”

They said the experience was well worth the couple hours of sleep.

“I told someone else it just felt like a dream walking off the jetway and was just speechless,” Graham Morsche said. “It was just amazing.”

From the artwork to the local restaurants and shops, the culture of Kansas City is on full display throughout the new terminal. New flyers said the space will make a lasting impression.

“Everyone from locals to visitors, even international visitors will really fall in love with this city when they come through this airport,” one traveler said. “It’s time for Kansas City to have a great airport like this.”

Now that the new terminal is up and running, airport leaders tell FOX4 they intend to tear down Terminal B and C this summer. That space will then be used for terminal expansion and aircraft parking.