KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officials at Kansas City International Airport call it a grace period.

Traffic outside the brand new KCI terminal, which opened one week ago, continues to be congested. It’s often the product of people parking at the curb, awaiting incoming passengers.

Airport leaders said they’ll eventually have to take action.

Some drivers are parking at the curb at peak times, causing traffic jams that can cause long lines of cars on airport property.

Joe McBride, KCI’s spokesperson, said for now, traffic control officers aren’t citing drivers parked at the curb. But soon, they’ll have to. Violators could also have their cars towed in serious circumstances. McBride didn’t know when the grace period will end.

“Since 9/11 or possibly before, you couldn’t leave a vehicle unattended or sit for any length of time,” McBride said. “It’s more of an issue now because we have less curb space. We really need to keep things moving for the convenience of everyone.”

McBride said 30,000 passengers use KCI every day.

Some inbound passengers, including Northland resident Cheryl Ehler, said they prefer to have their rides wait at the nearby cell phone parking lot, rather than to block the way for other cars.

“My brother is here to pick me up. I texted him to tell him where I am. They’re right here. All I have to do is jump in the car, and it’s great,” Ehler said.

FOX4 also spoke with a number of travelers from larger cities, including Charlotte, Chicago and Denver. Each of them commented parking at the curb isn’t permitted at all at their airports. They said Kansas City needs to adjust.

Where’s the cell phone lot?

If you’re picking up friends or family at KCI, you can wait in the cell phone lot free of charge.

It’s located at 680 Brasilia Ave., just a few minutes away from the new terminal, so you don’t park at the curb but can also avoid driving in circles.

Just head to the cell phone lot, wait for your traveler to call or text that they’ve arrived, then head to the terminal for a quick pick-up.

The cell phone lot has over 90 standard stalls for drivers, including Uber and Lyft, plus five bus parking stalls, 30 limo/van stalls and over 50 taxi stalls.

Drivers are allowed to stay in the lot for up to 45 minutes for free, but unattended vehicles are not allowed and can be towed.

New parking garage

If you want to park and greet your friends or family inside the new terminal, there’s an affordable way to do so without taking up space on the curb.

In addition to the new terminal, crews built a new parking garage. It’s just across the street from the new terminal, making it easy to park and walk to the terminal.

KC airport officials said the new garage has over 6,000 spaces, and it only costs a few dollars to park for a short time.

Here are rates for the parking garage:

  • First 30 minutes: $1
  • 30 to 60 minutes: $3
  • 1 to 8 hours: $3 additional per hour
  • 8 to 24 hours: $25 total