As the largest and busiest airport in all of Kansas, the Wichita airport offers flights with seven major airlines and service to many popular destinations. Officially named Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, the airport pays homage to our 34th President and his home state of Kansas. The airport is also home to the Cessna headquarters and the Bombardier service center for Learjet, serving as a center for aviation manufacturing and maintenance for both companies. In 2015, a brand new terminal opened, offering modern architectural design and expanded lounges and concession options for travelers. If you’re traveling in or out of the Wichita airport soon, here are some tips to help you have smoother and more enjoyable travels. We welcome you to Wichita and offer this as our Wichita airport guide.
Arriving at Wichita Airport
Wichita is a vibrant city with lots to see — plenty of museums, entertainment, events, points of attraction, and other fun activities just waiting to be explored. The city is also an industrial hub and home to many different company headquarters and businesses. So, whether you’re here for business or pleasure, there’s plenty to do while you’re in Wichita. If you’re flying into Wichita, just follow the signage from your airport gate to the baggage claim area downstairs, where you can grab your luggage and head right out to the parking, rental cars, and pick-up area. It’s easy to navigate through this brand new and smaller sized airport to get where you need to go.
Alternatively, if your flight is departing from the Wichita airport, when you arrive at the airport, you’ll enter the airline check-in area and proceed through security and on to your airline gate. Here are some helpful tips to make your travels from the Wichita airport as smooth as possible:
- Arrive early. You’ll want to arrive at the airport about an hour and a half before your flight time to ensure you have plenty of time to check in, go through security, and board the plane on time. Checking in with your airline before arriving at the airport and having your boarding pass printed or on your mobile device will help your check-in process go more quickly and smoothly.
- Make all transportation plans. If you are driving your car yourself, make sure you know the driving directions and where you plan on parking. The Wichita airport has on-site parking facilities as well as park-and-ride options and a cell phone lot for anyone waiting to pick someone up. If you’ll be using taxi services or having a friend drop you off, make plans in advance and give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Make sure you arrange for a pick-up or know where you are going at your destination too.
- Ask for assistance if you need help. If you have any questions at the airport or need help, look for the information desk, staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or watch for volunteers in the bright red jackets. This Courtesy Crew can help give directions and answer any of your questions.
- Keep baggage organized. Have your luggage ready to go, making sure your suitcases fit in with the required size and weight limits for your airline and don’t overstuff your bags. This way, you won’t be surprised with extra fees at check-in, or have a bag that doesn’t fit in the overhead bins.
- Leave a travel itinerary at home. Share your travel information, including airlines, flight numbers and times, as well as any planned hotels, with a trusted friend or family member before you leave. Should any emergency crop up, your friend or family member will know where you are and how to get ahold of you.
Making your way through security checkpoints at any airport can be a pain, with the long wait times and inconvenient processes. But with a little preparation, and knowing what to expect, you can make the process easier, and you’ll breeze through security with no worries. Keep these tips in mind for your next trip through the Wichita airport:
- Be prepared for security checkpoints. Understanding the current TSA rules can help you get through airport security more quickly and easily. When you are packing, if you are unsure of the rules and what you can or can’t bring, review the comprehensive TSA list of common items for both carry-on and checked baggage. Pack your approved liquid containers in a clear bag and prepare to remove the bag from your luggage at the checkpoint. You will also need to remove laptops and food items from your carry on and take off your shoes and jacket. Dress to make the process easier with slip-on shoes, and avoiding wearing excessive accessories, heavy jewelry or clothing with large buckles or other metal decorations.
- Consider TSA pre-check before travel. Apply online and schedule an appointment to complete your background check at an enrollment center. Once you are approved for TSA pre-check, you can enjoy an expedited security check-in process at the airport, and may not have to remove shoes and jackets, and your liquids bag and laptop can stay in your carry-on. If you already have TSA pre-check, at the airport proceed directly to the designated pre-check lane at the security area at the airport.
- Never leave your bags unattended. Keep track of all of your belongings at all times to ensure the safety of your personal items and prevent any security issues.
- Download the TSA app. The mobile app from TSA can give you real-time updates on security wait times, giving you a better idea of just how much time to plan on before takeoff.
What to Do in the Wichita Airport
Once you’re all checked in and have passed through security, you’re free to explore the concourse. When you’re traveling through the Wichita airport, start by finding your gate and checking the time. Then, even if you choose to wander around, you’ll know where to go when it’s time to board your plane. The Wichita airport is small but has a few little shops to check out. Grab any last-minute necessities like magazines and snacks here before boarding your plane.
Air travel comes with a lot of sitting and waiting — whether on the plane or at the airport. Plan ahead and pack plenty of snacks and things to do, like books, magazines, a laptop, or other electronic devices to help pass the time. If you are traveling with children, have enough snacks for everyone and bring some small toys or travel games to keep kids busy. If you have some time, be sure to visit the kids’ play area at the airport to help the kids burn off some extra energy before your flight.
Before it’s time to board your plane, stand up and walk around a bit to stretch your legs. Use the restroom and make sure you have everything ready to board — have your boarding pass and any other necessary documents ready. Organize your carry-on so necessities are easily accessible in flight. The airport concourse offers free WiFi as well as charging stations, so you can charge up your devices and keep working while you wait.
If you have a long layover, or if flight delays and cancellations have given you a little too much extra time on your hands, you may want to consider leaving the airport and finding somewhere else to pass the time in Wichita. If your flight delay has you spending the night here, we advise getting a room at a nearby hotel. The Wichita airport is small and closes down at night, so you’ll have to leave the main concourse anyways.
For an overnight or lengthy delay, why not relax in comfort at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Hotel — the only full-service hotel near the airport. The gorgeously appointed and comfortable rooms allow you to get a good night’s sleep and return to the airport the next day rested and rejuvenated. Use the complimentary WiFi and professional business center if you need to keep working. Or get in a workout at the fitness center, swim some laps at the pool, or relax in the whirlpool to unwind from the stress of traveling. Take in a meal at one of Wichita’s finest restaurants, right inside the DoubleTree hotel. Chisholm’s American Beef and Ale House serves fresh local ingredients and delicious American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The shuttle service to the DoubleTree can bring you hassle-free between the hotel and airport, so you won’t have to arrange transportation or worry about getting back to the airport in time. Indulge in a DoubleTree’s signature chocolate chip cookie on your arrival, and relax, knowing everything is taken care of.
Before You Leave or After You Land in Wichita
Before you leave Wichita, enjoy a delicious and relaxing meal at a great restaurant! Even though it’s the largest airport in Kansas, the Wichita airport is quite small, with very few choices once you’re inside for finding something to eat, so you may want to take in a meal somewhere else before heading to the airport. It’s a better idea to build in plenty of time before your flight for a real sit-down meal, in a more relaxing atmosphere.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Wichita — business, fun, family, or something else — cap off your trip in a celebratory way at a fun restaurant before heading out for your flight. It’s a great way to have one more meal with family, friends, or business partners, instead of alone at the airport. And whether it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you know you’ll be satisfied with your meal, instead of grabbing fast food at the airport and feeling hungry later on the plane.
Alternatively, if you’re just arriving at the airport, it can be tempting to grab the first snack you see at the airport, but with the limited choices available at a smaller airport, you may want to treat yourself to a real sit-down meal at a great restaurant instead. Chisholm’s is close to the airport, so you can grab your bags and head right over. You’ll be dining in style in no time at all. Celebrate your arrival in Wichita with great food and drinks and relax after a long day of traveling. Air travel can be tiring and stressful — take some time to wind down and relax at a great restaurant where the staff will take care of you and you can kick back and enjoy. Start your trip to Wichita at Chisholm’s.
So, whether you’re coming or going, come join us at Chisholm’s for a great meal. Hang out in our fun bar and lounge area, watching your favorite sports teams on our large, flatscreen TVs while you enjoy happy hour specials on small plates and a wide assortment of drinks. Indulge in our signature craft cocktails, or enjoy a sampling of brews with a craft beer flight. Order from our extensive wine list, featuring hundreds of labels from all over the world. All of our wines are kept in a temperature-controlled glass wine wall that’s as fun to look at as it is to order from. We proudly offer the largest selection of beer, wine, and cocktails in all of Wichita.
Or choose to dine with us in our beautiful, modern dining room. Whether you’re out with business associates, friends, or family, they’ll all be comfortable here, and enjoy watching the chefs in our open-air kitchen prepare their meals. Choose from a wide variety of menu items, from American breakfast classics to sandwiches, pizzas, and steakhouse standbys for lunch and dinner. Let the kids choose their favorites from the Little Ranch Hands menu, and treat everyone to our tempting appetizers and desserts to round out your meal.
Make a Reservation at Chisholm’s
Whether you’re flying in or out of the Wichita airport, or are in the area for other reasons, come enjoy a night out at Chisholm’s. Celebrating the history and heritage of the Chisholm Trail from Texas to the Heartland, Chisholm’s American Beef and Ale House serves up upscale classic steakhouse favorites in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere.
The chefs at Chisholm’s use fresh, local ingredients to create the delicious farm-to-table menu offerings. The food here is hearty American fare, but with a modern twist. Our trained and knowledgable staff are ready to serve and make you feel pampered while you’re here. Dine in our lounge and bar area for a fun, casual atmosphere, or sit in our beautifully modern dining room — either way, you’ll feel right at home.
When you dine at Chisholm’s, you’ll enjoy comfort food at its finest along with top-notch service. To experience the best food in Wichita, call us at 316-945-1966 or make your reservations online. Come dine with us before your departure or after your flight into Wichita and you won’t be disappointed!