A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

Kuala Lumpur is one of the transit cities that we have to choose when traveling between Australia and India. And due to which I have traveled to KLIA airport many times as a transit stop. This post is aimed to document my experiences on the lounges and the AirAsia flights I have taken for many years now.

About Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

The KLIA is the main airport in Kuala Lumpur and is one of the biggest airports in South East Aisa. It is located about 45 kilometres from the city centre. The airport has two terminals:

  • KLIA/ KLIA1 or Terminal M – This terminal is for full service airlines that are not budgeted airlines.
  • KLIA2 – This terminal is for budgeted airlines such as AirAsia flights.

The distance between the two terminals is 2 kilometres and the best way to travel between the two is by taking buses. Inquire at the information desk and plan your flights properly as it takes time to get between the two terminals.

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Transportation between Kuala Lumpur city and KLIA airport

Don’t listen to the KLIA Information desk! The lady suggested that I take KL express train to KL Sentral and then take another train to wherever I wanted from the Sentral. And she mentioned that it would cost me RM 55 per person. I then asked her how much the taxi would cost and to which she informed that it would be around RM 100. Since we were two of us traveling, the train would have costed us RM 110 for two people. On listening to this I had decided taxi as a better and cheaper option.

I was wrong. The cheapest option to travel from/to the airport is the bus. The bus between KLIA and KL Sentral costs RM 12 per person. The tickets can be bought at the ticket counter in the bus stop. But while traveling to the airport, make sure you buy the ticket to the correct terminal.

As mentioned above, KL International airport has two terminals – KLIA1 and KLIA2.

Malaysian budgeted airline – Review of AirAsia flights

Being an avid traveler, I have no other option but to look for cheapest flight options. Air Asia and Scoot tops the list as the budgeted airlines for traveling between Australia and Asian countries. I have tried both many a times.

Air Asia flight  KLIA

I have always felt since they are budgeted airlines, the service has not been that great. But this time around when I traveled from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia, I loved it.

From getting my boarding pass printed at Sydney airport till the time I got out of the place at Kuala Lumpur Airport, everything was perfect. Just seeing the staff attend to you with a smile makes so much of a difference. The staff were very friendly and excellent. They were attentive at all times and approachable. The tray table in front of me was dirty and as soon as I complained, one of the air hostesses immediately attended it and got the tray table cleaned. The aircraft had three divisions – Flatbed, Premium Economy and Economy. I took the Economy seat. And I must say I was impressed with the leg spacing between the rows.

I did not have any problem with the 8.5 hours journey and I was comfortable all along. The pilot from the cockpit made regular announcements and he was definitely in a cheerful mood. Even though we started 30 minutes late than the scheduled time, we landed Kuala Lumpur way ahead of time.

Read my post – Tips for traveling in budgeted airlines to survive the budgeted airlines.

Review of KLIA lounges and stay

AirAsia red lounge

On my way to New Delhi from Sydney, I had a transit of 12 hours at Kuala Lumpur airport. I did not want to go out of the airport hence I searched for the airline lounges that were available at the airport. AirAsia has a red lounge where the passengers having connecting flights can rest and take showers for the next flight. The lounge costs about 78 Ringgits (approx. 20 USD) for 3 hours.

The lounge has variety of facilities like:

  • Sitting area to watch television.
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
  • Dining area.
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
  • Kitchen – The cost for the lounge includes breakfast.
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
  • Showers and toilets.
  • Bean bags in an open area on the first floor.
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
  • Pods to charge the mobile phones.
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

The lounge was comfortable but I felt that the sleeping area was not that clean. I would not recommend for longer stay at this lounge.

Capsule Transit

On level 1 of KLAI2 is the Capsule Transit. It is a convenient and economical way to spend the night in Kuala Lumpur terminal 2. The sleeping pods are designed as capsules and each capsule has a charging point, reading light and a fan. It’s really cool. The facility also has showers and toilets. And on check-in they provide you with a bag containing fresh towel and a bottle of drinking water.

The capsules are available for 6, 9 and 12 hours. I took a single capsule for 9 hours and it costed me RM 95.

A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

Plaza Premium Lounge

While I was transiting at Kuala Lumpur airport once, I decided to spend my night at Plaza Premium Lounge. I booked the 12 hours access to the lounge for AUD 88 or MYR 265 (USD 65). This gave me access to the lounge combined with dining area, toilets and showers and the basic buffet.

I have stayed at various lounges before and I know what to expect from a lounge. Hence I was disappointed. I personally did not like the Plaza Premium Lounge.The lounge was very small and it had very basic uncomfortable chairs. Each one of them who stayed at the lounge struggled with the chairs. I used two chairs to sleep and I do not like keeping my legs on the chair, but this time I had no choice.There were not many charging points as well. There were only few just below the two televisions they had. The bathrooms and showers were dirty. There was water everywhere on the floor – which was very awful.However, the lounge did have unlimited internet and the online booking was simple.

I have used the Air Asia lounge at the KL airport and it was much better than this lounge.I definitely do not recommend the Plaza Premium lounge for a night stay. If you just have only couple of hours in hand then maybe yes!

A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

What to eat in KLIA airport?

Chicken curry with rice

I have mainly had a stopover at Kuala Lumpur airport. I have tried almost all the restaurants at the airport, including their food courts and cafes.

But I have never liked the food until today. For the first time in a long time, I tried at Living Room‘ cafe in Kuala Lumpur airport and I loved the food. I really enjoyed the Chicken curry with rice. The chicken was fresh and the curry was delicious.

It is a little expensive though, it costed me around Malaysian Ringgit 26 per plate.

Kuala Lumpur airport
A guide to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

Closing Notes

There are many things to do while in KLIA airport. There are massage centres and there is also a Starbucks before checking in where one can spend time. The KLIA airport is a nice place to spend few hours to a day exploring while being in transit.

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