I was travelling through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in transit only therefore I cannot review the location, check-in service or any other services that are not air-side. I have spent a total of 14 hours air-side in the low cost carrier terminal which is where AirAsia's flights depart and it is seperate from the main terminal (and about 20km away)
==Visit #1 (Arriving from Gatwick, departing to Phuket)==
After a 12 hour flight I was tired and irritable. There was a short walk to the terminal building where there were clear signs to the transfer section; the regular passport control is up some stairs. However, there was a huge queue - about one hundred people and two desks and it was moving at about the rate of one person every 2 minutes. It was tiresome and annoying to say the least and I was one of the first off of the plane so by the time everyone had joined behind me the queue was actually going out the doors and onto the runway outside. At the transfer desk they checked my passport and boarding pass (which I had already printed off beforehand - this is a must!) for the next flight and there were the regular security belts and checks and then I went through the doors to the departure lounge. If you are flying with AirAsia you will need to go to their desk in the lounge to get all your documents checked once more.
There's a great noodle place to eat as well as a Dunkin' Doughnuts (upstairs) and various little stalls as well as shops that sell bagged snacks and bottles of drink. Only some of these accept foreign currency (I managed to use Thai Baht - notes only - in one of the stalls) but there's a very efficient currency exchange if you need to get your Malaysian Ringgit for use in some of the other retail outlets.
So onto my criticisms of this visit; my plane was delayed by about an hour which is not the airport's fault, but they handled it awfully. About 5 minutes before the plane was due to take off I was still sitting at the gate waiting for the boarding call. Eventually there was announcement but I only caught the flight number and no details - this was not because of poor English, but because of the quality of the sound system. After a further 45 minutes we were invited to board, but once through the gate we were just left to find the plane. No tunnels, no guides, no anything; just a group of people wondering around the runways trying to find the plane. It was ridiculous not to mention incredibly dangerous and nobody we met seemed to know where our plane was until about 10 minutes of walking when we were finally pointed in the right direction. The whole boarding process was incredibly unorganised.
==Visit #2 (Arriving from Phuket, departing to Gatwick)==
The transfer line was a lot quicker this time (possibly because there was a lot less people in the queue - perhaps only one plane had arrived instead of multiple at the same time). As I'd had a very early start I managed to find a group of empty seats to sleep on and got a couple of hours sleep (despite the loud and very regular announcements). The boarding process was a lot easier this time and there was no delay although my gate changed multiple time so I had to keep moving.
The temperature in the departure lounge is very comfortable. I think outside temperature was about 30 Celsius when I was there, but I was not hot inside and at the same time they didn't crank up the air-con so much that I was cold.
For the ladies: about half the toilets are squat toilets and if you are not comfortable with this then there ARE seated toilets as well - just keep opening doors until you find one. As there are a lot of people using the toilets here sometimes toilet roll runs out so keep some tissues handy just in case.
There is 3 hours FREE Wi-Fi which is great and very useful for checking e-mails but it's incredibly slow. There are also British plugs if you need to charge your devices.
Apart from the boarding process, Kuala Lumpur is a very simple and enjoyable airport, but it's fairly no frills and the shopping isn't anything particularly special. The English of the staff is generally very good if you have any problems.
First the general site is at : http://www.klia.com.my/ It was completed few years ago just before the Commonwealth Games was held in Kuala Lumpur. The facility here is as good as or even better than many major airports around the world. It's a very big airport, but it's a pitty that most of the time it's rather quiet and a bit under used. Most services of a modern international airport acan be found here. In just few months time, the Express Rail Link is linking Kuala Lumpur (KL Sentral) to KLIA and vice versa will be operational. A City Air terminal will be establish where departing passengers can check-in their luggage, receive their boarding passes and proceed to board the train to the airport. However, immigration clearence will still be completed at the airport. It will take 30 minutes between KL Sentral to KLIA and the price is yet to be decided but is expected to be between those of a taxi and bus (coach). Updated: The ERL has now been operational! The check in facilities in Sentral is only limited to Malaysia Airlines passengers for now but will be extended to other airlines soon.
KLIA is the largest airport in South East Asia. It is so huge that I was lost when I transit there last summer (or maybe my sense of direction is poor). There are different terminals for domestic and international flights. Due to its massive area, there is frequent air-tram service running between different terminals. Staffs are very helpful. I remember I was looking for a bureau de change cause I needed to get some change to make a phone call. And this Malay lady at the counter told me there isn't one nearby so gave me a coin of RM1. Ho ho!! I was impressed by her generosity. There are many shops in the airport, all new and shopping is really a pleasant thing to do there. The cleanliness of the airport is excellent, better than many other airports I had been in South East Asia (Changi, Brunei etc).
I've never actually spent any time in Malaysia other than in Kuala Lumpur's international airport. I have flown Malaysia Airlines several times between Indonesia and the UK, each time with a transfer and long wait in Kuala Lumpur airport. On average my waiting times have been between six and seven hours, I love travelling but hate flying so when I have to sit in an airport for six hours ideally I want things to take my mind off the flying side of things. The airport is is very nice to look at, light, airy, spacious, modern, very well designed I'm sure and has a wide variety of duty free shops, cafes, restaurants and all the usual things you find in airports. For the average traveller with a couple of hours to kill and money in their pocket it's ideal, bit of shopping, something to eat and you're off again. But, if you have a lot of time on your hands and no money left as you're on your way home there is really nothing to do in this airport and nowhere comfortable to sit and wait. All the comfortable seats are in the eating and drinking areas except for some quite comfortable long chairs where you can put your feet up and there's a TV to watch - in the smoking area, not much good if you're a pregnant non-smoker (as I was last time I was there). This airport is also freezing cold! Everytime I have been there I have literally sat and shivered, wishing I'd put a coat in my hand luggage (and maybe even some gloves!), I suppose you could say the air conditioning is very effective, but please could someone make it a little warmer! If you've got a quick transfer this airport is one of the nicest I've seen but if you think you might be spending quite a few hours there make sure you have things to do and take warm clothes!
I visited this airport on a stop off to Australia and I was amazed at it. I didn't expect Malaysia have be rolling in money but as soon as I stepped off the plane and walked into the terminal I was amazed just how modern the place was. It was all air conditioned and tons and tons of room to move about it, it has a monarail going through the different terminals and gates. It was all glass so you could see out to everywhere. We came back via the same airport and landed at like 4:30 in the morning yet we arrived and they had toy shops and various other things open so they want to please the public. I would use this airport again if I had to stop off somewhere, just a pitty the rest of Malaysia isn't quite upto speed with development. If all airports were like this then I think the whole aircraft industry would be better and flights never deleyed. Alex
"The Airport in the Forest. Forest in the Airport"..... Kuala Lumpur International Airport, or more familiarly known as KLIA is the one and only airport in the world that built after this fantastic concept! More importantly, KLIA is not just an airport, but it's a tourist destination in itself. It's an airport as well as a business, retail, relaxation and entertainment centre. It's expected to draw visitors to the airport not only because they want to take the flight, but also to visit the place itself. The architecture of the entire place is designed and constructed in such a way to create and maximize the forest concept. Plants and greenery can be seen everywhere inside the airport to create a serene environment for the passengers and visitors to the place. This is a good starting point for your visit to Kuala Lumpur. I'm sure you will be impressed by its architecture!
Kuala Lumpur International Airport was completed in 1998 and commenced its operation in July 1998. It was constructed to replace the smaller international airports which was always congested since the number of air traffics and passengers increased tremendously. The airport was constructed using the concept of "Airport in the forest, forest in the airport". Basically, the airport was built in a area which previously was a forest. And in the airport itself, there is a man-made forest to provide a green scenery to the travellers. It is a very modern airport, fully equipped with modern and sophisticated technology. The random lights position on the ceiling looks as though they were constructed in a chaotic manner, but in fact the lights are carefully designed so that they light up every single area of the airport. The idea of the randomly-spaced lights is to create a star-in-sky effect. The concept of aero-trains is the first to be used in an airport. These aero-trains are "driver"-less. A thumb up for this modern airport