The Essential Guide to KLIA2 Airport

If you’re a traveler on AirAsia then you’ll more than likely be stopping over at KLIA2, so, here’s what you need to know, regardless of whether you are on a layover/stopover, arriving at Kuala Lumpur to explore the city and Malaysia, or departing onwards.

For the traveler who has been to Changi Airport in Singapore they may feel that the new KLIA2 shares some similarities, albeit on a smaller scale. Featuring a wide array of retail shopping, food & beverage experiences and travel services, it’s become quite a comfortable place.

KLIA2, is a terminal of Kuala International Airport. KLIA is the main terminal and KLIA2 is the terminal used predominantly by Air Asia and other Low Cost Carriers. Note it is sometimes referred to as LCCT which was also the name used for the terminal it replaced. The two terminals, KLIA and KLIA2 are connected via the KLIA Ekspres & KL Transit trains which depart from the level 2 of the Gateway Mall at KLIA2. The train journey takes approx 3 minutes between the two terminals. Both of those trains run on the same line and then continue on into the city terminating at KL Sentral.

KLIA2 map

KLIA2 has three sections, the satellite building from where you arrive and depart, the Skybridge which connects to the third section being the Main Terminal. On arrival, there is a small amount of legwork to get to the customs area and onwards to the baggage area, only 5-10 minutes or so. At customs, there are occasionally long lines, with it taking about 20 minutes or more to get through. Post customs you are through to the baggage area and then out into the arrivals.

Landside (pre or post-immigration & customs), there is a diverse array of shopping options offered in Gateway Mall and the Main Terminal that are mostly mid-priced including the popular fashion retailers H&M and Uni-QLO. You will also find sunglasses, souvenirs, cosmetics, books and much more. There is also a supermarket with a wide array of everyday goods, household items, snacks, fruit and pre-prepared meals.

For many people, food and beverage will be the main focus and it covers that point well. Mostly mid-priced comfort food and fast food options with price ranging from 6 to 20RM for drinks, small food from 15RM and up, meal sets from 20RM and up. The range of options includes local specialties and Western comfort foods. Brand names include Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Hainan Hometown, OLDTOWN White Coffee and Dome to name a few. There is also the fresh juice bar, Boost, a large food court and may local restaurants and cafes. As you’d expect, there’s also McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King.

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Restaurant and cafe gallery with menus

For a sweet refreshing drink/dessert, try the Mango Coconut drink in the food court on level 2M, also try there’s a large array of local curry dishes, be sure to try some, they are not so spicy and very delicious. You will also find another food court, NZ, specializing in curry eateries on level 1, there a huge array of choices for curry and roti lovers there. One of my favorites was the Malaysian Chicken Curry with roti bread, or the Nasi Lemak, coconut rice, with chicken curry and other little tidbits. For western cafe style comfort food check out Dome Cafe on the top floor near departures check in. There’s also an Italian pizza shop on that same level in the building before departures.

On Level 2 there is a large food court which is open 24HRS featuring 17 food stalls ranging from Western to Asian and local foods.

On the top floor, there is a free cold shower available in the men’s toilet and I assume it’s the same in the women’s.

On level 2 there is also a Thai Massage center, Thai Odyssey, if you really feel like unwinding.

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For left luggage and luggage storage, there’s a couple of options, one at the cubicle hotel mentioned earlier and a dedicated luggage storage shop near the restaurants after arrivals, they also offer printing services. For pre-paid phone cards there are plenty of stalls selling numerous options with different data and call packages.

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Sleeping at the Airport

The food court, particularly the far back corner, is a surprisingly comfortable place to hang out at night. Not too busy, quite, there’s even a TV, and there’s also a balcony with some seating if you would like some fresh air. If that’s not your thing then try the nearby Plaza Premium Lounge which offers a nap room, shower, comfortable seating and snacks, and a one hour stay costing 93RM.

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Capsule is located on the 1st level and offers container style cubicles for grabbing some solid rest. Female and male sections are separated, although there are shared cubicles for families and couples apparently. The washrooms feature showers with plenty of hot water and pressure. I stayed in the cubicle for about 9 hours from just before midnight and left in the morning. It was quite, there’s a loud hum from the fans which move air through the cubicles, but not a disturbing hum, a pleasant one that blocks out other noise and makes it easy to nod off. You get given a towel and toothbrush on check in and there are soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower area. Prices for the Capsule hotel were 6 hours 80RM, 9 hours 100 RM and 12 hours 110RM. They also offer locker rental starting at 10RM for 3 hours or take a shower only for 20RM.

 

Nearby there are the AirAsia Tune hotels, and take a look at my full review on sleeping options at KLIA2 here

 

Transport

There are Airport Limo counters where you can buy a ticket for Budget Taxi, Premier Limo, Super Luxury and Family Service vehicle options.  There is also the SkyBus or the KLIA Express & KL Transit which get you to KL Sentral, the main transport hub in the center of KL.

 

Departing KL

An essential tip for departing from KLIA2  is to allow yourself some time. It takes a while to get through customs, security check and then after that it’s a good 10-minute walk to the departure gates, all up you may need to allow 30 minutes or more. There are some snacks and duty-free shopping on the other side of the customs, but I would recommend doing your feasting pre-customs for a wider range of options.

 

For International Stopovers

On my last visit to KL it wasn’t a visit at all, my flight arrived at 6.00am and my onwards international flight departed at 2.20PM. When you get to the customs area you have the option to head left and out through customs or head right and into the departure area. Meaning you don’t have to go out through immigration and back in through immigration. And that worked perfect for me, no need to wait in lines and no need to fill up my passport with extra stamps. The downside, without exiting immigration there is no access to the Main Terminal or Gateway Mall, but there are still plenty of options which we’ll discover below.

Inside the departures area (aka airside) there is a reasonable range of duty-free shopping, jewelery, cosmetics, books, souvenirs and so on. Nowhere near as many options as there are airside in the actual mall, but there is enough to amuse yourself, and have something reasonable to eat.

There are also two lounges which offer a comfortable way to while away the hours.

Air Asia Red Lounge – simple and comfortable with some free snacks. At the time of writing 3 hours was RM78.

 

Sama Sama – there are two options here, you can get a room for sleeping o/night (rates starting from RM180 for a single room for 6HRS) or you can stay in the lounge for 3HRS, use the shower facilities, and get free buffet including 3 beers for RM108. I think that last option is not bad value if you were inclined to enjoy a beer as at one of the bars they’ll set you back RM25 a piece, then add a meal and it starts to look like really good value. For rates you will find booking in advance is a wise choice Sama Sama Express at KLIA2.

There’s a fair range of options for eating, nothing spectacular but completely acceptable. Some of the options include, with prices
Burger King – 19.75RM for Whopper meal deal
McDonalds -11.75RM for Big Breakfast
McCafe – latte 7RM
Toast – popular – chicken curry, kaya toast etc. Meal sets from 15RM
Gloria Jeans Coffee – latte 14RM
Taste of India – Indian currys – meal sets from 15RM
Noodelicious – noodles – missed the prices on that one.
Starbucks – coffee and light bakery – missed the pricing

The toilets are clean and modern, offering the choice of squat toilets or western style toilets, baby change rooms are also available. All the toilets I saw had showers too.

There’s a charging station on the back wall of the center area on the bottom floor which offers USB outlets and universal sockets. It’s not too hard to find power points around the place and at other Charging Stations but they didn’t offer universal plugs or USB charging like the one in the central area.

Rest-wise, there is no trouble with finding a spot somewhere and curling up on the floor, seemed to be quite a few taking up that option. There is also Sama Sama as mentioned above, otherwise, you’d have to exit through immigration to find more options.

There is loads of seating, in cafes, in the food court, comfortable chairs in the central floor area, various other seating throughout.

The Movie Lounge is a small area featuring a handful of seats and two large screens.

There are a couple of bars with drinks starting at 25RM and if you really want to splurge, try the Wellness Spa which offers a 60-minute massage and a buffet spread for 230RM.

 

KLIA & KLIA2 Map

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Resources:

http://gatewayklia2.com.my – Gateway at KLIA2

http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport – Official site for KLIA

http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport&aid=2 Official site for KLIA2

http://www.airasia.com – Air Asia

http://www.kliaekspres.com – interconnecting train services for KLIA to KLIA2, and onwards to KL Sentral (KLIA Ekspres and KL Transit)

https://www.skybus.com.my – bus transfers between either airport and KL Sentral or 1-Utama.

 

Map Location of KLIA & KLIA2

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