Saturday, 14 July 2012

Airports Worlds Apart: KLIA - V- LCCT

It was my first time to Malaysia.

On landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) I was overwhelmed. Not only by the responsibility of  traveling alone with the children for the first time but also as I had to navigate a foreign airport in search of a helpdesk to book an onward flight to Bangkok for our friend Nai. 

This challenge was met by little customer service, and a very overpriced Malaysian Airlines ticket.
After that we caught a bullet train to the baggage collection terminal. This train is contained within the shopping area of the airport and has trains leaving every 2.5 minutes.

The KLIA is a slick and shiny state of the art structure, full of designer shops and high end stores. After we collected our bags and said our goodbyes to Nai, it was time to make our way to our Hotel.

I thought it best to feed the children at the airport not knowing what was available at or nearby the hotel. We had a quick bite to eat then made our way to the exit doors of the airport, assuming taxis would be available outside. I was wrong. I needed to go back inside, a 500 meter walk to a taxi ticketing counter and purchase a taxi ticket. There I told them which hotel we needed transport too and they informed me of the price, which I paid to them and not the driver. I was then directed (and by that  I mean a wave of her arm) to the exit.

I walked back to the exit door. And stood in line, once I reached the front I was told I was in the wrong line, that I needed to go to exit 3 instead. Ok then, off we go, another 200 meters away I line up again. This time we reach a taxi who drives us to our hotel to await the arrival of Joel and Georgia.

I had done it. I had jumped thru all the hoops at KLIA and successfully traveled solo with 3 toddlers into a foreign country.

The following day we all traveled to the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) for our onward flight to Vietnam. This terminal is for Air Asia flights and given that Kuala Lumpur is the hub for Air Asia this terminal is enormous. Basic and busy but utterly enormous. Think super large warehouse or shed like structure.

In strike contrast from KLIA. Apart from a few food outlets and a couple of basic shops there is nothing on offer at LCCT. The checking in area was much like a cattle yard, after checking in we walked to the lounge area and waited for our flight to board. The lounge was basic and very very crowded.

You really would think you were in two different countries when you compare these two airports which are only 20 minutes apart in reality.


  1. Exactly! The LCCT terminal is quite basic. I had a 10 hour stop there between flights, I walked over to the TUNE hotel and found out for 60 ringit I could have a room for three hours. So showered and slept in air-con, what a relief. One positive the WI-FI at KCCT was excelent. Hicksey!

  2. I take my hat off to you for travelling alone with 3 kids in tow.

    KLIA is quite something if you get to "enjoy" it as a transit hub.

    From your experience it shows that you really need to do your research online of airports before you take off. Obviously would have made your experience a tad smoother.

    At this stage I have not travelled solo with child - but the day will come.....

  3. Yes the air asia area of that airport was chaos we thought, no sign, no info, nothing. We spent a lot of time just standing there looking at each other shrugging our shoulders until one of us would huff off to try a new direction:) We made it though!