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Malaysia's modern and bustling federal capital is served by the equally modern and ever expanding Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The airport may lie 50 miles south of central Kuala Lumpur in southern Selangor's Sepang district, but passengers nonetheless have plenty of ways to travel this distance. KLIA Ekspres trains take under 30 minutes to travel non-stop between Kuala Lumpur's KL Sentral transportation hub and the main airport terminal, while KLIA Transit trains make three extra stops along the way. Passengers can also board buses on the parking garage's ground level, purchase taxi tickets at the Arrivals hall or use car rental in Kuala Lumpur Airport to explore Malaysia's largest city at their own leisure.
Who to Book With
Most Kuala Lumpur Airport car hire desks stand in the Arrivals hall, but a Malaysian company called Pantas rents vehicles in the car park. Insas Pacific and Kasina Baru are two of the national car rental companies which stand alongside internationally renowned Hertz and Avis in the Arrivals hall.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents are musts when collecting vehicles at this airport:
- A valid international or Singapore Class 3 driver’s licence
- A credit card or sufficient cash funds
- A passport or other proof of age (renters must be between 23 and 65 years)
Kuala Lumpur's roads may be modern and of good quality, but driving in Malaysia's largest city can nonetheless be a challenging undertaking, particularly for motorists who are unused to driving on the left. Signage is inadequate and confusing, while streets are clogged with traffic. Parking should be avoided altogether in the busy Bukit Bintang and Bangsar districts. Covered car parks outside the downtown district provide Kuala Lumpur's safest parking places.
An automatic train connects the Kuala Lumpur Airport's main and satellite terminals. KLIA Ekspres trains may be the quickest way to travel the 50 miles between Kuala Lumpur and its airport, but passengers can also board KLIA transit trains, buses to numerous destinations throughout Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia or take fixed fare taxis from the airport to Kuala Lumpur. The North-South Central Link Expressway is the main rail link between Kuala Lumpur and its airport.
A one-way ticket aboard the KLIA Ekspres, the fastest route between Kuala Lumpur Airport and the KL Sentral railway station, costs about £7, while round-trip tickets aboard this non-stop, half-hour train journey cost around £14. KLIA Transit one-way tickets also cost about £7 each, but these trains stop at three other rail stations during their 35-minute journey between the airport and KL Sentral. An automatic train also links the airport's main and satellite terminals.
Passengers should avoid the drivers who hang around Kuala Lumpur Airport trying to lure them into their expensive and unauthorised taxis. It is best to stick to the authorised Airport Limo Malaysia taxis, for which tickets are sold at the airport Arrivals hall. Fares for these taxis are fixed. So called premier cabs may charge more expensive fares, but despite their name their quality is no better than the cheaper budget cabs.
Kuala Lumpur Airport to Kuala Lumpur city centre is about £15
From Kuala Lumpur Airport's main bus station at the bottom floor of its parking garage, passengers can board buses headed for a variety of destinations, not only across Kuala Lumpur, but across all of Malaysia. The Airport Coach express bus runs once per hour between the airport and KL Sentral at a cost of about £2 one way or £3.50 for a round trip ticket. One-way tickets cost about £2.50 aboard the Star Shuttle, which Malaysia LCCT operates between the airport and the Pudu Raya and Kota Raya districts of the capital.
In 2010, slightly more than 34 million people passed through the constantly expanding Kuala Lumpur Airport. Although a new low-cost airline terminal opened in 2006, most of the 50 airlines that fly into this airport still use the larger terminal building. The most frequently boarded flights travel to Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. Passengers can board an automatic train to travel from one terminal to the other. An even larger terminal is scheduled to open by the end of 2012.
The Kuala Lumpur Airport covered short-term car park is directly connected to the main terminal and subdivided into four separate sections. Fees are £0.80 for the first three hours of parking, followed by £0.60 for the fourth and fifth hours, £0.50 for the sixth to ninth hours, and £0.40 for each subsequent hour until the 20-hour mark, when motorists are charge a flat £9.30 hour parking fee. A minimum of £30 for a four-day period is charged in the newer long-term car park.
Passengers must first disable the data service to avoid the roaming service fee prior to accessing the free wireless internet access within the Kuala Lumpur Airport passenger terminals. Passengers can use the internet for up to three hours at no charge and no advance registration is required.
Information counters are stationed at the Kuala Lumpur Airport contact pier and satellite terminal, as well as the Departures and International Arrivals halls within the main terminal building.
Main Terminal Building Departures hall Information Counter: +603 8776 4386
Main Terminal Building International Arrivals hall Information Counter: +603 8776 3689
Contact Pier Information Counter: +603 8776 0257
Satellite Building Information Counter: +603 8776 2454
Telephones, restrooms, ramps and elevators are just a handful of Kuala Lumpur Airport's amenities geared towards disabled passengers, who can also request complimentary ground assistance before their flights. The short-term car park contains 18 parking spaces which are reserved for the disabled, and disabled persons’ parking places are also part of the long-term car park.
Restaurants and Bars
The main terminal may contain most Kuala Lumpur Airport restaurants, but the smaller budget terminal also features its fair share of eating options, including nine cafés and a Burger King outlet. Dunkin Donuts, KFC and McDonald's are all represented in the main terminal, alongside four cafés and two food courts. East Point Ritazza and Malaysian Wok are situated on the main terminal Arrivals level.
Royal Orchid Lounge
Cathay Pacific Lounge
Silver Kriss Lounge
MAS Golden Lounge
Money and ATMs
The smaller Kuala Lumpur Airport satellite terminal contains three ATMs from three different banks. The main terminal's even wider variety of ATMs includes three Maybank units as well as Hong Leong and Affin Bank units next to the Departures hall McDonald's. The airport also contains a total of eight currency exchanges in the main terminal and three currency exchanges in the satellite terminal.
Several duty-free outlets lie beyond Kuala Lumpur Airport passenger control, but there are also a large number of designer boutiques, such as Versace and Burberry, on both sides of security. Experience Malaysia and Royal Selangor are the airport's best places to pick up last-minute Malaysian souvenirs. A Body Shop stands on the main terminal building's Departures level.