Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) - Departing Malaysia from a Gorgeous Airport

The check-in counters of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) aren't like any other counters you've seen. Adorning them are parasol-like structures decked with bright, color-changing lights that would seem like you're walking along Boulevard de Clichy at night, with all the incandescence surrounding Moulin Rouge in the french capital. But make no mistake, this is Muslim-country Malaysia.

KLIA2 is spacious and chic, and quite relaxed. After finding your check-in counters, you can actually grab a meal and there's so much to choose from. There's a Nyonya restaurant, Kenny Roger's Roasters, KFC (my favorite overseas "comfort" diner), McDonald's, Nando's (this unusual mix of Portuguese-African cuisine I first tried at the Gold Coast in Australia), etc. It was quite surprising to find that many people still refuse to do their online check-ins and the queue to this counter was long. Fortunately, I took my time to actually do my web check-in then have my boarding pass printed somewhere in Bukit Bintang. This allowed me to do my formal bag drop in less than 5 minutes. Otherwise, It would have been a long wait at the queue.

After check-in, it was time to explore the departure hall a bit. KFC was in the same level, as were a pharmacy and some other shops. The different counters also had their parasols, uniformly changing hues every time, from pink to orange, from blue to yellow. Waiting for your flight has never been this interesting.

International pre-departure area is through a bright hallway with artistically designed ceiling - tree branches on bright white panels. Once you get through this cordoned area, you will be walking along duty-free shops. And just when you think that's all of it, there's another area with even more shops further on, including a Michael Kors boutique.

Cebu Pacific check in is situated at Counter Z, the very last counter in the departure hallway (turn right and straight ahead to the end of the hall). If you can find internet shops to do your online check-in, do so! The bag drop counter will be a breeze compared to queuing at the regular check-in counter.

After these shops, you try to find your gate, assigned as letters, e.g. Gates L to T. My  Cebu Pacific flight was at Gate Q. In my recent flight, our Cebu Pacific boarding gate was L1, the very first gate after the security check of the L gates. You will see the Gloria Jeans shop near the L1 boarding gate.

 L1 is so small you feel like a pack of sardines and boarding gets really congested because there's no ample space for the queue. Unlike the KLIA1, there are no train rides to your boarding gates here. Despite that, anticipate long walks to your boarding rooms. The management of KLIA2 has walking times pasted all over:


International Departure

Immigration/Customs to Security Check (Pier L) - 3 minutes
Immigration/Customs to Pier P/Q - 10 minutes
Pier L/P/Q to Gates L1-L22, P1-P21, Q3 to Q23 - 2-3 minutes

Domestic Departure

Domestic Security Check to J1-J22 - 2 to 10 minutes
Domestic Security check to K2-K18 - 7 to 15 minutes (now that is a long walk)

There are TRIVIAS about KLIA2 which I find interesting:

KLIA2 accommodates 45 million passengers annually, 2x that of LCCT.

KLIA2 has 68 aircraft stands. LCCT had 0. This occupies 257 square meters, 4x that of LCCT.

KLIA2 is home of 200+ shops. LCCT had 60.

Malaysia Airports have the lowest charges in the world. The aerobridge charges 25 cents per domestic passenger since 1981. Airport tax levies 6RM ($1.80/PhP82) per domestic departing passenger. Aircraft landing/takeoff at 3RM per domestic passenger. Free aircraft parking for the first 3 hours. Charges are levied after that.

KLIA2 is 23% cheaper to build than LCCT. LCCT's construction cost RM334 million with a terminal size of 60,000 square meters. Cost per meter is RM 5567 ($1,700.63/PhP79,240). KLIA2 cost RM1,100 million with a terminal size of 257,000 square meters. Cost per meter is RM4280 ($1,307.50/PhP58,609). Had this been NAIA, it would have involved billions of pesos and crappy designs employing substandard materials.

KLIA2 is a gorgeous airport and a fair representation of a dynamic nation that continues to better itself. I would miss LCCT but KLIA2 is by no means welcome in my existence.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Check out the ceiling design.

One of the first shops you find after the immigration counter.

An unfinished area leading towards Gate Q.

After this shopping hallway, you walk down a ramp to get to the last security x-ray check leading to your boarding gate, gate Q for my Cebu Pacific. Then get to Q5. Gate Q has 23 gates so be sure to be at your specific gate number.

Security check. Phones out. Belts off please.

Once within Q gate, there will be few shops. Dunkin Donuts is one of them.

Gate Q5's door out to your plane encircled.

Related posts: 

Arriving in KLI2http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2014/10/kuala-lumpur-international-airport-2.html

Shops at KLIA2 http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2014/10/kuala-lumpur-international-airport-2_9.html


Ramakrishnan said...

Nice flashy modern colourful and luminescent airport.Perhaps amongst the best in the world !

eye in the sky said...

It is, Ram. :)