The KLIA2 airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur officially opened on May 2, 2014, to replace the aging LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) as the hub for Air Asia and other low-cost airlines in Asia.
Constructed at a cost of over US $1.3 billion, the terminal addition is modern, efficient, and can handle 45 million passengers a year with room to grow when needed. KLIA2 is the largest terminal of its kind in the world dedicated as a hub for "budget" airlines. The 68 departure gates handle domestic and international flights that better link Asia and the world.
Although KLIA2 is practically a standalone airport — and mall — in its own right, it is considered a terminal addition to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, located just a little over a mile away.
About the KLIA2 Terminal
Is this a mall or an airport? Without occasional clues such as "Departures" signs and businesspeople sprinting toward them, you may hardly discern a difference. Much like Singapore Changi Airport, KLIA2 successfully blurs the line between mall and transportation hub with Gateway@KLIA2 — 350,000 square feet spread over four floors of shopping and dining. There are plenty of options to keep you busy between flights.
Rather than add them later as an afterthought, the KLIA2 terminal has more facilities to make travel easier for passengers. Six information desks and a generous number of interactive kiosks provide information. The terminal is mostly intuitive to navigate with easy-to-read signs and walking-time indicators to help you know if you should start running or not!
Arrivals come in on Level 2; departures — both domestic and international — leave from Level 3. Sloping escalators accommodate luggage trolleys; elevators are available. Every part of the terminal is accessible by wheelchair.
Tip: The gate and transit areas are much smaller and have far less options once past the check-in counters. If you have a lot of time to kill between flights, do so in the Gateway (public mall) part of the airport. If you have a very long layover before transit elsewhere, go ahead and pass through immigration so that you can take advantage of the rest of the airport.
Where Is KLIA2?
The KLIA2 terminal is 1.2 miles from the main Kuala Lumpur International Airport, around 10 miles from the old LCCT it replaced.
KLIA2 is accessible by any of the public transportation options available for getting to the main KLIA facility: bus, train (Express Rail Link), and taxi. A taxi from the city takes around 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
Tip: The cheapest buses to KLIA2 are sold by a sidewalk kiosk on Jalan Tun Perak, just behind the Mydin hypermart (opposite the interchange from the old Puduraya bus station) outside of Chinatown. Buses leave from there as well. You'll need to be early; the buses sometimes leave early!
The official address for KLIA2:
KL International Airport
Jalan KLIA 2/1, 64000 KLIA
Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Check Your Ticket!
With the addition of the KLIA2 terminal, you'll need to check your ticket carefully to ensure you go to the right terminal for departures. If not sure, allow an additional 30 minutes for getting from one terminal to the other.
Look for the appropriate codes on your ticket:
- KUL M: your flight is departing from the main KLIA facility
- KUL 2: your flight is departing from KLIA2
Getting Between KLIA2 and the Main KLIA Terminal
Free shuttle buses run between KLIA and KLIA2 every 10 minutes, around the clock. The trip can take 25 minutes, depending on the direction of the shuttle you catch.
If you wound up in the wrong terminal for your flight, train is the fastest option for getting between KLIA2 and the main airport in a pinch. Both the KLIA Transit train (every 20 minutes) and the KLIA Ekspres train take only around three minutes once underway. Tickets are available for RM2 in the Transportation Hub on Level 2 in the Gateway area.
Getting Out of KLIA2 to Kuala Lumpur
- By Taxi: Taxis — coupon and meter-based — are the simplest and most expensive way to get from KLIA2 to the city. The slightly more expensive coupon-based taxis go at a fixed price, regardless of traffic or time required. Tickets are available at Arrivals on Level 2.
- By Train: Both the KLIA Ekspres (around 33 minutes) and KLIA Transit (around 39 minutes) trains go from KLIA2 to KL Sentral, the main train station in Kuala Lumpur. The cheaper-and-slower KTM Komuter Train does not have a direct connection to KLIA2, however, there are shuttle buses to the airport from the Nilai Komuter station not far away.
- By Bus: Buses — the most economical option for getting into the city — run between KLIA2 and the city. You can get to Kuala Lumpur for as cheap as RM10. Buses run to points as far afield as Malacca and Ipoh; no need to stop off or change buses in Kuala Lumpur. Plan on around 75 minutes to get to Kuala Lumpur, depending on traffic.
The bus and taxi ticketing counters are inside of the Transportation Hub on Level 1. Watch out for any “rogue” unlicensed taxi drivers lingering around the exits to grab tourists. There are enough options for getting from KLIA2 to Kuala Lumpur that you shouldn't have to deal with them.
Free Wi-Fi in KLIA2
Free Wi-Fi can be enjoyed throughout KLIA2, both in the main airport and at the departure gates. Speeds vary from frustrating to usable. The official SSID for the airport is “gateway@klia2.”
Free access is restricted to one hour at a time, and video streaming is throttled/prohibited. Beware of rogue access points that may try to intercept personal information.
Smoking Area in KLIA2
There are no smoking areas inside of the Gateway part of the airport, however, there are several designated areas just outside. Smoking rooms are available on the boarding piers (J, K, P, and Q).
Restaurants in KLIA2
You’ll find McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Subway, and all of the usual fast-food options in the airport. Yes, there is a Starbucks. For a cheaper, slightly more local experience, check out the massive Quizinn by RASA food court on Level 2. There you’ll find a wide array of Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, and kopitiam foods with prices starting under US $1!
The Be Lohas Organic Cafe on Level 2 is an ideal choice for healthy food and vegetarian options.
Other Useful Facilities
- Relaxation Lounge: If you don’t mind sitting on the floor or on one of the odd-shaped ball chairs, the relaxation lounge on Level 3 near the elevators is a great place to kill time between flights. Additional passenger seating is available in the Satellite Building on Level 2.
- Movie and Sports Lounges: Both can be found in the Satellite Building on Level 2.
- Storage Locker Services: The left-luggage service for KLIA2 is located in the Domestic Arrivals area on Level 2.
- Supermarket: A sizable supermarket on Level 1 has the best deals for purchasing your own water, drinks, fruit, and snacks. They’ll even prepare your groceries to order at a small cooking counter inside!
- Shower Facilities: Showers can be had for a fee at the Sama-Sama Express Hotel, the Capsule by Container Hotel, and the Plaza Premium Lounge. The Capsule by Container Hotel is located on Level 1 in the Gateway area of the airport. The more upscale Sama-Sama Express Hotel is on Level 3.
- Naps: If grabbing a nap on the floor sounds less than civilized, consider paying by the hour at the Capsule by Container Hotel on Level 1.
- Airport Hotel: If you have a long enough layover to merit some real shuteye, consider the Sama-Sama Express on Level 3. Passengers don't have to clear immigration or customs to spend an overnight there.
- Business Centers: If you consider yourself to be a "Commercially Important Person," then proceed to the CIP Lounges located on Level 3 in the Satellite Building or Peir L in Departures. Pay the fee, then get some work done.
- Kid Zone: For travelers with children, the Kid Zone in the Satellite Building at Level 2 has plenty of diversions to keep layovers from becoming too miserable.