Going to the airport is always rushing affair through the check-in counters, immigration counters with a dash to the boarding gates. Recently, I checked out the services available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Thanks to Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad, I spent a day to participate in KLIA Airport Experience outing. At the end of the outing, I learned that there are plenty to do than just the usual rush through. To avoid confusion, KLIA refers to KLIA (Terminal 1).
Among the services I discovered are door-to-gate privileges with KUL Vip Access to 24 hours bus services to satellite building to rainforest garden to amazing food at Sama-sama Express. So, the concept of exclusive airport experience is rather new to me. Despite sounding all exclusive, they come with affordable prices which I will review below.
KLIA Premier Access provides for many services to suit one’s travel needs including Concierge, Premier Access Lounge, Priority Access, Buggy Services and Escort Services depending on the package you choose. For a start, let’s begin with the rates, which comes in two categories ie. standard rate and premium rate.
My KLIA airport experience began at Premier Access Lounge, which is located near the Security Checks for International Departures. The first airport lounge in Malaysia was launched in October 2016. As at 9 am, the lounge was still quiet with few families enjoying the buffet breakfast. There was a range of food to select from, at least to keep you full until your in-flight meals.
By using the concierge services, a Guest Service Agent will meet and greet you at the Level 5 curbside. Just look out for KLIA Premier Access kiosk.
This picture deserves a hospitality ads for KLIA.
If you book the premium rate, you will also get the buggy service. The buggy service will send you from the meet and greet point to the Premier Access Lounge for check-in.
There is also a dedicated priority access for the guest to make their way to the departure gate. Just follow the signage to the dedicated lane for Immigration and Custom Check. You will need a priority access pass to use this service.
After lounging at the Premier Access Lounge, the guest will then be escorted right to the departure gate.
Review: While the frequent flyers and young adults will be content to use the Standard Rate services due to value for money, the premium rate is suitable for elderly travellers and those having special needs to travel. At least, the services will give me peace of mind to know someone is guiding my mother around the airport when she has to travel on her own.
Prior to my airport experience tour, I only knew of one way to commute between the main terminal building to satellite building, which is by the aerotrain. Actually, there are a 24-hours shuttle bus services from the main terminal building to the satellite building.
To find the bus, you just have to proceed to the aerotrain embarkation area and descend the escalator. Follow the signage to the bus waiting area. The bus departs every 8 minutes.
The advantage of taking the bus is the close-up views of the planes on the tarmac as the bus manoeuvre its way to the satellite building. The bus is literally one of the vehicles moving around the tarmac and you will get a general idea of the little details that make up for your air travel.
Interestingly, the design of interior of the shuttle bus uses traditional Malay woodcarving theme. Apart from the unique design, I also enjoyed learning the traditional wood carving from the information boards found in many parts of the bus. One of them reads, “highly ornamental and inspired by nature, it is often found in architecture motifs of traditional palaces, mosque and houses”. One of the said woodcarving design is ‘Lebah Bergayut’ which is inspired by hanging beehives on tree branches. Malaysia Airport is planning to use design from various traditional motifs for each bus serving from the main terminal to the satellite building.
You will approach Pandora shop and Gate C11 as you enter the satellite building.
There is an official porter service in KLIA Airport with a fixed price. The porters are dressed in yellow green shirt with a print of KLIA Porter Service. So, the next time you require such service, spot them at the arrival area or pre-book the services atleast 24 hours before your departure.
For more info, visit KLIA Porter Service at http://kliaporter.com
“There’s a jungle in the airport, but not many people know about it. We showcase a bit of our rainforest in this airport.”, said Nik Anis Nik Zakaria, MAHB’s General Manager of Corporate Communications. My response was what jungle and where? Guilty of ignorance, I felt ashamed of myself when the signage to the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk has always been there. If you are the kind of person whose focus in the airport is constrained to finding the boarding gate, chance is you are as ignorant as I am.
The pathway to the boarding gates are connected at the intersection. There lies a see-through glass space which houses trees of many species, herbal plants, flowers and an artificial waterfall. The entrance is free of charge. It is something I did not expect exist in our KLIA. Now that we know of its existence, why not walk the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk to experience jungle in the airport? I personally enjoyed walking around the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk. When you are there, do spot cili api tree which is sprouting healthy cili api.
After visiting the jungle boardwalk, we made a quick visit to the new female praying room. Suiting for its status as major travel hub, Malaysia Airport has converted one of its private room into a large female praying room located at the satellite building. While waiting for your flight, you can spend your time praying or do your religious practices in the dedicated female praying room.
As it had been half a day exploring the airport, we stopped by at Sama-sama Express KL International Airport to try out their sumptuous food. But first, a refreshing cold face towel and a glass of signature Lemon Lychee Lemongrass drink. Sama-sama Express KL International Airport is located inside the Satellite building, next to departure gate C3 & C5. The airside hotel is mainly for transit passengers. The guests of the airside hotel do not need to clear the immigration and go through custom for luggage checked.
Before proceeding to sample the food, we explored the services offered at Sama-sama Express KL International Airport. The 80-rooms airside hotel provides hassle free transit to travellers. As the rooms overlook the airfield, the stay at the airside hotel maybe of interest to avid aviation enthusiast. There are two room types, which are the superior twin/queen and suite room. Inside the room, you can find flat screen televisions, in-room safes, bathroom amenities, satellite tv stations and complimentary wireless internet access.
Current promotion: 6 hours stay in Superior Room at discounted rate with Lounge access package at only RM285 + 6% GST for one person.
Sama-sama Express KL International Airport offers access to Sama-sama Express Lounge without the necessity to stay at the guestroom. You can use the lounge for RM45 nett per person. The facilities you can enjoy are:-
Also available is a meeting room for high-level executives to have their final brainstorming session while transiting.
Once, a trainer from Singapore used the meeting room to train branch staff coming from different parts of Asia without leaving the airport. Interesting concept for fast-paced business world.
Sama-sama Express KL International Airport has received an award by Kulinary Dining Choice Award for an outstanding performance in gastronomy experience of KLIA.
Where else can you get award winning lamb shank cutlet at really affordable price?
The award winning lamb shank.
If you happen to be travelling on Friday, head over to Sama-sama Express KL International Airport to try their succulent plate of chicken biryani.
I hope this write up sheds some ideas for your upcoming trip via KLIA Airport!