Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (IATA: KUL) is more than 50km (30 mi) from the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur.


Satellite Terminal

KLIA is the primary airport serving Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding Klang Valley region. Yet, despite its name, KLIA is actually located some 50km south of Kuala Lumpur in the Sepang district of Selangor.

The airport opened in 1998 and superseded Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, which is now only used for charter and commercial turboprop flights. KLIA was voted in passenger surveys to have the "World’s Best Immigration Service" in the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Low-cost carriers now use the separate KLIA2 terminal, which replaced the old, perennially congested LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal, which was 20 km away) in May 2014, and is connected to the main terminal by a MYR2 train ride.


Over 50 airlines call at KLIA and it is the hub for Malaysia Airlines and the low cost carrier Air Asia.

Due to the highly competitive prices of these two carriers you will find surprisingly few well-known world carriers serving this airport, although there are carriers from many Islamic countries around the world. An additional reason for the lack of carriers is the relatively close proximity of Singapore Changi Airport.

Ground transportation

KLIA has excellent connections to Kuala Lumpur. It's possible to land and get to Sentral Station in the city within 28 minutes with MYR55 KLIA Ekspres. You can then quickly get a taxi to your specific destination in the city.

By train

In Town Check In

When flying with Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific or Royal Brunei and taking either an Ekspres or a Transit train to the airport, you can check in your baggage at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal in KL Sentral. This can also allow you a few extra hours to explore Kuala Lumpur without having to carry your baggage around.

By bus

Check-in hall

Main Terminal


Several bus operators run services to KL and other cities from KLIA2 Level 1,

to the Pekeliling Bus Terminal, Chinatown in central KL, Batu 3 (3rd Mile) Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur and also direct connections to the Ipoh Teluk Bintan at Bidoh and Setiawan. They also serve direct line to several hotels in the city.

By taxi

Taxis at the main terminal operate under a two-tiered system with the choice of coupon-based Airport Limo taxis or the meter-based standard city taxis. If travelling with a party of 3 or 4 people taking a taxi can be a cost effective option over the airport rail link, but is not as fast.

While touting is no longer a common occurrence at the main terminal keep in mind that you should avoid taxi drivers that hang around the terminal away from the designated areas mentioned above or approach you asking where you want to go. In most cases they will inflate the price and say that other transport options are not available.

Heading to KLIA by taxi can be a bit of a challenge at times as drivers are reluctant to use the meter. If you fail to get them to use the meter, make sure you agree on a price before setting off (this should cost no more than RM70-80 in total). Airport Limo operates from Kuala Lumpur to KLIA by bookings only at a rate of RM64.40 for a budget car.

By road

If you have your own wheels, KLIA is well connected to Peninsular Malaysia's expressway network. The airport is directly linked with the North South Expressway Central Link (known by its Malay abbreviation "Elite") about 70km or nearly 1h away from Kuala Lumpur city centre. Exit the expressway at KLIA interchange for both the Main Terminal and KLIA2.

Get around

Interior of one of the robotically driven Aerotrains

KLIA is a large, expanding airport. If you are only concerned with the main terminal (KLIA 1), then getting around is straightforward, with air-side being split into two buildings connected by a free, fast shuttle train.

To transfer between KLIA and KLIA 2, take the KLIA Ekspres or Transit train. The journey takes 3 minutes and costs RM2.


The main terminal is well designed with facilities for long waits. Alternatively, the centre of Kuala Lumpur is very accessible if you have a few hours to spare.

Jungle Boardwalk

There is a piece of Malaysian jungle in the middle of the satellite terminal building. You can have a walk around on its boardwalk.

Eat and Drink

There are quite a few restaurants and cafes in the satellite terminal building. In the main terminal there isn't a great deal.


KLIA has a lot of shops for western products, and not much for local goods.


There is free (if somewhat unreliable) Wi-Fi named FreeWiFi@klia2 throughout the airport.




It is very hard to smoke at all at the airport, even outside the terminal entrance doors. There are smoking rooms available near gates B2, C11 and C31.


This lists only accommodation on airport grounds; for nearby hotels that require a shuttle bus, see Sepang. Taking the KLIA Ekspres to town and staying near KL Sentral is also a viable alternative, especially if you're staying overnight and have the time to explore a bit.




The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is a quick 28 min away on the KLIA Ekspres, dropping you at KL Sentral where the Little India district of Brickfields awaits. For some history, visit the Old City Centre where you can check out Chinatown or the old colonial administrative area. The Golden Triangle is the place to be if shopping is your calling.

The federal administrative capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya, is even closer to the airport than KL. A city that did not exist 25 years ago, the city is filled with colossal buildings to showcase the future of Malaysia.

If you really have the better part of a day, Malacca, a former Portuguese, Dutch and British colony is just 2 hr south of the airport. The city attained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2008 for it's historic city centre.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.