As fans of bargain air fares, we have visited the old KL LCCT (Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal) a lot. It was always a strange experience, more like being in a bus terminal than an airport, especially when we were often forced to walk 15 minutes across the tarmac to board our flights!
The LCCT no longer exists, in its place is the flashy new KLIA2 terminal and it is quite a different experience. Below you will find information about what to expect at this new terminal, Air Asia Premium Red Lounge review and a KLIA2 Tune Hotel review. We have stayed at this airport hotel both overnight and for a short transit.
KLIA2 is so much nicer than LCCT – they are not even comparable. There are lots of shops, restaurants, etc. In fact, you exit customs right into a shopping mall. There are even shops while waiting for luggage which is a great idea. There is, however, a distinct lack of shops and eating outlets by some of the departure gates. Eat before you get to the gate! It does look like they are in the process of adding lots more outlets by all the gates.
The biggest difference between KLIA2 and LCCT is just how huge KLIA2 is. It is massive. The downside of this is that it take a long time to walk between between the check in desks and the gates or the gates and immigration/baggage/customs. In fact, it felt like we were on a long hiking trip every time. It is a very long way for little legs and there is a distinct lack of travellators in much of the airport.
Getting to and from this terminal is very easy. There is a train service to KL Sentral as well as buses and taxis. We took a bus to KL Sentral as we were not in a rush and this saved a lot of money as they are substantially cheaper.
The train costs RM35 for an adult or RM15 for a child 2-12 and takes 33 minutes. The bus costs RM9.50 and our kids were free. It takes just under an hour in our experience.
If you are in transit overnight, for a half day or arrive super early in the morning like we did at KLIA2, you may want to consider staying at the Tune Hotel KLIA2 – a hotel at KLIA2. There are overnight and 3 hour packages available…
If you have not heard of Tune Hotels, they are a budget hotel chain mostly in SE Asia but they have also branched out into Europe and Australia. They have a hotel right next to KLIA2 and it is easy to walk here with your luggage with an undercover walkway the whole way. You can take your baggage trolley. It is the best choice if you are looking for somewhere to transit between flights.
Most Tune Hotels make you pay extra for every “extra” (where an extra is a towel, air conditioning, wifi and other amenities). This is not the case at this Tune Hotel. The rate automatically includes all these things.
It is a budget hotel, so things are reasonably basic, but there is everything you need and our room was quite nice – much nicer than what I am used to with budget options. The room is small, but not as small as I expected. We fit the four of us and our luggage without a problem.
There are twin and double options. The kids and I shared the double bed and J stretched out on the floor. There were no extra charges for the kids. Ideally, you would want to book two rooms for a family of 4.
There is a choice of an overnight or a 3 hourly rate. When we arrived from Australia at 6am, we bought the three hourly rate since we knew we couldn’t check into our apartment in the city until 2pm. This actually worked out perfectly. By the time we got to the hotel, three hours was the perfect amount of time so that we took the bus into KL Sentral and then a train to KLCC and arrived at our apartment at exactly 2pm. The Tune Hotel is across the road from the transportation hub where all the buses depart and arrive.
Staying at the KLIA2 hotel is not the best choice for a long stay – you should definitely head in to Kuala Lumpur. However, for a short or overnight stop, the Tune Hotel is perfect and by far the easiest option.
How to get to Tune Hotel KLIA2: After exiting customs, go straight ahead and slightly to the left to a Baskin Robbins, look for a Car Park Entrance B sign and then the lift lobby next to this. Take the lift to CP3. Here you will see a Tune Hotel sign that will point you in the right direction and it’s super easy from there.
Price: We paid RM100 for the three hour package (about US$30). Overnight costs about double this – check out the latest prices and make a booking here.
Another option while waiting for a flight at KLIA2 is the new Air Asia Premium Red Lounge. The more expensive fare classes with Air Asia get access prior to their flights. For 79 MYR per adult (kids under 12 are free) any Air Asia passenger on an international flight can get access to the lounge if they don’t already. 79 ringgit for the S, Z and myself (Josh) seemed like great value and KLIA2 airside is not the greatest terminal for transiting. So for our last stopover at KILA2 I decided to see how good the Air Asia lounge was.
Unsurprisingly it is simple, almost sparse. There’s some basic table and chair seating for dining, a small lounge area, an area with a bench that looked more for working and a quiet/rest area upstairs. There’s free wifi (although the terminal has that as well), a set of computers for use and lots of power points, although few are international (almost all are UK/Malaysian sockets). Perhaps best of all are the showers. Towels and lockers are available for a 20 MYR refundable deposit.
The quiet area upstairs has bean bags. However when we went there weren’t many people and it already felt pretty full. I wouldn’t rely on space being available. It was also hot and stuffy and not that comfortable. The lounge area is also small but seems to hold just as many people and is comfortable. There is a private room of sorts called the Up Lounge and it has some couches and its own TV and DVD player. I wasn’t sure how much it costs – if anything – and it might be a good spot for a family looking to rest up for a spell.
Food and drink wise the selection is not great. For food, there was a rubbery substance that was apparently mackerel in a past life in a soy and garlic sauce so strong it didn’t matter anyway. There was some steamed rice, cooked way too long beans and a vegetarian fried rice. It had all been sitting there a while. Some apples were a saving grace. Drinks wise things aren’t great but okay. There’s coke, water and a fancy coffee machine. Cans of Tiger beer are available for 15 MYR.
S and Z were not the only kids there and, provided they weren’t too loud or boisterous, they were fine. Admittedly this was a tall order for them. There’s one TV but with the sound down there’s nothing to hold their interest and no real room to blow off steam. We could play Uno and watch a movie on my laptop (with the sound right down) but we could do that anywhere. For older kids who are happy just to sit and do passive things, the space works better.
So was it worth it? I’m not sure. 79 MYR is not much for an adult and two kids, but this buys a lot of (better) food and drink in the food court and fast food restaurants that are airside in KLIA2 international. And there’s no couches but the food court does have plenty of places to sit. The lounge – in my opinion – has a few main advantages over the rest of the terminal: easy access to power (there’s lots around the airport but getting a free one is hard), all the water/coke you can drink (although its cheap at the food court) and the showers. If you’re only stopping off for a couple of hours then you mightn’t take enough advantage of those. For longer stop overs, the showers and chance to charge your devices while you rest up might be worth it.
Have you been to the new KLIA2 terminal yet? What did you think?
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