Although they are next door to each other KLIA and KLIA2 are different airports each with their own international and domestic terminals. KLIA 2 opened in 2014 as the budget airport for budget airlines. It’s simple but clean and modern and it does the job … so long as you don’t have the misfortune to arrive at a particularly busy time.
There is always a bit of a trudge to the immigration hall. If you arrive at the wrong gate it could be lengthy. The hall is arranged in an unusual manner. There are two sets of lines with the immigration desks set back to back. You either take the first left and approach from the near side or you go around the back. After your passport is stamped you rejoin your fellow passengers in the lane between the two rows of counters and exit to baggage claim. Unfortunately, at busy times, the queue tails back and when it is forced to divide passengers who are unfamiliar with the layout start to worry about which line they should be in.
In case you haven’t already had enough opportunities there is another duty free shop to pass through on the way to baggage claim. After customs you will find yourself in another shopping mall where you can change money and buy sim cards.
If you are heading into Kuala Lumpur the KLIA Ekspres is bay far the best way to go. It stops at both KLIA and KLIA2 and gets you into KL Sentral, the city’s transport hub, in about half-an-hour. The bad news is that it is on the far side of the mall.
KLIA Transit does the same journey but stops at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya/Cyberjaya and Bandar Tasik Selatan on the way.
Taxis are also available and there are bus services to Seremban, Malacca, Ipoh, Sitiawan, Genting Highlands, Petaling Jaya and Klang as well as to the city.
After you have made your way through the mall you will find yourself in the check-in area. There are plenty of self check-in terminals which reduces the queueing significantly. If you do need to check in at the counter bear right. If you have already checked-in you can veer left to the baggage drop counters.
Domestic passengers should proceed to security just beyond the baggage drop counters. For international passengers immigration is straight ahead. Once through your bags will be x-rayed.
The gates are located along four piers connected by a long “skybridge” rather like a huge letter H. For international flights pier L is on the right just after security, piers P and Q are at the other end of the skybridge. In between P and Q is a pretty good food court with a with a wide range of options including Burger King, McDonald’s, Toast Box, noodles, fried chicken and other Asian choices. To get to it you must walk through the duty free shopping area.
If you have time to kill it is worth hanging out here rather than going to your gate. While there are other eating options on each pier, the piers themselves are narrow, crowded and with limited space to sit. Further more each pier also has its own security check and if you have been through it once the idea of going out and having to go through it again is unappealing.