Kuala Lumpur International Airport (IATA code: KUL) is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the KL city center, and is the largest airport in Malaysia.
I have personally used KLIA for four separate arrivals and departures, which I consider to be a limited experience. That said, I do have an adequate understanding of the terminal layouts and have relied on wheelchair assistance each time I used the airport. While the quality of wheelchair assistance can vary from flight to flight and trip to trip, I can at least speak to what IS possible at KLIA. I am also able to discuss the public transportation options available from KLIA, which make wheelchair accessible travel to the city center possible.
Airport Wheelchair Assistance
It is important to notify your airline of your special assistance needs as far in advance as possible. This will (hopefully) allow them to plan for your travel and fulfill your service needs without delay or any other issues.
During both of my departures from KLIA (one on Malaysia Airlines, the other on Vietnam Airlines), I was able to gate-check my power wheelchair.
On one arrival (Malaysia Airlines), my power wheelchair was returned to the gate/aircraft door. On the other, I was made to collect it at baggage claim (also on Malaysia Airlines). The people assisting me in the terminals were friendly and helpful, but I was patient with them and expressed my needs clearly – as all travelers should do.
If you require more information about KLIA, visit its website at www.klia.com.my.
Terminals & Layout
Travelers using the Kuala Lumpur Airport will need to understand the difference between KLIA and KLIA2. KLIA is the largest section of the airport, and is the main terminal for both domestic and international traffic. KLIA2 is located approximately 2 kilometers away from KLIA, and is a terminal reserved exclusively for the low-cost carriers. If you are flying from the airport, be sure to check with your airline for departure terminal and gate information. For your reference, the following is a list of the airlines operating in and out of each terminal:
- KLIA (Main & Satellite Buildings) – Air Astana, Air China, Air India Express, Air Mauritius, All Nippon Airways, Bangkok Airways, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Japan Airlines, Flynas, KLM, Korean Air, Lion Air, Mahan Air, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Myanmar Airways International, Nepal Airlines, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Regent Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Shaheen Air, Shanghai Airlines, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airways, Uzbekistan Airways, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, XiamenAir.
- KLIA2 – AirAsia, AirAsia X, AirAsia Zest, Cebu Pacific, Indonesia AirAsia, Jetstar Asia Airways, Mega Maldives, Thai AirAsia, TigerAir.
In the main KLIA terminal, international flights depart from a separate satellite terminal building, and access is possible through an automated people mover – a train that is wheelchair accessible.
Dedicated, wheelchair accessible bathrooms are available throughout the airport, and are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and his/her personal care attendant.
Both KLIA and KLIA2 are accessible by car, and are connected to the KLIA Express – a non-stop train between KLIA, KLIA2 and Kuala Lumpur’s Sentral Train Station, which is at the heart of the city.
The cost of a one-way adult ticket on the KLIA Ekspres is 55 MYR (~$14 USD). A discounted rate of 100 MYR is available on the purchase of a round trip ticket, with the return ticket good for one month from the date of purchase.
The KLIA Ekspres is wheelchair accessible, with level-entry boarding between the platform and train at all stations. The trip to Sentral Station takes about 30 minutes, and connections are available to the accessible LRT, KTM Kommuter and city bus services, together with intercity and regional trains. More information on the Kuala Lumpur public transportation system is available here.