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7 Pocket-Friendly Ways To KLIA2

by The Queen

How to maximise your Ringgit while traveling to Kuala Lumpur’s low-cost carrier terminal
By Jessica Liew

If you, like me, takes every opportunity to pack your bags whenever air fares go on promotion, then you would be familiar with the various transportation methods that takes you from Kuala Lumpur or anywhere in the Klang Valley to the KLIA2 low cost carrier airport. The advent of budget airlines has definitely brought upon a variety of airport transport, many of which are pocket-friendly to cater to middle-income travellers who value frequent and fuss-free services. So how do these new methods change the landscape of Malaysia’s public transport system? From Kuala Lumpur to KL Sentral, and throughout Klang Valley, we explore and break down seven ways to get to KLIA2.

The deal: Cheapest! RM9 to RM15 one way
1. The transport: Direct coach
Duration: Around one hour and 15 minutes
Who it’s for: Students, backpackers, budget-conscious

If you don’t mind being ferried to the airport in a public bus that’s almost always fully occupied just to save yourself more than half of what other transportation costs, the bus is best. And, no, contrary to a stuffy, smelly and tattered bus for that price, you’ll find that buses are clean, air-conditioned, and extremely well maintained. Service is prompt and buses are frequent, departing from key locations throughout Kuala Lumpur and Selangor which are KL Sentral, Pudu Raya, 1Utama, Paradigm Mall and Klang Premiere Hotel. The downside would be the inconvenience it makes to the elderly, who are required to climb onto the bus, or young children who can’t sit still for long. To adhere to budget, passengers are required to store their own luggage so ensure your baggage is managable. You’ve got the choice of direct or round-trip tickets when purchasing at the ticketing counter or airport but prices vary according to pick-up or drop-off location.


The deal: Quick and convenient, from RM38.40 per trip
2. The transport: Airport Express Rail (ERL)
Duration: 39 minutes
Who it’s for: Business people, commuting travelers, time-savers

Perfect for the traveller who has somewhere they urgently need to go, the KLIA Express (ERL) services both KLIA and KLIA2 airports in 39 minutes tops. The ERL is also conveniently located in the central transportation hub of KL so you’re easily connected, no matter where you’re coming from, and if you’re within the areas Bandar Tasik Selatan, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, and Salak Tinggi you simply need to catch the KLIA Transit trains that services both airports too! The trains are modern and comfortable with plush cushion seats, cleaned after every trip and even has toilets that certainly are an added bonus. Unfortunately, at a steep price of RM55 from KL Sentral, or RM38.40 one way from nearby Bandar Tasik Selatan, you might be better off traveling in a car should you be traveling in groups of two or more, which leads us to the next mode of transport.


The deal: Registered taxi services
3. The transportation: Cab companies
Duration: Around 50 minutes (from Klang Valley)
Who it’s for: Groups, business people, passengers with heavy luggage

For those with money to spare or prize comfort and privacy over budget, taxis are the obvious option. You could easily flag down a cab in most prime areas, or call and instantly book through their smartphone applications. Then there’s also the choice of budget or ‘limo’ taxis, depending on your comfort level or size requirement. Taxis are a great option for families with several pieces of suitcases or for a business traveler to continue phone calls or simply to rest in order to freshen up for his next destination. There are of course some noteworthy disadvantages: Malaysian cabbies are notorious for marking up fares especially for vulnerable or foreign passengers, so what could be a RM70 trip could get hiked up to nearly RM100! These cabbies may be registered but airport trips are an opportunity to make a quick buck!


The deal: Reasonable, friendly and reliable
4. The transportation: Uber
Duration: Around 50 minutes (from Klang Valley)
Who it’s for: Internet-savvy youngsters in groups, lone travellers, business people… anyone really

It’s been more than two years since Uber was introduced into the transportation scene and although unregistered or ‘illegal’, it’s preferred to cabs for many good reasons. Uber drivers are simply car owners who offer to drive people to their destination for a fee strictly calculated from RM0.65 per kilometer, which means no cheating or overcharging of passengers. Due to the long distance to the airport, Uber has become the smarter choice and conveniently booked through its mobile application. Another point worth mentioning is that Uber thoroughly screens its drivers, who are also rated by passengers to uphold excellent customer service. The downside? Uber is not recognised as a legal means of public transportation in Malaysia, and cabbies can get violent when they cross paths with Uber drivers!


The deal: Dedicated and luxurious
5. The transportation: KLIA taxi limo
Duration: Around 50 minutes (from Klang Valley)
Who it’s for: Business travellers in groups, luxury-seekers, honeymooners

This is for the traveller who couldn’t care less about comparing airport transfer fares, variety of airport-city connections or worrying whether their transport will be on time or not. The airport-dedicated taxi limo services incoming or outgoing passengers in the most comfortable, safest and efficient manner. Priding itself as the cheapest airport transfer rate of its kind in Peninsula Malaysia, the KLIA taxi limo services hotels, offices, Genting Highlands and residential areas. Another difference is that unlike metered-taxis, prices are fixed but available upon request or on its website. To make it more cost-effective though, travel with a buddy or two and split the bill, which will solve the woes of this transport method.


The deal: Middle-class ‘Chauffeurs’
6. The transportation: Grabcar
Duration: Around 50 minutes (from Klang Valley)
Who it’s for: Internet-savvy youngsters in groups, single travellers, business people… anyone really

An offshoot of UBER, Grabcar shares similar characteristics in terms of its drivers, offerings and structure. In terms of pricing, fares are between RM65 to RM110, and start at RM1.30 per kilometer, making it much higher than UBER. Unlike UBER though, Grab started off with a cash payment option, making it the go-to option for non bank card holders. Besides being higher priced than UBER, Grabcar also shares the same disadvantages of being subject to violent taxi drivers.


The deal: Drive yourself
7. The transportation: Own private car
Duration: Around 50 minutes (from Klang Valley)
Who it’s for: Anyone who prefers the comfort and privacy of driving themselves

It’s a battle of opinions when it comes to driving yourself to the airport. The pluses would be you get to chart your airport journey in comfort and utter privacy, without worrying about public transport delays, safety in a stranger’s car or inconvenience of traveling with big suitcases, children, and the elderly. The 50-minute-plus journey is a reasonable sacrifice for all these conveniences but on the other hand, the cost of petrol, tolls and worse, airport parking fees, can rake up a hefty bill. Even if you park outside of the airport, you’ll have to factor in the ERL transit fare that’s necessary to connect you to the airport! Although driving yourself is the ideal method, the same can’t be said for the price tag, unfortunately.



There are proactive ways to go about budget but comfortable airport transfers, with several other perks thrown in too. Let’s start with the private car – parking in KLIA is undoubtedly convenient, allowing you to get to the departure level in just a lift ride. However, parking fee here is the highest at RM46 a day – not the best option if you’re planning to travel for more than several days, but totally worth for a two-day parking. The second option requires a little more effort: Simply park at Sama Sama hotel just 2.8km away for a daily fee of RM30, then catch the airport shuttle bus that takes only two minutes one way. You could also go halfway by driving to Bandar Tasik Selatan, then board the bus for RM10 or pay RM38.40  for the ERL transit train to the airport – Parking will only cost RM4. Last but not least, if you still insist on driving halfway, you could park at Putrajaya Sentral for RM5 then purchase the Airport Express Railway for just RM9.40.
Consider your route and when you do choose the best one, you’ll be rewarding when you sit back in your seat and enjoying the view en route to the airport.

1interviewDr Arlena Philip Lee, 28, dentist
Travels overseas extensively for workshops, events, and lectures as part of her job

Drive own car or book-a-ride?
“Uber. No hassle of parking, petrol and toll. It’s affordable, comfortable and private without the additional cost – especially when traveling in a small group”

Local airport transport vs. international
“It’s moderate and can be improved. For instance the ERL is only confined to KL Sentral and KLIA route. I suggest a more integrated public transport system to encourage more users”

Improve KLIA2 parking
People fear for their car’s security when parked for long periods at the airport. The expensive overnight parking also doesn’t make financial sense”


Gavin Young, 24, British

Frequent traveler who calls UK and Malaysia home. He prefers taking the airport coach over the ERL because it’s the cheapest since the ERL fare hike early this year

Malaysian vs. international airport transport
“KL’s transport is good because of the direct, airport express train, as compared to Bangkok or Singapore which don’t have dedicated airport train lines”

Improvements to the services
“For the ERL, Add more carriages, and also reconsider a new, lower fare. For the airport coach, its bus terminal is difficult to find and confusing to navigate with poor signage – not helpful for foreigners. There’s also only one faulty lift for travelers with big bags”


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