I thought I’d drop a line about our experience at Kuala Lumpur airport if you are considering staying in KL for a few days.
Air-conditioned and comfortable – all announcements are in English as well as Malay.
It depends on how many are in your party. Having used both, it comes down to convenience compared to cost, and what is the difference.
Taxis are large enough for four adults and have plenty of room for four suitcases.
If on a tight budget, and you are young single or a young couple, and healthy, perhaps the Ekspres train is the most cost effective, but you still have to add the cost of a taxi, Monorail or Rapidrail from Sentral (railway station) to your hotel, and you have the inconvenience of manhandling your bags.
For three or more people I found that a taxi is the most cost effective, and the most convenient, but be aware the journey is about forty five minutes to an hour, depending on time of day.
Based on actual costs in 2014, the cost of the Ekspress train was RM 35 / person one way, (it is now RM 55.00), making a total of RM 105 for three people; add RM 40 for a taxi to the major hotel area in the city centre, and you have a total cost of RM 145. (RM 205 for three in 2016)
A taxi from the KLIA cost me RM 134 for four people – door to door. (still around this price in 2016, it all depends on the traffic).
The increase in the Ekspress tickets could make the taxi option a more economical choice today, for two people, compared to three in my example. Overall I doubt that there would be much time saving by using the train – 28 minute ride, find a taxi at Sentral, possible fifteen minute ride to your hotel – compare this to about 45 minutes ride by taxi, door to door in air-conditioned comfort..
If you decide to take a taxi from the airport to the city, buy your voucher from the taxi counter at the airport RM 2.00 (just before you exit in to the meet & greet area – you’ll see other people around the taxi counter) – don’t get involved with touts outside the terminal it’s not worth the exercise.
On existing the terminal a supervisor will take your voucher and direct you to the correct taxi – he will hand back the voucher, which will be split between you and the taxi driver – keep your half just in case you have a problem later (e.g left something behind in his cab). The taxi will be metered, and you pay the metered price.
On departure from Kuala Lumpur – depending on the airline that you use to depart Kuala Lumpur, the air line check-in at Sentral is a breeze.
Check-in at Sentral
My wife and I, and our friends used Malaysian Airlines, which allowed us to check-in at Sentral, but recently other airlines have added check-in facilities – Royal Brunei, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Etihad The cost compared to convenience is now reversed.
For a morning flight of 9.00 am from KLIA to Sydney, a check-in of two to two and a half hours before take-off was required.
We left our hotel at 6.30 am for the fifteen minute drive to Sentral, where we checked-in and lodge our checked bags.
The Ekspress train, just after 7.00 am, had us at KLIA in twenty eight minutes, and we strolled through immigration and security with just hand baggage, and missed the stressful airport check-in, the hours drive, and the checked bag lodging system. We arrived stress free at the departure gate, after a short visit to the duty free area.
For early to mid morning flights we consider the extra cost of the Ekspress system worth paying, because of the lack of stress.But then we are no longer young and active . . . . .