Friday, September 07, 2012

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

I landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning to get a connecting flight to Penang in the afternoon. I am writing this in my hotel, Red Rock Hotel, here in Penang, about 45 minutes by plane from KL. I've been to KL three times before -- 2005, 2009 and 2011 -- but it was only today that I took many photos of the airport. So as usual, I'm shrinking them three photos in one frame to minimize space.

It's definitely a modern airport, comparable to the huge and modern airports of Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul-Incheon, Tokyo-Narita, Bangkok, etc. Glass and steel structure, silent walkalator that have sensors, meaning they move only if there are passengers using them.

But unlike the airports in HK, Singapore, Narita, or even Manila, there are not too many planes and passengers landing and taking off at KLIA. I noticed at the planes monitoring station, there is a take off every five minutes on average, and consequently, a plane is landing every five minutes too on average, for both international and domestic flights.

In HK for instance, I think a plane is landing every 30 seconds, In Manila, despite the small airports compared to those in its Asian neighbors, I think a plane is landing every minute or so. That's mainly because there are may domestic flights. Our country is an archipelago.

Colorful decorations. This is after the immigration going to gates for domestic flights.

I landed at KLIA from Manila around 11:30 am and my connecting flight to Penang left around 2pm. So I was at KLIA for two and a half hours, I did not notice too many planes nor too many passengers. Middle photo, nice replica of different airlines.

This is the gate I boarded this afternoon for my Malaysian Airlines flight to Penang. It's huge for a domestic flight, so passengers can practically roam around the departure lounge. I think on number of passengers per sq. meter of airport terminal, Manila's terminal 1 (the terminal used by foreign airlines) has probably 10x that in KLIA. Meaning Terminal 1 is too small relative to the number of passengers who are flying out and arriving.

Nice monitor for departing planes from different airlines. This is where I noticed that a plane was taking off about every five minutes on average. Below the departures monitor, are maps of the domestic and international concourses.

There was a cultural presentation in one side as I roamed around the airport this afternoon. Nice performance. Some guys were distributing a Malaysian flag and cookie to passersby.

Photo above, I took last year. I think this was at the main arrival area for international flights.

On toilets and drinking fountain. I don't know how much is the terminal fee at KLIA that is incorporated in the plane ticket, but at least there are plenty of clean toilets and many drinking fountains. In Manila airport, we pay P550 (nearly US$14), was P750 before, terminal fee. and the terminal does not even have one drinking fountain. Passengers have to buy bottled water if they get thirsty, even if they have paid a high terminal fee.

No comments: