Transit at KL

Old Jan 3, 15, 10:44 am
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Transit at KL

Hi

In a few months I'm travelling through Kuala Lumpur, arriving on the new BA flight that gets in at 4pm. I'd quite like to get get to Krabi that night, but I think that my chances of making the Air Asia flight at 5.05 are somewhere between slim and none, so I might have to fly to Phuket (6.10pm or 8.20pm) and get a taxi for two hours.

Things I'm not sure about:
1) Is there fast track immigration in KLIA1 for BA flights (travelling in First)?
2) Can I actually avoid immigration altogether and go airside to KLIA2 to catch my onward flight to Thailand?
3) Is there any way to interline my baggage from BA onto Air Asia? (my guess is not)
4) Depending on the answers to the above, do I stand any chance of catching 6.10pm flight? If not I'd probably opt to catch the first flight direct to Krabi the following morning.

Thanks for any ideas
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Old Jan 3, 15, 10:48 am
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Transfer from Phuket to Krabi is about 50 if booked online prior to arrival, for a private air-conditioned car, so it's not too painful (I did this recently on my trip to Railay)
EDIT: On a more important note, Phuket immigration was 45m-1hr long.

Last edited by FlyingGames; Jan 3, 15 at 11:03 am
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Old Jan 3, 15, 10:59 am
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Points to note
Immigration in KLIA is relatively quick. Time for checked luggage to appear on the carousel is slow

KLIA1 and KLIA2 are not connected airside. KLIA2 is the terminal for low cost airlines so it is considered to be catering for a different market

There are not regular shuttle trains between KLIA1 and KLIA2. It is once every 15-20 mins. It is not free. You will need to pay RM2 for a one-way ticket.

There is a hotel at the airport called Sama-Sama if you do not wish to take the KLIA express into town.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
1) Is there fast track immigration in KLIA1 for BA flights (travelling in First)?
Some airlines do this, but I've no idea if BA will use that facility. It doesn't normally take too long there, the locals have e-gates they can use, but I've had a few 30 minutes in the queue (OK, twice out of what, 30 visits in the last dozen years?). I normally count on being on the KLIA Espres into town about 30-40 minutes after landing at the Satellite building - which I'm almost certain BA will be using. Broadly, 5 minutes walk from gate to the transit, 5 minutes transit ride, 2 minutes to immigration, add the wait there, then another 5 minutes to the landside station. This is with HBO....

Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
2) Can I actually avoid immigration altogether and go airside to KLIA2 to catch my onward flight to Thailand?
Not that I can think of. They are pretty much 2 different airports - and the comparison is between T5 and a basic hall like airport like TXL Air Berlin's building - almost as if they are trying to make a point via the presence of greenery or not. So I'm fairly certain you have to go landside and transfer on the not-that-regular train to KLIA 2 (and that was only begrudgingly provided).

Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
3) Is there any way to interline my baggage from BA onto Air Asia? (my guess is not)
Almost certainly not, unless you can somehow find a way of getting it on to one ticket. Air Asia being a low cost carrier it would be like doing it via Easyjet.

Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
4) Depending on the answers to the above, do I stand any chance of catching 6.10pm flight? If not I'd probably opt to catch the first flight direct to Krabi the following morning.
With HBO (Hand Baggage Only) yes, you have a chance. With checked baggage, it won't be easy. Why not stay the night, e.g. at the KL Hilton Sentral or the Meridien next to it? Nice hotels, not too expensive and an easy run from the airport.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 12:01 pm
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Thanks for the quick replies. I had hoped that KLIA2 was an improvement over LCCT but it seems like maybe not that dramatic a change.

It sounds like I'm staying the night in KL and getting the first flight to Krabi in the morning. Has anybody tried either of the hotels at KLIA2, or would you recommend staying in town?
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Old Jan 3, 15, 1:11 pm
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It's a bit of a faff going into the city if you flying out early morning. if you get good feedback about the airport hotels I would stick to them.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 3:00 pm
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The Sama Sama hotel directly connected to KUL is a great hotel. Stayed there twice and although pricey is well worth the money in my opinion.

Easy enough to venture into the city from there too if you're in town for a day.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 2:25 pm
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For anybody on this route in the future and stumbling across this thread, I thought I'd record what I ended up doing.

It was very simple in the end. It turns out there is a Malaysian flight to Phuket that leaves at 1710 from KLIA 1 (same terminal that BA arrives at - although probably the main part and BA I think arrives at the satellite at 1600). Minimum connection time in KL at KLIA 1 is 1 hour, so BA tell me there will be no problem checking bags all the way through to Phuket from Heathrow, even though they are on separate tickets, and I will not need to go through immigration at KL.

I don't know how I didn't see the Malaysian flight before - either a bad search on my part or they just loaded the availability recently (I think the former). I realise that I run the risk of not making my connector if the BA flight is delayed. If the worst comes to the worst I can throw myself on the mercy of either Malaysian or my travel insurance, or failing all that buy new tickets myself.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jwhite9185 View Post
The Sama Sama hotel directly connected to KUL is a great hotel. Stayed there twice and although pricey is well worth the money in my opinion.

Easy enough to venture into the city from there too if you're in town for a day.
Another vote for Sama Sama. Comfiest bed I've slept in for a long time and a wide selection in the breakfast buffet.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
I don't know how I didn't see the Malaysian flight before - either a bad search on my part or they just loaded the availability recently (I think the former). I realise that I run the risk of not making my connector if the BA flight is delayed. If the worst comes to the worst I can throw myself on the mercy of either Malaysian or my travel insurance, or failing all that buy new tickets myself.
You should be OK if the flight lands on time but I would be wary as to just how helpful your travel insurance will be with a misconnect - especially if you have a very expensive place booked in Krabi.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 2:50 pm
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I would say you have a good chance of making a 1h10 connection. BA will probably arrive at the satellite and the KRB flight will depart from the main terminal but even with the peoplemover journey you could be 30mins late arriving and still just about make it.

Long flights ex LHR also have some scope to make up time after the probably LHR inefficiency.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by FliesForWork View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. I had hoped that KLIA2 was an improvement over LCCT but it seems like maybe not that dramatic a change.
For What it's worth, to me, KLIA2 represents a quantum leap over the cowshed aka LCCT. There are some niggling annoyances, but I'll take it over grease and Eau De Jet A-1 in my face and hair.

What it is not, however, is a seamless transfer mechanism between Full Service and Low Cost carriers at KUL. These two concepts remain essentially separate even with the new terminal.

Glad you've found your MH connection though - it is certainly easier than schlepping it across to KLIA2
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Old Jan 5, 15, 11:41 pm
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Is it not possible to do this on one ticket?
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Old Jan 5, 15, 11:44 pm
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Since you are arriving in first class and connecting on oneworld you will be able to use any of the oneworld lounges. Having passed through there recently I would say that the MH international golden first class lounge is pleasant, but with a woeful wine selection (one red, and one white - an undrinkable muscadet). There is a separate dining room. I wasn't hungry when I passed through but I did take a look and it seemed like a reasonable, if not stellar, selection of food. However, since I didn't want spirits but did want a nice glass of wine I ended up going to the CX lounge which was much more cramped (in the sense of having much denser seating) but had a much better choice of snacks and wines.

There is a train between the main building and satellite building but no controls at either end so you will be free to move between them (I had a 4.5 hour layover so I went exploring) and investigate all the lounges if you wish ��
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Old Jan 6, 15, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by Calchas View Post
Is it not possible to do this on one ticket?
It would be possible if I wasn't using the AMEX 241 voucher on a redemption booking for the long-haul leg. This stops me from adding the Phuket leg on to my initial itinerary sadly (because yes I would be better off on a single ticket).
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