With borders closed and few domestic flights operating, airports in many countries suddenly went quiet in early/mid March 2020. Malaysian airports are no different and only since domestic travel resumed, are returning to life. We recently visited Kuala Lumpur International Airport to see the impact of Covid-19 on KLIA/klia2 (the low cost terminal) to check out how they’re managing the situation. We didn’t fly through KLIA, but we did fly from and back to klia2 at the end of September, so our observations for KLIA are for landside operations only.
Covid-19 and KLIA/klia2
Our visit to KLIA was not to fly anywhere, so our observations only cover what we could see landside (before security checks to the restricted areas). Airports in Malaysia are operated by Malaysia Airports Berhad, so most of the new Covid-19 procedures are in effect ‘across the board’.
Access to the terminal
All entrances to the terminal are staffed by security personnel who will ensure you scan the MySejahtera QR code and have your temperature taken. All those entering the terminal must wear masks. Both KLIA/klia2 have scanning stations at all entry points – from carpark, Departure drop-off, public transport drop-off etc.
- Entry to certain areas (e,g, Departure Hall) is via a directed pathway with a heat scanner.
- Non travellers are permitted to enter the departure hall,
- Only passengers should queue for check-in
- Not all passengers are required to do self-check-in
- Disabled and elderly passengers
- Passengers with children and group travellers
Airlines in both KLIA and klia2 request passengers to do self check-in if this is available.
- AirAsia has recently installed contactless kiosks for check-in and printing of bag tags.
- Self bag drop did not appear to be currently available in either KLIA/klia2.
- This is available in Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
- Travellers to Sabah are required to scan the Sabah QR code and complete the details.
- You must do this to be allowed entry to Sabah
- This is a Covid-19 health check requirement
- Bag wrapping services are available although not all stations may not be open.
- This applied to both terminals
- All check-in counter staff wear gloves, masks and face shields
Social Distancing requirements
- Yellow marks on the floor define the distances you are required to maintain from others.
- All seating in the terminal is marked to indicate where you may sit
- Don’t sit where it’s marked with X.
Food outlets & shops
In KLIA, most of the landside food outlets, including fast food outlets, are currently closed.
- The Food Garden on Level 2 is closed for refurbishing
- Some coffee and snack outlets in the Departure area are open
In klia2, most food outlets and shops (including supermarkets) are open
- Access to outlets is restricted by tape/arrows on floor, to improve traffic flow and reduce contact
- The Aerotel on the Mezzanine floor is also open.
Security checks KLIA/klia2
Allow at least 3 hours for check-in and security checks when you reach the airport.
- Entry to the Departure Gates will also require another Covid-19 check
- Scan the app and get your temperature checked
- Make sure you’re wearing your mask
- You may find you get through check-in and the checks quickly if there are few people in the line
- There are quite a few shops open once you enter the departure area
- Food is available in your choice of cafes, fast food outlets or snack stands
- There is a sundry shop available
- Cosmetics and similar items are located at the bottom of the escalator down from security
- Seating is plentiful and you can socially distance
- Water bottles can be filled at the fountains
When we passed through klia2 recently, only AirAsia and Jetstar were operating services. Book your flights from the AirAsia website, Jetstar online, or for KLIA, go to the Malindo Air website, or Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier. Most services offered on all these airlines are for domestic destinations. With border closures still in effect, Malaysians must apply for permission to travel out of the country. Our review of our Covid-19 flight to Kota Kinabalu is coming soon.