Recently I travelled to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore to attend a (Computer) Security conference. It was a well-managed and spectacular given much of the cost was borne by the government-funded body so called CyberSecurity Malaysia
. The conference was held at Kuala Lumpur Conference Center (KLCC), which – to my delight – was actually within the twin tower complex of Kuala Lumpur.
There are few low-budget airlines operating between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I choose Tiger Airlines simply because it was the cheapest (SG $ 120 for return).
Quality vs. cost
I personally think the quality was actually pretty good. The trip was on time for both flights. The flight-attendant was courteous as well. Overall, I feel very delighted to select this flight.
However, budget flights have severe problem with it comes to the total time needed; travelling time and custom process.
In Singapore, budget terminal is located quite close to the “ordinary” terminal. However, you still need to budget additional 20-30 mins for total travelling time between both terminals, this include the walking time to the check-in counter. The good thing is that there is a free shuttle service between both terminals every five minutes.
In contrary, in Kuala Lumpur, the location of LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) is quite distant away from the “ordinary” terminal, i.e. KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Terminal). From what I can gathered, both are using the same runway, but for unknown reason there are no low-cost or efficient way of travelling between them.
From KLIA, there is supposedly a KLIA Express that can transport you comfortably to the city center. However, since I arrived at budget terminal (LCCT), the only "cheap" means of getting to the city is through bus only.
Mainly there are only two companies operating this shuttle. One only stop at Kuala Lumpur Central station and the other travel further up to the KLCC (the twin tower).
According to the locals, be very cautious on what time you will be travelling inside the CBD. On peak hours, it can take hours to get through the inner city area. Your best bet is to take bus to the central, and then from there you use LRT (Light Rail Transport) to go everywhere, including KLCC.
Strangely, on both sides (Singapore and Malaysia), the custom/immigration process was significantly worse off in budget terminal compare to the ordinary one. Previously, I thought this couldn’t be the case given the custom shouldn’t has anything to do whether it is budget terminal or not. So, given these circumstances, I think you should allocate additional 1 hour (30 mins each, departure and arrival) for each flight. Personally, I don’t think it has anything to do with the number of passengers, but the problems is on the lack of attention given to the provision of infrastructure (network speed, etc.) You can probably notice it from the time it took for the custom officer to wait for the system response.
So, that’s it. Overall, the trip itself is quite pleasant, but you should allows plenty slack if you want to use the budget airlines. Below, I attached few photos of these budget terminals in Singapore and KL sides.