Get the basics right before VMY 2020

  • Letters
  • Friday, 04 Oct 2019

MOST of us who choose to travel with a budget airline are willing to compromise on the luxuries, as we are focused on the destination instead of the journey itself.

However, we do not expect our journey to be extended by a couple of hours due to the inefficiency of an airport, do we?

Unfortunately, this has become a norm these days when arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2).

As a frequent traveller, I dread landing at KLIA 2 because, unlike other airports, the time it takes to walk from the arrival gates, clear customs and collect my baggage has never been less than 90 minutes. In fact, once, it took me a total of three hours just to get out of the airport.

This is certainly not what any passenger expects to be greeted with after a long flight and, as a former Malaysian, it’s not the first impression I would like foreign visitors to get.

Personally, I am not going to make a big fuss about the long pilgrimage KLIA2 makes me endure but my heart goes out to the elderly and parents with young children who have to walk a distance of a few kilometres, if I’m not mistaken, carrying their bags and kids.

My last few trips to Kuala Lumpur have been nothing short of a nightmare at the KLIA2 airport. It’s worse than the chaos I remember experiencing at Thaipusam as a child! The queues for non-Malaysian passport holders are horrendous. The layout is not conducive for the volume of passengers the airport receives. There is just no structure or order, and I found myself getting in the way of Malaysians heading to the e-gates.

As a customer experience specialist for a foreign telco, I am quick to look for root causes that impact customer experience, and while I was waiting in line for quite some time, it enabled me to observe a few key contributors:

> Insufficient immigration staff;

> Very few counters open;

> Poor floor plan;

> Lack of signage, instructions;

> Insufficient barriers to guide people on where to queue to avoid us lining up like snakes and getting in the way of others.

With the airport tax we are paying, it’s not unreasonable to expect the basic elements outlined above to help make moving through the airport seamless and convenient for passengers.

I understand that the Malaysian government recently made a decision to reduce the passenger service charge to RM50 from RM73. I hope this will not be used as an excuse to disregard the current inefficiencies or become the cause of the quality of service and facilities at KLIA2 to deteriorate further.

I’m not denying that long queues at airports is becoming a norm, as people are now travelling a lot more. They are quite common in many busy airports but the difference is that other airports are better at managing the human traffic.

I’ve seen several banners and posters promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2020 around the world. This will definitely result in an influx of tourist landing at KLIA and KLIA2 next year.

I really hope something will be done promptly to look into the matter I have highlighted as I for one would not want anyone else to be welcomed into Malaysia with such inefficiency.


Victoria, Australia

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