Friday Flyday: A KUL LCC Adventure on Malindo Air


Another trip to Southeast Asia meant another trip where I ended up booking a long-haul ticket relatively close to where I needed to be and then filling in the gaps. In this case, after a short overnight in the Kuala Lumpur airport I was off on Malindo Air for a hop up to Bangkok. It was a surprisingly pleasant flight, though not without a few quirks along the way. Among them, the fun of transferring between terminals at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

A Malindo Air 737 on the ramp at KUL
A Malindo Air 737 on the ramp at KUL
Checked in and ready to fly on Malindo Air
Checked in and ready to fly on Malindo Air

The LCCs operate out of a separate building which is not especially uncommon (n.b. – since my trip Malindo has moved to the main terminal from the LCC side). But at KUL the only way to get between the terminals is to pass through immigration, pay 2 ringgits (~$0.50) and ride a train. Considering what the process used to be, with a much slower bus and much worse schedule this is clearly better. But still….

My transfer ticket between terminals at KUL
My transfer ticket between terminals at KUL

It isn’t hard and at the time of day I was going the lines weren’t bad at all. But it was moderately annoying. That said, it makes for great video.

Once through immigration again on the other side the airport experience was decidedly LCC. The terminal is fine but not somewhere I’d want to spend much time overall. Fortunately I was only there about an hour before moving on to the plane and then flying.

On board the Malindo Air 737 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok
On board the Malindo Air 737 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok

I had pre-booked the exit row, paying the few dollars for leg room and increased likelihood of an empty seat next to me. I needn’t have bothered as the flight was relatively empty but that’s not always the case. Leg room was spectacular, as expected. The “snack” was pretty bad, also as expected. I still prefer the dining options from Air Asia when flying in the region.

The IFE kit was solid, though I mostly just used it for the map on the short hop up to Bangkok. And, while the carrier is rolling out Panasonic’s Ku-band satellite wifi on its fleet my flight didn’t have the service yet; the plane at my gate for the prior flight did, mocking me as it pushed back.

In-seat IFE on an Asian LCC? Yup, Malindo Air has it.
In-seat IFE on an Asian LCC? Yup, Malindo Air has it.
Plenty of legroom in the Malindo Air exit row seats
Plenty of legroom in the Malindo Air exit row seats
I guess this counts as a snack
I guess this counts as a snack

The trip was decidedly unmemorable in just about every way. I suppose that, depending on expectations, that’s a good thing. The part where I was spectacularly tired probably didn’t help with that impression, either. But I would not hesitate to go with Malindo again. Just bring your own snacks along if that’s a concern for you.

malindo-air-lcc-kul-dmk (10)

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

One Comment

  1. That was one hell of a trek. Hey, at least your snack didn’t come with extra protein.

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