The problem with airports located far from the city is the high cost associated traveling to it, especially when there is no efficient and economical public transport to get there. In other cases, the cheaper available option is still considered to be quite expensive to local standards – see the stark contrast between Malaysia and Singapore when it comes to the ticket for a one-way train ride from the airport to the city: Malaysia’s KLIA Ekspres costs RM35.00 (USD9.90) while Singapore’s MRT costs a fraction at SGD2.20 (USD1.75). Based on my travel experiences and nerd-like calculations, here are three money-saving tips in getting yourself to KLIA.
1. TAKE THE TOLL-FREE BACK ROAD
Great If: Someone Drives You To The Airport & You Wanna Help Save A Meal’s Worth of Money
Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of highways connecting Kuala Lumpur to KLIA in no time but they are tolled so driving to the airport would involve paying up to the man. After a diligent study of Google Maps, I’ve found a toll-free back road that covers about the same distance as the next best tolled route. Using KLCC as a starting point, using the highways would cost you up to RM6.80 in tolls (MEX – RM2.50 and ELITE – RM4.30) in quick succession while the cheaper alternative would only set you back by RM1.30 using the BESRAYA highway and the Putrajaya – Cyberjaya – Dengkil back road for a total savings of RM5.50. Bear in mind that this is a trunk road so expect traffic lights along the way and heavy flow of traffic during peak hours. I know the savings are not much but that’s actually enough for a decent meal to “repay” your driver.
2. LOOK-OUT FOR PROMOS OFFERED BY TAXI APPS
Great If: You’re Traveling In A Group / Bringing Huge Luggage
There are times when taking a cab is an absolute must. You don’t have anyone to send you to the airport and you have huge luggage to carry around or you’re traveling with your family and they prefer a bit of comfort than hopping on trains. The recent taxi app boom has helped us get better cab service and more transparent fares through the likes of GrabTaxi, EasyTaxi and UberX. With these apps, you can have a better grip at the door-to-door rates compared to the standard radio taxi while UberX charges you RM90.00 flat rate to get to the airport. Every now and then, these companies would throw in a seasonal promo where you pay a bargain fare to take a cab using their app to KLIA. Last year, MyTeksi offered RM30.00 for a one way trip instead of the usual RM65.00 – 85.00 rate. So, always get connected with these apps because a bit of brand loyalty would give you great savings when you most need it.
UPDATE NO 3
From 9 May 2016, GrabCar is offering a RM65 flat rate to and from KLIA and KLIA 2. Find out more by clicking here.
3. PARK AT PUTRAJAYA SENTRAL & TAKE THE TRAIN
Great If: You Have To Drive & Refuse To Pay Insane Parking Fees At KLIA
This is a open secret not many people are aware of – I only got to know about this through my friend who lives in Putrajaya who uses this “hidden” method when going to the airport. Putrajaya Sentral is a transport hub that services both the cities of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, acting as a halfway point between KLIA and KL Sentral. It offers the best overnight parking rates (RM4.00 per day) and the KLIA Transit has the most reasonable rail ticket prices along the KL Sentral – KLIA route (RM12.40 return per person). Sure, the fuel and toll costs to drive to Putrajaya Sentral are not factored in but I consider that to be of minimal impact. As a matter of showing how cheap this method is, here’s a cost comparison for 4 people doing a return travel between KLCC and KLIA for a 3-day holiday.
Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd, the operator of the train, has recently announced a fare hike effective 1 January 2016 for both the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit. Tickets from Putrajaya Sentral to KLIA/KLIA2 now costs RM9.40 one-way (an increase of RM3.20) with special discounts on offer.
UPDATE NO 2
Effective January 2015, the parking rate at Putrajaya Sentral has been revised. The day rate is kept at RM2.00 while the night rate is increased to RM4.00 so the overnight parking charges amount to RM6.00 a day as compared to RM4.00 a day previously.
4. PARK AT TERMINAL BERSEPADU SELATAN (TBS) & TAKE JETBUS
Great If: If You Have Time To Spare & Are On A Tight Budget
My friend pointed out that there’s an even cheaper way to get to KLIA2 through the integrated transportation hub (TBS) at Bandar Tasik Selatan. A return LRT train trip costs RM6.60 while parking is really cheap at RM3.00 per entry. The KLIA Transit train runs through this terminal but a return ticket would set you back about RM53.00. The more affordable alternative is to take the RM10.00 JetBus that runs hourly between TBS and KLIA2. So far, this option is best for travelers who are on a tight budget and have time to kill since you have to plan ahead and board the bus at predetermined times.
As a side note, if you’re heading back home from KLIA2 and absolutely must take a cab, do read my fellow blogger’s low-down on Taking a taxi from KLIA2 so you have an informed decision on the best type of taxi to take that suits your budget.
Do you have a cheaper way that you use to get to KLIA or KLIA2? How do you save money when traveling to your airport? Share it with me on the comments box below.