Scoot Airlines TR427: Penang to Singapore by Airbus A320-200

With an airfare cheaper than the train ticket and a travel time which gets me back to Singapore in one-tenth the time needed by train, I opted for the logical choice. Scoot TR427 is a scheduled daily morning flight from Penang to Singapore departing at 10.05am, getting into Singapore at 11.35am. However, due to the closure of a part of Singapore’s airspace during the Combined Rehearsal for the Singapore Airshow 2018, my flight was rescheduled to depart almost 2 hours later instead.

The email from Scoot regarding my rescheduled flight.

The new one-off re-timed flight of TR427 departing Penang at 12.00pm, which was even better for me since I can have a proper breakfast in Penang before heading off to the airport by the rapidPenang bus. And with other airlines selling tickets at this timing for about 5 times the price I paid for Scoot, this turned out to be one of the best deals ever.

I made it to the check-in desk at Penang International Airport just in time – about 10 minutes before they close. Check-in for Scoot flights close 60 minutes before departure.

3 counters were opened for Scoot. Since I had no bags and was one of the last passengers to check-in, the process was pretty quick, and I was done in less than a minute.

My boarding pass for TR427 back to Singapore.

Heading for immigration. To my surprise, the queues for immigration were quite long. Didn’t know Penang had this many international flights departing at the same time. The queue for immigration took about half an hour.

The moment I cleared security screening, boarding calls for TR427 were made. So it’s a brisk walk to Gate A5 for me.

In case you’re not tired of cafe-hopping in Penang yet, here’s a last one for you within the transit area of Penang International Airport.

9V-TRD “Felix”, ready for passengers back to Singapore. It’s strange how when Scoot usually gives punny names to their planes such as Inspiring Spirit, Flying Banana and for the latest Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, Getting Lei’d (for 9V-OFK‘s long-haul flight to Honolulu), they somehow gave a regular name to this adopted #A320bae.

Boarding my flight at Gate A5. Since I only had a rather flat bag to store in the overhead compartment, I didn’t bother rushing to board the plane when they first called for my row despite me sitting at the second-last row of the plane.

Boarding the very full flight back to Singapore.

The view from my seat.

At 12.00pm, the pilot announced that the Singapore airspace was still closed and we can’t fly back to Singapore yet because Singapore hasn’t given the okay. The plane waited for about 15 minutes just sitting at the gate (with the aerobridge detached) before finally taking off.




And because I got an aisle seat, no window views are available for this blog post.

Despite departing Penang 15 minutes behind the rescheduled time, the flight still arrived on-time just before 1.30pm. Guess Scoot was smart to factor in additional flying time in the itinerary in order to get you an “on-time arrival”. Since I had no bags to pick-up, it was a quick process from getting off the plane to clearing immigration and customs and finally getting on the MRT back home – all in the span of 10 minutes.


Rapid Ferry: Butterworth to Penang Island (Georgetown) by Bus + Ferry (Butterworth Linkway Closure)

The Rapid Ferry is a roll-on/roll-off car and passenger ferry linking the multimodal transport hub of Penang Sentral at Butterworth on the mainland to the island of Penang at Georgetown. As the walkway from Butterworth Railway Station to the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal is currently closed to facilitate the construction of the link to the upcoming Penang Sentral building, all passengers must use the free Penang Ferry Shuttle Bus to travel between Butterworth Railway Station and Sultan Abdul Halim Jetty in both directions.

Follow the signs from the shelter opposite Butterworth Railway Station to get to the Penang Sentral Temporary Transport Terminal.

The free Penang Ferry Shuttle Bus will be at the first berth on the right at the Penang Sentral Temporary Transport Terminal. Look out for the big red sign for directions to the ferry.

The bus’ electronic destination signage may or may not reflect the service as the free Penang Ferry Shuttle Bus. However, there will be a piece of paper in front stating “Shuttle Ferry”. If in doubt, ask the Rapid Penang driver standing in front of the bus.

The interior of the typical rapidPenang bus.

The journey to the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal takes a new shorter route which passes by the upcoming Penang Sentral building.

The upcoming Penang Sentral building facade.

Turning into the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal.

The bus stops at the foot of the ramp up towards the ticketing booth and waiting hall.

If you are travelling in the reverse direction towards Penang Sentral, this is the same waiting point for the free shuttle bus there.

Walk straight ahead to the ticket counter.

Purchase your ticket at the counter.

The Pedestrian Fares for the Rapid Ferry are as follows:

Single Trip
Adult RM1.20
Child RM0.60
Season Ticket (unlimited trips for 2 months) 
Adult RM30
Students (below 21 years old) RM6

My RM1.20 ticket for the Rapid Ferry journey to Penang Island.

Unlike its namesake, the waiting time for the Rapid Ferry is approximately 30 minutes (“3 ferry”) with the journey taking approximately 30 minutes. During off peak periods, the waiting time will be approximately once per hour (“1 ferry”).

Scan the QR code on the ticket at the ticket gates.

Wait at the waiting hall for the ferry, as usual.

There is a new display screen in the waiting area under maintenance. Hopefully this will provide more accurate arrival or departure times of the next ferry instead of just telling you that there are currently x number of ferries serving the route.

Boarding the Rapid Ferry.

An approaching Rapid Ferry backlit by the sunset over Penang Island. This ferry will go off service from here, thus reducing the frequency to “2 ferry”.

Departing from the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal together, with the Pulau Pinang heading back to rest.

The repainted ferries with the new Rapid Ferry colour scheme.

The sunset over Penang Island.

Approaching the Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal on Penang Island.

Disembarking from the Rapid Ferry.

From here, you can connect to rapidPenang island bus services from Jetty.

Overall, the Rapid Ferry offers a good connection between Butterworth and Georgetown, but with the reduced frequency of “3 ferry” during the day and “1 ferry” during the night, the waiting time should you miss one can be up to 30 minutes during the day or one hour during the night, which is longer than the time taken to get across the harbour. With the upcoming opening of Penang Sentral, there will be an even higher demand for connections to the island via the Rapid Ferry since it’s located just beside the building, so hopefully Rapid Ferry will increase their services soon after the takeover by Prasarana is finalized as the current situation is nowhere near “rapid”.

KTM Komuter Northern Sector Weekend Service: Padang Besar to Butterworth by 92 Class Six-Car Set (SCS)

Effective 18 November 2017, the KTM Komuter Northern Sector operates with 2 sets of 92 Class EMUs on Saturdays and Sundays to cope with the increasing passenger demand and load. The 92 Class EMUs are transferred from the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector overnight to the Northern Sector after the end of revenue services in the Klang Valley on Fridays, and serves mainly on the high-demand Butterworth – Padang Besar Line.

The queue to purchase tickets for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector is now as long as those in the Klang Valley. Be sure to turn up early to purchase your tickets.

Do also take note of the frequent cancellations of trains on the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, though these are usually services operating with 83 Class EMUs. Visit the KTM Komuter Northern Sector page to find out which services are using which type of trains on weekends, and to view the predicted reduced service timetables.

The crowd at Padang Besar waiting for the 4.25pm 2969dn KTM Komuter Northern Sector service to Butterworth. The significantly big crowd is due to both the weekend travellers as well as the previous 2967dn train at 3.25pm being cancelled, combining two train loads into one. Thankfully, it’s a weekend with the 92 Class Six-Car Sets in operation.

If not for the announcements and station signs, I would have mistakenly thought I was back in KL at Midvalley or Bandar Tasik Selatan or something.

The 92 Class EMU pulling into Padang Besar. This train is the 2964up from Butterworth, which will return back to Butterworth as 2969dn after a scheduled layover of 9 minutes and a crew change.

The passengers at Padang Besar at the platform, waiting to board the train. Due to the previous train being cancelled, some of these people have waited up to 2 hours for this train.

Please allow passengers to alight before boarding.

The crowd situation on board the 92 Class SCS at Padang Besar, with standing room only as I was one of the last persons to board the train.

It’s very unlike me to say this, but if you are travelling for a long distance on the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, please rush into the train to find a seat, or else you will end up standing for 2 hours to Butterworth. Or even better, bring your own stool so that you have your own guaranteed seat every time.

The views of Perlis and Kedah along the way from Padang Besar to Butterworth.

Crossing over the Prai River to Butterworth.

Arrived at Butterworth Railway Station.

The 92 Class EMUs on the Butterworth – Padang Besar Line on Saturdays and Sundays provide a much needed capacity boost for the ever-growing popularity of the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, especially with the frequent service cancellations forcing passengers to wait for the next train.

However, forward planning still needs to be in place to cater for further passenger number growth, and the 92 Class EMUs which were originally ordered for the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector will be definitely insufficient to cater for both sectors in the long run. The 92 Class EMUs serving the line currently get almost no rest as they are sent overnight as empty stock on Fridays after services in the Klang Valley has ended, and then sent back as empty stock again on Sunday nights after services in the Northern Sector has ended to operate in the Klang Valley again immediately in the morning, making them pretty much two sets of over-worked “borrowed” trains.

KTM, MOT, MOF and perhaps SPAD needs to decide if the KTM Komuter Northern Sector needs the additional capacity, treating it with equal importance as the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector, or leave it as the status quo with bi-hourly cancelled trains, no dedicated one-stop maintenance facility, and crammed long-distance rides without air-conditioning on the 22-year-old 83 Class EMUs, where the decision makers are currently satisfied and promoting this service as a positive first-world transformation to the Northern Corridor Economic Region.

Express 949: Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar by Shuttle Train

The Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train is a twice-daily return service running between Hat Yai, the largest town in the Songkhla Province of Southern Thailand and Padang Besar, the eastern Malaysia-Thailand border town. The Express 949 operates on a time-effective afternoon schedule departing Hat Yai at 1.05pm Thai Time (GMT+7), just after checking-out of your hotel and allowing a last Thai lunch before heading back to Malaysia.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

Tickets for the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train are only sold on the day of departure. Get your tickets at the counters for immediate travel.

The dedicated 4-car BREL Class 158/T Sprinter DMU, ready for an on-time departure from Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar.

As this journey was significantly more crowded than the Express 947 in the morning, there wasn’t any available seats left in the entire train.

Hence, even though I had to stand for the journey, I decided to stand where I would have gotten the best view of the journey.

As the Sprinter has a connecting door at the ends of the train should the need arise to add more cars to the train, that was where I stood for the journey with the best view* possible.

*Of course the best view at the front of the train, but that wouldn’t be possible with the driver driving it.

The Special Express DRC 41 bound for Yala.

Exiting Hat Yai Junction Railway Station with the view of disused Krupp locomotives in a siding.

Heading off towards Khlong Ngae.

Making a short stop at Khlong Ngae.

Departing Khlong Ngae, on the way to Padang Besar (Thai).

Making a short stop at Padang Besar (Thai).

Entering the electrified sector of Thailand.

Wait, what?

A short section of approximately 280 meters just after the Malaysia-Thailand border of Padang Besar lies the State Railway of Thailand’s only electrified sector in the whole of Thailand.

This line is part of the Ipoh – Padang Besar Electrified Double Track Project undertaken in Malaysia. Even before this project came about, as the last northern point of Padang Besar station is just at the national border itself, locomotives running around will have to enter this main line “headshunt” in Thailand and take another track in Malaysia to to loop back to the other end of the train. This “overrun” into Thailand is possibly planned to allow electric trains to enter this short section of track to change lines at Padang Besar station, just as the locomotives have done. This also allows the overhead lines to taper into a single file before ending the line.

However, as the ETS or Komuter trains have driving cabs on each end, they have never entered Thailand before. While I’m not sure about the EL Class locomotives, if an electric train ever uses this section of track, it can technically be said that there are electrified trains running on the meter-gauge State Railway of Thailand tracks.

Passing by the old Padang Besar (Thailand) platforms, which was never on train schedules till the Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station was completed.

Passing through the border of Thailand and Malaysia.

Entering Platform 2 of Padang Besar Railway Station.

Arrived at Padang Besar Railway Station.

Padang Besar Railway Station’s platforms are all at train level (ie. high platforms). If you are disembarking from the front-most or rear-most doors, you can hop over to the platform easily with a platform gap of just about 30cm.

Disembark easily from the Sprinter at Padang Besar.

If you are disembarking from all other doors, there is a big platform gap of about 75cm.

If you aren’t confident to hop over the 75cm-wide platform gap, take one step down first and then take another step up the platform.

Still disembarking somewhat easily from the Sprinter at Padang Besar.

Most importantly, keep in mind the ever-popular British announcement when you are on board the Sprinter.

“Mind the gap.”

Once off the train, queue up to clear Thailand and Malaysia immigration and customs.

If you are at the end of the line, expect to queue for an hour when on a fully-loaded train. Once done, you can head upstairs to get tickets for ETS and Komuter trains for your onward journey within Malaysia.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

Express 948: Padang Besar to Hat Yai Junction by Shuttle Train

The Express 948 Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train is a very popular mode of transport between the Malaysia border town of Padang Besar to Hat Yai, the largest city of Songkhla Province, Thailand, departing in the morning at 9.55am Malaysia Time (GMT+8), connecting from ETS and Komuter services with morning arrivals at Padang Besar.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

If you are travelling from Padang Besar, Malaysia…

Padang Besar Railway Station serves the Malaysian Town of Padang Besar on the border of Thailand and Malaysia, the neighbour of the Thai town of the same namesake. This new station is the gateway to Thailand with the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train connecting passengers from train services in Malaysia to Hat Yai, the biggest town in Songkhla province in Thailand.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) office opens at 9.00am for ticket sales on the Express 948 to Hat Yai. The office is located at Padang Besar station’s Platform 2, on the side which is closer to the north (ie. Thailand).

The counter to purchase tickets is located within the SRT office, on a dedicated side desk.

Tickets for the air-conditioned Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train cost 70 Baht.

The counter will provide you with the Thai immigration form as well. Fill this up and then head for Malaysian and Thai immigration.

Once cleared on both sides, board the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train waiting at the platform.

If you are travelling from Padang Besar, Thailand…

Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station serves the Thai Town of Padang Besar on the border of Thailand and Malaysia, the neighbour of the Malaysian town of the same namesake. Despite the railway running through the town ever since it was built, the Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station was only built 2 years ago. This new station opens up a new travel option for those living here to get to Hat Yai via the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train, with the previous option being only buses and vans, or getting the train to the Malaysian Padang Besar town and then walking back into Thailand.

You can get your tickets for the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train at the ticket counter here. Tickets for the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train are only sold on the day of departure, and for journeys originating at Padang Besar (Thai) only.

The timetable for trains serving Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station. Two pairs of Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Trains ply the line daily, with the long distance International Express running between Padang Besar in Malaysia and Bangkok once daily.

My ticket from Padang Besar (Thai) to Hat Yai Junction. Tickets for this air-conditioned Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train cost 70 Baht.

The 4-car BREL Class 158/T Sprinter DMU serving the Express 948 entering back into Thailand from Malaysia.

The Sprinter at Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station, bound for Hat Yai Junction.

The typical scenery on the way to Khlong Ngae and Hat Yai Junction.

Along the way, the in-train salesman, Jai (or Ah Chai), will come along with dtac Happy Tourist SIM Cards for purchase. While they typically cost 299 Baht when purchased directly from dtac or other resellers, Jai sells these dtac Happy Tourist SIM Cards at a special price of only 260 Baht. Jai will also happily configure your phone settings for you and makes sure you have your internet before moving on to the next customer. HINT: Further discounts may be given if you are purchasing these SIM cards in a group when you speak politely to Jai and flash him your biggest smile.

The dtac Happy Tourist SIM Card entitles you to 8 days of unlimited 3G/4G Internet (speed will be throttled after 2.5 GB of usage), free 100 Baht worth of call credit and a special international call rate via 00400. The 100 Baht credit can also be used to buy more 3G/4G Internet when you download the dtac app.

This is a hassle-free at-seat SIM card purchasing service which I think offers the most convenient way to buy a SIM card in Thailand. In my opinion, the dtac Happy Tourist SIM Card is especially useful and offers one of the best value when you are spending 3 to 8 days in Thailand. It is also, in my opinion, the most reliable telco along the railway lines in Thailand. RailTravel Station does not receive any form of commission from this recommendation.

Approaching Hat Yai Junction Railway Station.

Disembarking from the Express 948 at Hat Yai Junction.

The Express 948 offers a time-effective connection from ETS and Komuter services with morning arrivals at Padang Besar, getting you into Hat Yai just in time for lunch and thereafter check-in in your hotel.

As the sole train departure from Padang Besar in the morning, it is undoubtedly a very popular train service, and thus can get crowded as well. But fret not as the train will wait for all passengers to purchase tickets and clear immigration before departing from Padang Besar, even if it means being delayed.

Try out the Express 948 the next time you visit Hat Yai from Malaysia!

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.


Express 947: Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar (Thai) by Shuttle Train

The Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train is a twice-daily return service running between Hat Yai, the largest town in the Songkhla Province of Southern Thailand and Padang Besar, the eastern Malaysia-Thailand border town. While trains used to run with a dedicated 2-car Daewoo DMU and thereafter swapped for a Bogie Third Class rake on peak days to keep up with growing demand, in late January 2018, a dedicated 4-car BREL Class 158/T Sprinter DMU was assigned to ply this route daily, doubling the capacity of the 2-car Daewoo DMU.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

The entrance to Hat Yai Junction Railway Station is on the right side of the facade of the station, at the zebra crossing.

Before entering the station, you have to pass your bags through the x-ray machine.

Tickets for the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train are only sold on the day of departure. Get your tickets at the counters for immediate travel.

Tickets for this air-conditioned journey from Hat Yai to Padang Besar cost 70 Baht (~S$2.94/~RM8.75).

With the early arrival of my flight from Singapore, I had ample time to spot the Sprinter at its new home. Here’s the train leaving the depot, shunting itself to the platform.

The Sprinter pulling into Hat Yai Junction Railway Station. Feels really British with the engine and horn sounds, and approaching a station with the word “Junction” in its name. Feels like I was back on the train lines around Sheffield for a moment.

Passengers heading to board the Sprinter to Padang Besar.

The Sprinter, fresh from the depot, ready for its first morning duty to Padang Besar.

The steps up the Sprinter.

Even the door to the main cabin feels distinctively British.

The interior of each of the cars on this 4-car DMU set.

The car number plate above the doors also has the original British font and layout.

There are no vestibules at the gangway, so be careful when crossing over to the next coach when the train is moving.

Getting ready to depart Hat Yai Junction.

The very typically British WC sign on board. The lights for the word “engaged” lights up when the doors to the toilet are locked.

Departing Hat Yai Junction.

The typical scenery from the train on the way to Khlong Ngae.

Approaching Khlong Ngae Railway Station.

The train makes a brief stop of about one minute before continuing on to Padang Besar (Thai).

Arrived at Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station.

A vent cover still in the original livery.

Once the line is clear on the Malaysian Padang Besar side, the train departs.

British train entering the Malaysian sector of (sort of) British signalling.

The BREL Class 158/T Sprinter DMU is now a permanent fixture on the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train, offering a more comfortable and consistent ride between Malaysia and Thailand. It is also a rare opportunity to board one as the only other service with regular runs with the Sprinter is on the Special Express 3 and 4, plying the Bangkok – Sawan Khalok – Sila At – Bangkok route. Look out for it the next time you are heading to Hat Yai!

This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia OD805: Last Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by Business Class

As quickly as the sale season started, I was down to my last Malindo Business Class ticket for my trip back to Singapore. Having enjoyed the premiums, I’m probably going to miss the convenience and experience of high-flying. Hopefully I don’t get used to this though, or else my wallet will cry.

Having checked-in at KL Sentral already before boarding the KLIA Ekspres, I headed straight for immigration and thereafter to my lounge visit.

I’m going to miss this VIP immigration queue the most too, especially when the queues at KLIA are sometimes on par with JB’s Bangunan Sultan Iskandar when there are many flights arriving together.

After clearing immigration in less than a minute, I hopped onto the Aerotrain to get to the Satellite Terminal where the Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA is.

The route map of the Aerotrain in case you get confused by the only stop it serves from here.

The Aerotrain arriving at the Main Terminal Building station.

In case of train breakdown, please call the number as attached beside the door or give Malaysia Airports a shout out on Twitter or Facebook.

The interior of the Aerotrain.

A Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321 taxiing above the Aerotrain’s tracks.

Passing under the tarmac.

Passing by the opposing Aerotrain.

Arriving at the Satellite Terminal station.

From here, it’s a short walk to the Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA.

Click here to read about my Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA visit.

After my dinner and shower, I headed back to the Main Terminal Building almost just in time for my flight.

I think I’m one of the last few passengers to arrive at the gate. Whoops.

Yup, everyone seems to be on board already.

Boarding Malindo on Business Class for the last time.

9M-LCM is on duty today for my flight.

When I first sat down, the Boeing Sky Interior was turned to a blue shade.

Shortly after, it turned purple. Hmm, a mini light show going on for my last Business Class ride?

Moments before the doors are armed.

A short while after, it turned green.

And thereafter a peach colour. Looks like Malindo is giving me a colourful send-off.

Bye aerobridge.

Before the cabin lights were dimmed, it turned to blue and slowly darkened from there.

The last light to be on before the cabin was in darkness.


The sky Boeing Sky Interior returned to peach after the seat belt signs were switched off.

My last pizza meal on board Malindo Business Class. Even the plating when taken out of the box had some thought into it by the stewardess.

More light variants after my meal, this time an off-white colour.

Followed by an orangey-purple mix. Representing Malindo’s or Batik Air’s colours perhaps?

Singapore from above.

Dimming the cabin lights again for arrival.

Landed at Changi Airport.

Last views from my Business Class seat.

Goodbye my favourite Seat 3A.

Goodbye Malindo, and thank you.

Heading back out for arrival immigration and to collect my bags with the priority tag for the last time.

Thank you Malindo Air for giving commoners a once in a lifetime chance to spam buy your Business Class tickets. Till I can actually afford to pay RM599 for your real fares. (But then I might use that money to Scoot to Athens or Berlin instead, sorry.)

Lounge Review – Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA: Revisited

With my Malindo Business Class ticket, I had another chance to revisit the Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA in the Satellite Building to relax before my flight. It certainly beats the KLIA Premier Access Lounge in the Public Area anyway, maybe the offerings will be better this time.

The lobby area of the lounge. The counter also functions as the front desk of the Sama-Sama Express KLIA Airside Transit Hotel.

The interior of the lounge. Still dimly lit with no view of the outside.

The drinks have thankfully been changed to the more familiar Bandung and Orange Juice instead of fruit-infused water the last time.

The food spread in the lounge.

The appetisers and desserts spread is still as confusing as before.

My dinner for the day. Fried Rice with sides of Tuna Puffs, Egg Mayo on Cucumber, Ham and Green Olives. Certainly not 5-star standard but it keeps you full I guess.

Time for a quick shower before the flight.

Hmm, lesser amenities this time. But maybe it was because there weren’t many people in the lounge.

Still love this simple but logical wet and dry areas in each shower cubicle.

The “dry” changing area in the cubicle.

The “wet” area in the shower where you, well, shower.

The sink area is also a lot cleaner than last time.

Overall, similar to the previous visit, since it was a free lounge visit with my RM109.10 Business Class ticket, I guess I don’t really have any grounds to complain. But given the low entry rate of just RM55 nett per person, this is actually an affordable lounge offering a reasonable quality of amenities.

If you plan to pay for the usage of this lounge as an economy passenger, it costs just RM55 nett per person for 3 hours of usage, which actually makes it a very affordable airport lounge to rest and relax in.

KLIA Ekspres: KL Sentral to KLIA by Train

As quickly as the sale season started, I was down to my last Malindo Business Class ticket for my trip back to Singapore. Which may also mark my last frequent ride on the KLIA Ekspres.

Heading to check-in for my flight with the ticket I bought on my inbound trip.

Your bags have to be fed through the x-ray machine at the entrance of the check-in area, where a sticker will be pasted on your bag.

Checking-in at the Business Class counter for the last time.

Heading for the platforms.

My ticket for the trip.

Hmm, what’s this markings on the back of the seat in front of me?

Departing 3 minutes ahead of the KLIA Transit.

Passing by Mid Valley City.

Bye KTM Komuter.

Passing by the future Bandar Malaysia.

Passing by Serdang KTM Komuter Station.

The view of the ride from my seat.

Approaching KLIA.

Leaving my favourite seating section of the train.

This train will continue on to klia2.

Heading out of the station.

Looking at the tracks onwards to klia2. I might revert back to taking RM10 buses here for my sane tickets from now on.

KLIA Transit: Getting to KLIA and klia2 by Train for RM4.70?!

The KLIA Transit is the all-stop service of the more popularly used KLIA Ekspres by tourists. At first glance, both the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit have the same RM55 fare from KL Sentral. Some have already figured out that by stopping at an intermediate station such as Putrajaya & Cyberjaya or Salak Tinggi and waiting for the next train, you do save more than half of the fare.

But what if I tell you that it is possible to pay only a minimal fare starting from RM4.70 to get from a station on the KLIA Transit line to KLIA or klia2?

First off, the “premium” KLIA Transit fares are for journeys to KLIA and klia2 from KL Sentral and Bandar Tasik Selatan, potentially to discourage you from taking the KLIA Transit and just pay the full RM55 for the KLIA Ekspres instead. However, with a bit of perseverance, let’s make this as cheap as possible.

Here’s a look at the current KLIA Transit fare table. You would notice that the cheapest “transit point” to split your journey is Salak Tinggi. However, did you know that there are also FREE bus services from Salak Tinggi to KLIA and klia2?

In summary, these are the KLIA Transit fares from the stations along the line to Salak Tinggi:

  • Putrajaya & Cyberjaya – Salak Tinggi: RM4.70
  • Bandar Tasik Selatan – Salak Tinggi: RM12.40
  • KL Sentral – Salak Tinggi: RM18.30

If you are travelling from KL city, it would be the wisest choice to take the LRT to Bandar Tasik Selatan and change to the KLIA Transit to Salak Tinggi. Of course, you would have the best deal if you are coming from Putrajaya & Cyberjaya.

While the KLIA Transit is an all-stop local service, each stop probably takes up to an extra of 2 minutes of travel time on the line, which is pretty fast anyway.

Being a local service also means having a higher passenger carrying capacity on board the train. You may need to stand for your journey during peak hours.

Push the button to open doors.

Now that you are at Salak Tinggi, the magic begins.

Exit the station with your minimal fare paid.

Wait for the Bas SMART Selangor SPG01 or SPG02 to go to KLIA or klia2. If you are heading to klia2, you also have an additional option of taking the BTG02.

The Bas SMART Selangor services serving ERL Salak Tinggi will stop at the external porch, marked by the bus stop sign.

The bus routes information at Salak Tinggi ERL Station.

Click on the image to enlarge.

The SPG02 bus arriving from Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi. Do look out for the direction of the bus as the SPG02 stops at Salak Tinggi ERL Station on both bounds.

Inside the Bas SMART Selangor Sepang bus. Pretty comfortable, but also the reclining seats were chosen possibly due to the long distances the bus travels on the Sepang routes.

It is important to note that the Bas SMART Selangor is not a dedicated Salak Tinggi – KLIA shuttle. The bus picks up passengers along the way. But it’s free, so no complains at all.

The familiar KLIA control tower is in sight.

Making a short stop at KLIA. There is no bus stop sign here, however pick-up and drop-off is at Door 4.

The journey from Salak Tinggi ERL Station to KLIA takes about 30 minutes.

Heading on to the KLIA Extension Highway to make a u-turn to klia2.

Making the scenic flyover u-turn across the highway.

klia2 is in sight.

Wave to those on the KLIA Ekspres who didn’t know about this free bus (but probably saved around 1 hour of their journey time).

Arriving at klia2.

The journey from Salak Tinggi ERL Station to klia2 takes about 35 minutes.

Overall, considering that this is a free bus service, the ride was actually more comfortable than a regular paid service due to the low ridership (for now) and comfy seats. Saving money on the KLIA Ekspres makes the journey even sweeter.

Even if you took the train from KL Sentral to Salak Tinggi, you would have paid only RM18.30 as compared to RM55, saving you RM36.70 which you could use to buy your AirAsia ticket during a zero fare sale, excluding the convenience fee.

Service Information for SPG01: Click Here
Service Information for SPG02: Click Here

Ride the Bas SMART Selangor to KLIA and klia2 if you have a bit of extra time to beat the KL jams and save some money!

BONUS TIP: Take a bus from KL to Putrajaya to save even more!

Nadi Putra Service 500 is an express bus service from Lebuh Pudu Bus Hub (MYDIN) to Putrajaya Sentral via the Maju Expressway, with a fare of RM4.00. It may not be the most logical option but if time is not an issue and you do not mind taking 3 modes of transport to get from KL to KLIA, your effort will only cost you a grand total of RM8.70!