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Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

Nagpur, India
posts: 3
reviews: 32
Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

If there is even a slightest doubt about your travel documents , luggage weight etc etc never , ever, plan a transit through Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal ( KLCCT ).Those who do not heed this warning will suffer unforgettable harrowing experience.

We learnt this lesson the hard way. Here are the details.

After finishing sight seeing at Siem Reap we were returning to Bangaluru, India . For journey on 20 March 2013 , Air Asia Bookings were done on 18 September 2012. Ticketing was : Siem Reap to Kuala Lumpur , Flight AK 1481 and from Kuala Lumpur to Bangaluru India by flight AK 1211 , with transit halt of three and a half hour at Kuala Lumpur . Malaysian visa was also discussed . General and majority consensus was that it is only transit halt of less than 4 hours , also Transit visa for stay of 120 hours is available at Kuala Lumpur airport so no need to put in extra effort at this stage . We did not realise what we were letting ourselves in for !

Being Low Cost , there were no coaches so , there was almost one kilometer walk from the tarmac to terminal building. On inquiry we were told to get boarding card for Bangaluru flight from Air Asia counter. To go to the Air Asia counter in terminal building we had to go through Immigration counter which was some distance away and on the first floor . They would not permit us to go out without proper visa.Even after explaining to them that we were only transiting through and wanted to go out only to exchange our ticket for a boarding pass . They refused to listen to any explanations or reasoning and asked us to go to Air Asia staff to sort out the problem . Then started the real merry go round and fun and games . For the next two and half hours we were running back & forth between Immigration & Air Asia counters . We even said that having landed up without a visa we had committed biggest sin .Having done that we requested for a way out , like paying a fine or any other formality . They just refused to listen . The staff at Air Asia AND of Immigration was most rude , discourteous and down right insulting.

Air Asia was treating us like ticket less unauthorized travelers and Immigration fellows were treating us like criminals. No one talked of or even listened to any request about transit visa. They had no regard for age nor any logical submissions.After two and half hours my wife was tired and on the verge of tears . Finally at last with our Bangaluru flight time approaching we were taken to some kinder soul in Immigration who stamped our passports and we could go to exchange our tickets for boarding pass .

The terminal it self was dirty , over crowded with people sleeping all over . At every moment it is brought home to you very very strongly and powerfully that you are a LOW COST TRAVELER and would be treated as such .

I do hope that if all the documents are in order one has slightly better experience.

Bangkok, Thailand
posts: 1,977
reviews: 87
1. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

Did you book directly from the Air Asia web site? If you use some agent there is a risk that you will never see any essential warnings that the airline may issue.

At least currently Air Asia give a warning about visas when you book a Bangalore - Kuala Lumpur flight. Based on your experience the warning is very accurate. I'm sure that you would have had a similar problem also at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

As far as the Malaysian immigration laws and regulations are concerned, you WERE criminals, so it is not surprising that you received brusque treatment. In general criminals habitually lie to escape the consequences, so the officials were predisposed not to listen to any explanations once your actions landed you in this category. In no country ignorance of the law is considered to absolve you of the legal consequences.

Actually it is amazing that you were allowed to go. You were so much luckier than that French family that was convicted to a jail term after they accidentally walked out of the airport without going through immigration in Phuket. That 'kinder person' official actually was guilty of dereliction of his duties, and it would not have happened in Europe.

Quote of Air Asia warning message box follows

=========================================

India:-

All Visa On Arrival (VOA) facility has been withdrawn and is no longer available from the Malaysian Immigration until further notice.

All Indian guests on transit OR with Malaysia as a destination are required to have a Malaysian Visa. Transit Without Visa (TWOV) is only applicable for guests holding a single/multiple entry visa and travelling onwards to:

i. Australia

ii. New Zealand

iii. United States of America (USA)

iv. Japan

v. China

vi. Taiwan

vii. South Korea

Guest(s) that are entitled to TWOV should hold confirmed printed travel itinerary and original tickets; and MUST be produced when requested. The onward ticket must be within 120 hours.

Edited: 8:24 pm, July 07, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,450
reviews: 5
2. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

Unless you held a valid visa for the countries listed in #1 then the immigration officer was correct, you need a full visa. Actually, I'm surprised that Air Asia allowed you to board your flight in Siem Reap. Airlines are supposed to check that you have the correct entry requirements before boarding, as if they transport an undocumented passenger they are liable to heavy fines.

3. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

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Removed on: 10:35 am, July 08, 2013
4. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

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This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

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Removed on: 2:05 am, July 12, 2013
Edited: 2:05 am, July 12, 2013
Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 11,515
reviews: 47
5. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

Basing your decision as to whether or not to apply for a visa based on <<General and majority consensus>> was your first big mistake. These sort of decisions are better made based on facts and the only place to get the facts are from the Malaysian Governments' website or from their embassy in India.

The next mistake was to think that an immigration official who sits at an airport and stamps passports for a living has the authority to effectively give permission for an 'illegal' visitor to enter the country. The 'kind soul' who allowed you through risked losing their job for you. Perhaps accept some responsibility, give credit to those who helped and recognize that the others were just doing their jobs.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 4,343
reviews: 117
6. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

On your 'unforgettable harrowing experience.'Can only echo what others have said about your travel documents, your responsibility, so wont go there.

However having used LCC at KL many times I have never (and doubt very much) you walked one kilometer from the plane to the terminal entrance, of course there are no buses its a LCCT, thats how costs are kept low.

As far as the place being dirty, crowded with people sleeping all over is not just a trait of this LCCT in KL. Granted its not the best but, not the worst either.

Lesson learnt about finding out what you need when you travel and just not assuming anything.

Just one question, did you also have a problem with overweight luggage, as you mentioned in your post? If so again its your responsibility to check T&C's and know what the limits are

Brisbane
posts: 374
reviews: 26
7. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

You booked a flight to Kuala Lumpur then another flight to India, you didn't book a direct flight with a stopover, your fault, did you ignore the obvious popup warning about a Visa requirements.

Didn't you appreciate a brisk walk after been seated in your flight.

Nagpur, India
posts: 3
reviews: 32
8. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

I surrender .

Agreed we had broken Malaysian law and so those with the opinion that we got what we deserved may have a point .

Laws are meant to be followed in "letter as well as spirit". My point is , in our case it was being followed in "Letter". If it was also followed in spirit as well , may be we would have been treated differently & not like a hardened criminal.The law also must have provisions to cater for such cases like fine .

And yes all of you are right we made a mistake and have learned from it .

Thank you all for your time & thought .

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,450
reviews: 5
9. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

P M V,

Thank you for coming back. And very rarely do we see people admitting that we posters were right, so KUDOS to you for doing that.

If it's any comfort, you're not the only one that has fallen foul of this. There's a thread running now from a Saudi national flying on separate tickets who was denied boarding by the airline (JetStar) for not having the requisite visa for Singapore. That's what I thought Air Asia should have done to you at Siem Reap.

Another reminder of the downsides of booking (what you assume is one itinerary) on separate tickets.

Lesson learned, and safe travels in the future.

Edited: 1:18 am, July 12, 2013
Kuala Lumpur...
posts: 53
reviews: 5
10. Re: Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. A Warning.

Hi PMV, regret to hear about your harrowing experience at LCCT & hope others can learn from your posts & replies. You were lucky to be allowed to board the plane back home. Others would have been stranded & need to buy new tickets, fined & perhaps jailed. I will like to provide some feedback.

A. Visa requirement :

1. clearly posted on AA's webpage when you booked your BLR-KUL ticket.

2. will not be posted if you buy a fly thru ticket fm some Indian cities e.g. Chennai-KUL-Taipei (perhaps AA can improve upon this). Fly thru guests are actually allowed to go from arrival area to departure area without going thru Immigration. However transit visa is waived only for some nationals.

If you already have a web checked in boarding pass, you could have done that but technically AA staff at LCCT can stop you using the fly thru access which means you have to check out thru Immigration & then check in again for KUL-REP.

I think for your outgoing flights, you did just that BLR-KUL-REP. So you should have got a web checked in boarding pass for KUL-BLR.

3. Immigration & AA boarding staff at BLR should have checked your passport & denied you boarding. They should not assume that Malaysia will provide VOA (unlike Siem Reap or Phnom Penh).

B. LCCT

1. plane parking bay to arrival is max 500m, none is more than 1000m.

2. LCCT is crowded & dirty, especially the toilets. Complaints have been made to Malaysian Airport Holding Berhad, owner & operator but they simply refuse to bulge from their low standing, giving a bad image to the country. In a way, it is to spite Airasia, the largest tenant & patrons of Airasia.