10 September 2014
Out with the old, in with the new. The thought of having a new airport to replace the rundown LCCT in Sepang, an airline hub for Air Asia, was generally welcomed by all.
After all, it wouldn’t take much for any airport to look better than LCCT, a squat boxlike structure one typically associates with hypermarts. For travellers, LCCT was simply like an overcrowded bus stop; even the new redesigned Pudu Bus Station looks way more decent.
So, with this in mind, klia2 was launched. Costing RM4 billion, it would be a state-of-the-art airport designed for low budget flights, giving the average traveller an airport decent enough for their comfort.
Unfortunately, the project encountered a series of setbacks during its construction before being officially launched on May 2, 2014.
The cost to construct the airport constantly increased over the years. In July 2007, klia2 was reported to cost RM1.7 billion, and then in March 2009, it increased to RM2 billion, then climbed RM2.5 billion the following year.
In the end, the final cost turned out to be RM4 billion for an airport that would accommodate 45 million travellers.
So what did we get for RM4 billion and a ton of headaches?
Step into the newly-launched klia2, and you would feel like you just entered a mini shopping mall. From local brands such as Vincci and Giordano to international brands like Victoria Secret, DC Tribe, Hush Puppies and Uniqlo, klia2 is a shopping haven suited for passengers killing time as they wait to board their flights.
klia2 is at present sort of an entertainment slash airport hub, making it a liveable and busy airport, the only thing missing is perhaps a cinema, to allow passengers in transit or those whose flights have been delayed to watch a blockbuster movie.
While klia2 may offer a shopping mall experience with fashion, jewellery and dining outlets, it has also been criticised by angry passengers unhappy with the structure, design and public transportation services provided by the airport.
Dr Amreen, a frequent traveller from Petaling Jaya wrote to a daily expressing his disappointment with the airport.
He said klia2 was poorly designed and not passenger-friendly.
“After looking at all the facilities, the check-in and boarding the plane and also when I returned, and on coming out to get a taxi, which was an experience itself.
“The children and the elderly were not taken into consideration when designing the airport. More importance was given to the business outlets than the convenience of passengers,” he further wrote.
In conclusion, as a taxpayer, he called on an independent inquiry into the people responsible for the approval of design and project management of the airport.
Meanwhile, Dr Steven Chow from Kuala Lumpur was frustrated with the taxi services provided by the airport.
In a letter to the Star, Dr Chow and his wife recalled an unpleasant experience with the taxi service after flying in from Bandung, Indonesia.
Heading to the taxi corner with his wife alongside three cabin-sized luggage and a golf set, both were treated with hostility by cabbies.
“It was an experience quite like in a third world country.
“The first driver refused to accept the ticket and claimed that the bags would not fit into the boot. We were passed on to a second taxi.
“The “marshal” then appeared and yelled that I should have purchased a “limo” ticket. His lack of manners and abundance of abusive body language was clear,” said a disappointed Dr Chow.
These are but a few grouses that passengers have against the airport. Perhaps the airport is still new and is encountering teething problems or it just might be that it truly was poorly planned and built.
Given all the controversies surrounding it before its launch, can you blame anyone reaching that conclusion?
Is klia2 really THAT good after all?
Written by: Cecilia Jeyanthi Victor
–The Ant Daily
Original Source: www.malaysiandigest.com