21 February 2023
Travellers and tour operators are urging Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to put up prominent signboards to alert passengers to the limited aerotrain service schedule at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
They said the situation at the airport has been “chaotic” during peak periods due to the limited schedule of the aerotrain.
This will give a bad impression of Malaysia to foreign visitors, they added.
Due to aerotrain upgrading work which will only be completed in March 2025, only one aerotrain will run at any given time, with a limited schedule of four trips daily.
In the interim, there are airport buses available round-the-clock to ferry passengers.
Many travellers were caught unaware that the aerotrain was running on a limited schedule and that there were alternative buses available.
A traveller complained that there were no prominent signs at KLIA explaining the situation, which has been causing chaos during peak flight hours.
Regular traveller Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai was appalled to witness the chaos and confusion as he touched down at KLIA at 3pm on Sunday after returning home from Dubai.
“As it was an afternoon flight, I expected the airport to be packed.
“There was only one aerotrain running. I have read (reports) that one is down and repair works will only be completed in 2025, which is two years away.
“I am sure tourists would have no idea about this. Possibly most Malaysians as well.
“I wish more signs and alerts were put up,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Wong said while he was in the crowd, he could only hear a person shouting directions to passengers to take the buses.
“Why can’t there be a big sign that says ‘We are upgrading our aerotrains. Please proceed this way to the buses. We apologise for the inconvenience,’?” he said.
The airport buses were, however, available in good numbers and were quick to ferry passengers to the main terminal, said Wong.
Besides the lack of signboards for the aerotrain situation, Wong said he also noticed that one walkalator was out of service as he made his way towards the immigration area.
There was also a long queue of tourists in front of him, he said, adding that this would not create a good impression of Malaysia to tourists.
He said the current situation at KLIA made Malaysia “look disorganised and unprofessional.”
“This is what happens when we brag about world-class facilities but we have a lousy maintenance culture,” he added.
Wong urged MAHB to take the necessary measures to raise the efficiency of services at the airport.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the suggestion for MAHB to put up more signs explaining the aerotrain’s limited services should be looked into seriously.
“We also hope the frequency of the shuttle buses will be sufficient during peak hours. Perhaps, more signs can be prominently displayed to advise passengers of the shuttle services.
“Of course, travellers would prefer the convenience and speed of the aerotrain,” he added.
MAHB had announced in September last year that it had embarked on an aerotrain replacement programme as its current aerotrain system has been in operation since the opening of KLIA in 1998.
The entire asset replacement programme will take three years and is scheduled to be completed by March 2025.
Also known as an automated people mover, the KLIA aerotrain is a three-car, 250-passenger capacity train to transport 3,000 passengers an hour.
The journey from the main terminal building to the satellite terminal building or vice versa is completed within two and a half minutes under normal circumstances.
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