It was finally time to check in for my second leg of KUL-LHR. I must say though, the food at KLIA’s Food Paradise is both terrible and expensive. The epitome of airport food, I know. I simply did not expect it to be so bad.
Having had done my web check in two days in advance, I headed for the information board expecting to see a range of designated counters for the flight. However, all I had was “Use Kiosk.”
This is when things started to go south. The kiosk asked for either: booking reference or e-ticket number/ passport scan/ something related to a credit card. Having keyed in the e-ticket and frequent flyer numbers, I tried to print the baggage tag for my mother’s luggage, but the first kiosk had run out of baggage tags, I’d assume. The second kiosk however, had registered that I had printed my mother’s baggage tag on the first kiosk and refused to print it for me. And after much wrangling with 4 of the 5 machines available, I ended up with 5 boarding passes rather than the required 3, 2 baggage tags and still no tag for my mom.
Frustrated, I went to the check in counters for aid, only to find there’s like 6 or 8 counters open, and absolutely NO line at all! I was mentally kicking myself at that point. Why did I have to be a smartass in the nfirst place? I could have gotten everything done there.
From there on, it’s a breeze through the bag drops and immigration. In fact the ASEAN/Malaysian passport counters and Malaysian autogates had no lines at all. Surprising, considering that it was around 9pm at that time.
Right after immigration was the first security checkpoint. Here came another surprise: They were only screening bags bring brought through the checkpoint. And of course that had the metal detectors they had there going off like mad as people went through with their phones and stuff still on them.
Checked the boards and ta-da! C17 was in the satellite terminal, so we had to take the infamous aerotrain to get to it. And after taking it, I think I get where it’s notoriety came from.
The train itself gives a sort of “woefully under-maintained” feeling. It rattles, shakes and sounds like it is about to break down at any moment, which it did quite a number of times in the past from what I knew.
As expected, there was a second security screening at the gate, this time much more stringent. Still, it is unsettling how easy one can get to airside carrying restricted items, until the gate, that is.
C17 was at the far end of the terminal, which is not a surprise considering the A380’s size. Gates C16 and 17 were side-by-side and the security lanes for both were used for boarding, which started at 20:30. The first and business class passengers present when the call to board came breezed through their dedicated lane, which was then opened to female passengers across all classes. Even the late first and business gents were turned away. However, 5 minutes later all 3 lanes were opened to everyone.
Security was not a PITA as expected. I got through within 3 mikes of queuing up, then past the final ticket checks and into the boarding lounge. Less than 2 mikes later we were cleared for boarding, and went in through door B.
Catch my first impression on the A380 in my next post!