Malaysia Airlines is adding a premium touch to its ground services at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), which I think will impress many passengers.
In this post:
Kuala Lumpur Airport Aerotrain is broken
The Aerotrain is Kuala Lumpur Airport’s automated people mover, which transports passengers between the main terminal building and the satellite terminal building, with the latter being where international flights depart from.
The Aerotrain had been in consistent operation since the airport opened in 1998, though in recent years it has increasingly been having maintenance issues. Finally in March 2023, the decision was made to suspend this service, after the Aerotrain broke down and trapped 114 passengers mid-way down the tracks.
The airport is now working on modernizing this system, though it’s expected that it will take at least three years for the new service to be active. So you can expect that best case scenario, the new train system will be working in 2026.
While the Aerotrain is out of service, the airport is offering frequent bus service between the two terminal buildings. Well, Malaysia Airlines has just made this experience a bit more premium for its passengers.
Malaysia Airlines adds BMW airport transfers
As of February 1, 2024, Malaysia Airlines will be introducing exclusive private transfer services between the main terminal building and the satellite building, using all-electric BMW i7s.
This service will operate 24/7, and will be available to all Malaysia Airlines business class passengers, as well as Enrich Platinum members (though not those with oneworld Emerald status through a partner program). This is intended to complement the bus service currently offered by the airport.
During the initial phase, this transfer service will only be available to departing passengers. They can proceed to gate G1 in the main terminal building, which is where the transfers will depart from. Currently the airline is working on creating an arrivals lounge in the satellite building, and then the plan is that in the near future, private transfers will also be available in the other direction.
These transfers will be fully private, so won’t be shared with anyone else outside of your party. Each car can hold up to four people.
Here’s how Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi describes this new service:
“With this exclusive service, we aim to enhance the travel experience for our top-tier customers, ensuring that they can enjoy premium comfort as part of their end-to-end journey with us.”
“As the only carrier offering this temporary personalised service to our passengers in light of the aerotrain’s temporary suspension at KLIA Terminal 1, it underscores our dedication to elevating our standards of service to ensure a premium travel experience, while also reinforcing our commitment to embedding sustainable practices with the selection of the all-electric BMW i7 series. We look forward to extending this service to our arriving passengers as part of our continuous efforts to ensure a fuss-free and enjoyable experience driven by our inimitable Malaysian Hospitality.”
Admittedly this is only needed because the train is out of service, though this sure is a premium offering, and it’s very impressive. My only question is how efficiently this can really be offered. There are potentially a lot of business class passengers on international flights, especially during peak periods, so I have to imagine that there are some hours where dozens of eligible passengers need to get between terminals.
Does Malaysia Airlines have enough cars to offer such personalized service for each passenger?
As of February 2024, Malaysia Airlines is introducing a new BMW transfer service between the main terminal building and the satellite building. This comes as extended work is being performed on the Aerotrain, which is expected to take a few years.
This is a very nice initiative on Malaysia Airlines’ part, as there aren’t many airlines offering private tarmac transfers to business class passengers.
What do you make of Malaysia Airlines’ new premium ground transfer service?