Taking a taxi from KLIA2 - Malaysia Asia

Taking a taxi from KLIA2


Whenever I arrive at an airport, taking a taxi is pretty straight forward. Go to the counter, buy ticket, take taxi. Since the opening of klia2 which is branded as the budget airline terminal for Malaysia, there has been some talk about the taxi service offered here. While most unsuspecting travelers may not even know they have been duped, some frequent travelers like me will always take note of these kind of things. 

Overall, travelers should know that there are generally 3 types of taxi services being offered when taking a taxi from klia2. The fourth type are taxi touts. You must read this as it is highly important for all travelers coming into Malaysia via any budget airlines. Note that a 50% fare surcharge is applicable from 11.30pm till 6am. Taxis are multi-colored in Malaysia. The colors depict the taxi companies.

Types of common taxis found around Malaysia
KLIA2 Taxi Services

Budget Taxis
1. KLIA2 Budget Taxi - This means, you pay a fixed fee when you tell the counter where you are going. You get a coupon, go outside, line up and wait your turn. When the red colored taxi arrives, you give him the coupon, and he tears his portion and gives you back half. You then tell him your destination. 

If you tell the counter you are headed to Bukit Bintang and then tell the taxi man somewhere else, he can refuse you. Or he can add on an additional charge from what you originally paid. So you must tell him the same destination you told the counter as it is printed in the coupon. This is a straight forward system practiced almost all over the world.

Note: During peak hours or rain, there can be a long wait for these taxis. 

2. KLIA2 Metered Taxi - This was recently introduced where you buy a coupon for RM2.00, then go to another line and take a 'metered taxi'. This means the taxi will start his meter to wherever your destination is. The taxi driver MUST run his meter when you board the cab. If you ask me, I prefer this as it saves me about RM10 to RM15. 

So it is the cheaper way, depending on your destination too. In total, you need to pay the meter fare and toll charges. No two ways about it. 
Note: Sometimes, you have to wait a little longer for these taxis. Most of the taxis are the new '1Malaysia Taxis'. 

Premier Taxi from KLIA2
KLIA2 Premier Taxis
3. KLIA2 Premier Taxi - This are the 'Blue' taxis which are more expensive compared to the budget ones. They cost anywhere around double of the normal price. The taxis are slightly bigger than the common ones but if you are getting your transport claimed by your company, then by all means, use this. 
Note: These taxis are aplenty and always available.

4. Taxi Touts - These is the last category and most crooked ones therefore they operate in plain clothes or some of them even wear a smart suit approaching passengers. The ones in suits are usually agents dressed to impress. Some of them even have name tags. They casually approach foreigners who look lost and offer taxi services at double or triple the prices. Just note that when you require a taxi, you need to get it from the official taxi counters.

Taxi Counter at KLIA2
KLIA2 Taxi Counter - Note the Red and Blue Taxi Signs
Bad Kuala Lumpur Taxi Experience

So, here's my little experience with the taxi system. Apparently, there is some hanky-panky going on among the taxi people here. When I went to the 'Metered Taxis' counter, the lady selling the tickets told me that there would be a very long wait as there are no metered taxis there. She urged me to take a 'Blue' taxi or 'Budget' taxi as they are all ready and waiting. Since I was not in a rush, I told her it was ok for me to wait. But she kept trying to persuade me to take the other taxis. Eventually I said no and would wait it out. 

When I went outside to wait, I was instructed to go to an area on the left section after exiting the main doors. There were 2 people in front of me waiting too. In less than 5 minutes, one taxi came and they boarded it followed by another '1Malaysia Taxi'. so in total, I waited less than 10 minutes. 

Inside the taxi, the driver was very polite and hospitable. When I asked him about the metered taxis, his story came about. He told me that there was some politics going on between the budget, premier and metered taxis. Because all this while, the favoritism was given to the KLIA taxis, the group managing this was unhappy that the authorities allowed metered taxis to operate there. so,  all taxis usually wait in a holding area outside the airport and will be called anytime there is a lack of taxis and keep the taxi flow going smoothly.

Taxis waiting at the airport in Malaysia
However, he told me that at many times, he waited in the holding area for 6-8 hours before he (metered taxi) is even called for a pick up. It can be frustrating for taxi drivers to wait so long for a fare, but apparently, this is what is going on and really effecting the rice bowl of these taxi drivers.

The budget and premier people seem to be working together to take all the passengers and the taxi coupon counters seem to be in sync with the 'local' syndicate at klia2. SPAD (Unit that plans, regulates and enforces all matters relating to land public transport in Peninsular Malaysia) is well informed about this and recently caught a number of counter people doing such things. However, after a day or two, things seem to go back to the devious ways. Some of the 'metered taxi' counter staff are working hand-in-hand with the budget and premier taxis to send passengers over. 

As for the Budget and Premier Taxis, another scam is when first time foreigners arrive here in Malaysia, they are immediately sold to the premier taxis. Imaging a one way budget fare from klia2 to KL city costs about RM80, these unsuspecting foreigners end up paying about RM160 one way on a premier taxi. That's double the fare! How this works is that the budget taxi counter person will ask the foreigner how many of you. If there is 2 to 4 people, they will say that there are no budget taxis or they cannot fit into the budget taxis and then convince them to take the premier taxis. 

Now klia2 is a bustling airport with thousands of travelers moving in and out on a daily basis. Lets say there are about an average of 500 taxis going out of klia2 daily, and if a corrupt counter person manages to make a commission of RM10 (US$3) per premier taxi they sell, that works out to be RM5,000 (US$1500) a day! You can now imagine why the taxi business here can go corrupt. 

1Malaysia Taxi Photo
The new 1Malaysia Taxi 
End of the day, we all know that in every country, there is corruption, even in tourism but when you first arrive at the airport and get victimized without knowing? This puts a bad image towards the country. I personally know that SPAD knows what is going on. Even my '1Malaysia Taxi' driver concurred with me on this. His solution, put a couple of SPAD officers stationed at the taxi area, or better still abolish the coupon system or metered system. Just have two - Budget or Premier. 

I do hope someone from the ministry in Malaysia will read this article and something be done about this taxi scam at klia2 before it goes out of hand. After all, we are trying our best to make every visitor happy when visiting Malaysia, especially when this is the Visit Malaysia Year 2014. If you have not been to the new budget airport, you can see my other article about KLIA2 in Photos. If you also have had a bad experience with the taxi service in Malaysia, feel free to voice it out here.


Taking a taxi from KLIA2 Taking a taxi from KLIA2 Reviewed by David Jr on Sunday, May 25, 2014 Rating: 5

41 comments:

foongpc said...

Thanks for sharing about this!

David Jr said...

You are most welcome Foong. Hope this gets the message across to all travelers.

sandy said...

dear David,

the counter staff was correct to ask you to take Premier Taxi if there are 4 of you. You would know better of this. I seriously disagree with you because if the passengers take the budget taxi, firstly, the budget taxi can only seat a maximum of 4 persons, and usually budget taxi runs on gas ( cyclinder gas tank take up half of the boot size, so where will the passengers put their luggages ? if 4 persons and each coming in from overseas country, would have large suitcases, the car cant fit in. So, it is best to take the larger size Premier taxi.

I have also asked the taxi driver before on metre about difference between coupon/ metre, and was told that if you go on metre, and if there was a heavy traffic jam, you would still lose out as the metre keeps running and you may end up paying more compared to the coupon fare.

The best solution is to take the Expres Rail train from airport direct to Sentral Station and then take a taxi from there.

In short, enforcement has always been weak where taxis are concerned. Its a shame that we are already facing this problem when KLIA2 has only recently opened.

Cheers!

ps: to those reading this, if you want to save more, buses are easily available and it costs only about rm10 to reach city. ( pssst: not referring to you David! :)

William Ng said...

I too was approached by a tout agent while strolling around KLIA2 after returning from Siem Reap. He wasn't persistent as I firmly said no. However, it was also confusing tat there were 2 different type of taxi services offered. Can't the authorities just make one simple system.

Waco said...

Good info! Looks like the ground transport could be more expensive than some domestic flights. Just hope that the public transport is as good as Singapore. Thanks for sharing!

Eugene said...

I had to catch a cab from KLIA once. As a first timer, I found the taxi types very confusing. Not knowing there were so many types and they don't really tell you how to go about getting the cheaper ones. What I did was to go to the information counter and get them to explain how to get the cheap cabs. I also had to pay an extra 2 bucks just for them to get me a cab where in other countries it is usually free.

Anonymous said...

can use uber?

David Jr said...

Thanks Sandy, you are right about the budget taxi with 4 people. Usually there is just me or two of us when we take taxi.

However, the issue is not about 4 persons here but single or couple travelers being duped into taking the premier.

Bus is always the cheapest solution, then KLIA Express then taxis. Note that after a long flight or landing late at night, most people just want to go straight to their doorstep instead of changing trains, buses or so on.

Anyway, this can be subjective based on each individual preference. Some travel cheap, some choose comfort but being tricked because of a flaw in the system does not make this right.

David Jr said...

William - You're spot on. Just one plain coupon system - MPV or General Car, that will solve all the issues here.

Anonymous said...

Encoutered the same "dirty tactic" at KLIA too. Was told no budget limo (black Perdana) available, given Op1 premium taxi, Op2 wait and get ready to be charged double after 00:00. Walked off, to be approached by a "helpful guy", extremely exhausted arriving as a solo lady traveler near midnight, allowed him to "try helping"...he went to the exact same counter, came back IMMEDIATELY with a budget taxi coupon and asking for "RM10 runner fees"...wonder what kind of first impression are we giving, especially to the first timers...Sometimes, you don't choose that arrival time, but planes got delayed...@_@

Anonymous said...

thanks for your detailed sharing...it is certainly very helpful to all the non-Malaysian

Fj said...

Hi... Thanks for sharing...

But mind to share something... If u take an erl train to kl it will cost rm35 per person. So if u came with 2 person will be rm70. At kl sentral u need to take another taxi to hotel which will cost about rm20++ by coupon taxi and hard to get metered taxi at kl sentral. Unless u re too kinds to go there n there to find metered taxi.. In conclusion... It will make u tired..

The best solution now is just to booked taxi through myteksi apps.. Whatever it is the driver will use meter. U can choose from the apps which taxi u want, budget or premier... And also it safe and secured wherever u go in kl. So its easy... I would prefer myteksi apps. Its quite fast and easy.. After booked, wait, reconfirm with the driver and the driver will call u once they reach to ur place...

Fj
Taxi on job 24hrs

Fj said...

Btw if need any guide or assistant about kl or anything about kl just emailed me at albatfj@gmail.com

If u want to booked taxi can emailed me also... :)

Anonymous said...

I once took an airport taxi from klia to somewhere around klcc. When we almost reached the destination, the taxi driver told me that he doesn't know the place and proposed to drop me at the side of the road (with my luggage) so that I can go and look for the place myself. Unbelievable! I told him that I have paid for the ride to my destination and will not get out until I reach my destination.

namhong chan said...

Please don't request for the metered taxi to b scrapped. They fought v hard to to b allowed to pick up passengers at KLIA. I think SPAD is aware of the scam but the corrupted operators are back at it the moment they r not around. At the end of the day, it boils down to an individual's honesty & integrity.

Shirley Tan said...

Thx for sharing this useful information!

Anonymous said...

I had same experience too. I was refused a budget taxi bcz I have 3 luggages. The girl claimed car boot can't fit but big bull shit. That's how I get to the airport anyway. When my hubby insisted that we will risk burning the coupon if really can't fit, her entire body language abd attitude was sickening. Unitl I asked for her name and flash out my phone wanting to record it down....imagine? We got a bit taxi almost immediately with no problem of fitting everything in. Taxi uncle also share the same story and urge us to note down the reception's name, date and time and report to spad

Anonymous said...

We (2 persons with 2 luggage all the time) had a few bad experiences when we arrived in KLIA.
I used to take KLIA limousine (Black Cab), however the last 2 times were bad experiences for us.
One was don't really know how to find our destination cause the driver is new, another one was sleepy and not concentrated on his driving (cause we arrived at midnight). We will have to remind him then only he starts to pay attention.
The third time was when we want to book at the counter for KLIA limousine (cause we thought there is no other choice), the staff at the counter said no limo available and direct me to take a cab one floor below.
After we purchased a RM2 coupon from a metered taxi counter, the counter staff direct me to the exit door to queue for the metered taxi.
Once we walk out from the exit, straight away there is a person guide me directly to the executive metered taxi.
At that time we don't know the difference and we just take it anyway. It cost us RM160!!!
By the forth time, we have learned and insisted on budget taxi.
This time everything went well, was a honest taxi driver and drive us home safely.
It only cost us RM76 even after past midnight when we reach home.
I do agree integrity and honesty is very important!
Can't imagine the foreigners that come to our country for holiday but face so many problems!

Anonymous said...

its happening in KLIA as well.. i came back from kuantan a week ago, and the metered teksi counter was empty, i went to the counter and the counter girl immediately say no more taxi.. have to wait 1 hour.. i was like.. huh? no taxi? bought the budget taxi.. and said i had to wait about an hour.. so i said ok.. but i only waited 5 mins. while i was queueing, i look outside the driveway, and yeah.. not a single taxi in sight.. except the premier and budget taxis. i asked the guy who took the coupons " where's all the taxis?" he just smiled and said tak tau. lol now i know..

Anonymous said...

my experience, the counter for budget is very very slow, it is about 10pm+ Friday.

so I decided to go for the metered one technically you don't need to queue at all. (all 3 counter is open and empty) - can't they open another counter for budget one? since you have all 3 counter that is empty.

so I got the RM2 booking and go for a cab, at the stand the staff only offer me the so called "exclusive/blue" taxi. and it's a very old KIA (what so exclusive about??? just because it's a foreign car?)
no sight of "1 Malaysia" taxi or other metered taxi at the spot.

and there is tonnes of budget taxi waiting out there, but the counter is so slow, so that they can create "DEMAND" for the "blue" taxi.

very disappointed, back in LCCT no such issue with long waiting queue to get taxi ticket.

and last - my regular trip that usually cost less than 80 became 140?!? (even taking black cab in KLIA doesn't cost that much)

Anonymous said...

Not to forget the scam at KL Sentral that has been going on for years. "No budget taxis are available but we have a lot of Premium taxis waiting"
The whole taxi scene in Malaysia has been a disgrace for decades, time for the relevant authorities to take serious action.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the approx tolls from KLIA2 to KLCC? Driver last night tried to charge RM88 (meter 68) saying it was because of the tolls. I'd never paid more than 75 for a red taxi to LCCT before. Gave the guy 80 which he accepted without too much angst but still annoying that they try to cheat you.

Anonymous said...

I just experienced exactly as described at the above article. The taxi counter at klia said no red taxi at the terminal, only blue available. In fact, plenty of red taxi are queing in front. I paid for about rm 150 (including charges) while the taxi counter offices said it would cost no more than RM140. If i knew this would happen, i would rather use fixed cost taxi for Rm102.

Vandy said...

Hi

I'm heading to KL for holiday with my families. There will be 4 adults n 2 kids, so I guess I have to pay the double price for a huge cab instead of the meter taxi right?

Vandy said...

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing, I'm heading to kl with my families. There will be 4 adults and 2 kids, so I guess I don't have the choice to go for meter taxi but got to pay double for their premier taxi right?

David Jr said...

Vandy, I think you can take the larger metered taxis. But you best check there.

Anon - Sometimes, when they say only blue ones, don't buy your coupon just yet, go have a look, have a drink then buy it later.

Anonymous said...

My experience.
My family of 5 came back from bangkok.
We took the supposed mpv/van.
its a beatup pregio.

and i was charged coupon based of rm200.

Daylight robbery.
Going on a blue cab is rm140.

Why RM200 for a 10 years old vehicle that feel like its about to break in two?

David Jr said...

Anon - Sorry to hear that. I am still having hope that SPAD or someone will fix this issue that is tarnishing our Malaysian image.

Ferry Octavian said...

Thanks. Your blog gives us some more re-assuring warning about Malaysian taxi :) We - family of 3, are planning to visit KL on 24/01/15. Since our plane land in 11.45PM - I assume the most convenient way is to book an airport transfer to our hotel - the Aarena Star in Hang Lekiu.
Browsing around - i found http://taxi-klia.com and they offered me RM98 for the service.

But I still am not sure whether this service is legit. Do you have any suggestions since our hotel quoted us RM150 for the transfer, which i think too high.

David Jr said...

Ferry, Note that there is the normal Budget, Premier and metered taxis. Usually, they ask you how many persons and how many bags you have.

As your plane lands 11.45pm, you will most likely exit the customs and baggage area by about 12.15 to 12.30am so it's 50% sucharge for any of the taxis.

RM98 is the price before midnight and just add another RM50 for to that. It should be within your budget. Make sure you confirm the price at the counter and be sure there is 'no hidden cost'.

Ferry Octavian said...

Thanks David.. Will surely confirm about the pricing..

Ben Perth Australia. said...

I am reading this just for information and to kill time. I must say you provide a very good service. It reinforces my belief there are good people out there in Malaysia in spite of all the corruptions and administrative bunglers.

Anonymous said...

KLIA taxi counter is always give the unreasonable type with high price. Please ensure they give you the correct type of taxi.

Chokolaate Mag said...

When you land at KLIA2 you are warned against taxi hire scams. So bearing this in mind we hired a family van from the airport counter to Genting and when the bill came to RM 560/=+ I was surprised and the counter clerk confirmed that this is the correct charge. On reaching Genting we spoke to a few agents in order to return to KL the following day and the highest quoted was RM 170/=. We ended up paying only RM 150/= anyway for an identical vehicle that we used to get to Genting.

Obviously we had been "played out" at KLIA2 but who would expect such a thing from a professional airport counter?

I would have gone back to LIA2 taxi counter to question them but unfortunately we had a flight the following day.

Whom can we report this to?????

Kata Warna Warni said...

Thank you for sharing this info. We're really looking for this. we want to ask about max passenger in the taxi. Is it okay if 3 adults and 1 kid (7 YO) take the budget taxi? Because I read the budget taxi only take 4 persons including the driver.

usopjidin said...

Hi Kata Warna Warni, I am one of the budget taxi driver at KLIA. There is no problem for you to take the budget meter taxi as you have a choices of selecting compact, MPV Exora or Toyota Innova a similar size vehicles used as executive taxi.

Unknown said...

I definitely agreed with david,

Last night the counter lady gave me a RM 64 coupun to a destination that only 10 km away. Upon entering the car, the driver was definitely gruesome. He argue why I didn't take the meter taxi, since my destination is much closer to the city, and as such, he only get a fraction of what other travelers had to pay if they went to the KL city centre.

Thanks to the driver and you, now I understand about this metered taxi sceme. Next time, I "ll go to try them. And to other travelers, beware of the crock taxi in Malaysia

David Jr said...

Please note that as of 2016, the prices of all the taxi's have gone up. Now the metered taxi may cost even more than the coupon taxi. But the metered taxi has since been improved.

wei san said...

Hi David,

Thanks for the information you're sharing! One thing to ask, is the toll fee charges included in the fare when we book the budget or premier taxi at the counter ?

David Jr said...

Wei San, I think you need to double check with the counter/taxi driver as usually when I take it, they include the toll fares in the total bill.

Wei San said...

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply! Noted I will check with the counter when I get there :)

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