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Once we landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we had a 2 hour layover before our next leg on to Denpasar. We thought we’d check out the Plaza Premium Lounge (KLIA1 Satellite).
Before we get to the lounge itself, I want to briefly touch on the terminal structure of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, since finding the Plaza Premium Lounge is slightly confusing if you’ve never been to KUL.
Understanding the KUL Terminals
Upon arriving into KUL, you’ll notice the Priority Pass app lists the Plaza Premium Lounge location as “KLIA1 (Satellite)”.
A digital directory screen in the airport shows KUL has two main terminals, KLIA1 and KLIA2, and a Satellite Terminal Building. Apparently those are their official names, yet they all have a number of aliases.
KLIA1 (aka KLIA Main or Main Terminal Building) is the primary terminal. Attached to it is the Satellite Terminal Building (aka Satellite A), which services international arrivals and departures for C Gates, and can be accessed via an Aerotrain that splits the tarmac.
The Satellite Building is technically part of KLIA1, which is why Priority Pass has both terminal names listed. Here’s a map of KLIA1 and its Satellite Terminal for visual reference.
The second terminal, KLIA2, services low cost carriers. We didn’t venture into KLIA2, but there are several Priority Pass lounges there.
Note: There is a high speed rail for air-side transfer between KLIA1 and KLIA2, for a small cost. For land-side transfers, a shuttle bus is available but requires advanced booking. Otherwise, there is an “Airport Liner” bus, and tickets can be purchased at the bus ticketing counters in both KLIA1 and KLIA2. For more info on transfers, see the KLIA website.
Finding the Plaza Premium Lounge (Satellite Terminal)
Priority Pass lists the location of the Plaza Premium Lounge as “KLIA1 (Satellite)”. To get there, you’ll need to take the Aerotrain from the main terminal, KLIA1, to the Satellite Building.
Once you arrive in the Satellite Building, you should see a handful of signs pointing to C Gates and 3 Airport Lounges. Those will lead you upstairs to the upper level of the Terminal.
Once upstairs, follow the signs to gates C11-C17, or the “North Zone” (turn left at the top of the escalator).
Eventually, you’ll run into the Plaza Premium lounge on the left-hand side.
While it’s nothing to write home about, the Plaza Premium Lounge is decent for a contract lounge (as it should be, given that it admits 20 different airlines in addition to Priority Pass members). We did overhear the front desk attendant telling an Australian couple that a day-pass would cost a whopping $40 per person, so we guested them in with us.
The food selection in the lounge isn’t great, but there were a few pastries and hot Malaysian food options, which included fried rice, cabbage and stir-fried chicken.
Drink selection was limited to a few canned soft drinks, bottled water, infused waters and a coffee machine.
The kitchen had a very basic noodle soup bar that served a chicken-based broth. I added some of the stir-fried chicken in from the buffet area to give it a little texture.
There’s also a bar toward the entrance of the lounge with alcoholic beverages available for purchase. We didn’t see anyone buying drinks.
There was also a beverage menu for coffee, which was complementary.
Despite the lounge being fairly full when we arrived, it wasn’t too hard to find a place to hunker down given how much seating is available. The lounge is basically a long, narrow room with seats lined throughout. We found a space at the very back, near the shower rooms (yes — there were showers!).
We had a decent view of the tarmac from where we were seated.
Most impressively, the Plaza Premium Lounge has 4 shower rooms that are free to use. There’s an attendant who manages the wait list and provides keys to unlock the shower rooms when they become available. The wait when we arrived was about 20 minutes.
As expected, there are no hygiene products or amenities outside of a 2-in-1 soap/shampoo dispenser mounted on the shower wall, but the fact that there are 4 shower rooms is fantastic. The rooms aren’t a bad size, either.
After an hour, we caught the Aerotrain back to the main terminal to board our last flight of the day, MH853, to DPS. Not without another chaotic layer of security, of course.
Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge in the KLIA1 Satellite Terminal is a decent Priority Pass lounge to drop into during a short layover. “Adequate” is a good way to describe the lounge — which is likely to be busy at any given time thanks to the many airline partners that share it — but it’s still a fairly comfortable space for a quick visit. While I wouldn’t suggest trying to make a meal out of the food options, it can at least tide you over if you’re starving. The shower rooms are the selling point here, and were a very pleasant surprise. While we certainly wouldn’t recommend paying $40 to get in, it’s nice to have a place to shower in between flights.