Malaysia flights and flight hacks
Flights to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Book plane tickets to KLIA (KUL) in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is fully open to international tourism

In April 2022 Malaysia reopened its borders to international visitors, regardless of their vaccination status. Starting 1 August 2022 pre-departure and on-arrival tests are not required for all visitors. There is also no need to obtain travel insurance or undergo quarantine upon arrival.

Travelers may transit via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for up to 24 hours as long as they remain airside.

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur

  • If you are flying to Kuala Lumpur from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportKuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) KUL — the main international airport of Kuala Lumpur, located approximately 50 km (31 miles) south of the city center. KLIA serves most major airlines and international flights to Kuala Lumpur.

    Adjacent to KLIA (around 1,5km), there's a "twin" airport called KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2), which shares the same IATA code: KUL. KLIA2 is a low-cost carrier terminal designed to cater to the growing number of budget airlines in the region (AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, Scoot). KLIA and KLIA2 terminals are separate entities - passengers must go through immigration control at one before traveling to the other. The distance between the two terminals can be easily covered by a 3-minutes train journey (KLIA Ekspres, cost RM4.50 / USD 1) or 10-minutes ride by free shuttle bus
    .

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Kuala Lumpur. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • Once in Kuala Lumpur, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsia X, Batik Air, Firefly, MASwings, MYAirline, and SKS Airways. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation), and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Kuala Lumpur can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, FlyNas, Jetstar, Scoot, and VietJet Air. If you have a layover in Kuala Lumpur and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money. However, the “no-frills” carrier may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support. You may not even get to choose your seats, unless you pay extra.

Airports of Kuala Lumpur

Best airports to fly into Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL): KLIA and KLIA2
Kuala Lumpur has two international airports – KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2), both located approximately 50 km (31 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur city center. KLIA is located adjacent to the main highway that connects Kuala Lumpur to other cities in Malaysia and Singapore, making it easily accessible - around 45-60 minutes drive by car and bus. KLIA2 is located a bit closer to the city center (30-45 minutes drive) and is connected to KLIA via a dedicated high-speed train service called the KLIA Ekspres (it takes 3 minutes to travel between the two airports).
Things to know before flying to Kuala Lumpur
Airlines flying to Kuala LumpurAir Arabia, AirAsia, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, ANA, Austrian Airlines, Batik Air, British Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Citilink, Emirates, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Firefly, Felxflight, Flynas, Garuda Indonesia, Iberia, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Jetstar Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways, Lanmei Airlines, LATAM, Lion Air, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Malaysia Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Oman Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, SAS, Saudia, Scoot, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Spring Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Starlux Airlines, Swiss, Thai Airways, Thai Smile, Turkish Airlines, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia, Xiamen Airlines
Malaysian airlinesMalaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsia X, Batik Air, Firefly, MASwings, MYAirline, and SKS Airways
Airports in Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) (KLIA)
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB)
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €700 – €1100 (from Europe)
✈ $800 to $1200 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Airline discountsDiscounted airline tickets to Kuala Lumpur (student/family/seniors/military)

Low-cost flights from Kuala Lumpur

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

The cheapest time to fly to Kuala Lumpur

Seasons in Malaysia differ from one side of the peninsula to the other. However, December to February and June to August may be considered the high tourist seasons. If you want to visit Kuala Lumpur during this time, be prepared to book your tickets well in advance.

The low season is between March and June, when the country experiences the worst rains and low humidity. As the rain tends to drive tourists away, it is the best time to look for cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur.

It’s easy (and worth it!) to get to Malaysian Borneo

Malaysia consists of two parts: Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo, divided by the South China Sea. The main cities are in the Peninsular part, while Malaysian Borneo is genuinely an adventure paradise. It has world-famous diving sites in Sipadan and Mabul, trekking and climbing routes at Mount Kinabalu, wild orangutans in Batang Ai National Park, and so on.

The easiest way to get between the two parts is by plane, as the flights are frequent and affordable (around $50 one way). Most flights to Borneo depart from Kuala Lumpur, either from KLIA or KLIA2 terminals, and you can fly directly into Kota Kinabalu in Sabah or Kuching in Sarawak with an average flight time of around 2 hours. Flying from other destinations, such as Langkawi or Penang, will require a layover in Kuala Lumpur.

The routes are served by local budget carriers AirAsia and Malindo Air, and by the national carrier Malaysia Airlines.

Duty-free rules

Malaysia is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Alcoholic drinks such as wine, spirits or beer cannot exceed one liter per person, and you can carry only 200 cigarettes. You are also only allowed to bring three pieces of new clothing and one pair of new shoes.

Anything above those limits must be declared – at the Kuala Lumpur airport, head to the Red Lane to declare your goods.

Use low-cost carriers to fly cheap around Malaysia

Flying around the region is relatively inexpensive if you choose local budget airlines. Many Malaysian domestic flights are operated by low-cost carriers AirAsia, Firefly, and MASwings (a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines).

When flying within Malaysia, many connections between regional airports require a change of plane in Kuala Lumpur – it can make flying less of a time-saver than it might seem.

Next tips

Flights to Kuala Lumpur from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Kuala Lumpur. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Kuala Lumpur, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop.
  • Kuala Lumpur is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Kuala Lumpur with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Kuala Lumpur from the US and Canada are: Air Canada, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

US and Canada to Kuala Lumpur.Ticket prices in February 2024.

View today’s prices or learn how to cut costs with flexible dates:

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Avoid Malaysian public holidays

Big holidays and events such as Ramadan or Chinese New Year will certainly affect your trip to Kuala Lumpur. Accommodation prices during large holidays go up and transportation may be limited. Prices also skyrocket during such national holidays as Hari Merdeka (31 August), Wesak Day (10 May), and Hari Raya Puasa (May). Try to avoid school holidays in May, June and August.

Adjust your travel dates to avoid expensive tickets, or arrive early if you wish to enjoy the festivals in Malaysia.

Know your time zone

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure/arrival times on your plane ticket to Kuala Lumpur and on the boarding pass are based on the time zone of the departure/arrival airport – this also applies to the connecting (layover) airports.

Malaysia observes Malaysia Time (MYT) all year, which is UTC+8 time zone. As a result, clocks in Kuala Lumpur are 7 hours ahead of London and 12 hours ahead of New York. MYT does not have an associated daylight saving time.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Kuala Lumpur airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money for Malaysian ringgits at home.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Emirates, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, and others).

When it comes to Twitter, there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@SingaporeAir”). The customer care team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Next tips

Flights to Kuala Lumpur from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Kuala Lumpur — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights options are limited. Currently, only Malaysia Airlines operate non-stop flights to Kuala Lumpur from Europe (from London Heathrow to KLIA, around 13 hours flight time). Flying with any other airline involves a change of plane in the Middle East or elsewhere in Asia
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Kuala Lumpur include Air France, British Airways, SWISS, Emirates, Etihad Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.
  • These major European airports are excellent departure points for trips to Kuala Lumpur: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in the Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

Europe to Kuala Lumpur.Flight schedule and ticket prices.

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Last-minute flights to Kuala Lumpur. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Kuala Lumpur almost always never works out. The convenience of being able to book a flight on the fly is a dangerous game of chance, and you will most likely end up paying significantly higher than booking in advance.

Last-minute flight cost spike
Late booking penalty: The flight prices rise as departure draws near. Last-minute flights are almost always more expensive than booking in advance.

The common perception may be that airlines decrease ticket prices to fill empty seats as the departure date approaches. However, the truth is that airfares depend on demand. Based on years of research and current customer data, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. They are also well aware that people are willing to pay a premium for flights they need to take immediately. To make the most money, the airline will sell its cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of business travelers and others who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Occasionally, airlines can put some seats on sale to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates around peak travel times tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Kuala Lumpur is 2-8 months before the takeoff.

Looking for the best deals for Kuala Lumpur? Check different departure airports.

Airlines often have varying prices for flights to Kuala Lumpur from different airports – even if they are in close proximity to one another. So don’t limit yourself to just your nearest airport. The neighboring cities may have lower-priced flights that include a layover at Kuala Lumpur, or may even have direct flights that are more budget-friendly.

For example, if you’re looking to fly from Paris to Kuala Lumpur, it may be worth checking prices for flights departing from London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or Rome. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to these hubs, but domestic low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for less than €100.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

The same goes for long-haul flights to Kuala Lumpur from anywhere in the world. By broadening your search to include neighboring airports, you may discover lower-priced options that can save you hundreds of euros!

Domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur

Most domestic routes in Malaysia are operated by local carriers. When traveling to popular tourist destinations such as Langkawi, Malacca, George Town, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, and Kuching from KLIA, you’ll likely fly with one of these domestic airlines: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, AirAsia X, Batik Air, Firefly, MASwings, MYAirline, and SKS Airways.

This is often the best transportation method, providing speed, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Local airlines often offer multiple daily flights to key destinations, providing flexibility in scheduling and competitive pricing. They also serve smaller regional airports, enabling access to a wider range of Malaysian destinations.

Flights to Kuala Lumpur from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with popular Asian destinations, including Kuala Lumpur. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australasia to Asia are operated by large international carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Airfare costs can vary widely depending on the route and the airline’s pricing strategy. To find the cheapest flight to Kuala Lumpur, compare ticket prices from various international airports in Australia – Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, and in New Zealand – Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, and Dunedin DUD.
  • For optimal savings, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a key Asian hub, then connect to Kuala Lumpur via a regional low-cost carrier. Among budget airlines that fly to Kuala Lumpur are AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, FlyNas, Jetstar, Scoot, and VietJet Air.

    For the first leg, use the budget carriers that fly out of Australian airports, leveraging sales and promotions they run frequently: AirAsia (connects with Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore), Cebu Pacific (Manila), Jetstar (Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo), Scoot (Singapore), VietJet Air (Ho Chi Minh City), Bamboo Airways (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing), and Batik Air (Jakarta, Singapore).

Australia and New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur.Flight ticket prices today.

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“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Kuala Lumpur, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.

Booking group flights to Kuala Lumpur

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights to Kuala Lumpur can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the airline, group size, and travel dates, and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Airlines and flight search websites typically limit automatic group bookings to 10 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline or a travel agent directly.

If you’re open to different airlines or want more personalized service, a travel agent may be a better choice. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates to Kuala Lumpur and can help with logistics and scheduling.

Flights to Kuala Lumpur from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Kuala Lumpur look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Kuala Lumpur will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Malaysia and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet, and VietJet Air. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.
  • Most major Asian airports have convenient and frequent flights to Kuala Lumpur — including Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

Kuala Lumpur from major Asian airports.Flight prices in February 2024.

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Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from Malaysia to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of Malaysia and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)

Fly now, pay later

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans for flights have become a popular trend in the travel industry, allowing travelers to book flights and pay in installments. Among the airlines that offer this option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines. They partner with external financial companies to offer their loan services on the checkout page.

The BNPL plans come with varying terms and fees. Some may be interest-free but have fees for late-payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR).

When considering BNPL financing for your flight to Kuala Lumpur, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the pros and cons, and thoroughly review the terms and conditions.