When I go from KL to Medan I usually check in at KL Sentral then take the train to KLIA. I must have done it a hundred times. But on my last trip I decided to exert my right as a consumer.
I have always thought that one is free to choose one’s means of getting to KLIA. However, in the past 99 times I have decided to overlook KLIA Express’ implied condition that only they be used. This time I did not (overlook their imposition), and instead challenged it.
KLIA Express has positioned its ticket counter right at the access to the check-in counters giving the impression that only by buying their train ticket can one pass through the barrier.
On this occasion the gate was opened and I passed through without being stopped. I duly checked in my luggage but as I exited the barrier was shut. An officer from KLIA Express asked me how I got in. I told him. He was furious that I had checked in my luggage without buying a ticket first.
I told him that it was not a condition of my airline ticket that I should use KLIA Express which made him even more furious. He insisted that it was but was unable to back up his claim. I told him I could travel by KL Transit if I wanted to, to which he asked if I was over 55 (what a compliment!). What has that got to do with the price of fish I wondered.
Nevertheless, it was a climb down from his original position. I then made it clear to the small gathering that consumers have a choice how they travel to KLIA. One can go by bus which is only RM8 or be taken there by a friend, or go by KL Transit and save RM10 if one were a pensioner.
It is the deceit and arrogance of KLIA Express that if one wanted the convenience of checking in at KL Sentral, one had to use them that I find unacceptable. MAS and Cathay Pacific operate the city check-in for the convenience of their passengers not for the profit of KLIA Express.
I suggest that the electronic gates be removed so that passengers will not be fooled into thinking that only by buying a KLIA Express ticket can they check in.
There may be occasions when I may decide to use them but that is my choice as a consumer. It is unacceptable that consumers must give in to this kind of monopoly.