Kuala Lumpur Airport Had To List Flights On A Whiteboard Following A Systems Failure

Since Thursday, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Malaysia has been suffering from network issues. According to the airport’s website, the disruption has affected several airport systems resulting in numerous flight delays. The problem also extends to the airport’s satellite low-cost terminal known as KLIA2. It’s been four days – is anything getting better?

The airport in its current state officially opened to the public in 1998. Photo: Rusdhi Mohamad via Flickr

The extent of the disruption

At its worst, the airport’s website notes the following systems were experiencing problems:

  • Airport WiFi
  • The Flight Information Display System
  • Check-In-Counters
  • Baggage Handling Systems.

These disruptions have resulted in flight delays. An August 23rd press release from the airport notes that they are doing to following to cope with the chaos:

  • Utilizing remote bays “to cater to aircraft that are not able to proceed to the scheduled gates as they are still being occupied.”
  • The provision of four additional buses, and additional ground handling services for the airlines to ferry passengers to/from the remote bays.
  • Extended the operating hours at other Malaysian airports to cater to the delayed departing flights from KUL.
  • The provision of free parking for all passengers who parked at KLIA Main Terminal on August 23rd, as many had encountered delays of arrival flights. It is unknown if free parking continued for subsequent days.

According to Loyalty Lobby, Malaysian press had reported on Saturday and Sunday that problems would be resolved. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Reporting on Sunday night, reports indicate that the airport WiFi still doesn’t work while the gate displays were not functioning. Furthermore, flights were greatly delayed and there were a number of last minute gate changes.

Improvisations and adaptations

With electronic displays inoperative, the airport has resorted to the good old fashioned information display system known as a whiteboard and marker – captured and posted on Twitter:

Furthermore, it appears that boarding passes and luggage tags have to be written out manually as well:

About Kuala Lumpur International Airport

KLIA is home to Malaysia Airlines while KLIA2 is home to the Malaysian wing of AirAsia. Photo: Pizzaboy1 via goodfreephotos.com

Directly serving the capital of Malaysia, KLIA caters to over 60 airlines and serves more than 120 direct destinations according to the official website. The airport is the main hub of Malaysian flag carrier Malaysia Airlines. As the largest and busiest airport in Malaysia, it handled  59,988,409 passengers in 2018 as well as 714,669 tonnes of cargo and 399,827 aircraft movements. This places it at number 23 of the world’s busiest airports.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is Malaysia’s largest and busiest airport. Photo: rushdi13 via Flickr

This has been an intense season of disruptions at major airports. Other, more notable, situations include major protests at Hong Kong International Airport as well as an Air Traffic Control issue at London Heathrow in July.

Were you affected by these disruptions at KLIA? We (and other readers) would like to hear about your experience! Please leave a comment and let us know what it was like!


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