Before you read any further, a word of wisdom to make the most of your Priority Pass in Kuala Lumpur — stay landside as long as possible! The post-security Priority Pass lounges are small, crowded, and kind of grungy. Before security, however, you can access a fantastic Plaza Premium lounge with a huge range of food options.
Before Security at KUL: Plaza Premium Lounge Near Aerotel
Without a doubt, this is the best Priority Pass lounge in the Kuala Lumpur airport. The entrance to this lounge is a little challenging to find — it’s behind what looks like a gate. The “gate” is actually an automatic sliding door. To find it, look for the Aerotel check-in desk; the entrance to the lounge is directly opposite. You need to walk through the little bar area to get to the sliding door; the desk is behind the door.
Inside is a haven. The lounge is spacious with plenty of seating options. You can sit by the glass wall and watch the action in the Gateway shopping center, or sit closer to the kitchen for a more peaceful option. There are plenty of food options on the buffet — or, you can have the chefs make you a hot meal. The options are typical Asian noodle and rice porridge dishes.
I tend to judge lounges pretty heavily based on their staff — namely, do they pick up dirty dishes frequently? This lounge is the best I’ve seen in that respect. In the two hours I was there, staff came around frequently to remove coffee cups and empty soda water cans from my table, which I really appreciated. That gives the lounge a clean, upscale feeling that I loved.
Before Security at KUL: Plaza Premium Lounge with Showers
I landed in Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of the night, and instead of paying for a hotel, I decided to use my Priority Pass. After all, KUL has two landside Priority Pass lounges, so why not? Unfortunately, I settled on this lounge first because it was the easiest to find. In comparison to the other Plaza Premium lounge, this one is a dump. It’s tiny, with grimy-looking furniture and carpeting. (I didn’t even take a picture of it!)
Plus, in the three or four hours that I was there, the staff never came by to pick up my dishes or anyone else’s. That meant that there were entire tables just covered in dirty dishes, long after the people had left. It was gross, and really added to the disheveled feeling of the lounge.
As far as food goes, the selections were pretty grim. Some dry cereals and a few random noodle dishes. Granted, it was the middle of the night, so this wasn’t a big deal. And of course, like every Priority Pass Lounge I’ve seen in Asia, there were those noodle cups available to make with hot water. And a coffee machine, thank goodness!
In terms of seating, this lounge is limited. There are some small tables and soft chairs, a few hard tables, and a tall working table. That’s it. Also, the staff did not care about or enforce the 3-hour Priority Pass limit. Our recommendation? Forget about this lounge and go straight to the other one!
After Security in KLIA2: Priority Pass Plaza Premium Lounge (near Gate L8)
This Plaza Premium lounge is one of the worst lounges I’ve ever seen. (It’s even a step below the pre-security one we just talked about!) It is tiny, VERY grimy, and has a miserable selection of food and drink. You can order a hot meal, but after seeing the sad vats of slop behind the counter, that did not seem appealing. I made do with coffee and water.
The seating area is extremely small; worse, it’s open to the main terminal, so you don’t get any peace and quiet. There are only a couple of tables, so you’re out of luck if you’re on a laptop. The entire place smells like a diner. If I had to do it again, I’d stay in the newer Plaza Premium lounge airside and wait to go through security until the last possible minute. If your Priority Pass doesn’t have unlimited visits, DO NOT waste one of them on this lounge! You’re better off sitting in the terminal.
There is another Plaza Premium lounge after security, but be warned — you need to go to it right after you go through immigration and the preliminary security screening. Otherwise, you’ll go through a more robust security screening, and you’ll be stuck in the gate area and not able to go back. Let me know if you’ve been to this lounge!
Overall, Kuala Lumpur was a bit of a disappointment for Priority Pass users. The pre-security Plaza Premium lounge near the Aerotel is certainly worth a visit — the other options in KLIA2 are just dismal!