Now you already know that Cilisos is a bit of a data freak and we’re kepoh as heck. So in our never-ending search to understand Malaysians and their weirdness, we teamed up with our fambam at AskLegal.my and Soscili.my to run our first ever Malaysian Kaki Terbang Survey 2019! (Uh… basically airport behaviour survey la but want so boring name meh?)
And we’re also doing this together with our friends at Malaysia Airports, the guys who tirelessly run our pride and joy, KL International Airport (that includes the KLIA main terminal and klia2… which is also a TERMINAL, not a separate airport ugaiz), and 38 other airports around Malaysia.
Before we get to the stats, here are some prelim info:
- Survey period: 14th August – 1st Sept 2019
- Total respondents: 3,113 respondents
- Top locations: Selangor (34%), KL (23%), Sarawak (9%), Sabah (6%), Johor (6%)… but we had respondents from every state
- Top age groups: 21-29 (43%), 30-39 (31%), 40-49 (6%)… but we had respondents from every age group too
- Gender identification: 62% female, 37% male, 1% others
Ok ready? Lesgo!
1. The #1 thing that annoy Malaysians the most in airports is…….
… people who potong Q! Wah. Whether driving on roads or in an airport, this is like one thing Malaysians can never get away with -___-
The top 3 pet peeves recorded in our survey were: people who cut queues (58%), machines that don’t work (40%), and kiasu people rushing to board even before being called by the attendant (38%)!
Large and frantic crowds came in very closely (37%), and judging by the responses of manual text inputs, we found that a lot of people generally didn’t like noisy mainland Chinese tourists too. O_O In fact, when we delved deeper we also found that our respondents generally had problems with people blocking their path:
Speaking of queues, our survey showed that most Malaysians spend about 11 – 30 minutes just to get past immigration! And when it comes to either the autogate or manual counter with the.. uh… sometimes hensem immigration officers, half of Malaysians would prefer to use the auto-gate. Anyway, don’t worry so much about immigration queues, cos our sources at MAHB says that they are actually working to redesign the immigration queue area in the klia2 terminal. Yes, yes, they know that the way it’s designed currently isn’t the best as it doesn’t really cater to long queues and it has poor visibility from a distance.
Since Malaysians are so clever to go for the autogates, MAHB have added in 8 new autogates at the arrival area, making it a total of 28 at KLIA Main Terminal itself. (We heard there’ll be more coming after that, too.) As for klia2, there are currently 30 autogates altogether.
But beyond that, there’s something super canggih… MAHB is also working with partner airlines on implementing facial recognition technology to cut the queues and waiting times. They call this a single token journey and you can fast track your way to the boarding gate… and we heard that MAHB will be piloting the initiative by year end!
So, Malaysians picked fast immigration counters (66%) as the most important factor for a pleasant airport experience. Can you guess what is the second most important factor? Coming in very close is clean toilets (60%)! Speaking of which…
2. 34% of Malaysian men admitted to washing airport toilet SEATS before they shishi?!
Of course Cilisos will kepoh about toilet strategies 😛 Oddly enough, in our survey, we found that more men (34%) are inclined to wash the toilet seats than women (31%). But more women (27%) would line the toilet seats with tissue, compared to men (24%).
While most Malaysians (55%) would bring in their luggage into the cubicle, we found that 6% are super trusting as they’re confident enough to leave their bags outside O_O (We can hear your anxiety screaming already.)
Fun fact: didja know that when it comes to toilet cleaning, the state of the toilets at the airport is one of the things strictly monitored under the Quality of Service framework by the Malaysia Aviation Commission (MAVCOM)? So to keep things clean and comfortable, they’ve actually stationed a cleaner to be there 24/7… but don’t la abuse it and shishi-pangsai until the walls also kena! (Speaking of which – 2% of respondents said they wash the toilet walls too… must be one of the mangsa, so kesian.)
Actually, we’ve got a few other fun facts to tell you guys.
You remember how MAHB is so serious about cleanliness that they’ve even gone as far as to educate at least 800 kids through school visits. In these visits, they learn these important toilet etiquettes before stepping into adulthood, after which they’ll get an exclusive tour of the airside and see their big metal birds. On top of that, their popular etiquette ad in the toilets also carry some funny messages to both throne and cangkung users to remind them that they’re not the only fellas on this earth:
But in all seriousness, the condition of the airport toilets also reflects the nation’s culture and cleanliness, so they’ve embarked on a massive toilet refurbishment initiative since 2017, with the aim of redesigning a total of 132 passenger toilets. So far, 32 passenger toilets have had a facelift. It’s not a simple job ok, don’t think it’s your toilet at home. The toilets at the airport are all heavy duty and piping systems all have to be changed to accommodate the new toilet designs.
Actually, hygiene generally seems to be an important factor for many – 41% of Malaysians carry wet wipes and 28% carry sanitisers in their bags… and for good reason too, cos planes actually reek of germs. Surprisingly, the lavatory isn’t the dirtiest place… IT’S THE SEAT-BACK TRAYS! A study showed that it can hold up to 2,155 bacteria colony forming units – 3x more than the flush button of the lavatory! *hurl*
3. Penangites would rather drink free water than pay for food at the airport
Most travellers will end up getting food or drink at the airport, regardless of income level. But funnily enough, the income group that WON’T spend money on F&B at the airport at all are those in the lowest income group in our survey (less than RM2k, 11%) and….jeng jeng jeng…. The HIGHEST income group (more than RM50k, 11%).
We also found that Terengganu-ians are the most willing to spend on food, with 42% saying money is no object. Penangites are the most kiamsiap – 32% of them won’t pay more than what they would outside, while 12% of them would just get free water from the water fountain/dispenser.
Actually… there are value-for-money makan places at the airport. You just need to know which ones are and where to find them. For example, you can get a very generous serving of nasi campur with chicken and veggie at the food court on Level 2 of KLIA main terminal for under RM10. The place is always packed throughout the day. [email protected], the shopping mall before the klia2 terminal, is also filled with a wide variety of F&B choices. Even convenience stores such as 7eleven and Mynews.com have sitting areas just in case you are craving for a bowl of piping hot instant noodles before you fly.
4. Most Malaysians aren’t overly concerned about their safety at an airport
Most (46%) think that they’re equally as safe at the airport as in any public place, but 37% would just be a little more cautious if a stranger starts talking to them. Oddly enough, those who are the most paranoid/suspicious of other people get spot-checked by airport security the most (63%) while those who aren’t concerned at all are checked the least (56%)!
So… who generally gets spot-checked the most? We found that more male respondents (62%) have been spot-checked than female respondents (56%). People from Terengganu are more likely to kena spot check (69%) too! Well according to our survey la.
And while most Malaysians (58%) generally understand that the security people are just doing their jobs, only a very insignificant amount (<1%) would outrightly refuse. (Err… we’ve watched enough movies to know that this isn’t a good idea, so if you kena spot-check just cooperate lah?)
Like we said previously, security in airports are super steep… and for good reason too. Not only is it a matter of national security, it’s also super important that guests are happy and safe whenever at the airport. Coincidentally we found out that airports have a LOT of ways to protect their guests… MAHB even has this thing called the ‘High-precision foreign object debris detection system’ (FODDS) at KLIA that uses linear cell radar technology for the safety on the runway. It can detect even the smallest objects – like a loose grain of rice – on the runway.
Important kay these things, cos even the tiniest bit of debris on the runway can cause major disasters with damages amounting up to millions. In the past, it has caused bent/broken fan blades, engine failure, fires, wing damage, and even massive puncture on plane tires… you definitely don’t wanna be on that flight O_O
5. The most horrible thing that happens to Malaysian travellers at an airport is…. getting lost!
When we asked about the most unfortunate thing to happen to our respondents at airports, 31% admitted to getting lost, while a further 10% have had one of their travel buddies getting lost. 20% have missed their flight once in their lives because they got lost. 18% missed their flight because of a lost travel buddy. Many more have lost their items (mostly IC) and some have resulted in missed flights. Why Malaysians so pandai kena hilang one 🙁
But if your bearings aren’t that great, there’s good news – MAHB has now got some cool gadgets as part of their Airports 4.0 digitalisation journey. If you are travelling via KLIA, you can download the MYAirports app that is available on Google Play or App Store to help you with way-finding and also to get real-time flight information. If your screen is not big enough, then use the Airport Digital Directory at the terminal which provides similar functions so that you will be able to get to your boarding gate in time without getting lost. No more Amazing Race feats at the airport.
Apart from that, when we asked about the craziest thing they’ve witnessed, most generally said that they’ve always had a normal, eventless experience… but 27% have seen celebrities while 16% have seen couples fighting with each other. 9% have seen someone getting arrested, and 7% saw an actual fight!
6. 11% of Malaysians would speak in a fake accent to strangers at an airport?!
When asked about the naughtiest, non-illegal things Malaysians have done, these were the top 3:
- Checking out the hot flight staff (55%)
- Bringing in heavier luggage than allowed (55%), and
- Secretly making fun of foreigners (33%)
Apart from that, 11% admitted to actually speaking in a fake accent to strangers at an airport?! Maybe just came back from Oostraylia or Eeengleend or Amehriccuh… but better don’t overdo la k, cos Malaysians are pretty good at sniffing out stuff like these. Also, not sure why, but most of these 11% are single!
5% also said that they’ve fallen in love in an airport, and 4% admitted to having hooked up with a traveller! Notti notti.
In a separate question, we asked if our respondents would strike a conversation with someone cute at the airport. Only 18% have done it, while 36% have thought about it but never acted upon it. 46% scolded us for asking this question. 🙁
7. Those who take the atas seats on budget airlines are most likely to sneakily pack above their allocated weight (59%)
Actually, there are lotsa tricks to bringing heavier luggage. One popular way (which works, FYI) is to wear a trench coat with huge pockets. Taruk masuk je everything that you can into the jacket!
And when we looked into the demographics, we found that almost twice as many married couples with kids would do this, as compared to those married without kids! Twice as many females admitted to this as compared to males too o_O
But please ensure that you adhere to the list of prohibited items as shown here (jangan kata tak payung):
Speaking of bringing things in for free…
… turns out, most Malaysians also dunno that KLIA has free parking
So we also wanted to test out just how well our respondents knew about the airport they were walking through.
Although a whopping 84% know that KLIA provides free wifi (and computers too), only 21% are aware that they also provide a 30 minute grace period for you to pass through/park your car when dropping someone off, or quickly picking someone up at the gate. Beats waiting outside and being chased off by the Abang Polis!
10% also think that the airports provide free coffee and sandwiches, but it’s a trap. We added this false one in to see if you were paying attention, heh.
Actually right, MAHB is the company managing, operating, maintaining and developing the airports lo. Quite recently we also learned that they’re one of the largest airport operator groups in the WORLD in terms of number of passengers handled… and speaking of huge volumes of people, no wonder why their strength lies in servicing their guests to make them happy.
There’s a lotta stuff that people think fall under MAHB’s jurisdiction (e.g. so few immigration counters open, flight delays) but actually, what they do is to provide the best airport infrastructure and facilities for the airlines and government agencies so that they can operate smoothly and as a result, anyone can have a seamless journey with minimal queues and waiting times.
To truly be a caring host to their airport guests, that’s why they’ve actually got a whole buncha benefits which – frankly – not many of us knew about, such as free wheelchairs and baby strollers at klia2 that can be used without the hassle of registering. In fact, there are also free showering facilities at klia2 for passengers who have been on a long flight and want to freshen up in between transits or before going home so that the overpowering bau ketiak will disappear.
And if you really check out the nooks and corners of the airports, you will find nice quiet corners for you to chill and snooze with long chairs (ala kerusi malas at home) and faux grass carpet areas (you can find this at Sandakan Airport, it’s actually quite a huge hit among passengers!).
Aite that’s a lot of data, but if tak cukup, nah ambik kau:
- 10% bring their ‘busuk’ to the airport… That’s almost as many of those who bring religious items and lucky charms
- Overall, half of our respondents (51%) said that they wouldn’t put any more effort into dressing up for a flight as they would going to the mall.
- 49% will walk on the travelator because it’s faster
- Those who hate walking the most (ie, standing on the travelator) are mainly from Pahang (34%)
- More than half of Malaysians go for the cheapest seats on a budget airline (52%)
- 15% would stock up on Christmas and birthday gifts from duty free shops… cos cheaper 😛