Sleeping in Airports

Kota Kinabalu Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Kota Kinabalu Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

As a foreign passenger sleeping over in the airport I found that I was treated with curiosity rather than being questioned. – Sean26

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

What to Expect

  • A spacious and modern international airport with one main passenger terminal. A wide variety of shops, restaurants and services are available.
  • Restrooms can be filthy and without toilet paper, so bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer!
  • Free WiFi is available, but may be unreliable during peak hours in the terminal. See WiFi in the airport guide below.
  • Economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the airport’s first class lounges. See our Airport Lounges section for locations and rates.

Where to Sleep

  • There are armrest-free seats and benches available on the ground floor, and by the KFC on the upper floor. The upper floor is warmer, but quieter, and the ground floor is cooler, but has more foot traffic.
  • Have a sleep mask and earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones handy to block out those bright airport lights and loud overhead announcements!
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Tanjung Beach, a popular spot with locals, is only a 10-minute walk from Terminal 2. Here you will find budget-friendly, freshly prepared local cuisine and sweets!

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Kota Kinabalu airport either by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program (ie. Priority Pass). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (International) – Location: International Terminal, Airside. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Passes  Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic) – Location: Domestic Terminal, Airside. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge passes • Lounge membership programs. [ more lounge info ]

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in Kota Kinabalu Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Napzone KKIA by Sovotel – Located inside Terminal 1, Level 1. The hotel has 40 sleep capsules, massage chairs and lockers. » Check Rates
  • Megah D’aru Hotel – (3 min from International Terminal 2) Free airport transfers are available upon request, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required. » Check Rates
  • The Crown Borneo Hotel – (5 min to the Air Asia Terminal and 10 min to International Terminal 1) Free roundtrip airport shuttle upon request. Note – if you arrive between 11:00PM and 5:00AM a surcharge of RM30 each way is applied. » Check Rates
  • C’haya Airport Hotel – (5 min to International Terminal 2) Free airport shuttle bus is available. Reservations are required. Note – between the hours of 12:00AM and 6:00AM a surcharge of RM15.00 applies each way. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Kota Kinabalu Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Kota Kinabalu Airport.

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Levels 1 and 3, near the currency exchange kiosks.

Baby Care Facilities – Facilities are available. At the time of this update, locations are unknown.

Currency Exchange – Maybank and CIMB have currency exchange kiosks on Level 1 (Arrivals Hall). Maybank has an additional kiosk on Level 3.

Duty Free & Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available to passengers arriving in on an international flight. A limited variety of shops are available landside in the Departures hall.

Food & Drinks – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. McDonald’s is open 24 hours.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – There is a left luggage facility at the airport. Rates are RM5 per bag for the initial 3 hours, then RM2 per bag per hour after, or RM15 for a storage time of 12 – 24 hours. Oversized items are RM30 per day. Lockers are also available for RM5 per 2-hour period. Luggage strapping and wrapping services are available for RM6 – 8. Location: Landside, Level 3, opposite the entrance to the Departures Hall and around the corner from the seafood shop. The seafood shop offers luggage storage when the left luggage facility is closed. Hours: 7:30AM – 8:00PM.

Luggage Wrapping – Service is available. Rates and location: unknown.

Medical Services – Level 1 in the hallway under the escalator that leads up to McDonalds.

Mobile Charging – At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, write a review or email us at [email protected]

Prayer Rooms – Prayer rooms for Muslims are available. Location: unknown.

Rest Zones – Not available.

Showers – Showers are available in the Plaza Premium Lounges. [ see Airport Lounges above ]

Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Kota Kinabalu and need local arrangements or help planning a really last minute trip abroad, there are travel agencies with offices at the airport that can probably be of assistance.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.


As of March 2018, Kota Kinabalu airport is served by the following airlines: China Southern • China Airlines • Japan Airlines • Korean Air • China Eastern • Malaysia Airlines • Singapore Airlines • Air Asia.

Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Airport Buses

Comfortable, air-conditioned airport coaches offer hourly service between the airport and downtown, stopping at Center Point, Horizon Hotel, and Padang Merdeka. Tickets are sold at the Airport Bus booths, located just after Arrivals.

Car Rentals

Car rentals companies have offices onsite. At the time of this January 2018 update, no further details are known.


Travel like the locals do! If your load is light, you can travel at a fraction of the price of a taxi by taking Minibus 17, which pass along the main road near the airport. Minibuses stop next to the footbridge.


Prepaid taxis are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area of the airport. Stop at the taxi window in the Arrivals hall to pay for your ride. You will receive a ticket to give to your taxi driver before boarding the taxi.

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide, write a review or send an email to [email protected] and we will update this guide.