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

BKI Airport Overview

kota kinabalu airport guideTo help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

What to Expect

Kota Kinabalu Airport (Code: BKI) has two separate terminals, and a drive connecting them takes a few minutes. The larger, recently built Terminal 1 handles most traffic. Terminal 2 is older, serving charter flights and low-cost carriers.

Your experience varies on your terminal, but you’ll find a few eateries, shops, and free WiFi.  Bathrooms can be dirty, so bring tissues and hand sanitizer.  For added comfort while you wait, there are a few lounges that even have showers. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for location and access information.

Sleeping in Kota Kinabalu Airport

Overnight campers generally have no issue here, particularly in Terminal 1. Look for benches and armrest-free seats on the ground floor and by the KFC upstairs. Travellers report that the upper floor is warmer and quieter, and the ground floor is cooler but busier. Bring earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones and an eye mask to combat noise and bright lights. For uninterrupted sleep, a hotel in Terminal 1 rents 40 sleep capsules by the hour. Otherwise, nearby hotels offer complimentary shuttle service. See our Airport Hotels section below for locations, or read traveller airport reviews for more tips.

To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s website for current information.  For more airport information, continue scrolling down to explore more in our Kota Kinabalu Airport Guide.

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.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in the airport sounds like a nightmare, there are hotels near Kota Kinabalu Airport:

  • Napzone KKIA by Sovotel – Located outside of Terminal 1.  The hotel has 40 sleep capsules, massage chairs and lockers.  A paid airport shuttle is available.  According to one Tripadvisor reviewer, this is not the best option if you are a light sleeper.  » Check Rates
  • Megah D’aru Hotel – 3 minutes from Terminal 2. No airport shuttle.  » Check Rates
  • C’haya Airport Hotel – 5 minutes to Terminal 2.  A free airport shuttle bus is available. Reservations are required. Note – a surcharge applies each way between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM.  » Check Rates

For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Kota Kinabalu Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

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

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there is a lounge that you can enter through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and learn how to gain access with just an economy class ticket!

  • Travel Club Lounge – Location: Airside, Domestic Departures, near Gate A10.  Showers are available.  Hours: open 24 hours.  Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Airline Lounges

If you are a First or Business Class traveller, you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.

  • Domestic Terminal – Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (Domestic)
  • International Terminal – Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (International)

Drinking Water

A reader tells us that drinking water is available in the public zone on levels 1 and 3.  “On Thursday 09 May 2024, [the] drinking water machine didn’t work on level 1, but I had no problem [getting] some water on level 3”.

Food & Drinks

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

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Kota Kinabalu Airport luggage storage rates
Luggage storage rates (photo courtesy of a guest reviewer / April 2023)

There is a left luggage facility to store bags. Rates are RM8 per bag for the initial 3 hours. 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: 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM.

Mobile Charging

At the time of this update, we had no information about mobile charging availability. If you know, click here to update this information.

Rest & Relaxation Zones

No dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones exist. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers

Showers are available in the Travel Club Lounge. [ see Airport Lounges above ]

WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at Kota Kinabalu Airport.

More Airport Information

More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so check your bank’s fee schedule and 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 on an international flight. A limited variety of shops are available landside in the Departures hall.

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

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

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

SIM Cards – A reader tells us two shops on the ground floor have SIM cards. (December 2022)

Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Kota Kinabalu and need local arrangements or help planning a last-minute trip abroad, there are travel agencies with offices that can assist.

Airlines
Kota Kinabalu Airport is served by the following airlines: Air Busan • Air Seoul • Air Asia • Cebu Pacific • China Eastern Airlines • China Southern Airlines • Eastar Jet • Jeju Air • Jin Air • Lucky Air • Malaysia Airlines • Malindo Air • Philippines AirAsia • Royal Brunei Airlines • Scoot • Silkair • Spring Airlines • Thai AirAsia • Xiamen Air.
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 rental companies have offices onsite. At the time of this update, no further details are known.

Hotel Shuttles

See also Airport Hotels above.

Minibus

Travel as 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 passes along the main road near the airport. Minibuses stop next to the footbridge.

Taxis

Prepaid taxis are readily available for hire in the ground transportation area. 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.

Last updated: 2024-01-30

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, is 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 websites. 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: update the airport guide or  write a review.