Should you fly from JB Senai Airport or Singapore Changi Airport?

Senai Airport

When I was in the first three years of university, I flew from Kota Kinabaluto Johor’s Senai Airport on AirAsia. From the airport, I usually take a private cab into Singapore for a princely sum.

Of course I had a choice of flying directly into Changi Airport but it was an expensive choice of SilkAir.

When AirAsia finally flew from KK to Singapore directly, I was ecstatic. I remember saying “goodbye” to Senai Airport, adding, “We’ll never see each other again.”

Unfortunately, I did see Senai again.

I took an AirAsia flight from JB back home to Sabah during the Christmas break. It was more than S$100 cheaper per trip compared with flying directly to or from Singapore. (RM284 [SG$115] vs ~S$250).

Compared to 4 years ago, AirAsia has made it convenient for passengers in Singapore to go to Senai. There’s a 2-hourly bus from JB’s CIQ to Senai. The bus journey is about 40 minutes and a pleasant ride.

AirAsia Sky Shuttle
AirAsia Sky Shuttle

When I was on the way to the airport, I asked the driver about the number of passengers who have taken the shuttle. He counted in his head and said, “13. And that’s a good number. It’s the weekend, you see.”

On the way to the airport, there were 3 passengers. On my way back to JB, there was only me. I have a feeling AirAsia might cancel the shuttle any time.

Since I had the chance to experience flying to Senai and to Changi, I will list down the pros and cons for you to decide.

Pros and cons of Senai and Changi

Senai Airport
Cruel fate

Senai Airport

Pros:

  • Tickets are cheaper than flying directly into Singapore
  • Marry Brown fast food at airport
  • Less crowded at airport
  • Free transport to Senai and CIQ

Cons:

  • Extra travelling time to JB or Singapore (depending on traffic)
  • Nothing much at airport
  • Free transport only available once every 2 hours
Changi Airport
Changi Airport

Changi Airport

Pros:

Cons:

  • Tickets are usually more expensive

If you are still undecided, here are some factors to take into consideration when buying your JB/Singapore ticket:

  • Total price difference (Remember to count in transport fees from Senai into Singapore. It doesn’t make sense if your transport fees are similar to airtickets savings.)
  • Time to travel to airport (You will probably be travelling for an extra 2+ hours depending on your SIngapore location.)
  • Wait for SkyShuttle bus (Buses come 2-hourly)
  • Getting to location in Singapore (Do you have too much luggage? Do you really want to drag them from Malaysia to Singapore?)

Have you flown from JB airport instead of Singapore? How was your experience?