Home Page


GENEVA AIRPORT Passenger Reviews and Traveller Reports


1 2
Bookmark and Share

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 2 December 2008 : by Fabian Koller

Customer Rating : 5/5

5 Star Rating

This airport is just very easy to use, there are enough panels ton indicate you the gates and the staff from Dnata Switzerland was very efficient and friendly on my GVA-AUH flight. The airport is also getting a new face after what I saw. Terminal 1 is being extended, all restaurants are being changed/modernised and even a gastronomic restaurant opened on the roof of the airport with a panoramic view of the tarmac! A brand new boarding dock is also to be inaugurated in the next days so I think that GVA airport is on a really good way to be a modern and dynamic airport!

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 24 October 2008 : by B Murton

Customer Rating : 2/5

2 Star Rating

Geneva airport staff is extremely reluctant to speak English. When approached in English they consistently reply in French. When asked to speak English, they produce one sentence in English an immediately continue in French again. I find this unprofessional, especially for an airport.

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 16 October 2008 : by Matt Ray

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Geneva airport reminds me of Las Vegas airport. I think it is just the tunnel with the moving walkway and glitzy advertisements and bright lights and such, but it just really did. The airport is nice landside, but once you get near your gates there is not much else there so bear that in mind. That said, that Baboo seating area is very nice.

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 9 September 2008 : by Paul Turner

Customer Rating : 2/5

2 Star Rating

Arrival from East Midlands on 1st September was quick and was only marred by a couple of the lengthy moving walkways being out of service. Departure was another matter. All the catering facilities are before security and without knowing how long that will take to negotiate, we went through security only to find a departure "lounge" serving 4 gates. There was seating for about 100 with well over 500 people waiting to leave. It was a shambles.

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 3 July 2008 : by K Popkens

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Easy, well organised public transport from/to the city. Friendly staff, clean interior. Check in / security/gate taken 12 mins only - maybe lucky on that Sunday noon, the airport was very silent. Well priced duty free, less well priced cafes and all accepted euros.

GENEVA AIRPORT customer review : 27 June 2008 : by H Albright

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

All arriving passengers now receive a free Geneva transport ticket good for 80 minutes on the train, bus and tram network. This covers the entire canton of Geneva. The machine for the tickets is in the baggage hall, next to the left-most green channel. Just press the button and take your ticket. You will also need to present and air ticket or boarding pass with the day's date if your ticket is checked by an inspector.


Geneva Airport review by David Lloyd

28 March 2008  Customer Rating : 1 Star Rating

Geneva Airport has to be one of the most badly signposted airports if you want to go directly into France. Had I not asked a fellow passenger who travelled there frequently I would have never found the way. The instructions on the airport web site are not correct! Returning, the check in desk in the French area wasn't labelled so I had to ask. Poor signposting from their to the departures area and an immovable glass door between until you realise there's a tiny button to press. Customs then let you through at their leisure. When you eventually find your way to the departure area you can't proceed through security until your gate is showing. The shops meanwhile are expensive and the seating are hard to find. Security takes at least 20 minutes and then there aren't enough seats at the gates. Not recommended.

Geneva Airport review by D Gyton

27 March 2008  Customer Rating : 2 Star Rating

My partner & I had the misfortune of travelling through Geneva airport on 10 March. Inbound no issues & would agree with comments elsewhere re easy access to the rail network etc. Travelling home was a very different story, the lounges are not airside of security & there was no indication of the length of time to get through the security checks. So we were called for the flight and then faced with just two open security channels and very long queues. Other customers waiting indicated this was often the case & no effort ever made on the part of the airport authority to improve things. There was no effort on the part of the staff to speed things along and their attitude was simply one of why should we care. We did make the flight I believe only as result of BA being prepared to wait and we were not the last on board. Overall a very unpleasant experience

Geneva Airport review by Anne Kenwright

17 March 2008  Customer Rating : 2 Star Rating

Avoid Geneva airport on Saturdays in the ski season unless perhaps you travel by scheduled flight; on the way in there was a problem with baggage that took almost 2 hours to unload. boots and skis did not arrive - it transpired that they were actually at Geneva but could not be found - eventually arrived in resort on Thursday. Inghams rep told us that there were often luggage problems and some lost/delayed nearly every week. On journey home terrible queues for security - so bad many had to be sent through different gates (very much worse than Gatwick but can't comment on Heathrow) and after boarding we waited for at least an hour on the tarmac for baggage to be loaded - we were told one vanload had gone astray. There seems to be a new charter terminal that only opens weekends and quite clearly cannot cope with the volume of traffic; maybe it will be better next winter

Geneva Airport review by Sebastien Morard

2 March 2008  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

One exits usually directly in the terminal even with budget flights, short walks in quiet corridors with travelators, non-fussy passport controls, and direct connexions (and now free: free ticket delivery just after the luggage belts) by train to the city center (train/bus 5/10 make virtually all important conference venues and hotels reached in 10 to 15 minutes). The only drawback may be the baggage handling, which is slower than, for example, in Zurich. But this is largely compensated by the short distance to town. Departing from GVA is a bit less enjoyable - not agreeable on saturday : long queues, expensive shops that are too rarely open and small (especially the duty free shop, right after the passport control). Airside zone A is very modern. zone B seems to be reserved to easyjet and charter flight, so it is often crowded and lacks shopping facilities. And the french side is a nonsense: use it only if you arrive from France and rented a car with a french agency or if need to avoid Switzerland for visa reasons. The only advice would be to better manage peak times, learn proper english, and scrap the french side to add some space and shops.

Geneva Airport review by Alexandre Glauser

26 February 2008  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Geneva is a very pleasant and efficient facility, and there is very easy access to the train station. Loads of shops/cafes in the main terminal or at the railway station. Selection is more limited airside but this will change soon as the airport is being expanded. The negative comments below refer to the times when flights from all over Europe converge to Geneva, bringing thousand of skiers heading for the nearby ski resorts. On these days, it is true that the airport is stretched to limits and facilities inadequate for the number of people visiting the airport.

Geneva Airport review by Neil Cooper

25 February 2008  Customer Rating : 1 Star Rating

Once again spent an uncomfortable 2 hours sat on the marble foor waiting to depart. The gates seem to serve three flights but only have enough seating for one! You have to go through to the gate early as this is where the security checks are done. I don't know if its just the extra ski holiday traffic, but the airport always seems to be absolutely packed to capacity.

Geneva Airport review by D Cribbins

19 February 2008  Customer Rating : 2 Star Rating

In my opinion, Geneva airport rates poorly in comparison to other European airports. Going through can be a major hassle. We arrived and exited via GVA this week on our way to a Swiss ski resort picking up a hire car from the French side. Here are some practical steps that we will take next time: Arrival - Have a 2CHF coin or 2Euro for the luggage trolley. Pass through customs to the French side in the arrivals hall. Get ready for the very small and slow lift down to the car rental parking area. Stop at the border and buy a 20CHF motorway sticker. Departure - Arriving from the north via the A1 look out for the Ferney sign as already posted if you are returning a French hire car. There is a gas station just by the access road to the French side of the airport. You can't take your check-in bags to the Swiss side so check them in at the Swissport desk diagonally opposite the car rental desk and there appears to be no signage to help you with this! Cross over with hand luggage to the Swiss side and prepare for wholly inadequate facilities, which are even poorer airside and, in our case, young and stroppy security personnel who handled their obviously new-found responsibility with no common sense or maturity. When a sensible airline rep was trying to get passengers through in order of flight time, their response was to suspend all security checks for >20 mins, declaring that everyone should be at security >2h before departure time (I thought that was check-in and in any case unusual for a European flight) thereby making all the flights from terminal B late that afternoon. Oh yes, they also refused to speak any other language than French (despite their perfect English) to some poor Norwegians that had been called forward and then sent them all to the back of the queue. Not sure the English would have put up so well with that!

Geneva Airport review by Chris O'Hanlon

30 January 2008  Customer Rating : 2 Star Rating

Travelled through Geneva on a weekend - what a nightmare! On arrival at GVA the baggage collection area is terrible - no where near enough room for people to wait with their bags. We had skis & boards and these were delivered at the back of the carousel our regular bags were coming off on meaning that people from other flights were all standing round making space even more at a premium! When the skis are delivered they are bought out on large trolleys that are simply dumped by the door - no ground staff to even tell you which flight they are from!! The result of this is that everyone searches through all the bags to find their skis. We found ours ok, but there must be a better way of distributing oversize baggage, especially as Geneva is so popular for winter sports? The link from the train station is the only positive thing I can say about GVA airport, with it being well signposted and relatively easy to find with our numerous bags. On the way home we were on Easyjet - the check in area is at the far end of the smallish terminal and it was a real struggle to walk through the terminal building as the queues from the check in desks stretched right back to the opposite wall. Easyjet check in at GVA consists of self service check in machines which print your boarding pass and baggage labels, which you attach yourself before dropping them off at the check-in desks. It worked OK, the queue to drop bags fluctuated from being nothing to horrendous. As we were just about to step forward to drop our bags a coach party were herded in and the queues were out the door! After check in I was looking forward to some shopping - oh dear. Duty free is a very small shop which gets very hot and stuffy. I got a few bits and bobs then had a wander round the other shops which were very poor in comparison. The only seating available was upstairs near the airline lounges, which was very smoky and no view of the tarmac which was disappointing. Our flight flew from Terminal B which is a round building out in the middle of the apron. You go through security on the way out there and then there is no way back with just one small coffee place to keep you watered - don't go there before your flight is called! Overall, a very disappointing airport, unable to cope with numbers of people at weekends, shopping was poor, seating poor and the gate lacked facilities.

Geneva Airport review by T Vetter

9 December 2007  Customer Rating : 5 Star Rating

EWR to GVA on Continental with my wife and daughter. Other than significant delays due to New York airspace, GVA was a breeze. We cleared customs in minutes, walked across the street to the Swiss Rail Station, validated our Swiss Railpass, and were on our way in less than 20 minutes. The return effort was similarly benign (except for a two hour Continental delay with the inbound aircraft from EWR). We took the train right to the GVA airport station, and check-in took all of 10 minutes. Cleared security in 10 minutes tops. But admittedly boring and very limited selection of airport eateries and shops. Compared to LHR or CDG, GVA is a great gateway.

Geneva Airport review by John Oram

19 November 2007  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

I had the briefest but nonetheless favourable experience of this airport on arrival from LGW on a recent Thursday evening. Light and airy but confusing sign after departing the aircraft which said Geneve Transit - not actually mentioning arrivals and thus more clearly indicating which way to go. Baggage return was swift and the station is easy to find for the short journey to the city. The train was particularly easy to use with the Swiss Pass I had for the holiday.

Geneva Airport review by Nick Fortuna

20 June 2007  Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

Airport generally small and a bit messy. Check-in lines for Star Alliance flights on a weekend are huge. Passport control was interesting - on the way out, they did not even open our passports (and we're not Swiss!). The small pod-like stores upstairs are not open for early morning departures. Airline VIP Lounges are well-hidden upstairs. Ensure you have enough time to get to the departure area - the travelators are long and not all worked when I used them. Once away from the main terminal building in departure area B, there is only a small coffee shop and no way back. Don't go there until your flight is ready since there is no going back.

Geneva Airport review by Jack O'Brien

8 May 2007  Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

I am a frequent traveller to Geneva Airport. I was dissapointed with the lack of organisation that went into baggage collection. Those of you who have been there will know that there are 7 or 8 baggage collection carousels and most of them are in use at the one time. If you take skis or snowboards away with you there is a total lack of organisation when you try to reclaim these items at the airport. There is always a rugby scrum/free for all when you try an collect your items. Most of the items, after being taken off the aircraft are just left on the floor in the middle of the room with the carousels in (which is not very big as it is) and with the floor space being taken up by skis and snowboards there is never any room to move. There is also a significant absence of baggage trolleys available, and usually these are not available for quite some time after you leave the plane, which causes a lot of frustration and inconvenience especially for those who take small children away with them. When flying out fromt he airport on the return journey I found the experience slightly more pleasant than when I was arriving. Although i would say that a little more thought could have gone in to naming and numbering of the gates. There is a very complicated system of numbers and letters which results in a very large hike round the airport just to find the correct gate. Apart fromt this lack of organisation, the airport has lots of duty free shops selling a range of items and plenty of bars and restaurants. I would describe the overall service provided as fair.

Geneva Airport review by T Higgins

31 March 2007  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Also in answer to Ali Dan, Harry Albright is quite right about the best way to do it. The whole point is to avoid having to go through Swiss customs and immigration if you are staying in France. This is particularly true if you are coming from an EU country and remaining in the EU. There are baggage handlers on hand to fetch your baggage for you, and it only takes a few minutes. In the meantime, you are doing the paperwork for your car rental. I can guarantee that someone who went straight to the French side would have been in his car and on the road while Ali Dan was still going through French customs from the Swiss side. Going through Swiss customs and immigration is an unnecessary step. It's also quite easy to get landside if you find yourself airside. You don't have to ask anyone. Just go through immigration normally as if you were an arriving passenger, out to arrivals and up to departures to check in. I often go back landside if I find my flight has been delayed as there are many more amenities landside.

Geneva Airport review by J Bertani

31 March 2007  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Answering to Ali Dan, there is no other way to the swiss sector from the french one than the way he described. I live in Geneva and flying from its airport (french sector and swiss sector) almost once a month and saw many times passengers with suitcases having to go through the french police desk, french custom, swiss police and finally swiss custom in order to check their bags in the swiss sector. One option is that sometimes there's one check-in desk open in the french sector for flight departing from the swiss side (ie all flight not going to france). When it is not open, there's a phone I guess to be used to call a check in agent.

Geneva Airport review by Ali Dan

29 March 2007  Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

I don't understand the description given by Harry Albright. I've just come back from Geneva where I flew into the swiss side, picked up my baggage at the carousel, exited quite normally into the swiss sector, turned left to the passport control between Geneva airport switzerland and Geneva airport France (with luggage already to hand, no baggage handlers involved!) and went to the car hire desk to get the car. The return journey was a different story! How are you supposed to get from Geneva Airport France to Geneva Airport Switzerland without finding yourself airside and having to ask passport control and customs to let you through the arrivals area and back out into the Swiss airport? There must be a way, but obviously an awful lot of people don't find it because none of the airport staff batted an eyelid - they just looked bored and annoyed at our stupidity. So how do you do it? Anybody? A definite plus on the way out is that the security areas are spread out and people get through faster (at least that was my experience).

Geneva Airport review by Peter Bedson

28 February 2007   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

Looking at the comments GVA is really not that bad - granted it is a zoo on week-ends in the ski season but otherwise it is not too crowded and quite efficient. You can get to France through the Swiss side terminal - just collect your luggage in the main bagage hall go out into the Swiss side and then walk upstairs (to the left I think) through a small door and you are in France! There is a place for someone to check your passport but I have never seen anyone there. The French side is much less crowded and has a full set of (albeit fewer) check in desks so you can check in and leave your luggage here without a long wait but be warned - you need a boarding card to go from France to Switzerland in the terminal so you can't go back to the Swiss side once you have left - make sure you have all your children with you! I have no idea if there is any public transport or taxis on the French side - probably not - but there is a full set of car hire booths (if you hire on the French side you must bring it back to the French side otherwise Herz or whoever will charge you lots of money to move the car about 100m). There are lots of shops selling pricy watches and chocolate and a reasonably good duty free - before security - but the cafes in the departure satellites (after the security has removed your drinks) are horrendously expensive - €3 for a small bottle of water anyone - but aside from that the only problem is the lack of seating downstairs however if you go upstairs near the frequent fliers lounges (follow sign for chapel) the lounges are usually empty.

Geneva Airport review by William Hogan

26 February 2007   Customer Rating : n/a

Just had the frustration and displeasure of experiencing the Swiss efficiency machine in action yesterday at GVA, travelling with 5 adults and 5 children the enjoyment of our ski holiday was quickly replaced by discomfort and stress. Voted unanimously by our group as possibly the worst airport to visit in years. Reading through the other comments published by dissatisfied travellers let me update and reassure them that nothing has changed - long queues, no seating ( floor space only if you were lucky ) overcrowding and a total lack of facilities for the traveller. Security processing slow and inefficient. Would love to go back to holiday area but not if GVA is in the travel plans.

Geneva Airport review by Donald Munro

26 February 2007   Customer Rating : n/a

I have often wondered how I could exit Geneva airport through the French sector when heading for France anyway, in order to take advantage of the cheaper car hire rates. Harry Albright's comments looked promising until I came to the statement, "You will need to ask a baggage handler to go and fetch any checked luggage from the Swiss side. "Has anyone ever tried this, and if so how many hours / days does that take? I think I am stuck with Swiss cars for the foreseeable future.

Geneva Airport review by Harry Albright

10 December 2006   Customer Rating : n/a

To help people avoid the problems that Jenny Eckersley encountered, here are a few tips. First of all, the signs are for Ferney (note the second "e") because that is the French town next to the airport. The only reason for using the French sector even if you are travelling on into France is to pick up a French rental car. In this case, follow the "Secteur Francais" signs before passport control (do not go through Swiss passport control) and you will arrive at the French car rental desks. (You will need to ask a baggage handler to go and fetch any checked luggage from the Swiss side.) This does not apply if you are arriving from France as you will be in the French sector to begin with. Or if you aren't renting a French car, exit through Switzerland where you will have the full range of transport options, including trains to the main station and on to France. If you have rented a French car, on leaving the airport, follow the signs back to Geneva (it's hardly the airport's fault that the French authorities don't sign their roads very well) and cross back into Switzerland. You will go under the airport runway and link up with the Swiss autoroute that passes in front of the airport. Take this in the direction of Geneva (not Lausanne) and continue on the autotroute until you reach the Bardonnex customs post. From there you will link directly on to the A40. On the way back, come off the A40 at Bardonnex and follow the autoroute to the airport. Follow the signs for "secteur francais" to return your car, then go to the Swiss side to check in for flights to countries other than France. If in doubt, ask the people at the rental desk for directions to your destination. As for walking miles to the B gates, there are travellators. You actually have to walk very little at all. Walks to the gates at Heathrow or Gatwick are much more arduous. Geneva is actually one of the most compact, best managed airports I have used. It is true that if you want to shop or eat, stay landside as long as possible. Airside, most of the facilities are in the main terminal, so avoid going to the gates until as late as possible. They really are just pre- boarding holding areas (as they are in most airports).

Geneva Airport review by Jenny Eckersley

7 December 2006

My recent experience of GVA was absolutely horrendous. Having flown by EasyJet from Newcastle, we were happy to be back in France and looking forward to our weekend. We did not realise at the time how angry and depressed we would be a few hours later. Coming out of the airport (French sector) led us to the village of Ferny, where there were no motorway signs to be seen for the A40. The exit from the airport was gloomy depressing and unhelpful. As a result of the lack of signposts we took the signs for Dijon, as we live in Burgundy. This led us, I think, into the Jura mountains. Later next day, In the daylight, it was funny but at eght pm in the dark with a long drive ahead, it was not at all amusing. On the way back on the 4th December, I could not believe how unhelpful the main signposts were on the A 40. We had arrived in Switzerland before the signs for Ferny were shown on the motorway. As a result we had to find our way back into France and follow signs for Ferny yet again. Why do the signs not say on the motorway "For the French Section please follow signs for Ferny only"??. Anyway, WHY FERNY? What is it's significance? Once in the French section we had to walk miles to the other side of the airport to a small departure lounge, dealing with several flights. I refer of course to the B gates. There was no clear distinction between which were smoking and non-smoking areas- the shops were a disgrace. The whole area was filled with cigarette smoke and very smelly. It felt that the Swiss were treating the EasyJet passengers as a very "poor relation". I have a second home in France, and if there were any way of avoiding Geneva airport, I would do so. I cannot believe how chaotic and badly managed it is

Geneva Airport review by Maurice Bulmer

10 June 2006

I have travelled via GVA for skiing in the March of each of the last 2 years arriving BA on Saturday mornings. I also use Calgary when skiing in Canada most years and have used other airports around the world for similar trips. None can compare with the abject chaos that is the luggage and ski collection process that reigns in Geneva. You would have thought they would have realised that many people arrive with skis on Winter weekends. Apparently not as the method used seems to be to dump them in piles on the floor and leave it to customers to identify and drag out their ski bags; which have not even been sorted by flight. Frankly it is a mess and compares incredibly poorly with Calgary in this respect. Another issue is the lack of seating in an overcrowded (Winter weekends again) airport resulting in people sitting wherever they can, blocking the narrow gangways between high end shops selling over priced goods ranging from Rolex watches to caviar - but no seats to be had at the cramped self service restaurant! I am looking for another alternative. An additional 2 hour drive from Lyon would be preferable.

Geneva Airport review by Simon Smith

31 January 2006

Flew out of GVA last Saturday. Huge queue at security although no worse than BAA regularly manages at LHR. The main problem was that they have so many shops that there isn't enough space for passengers to sit, and there were 100+ passengers sitting on the floor. I would have thought providing seats for passengers would be a minimum basic service for an airport. Overall, travelling through GVA was a pretty nasty experience.

Earlier comments have been archived (ie. prior to the date of last comment above).



1 2

If you experience any problems submitting comments on the above link, please use our general   Feedback Page




back to top

| Home | Airline Opinions | Legal Notice | Airline Ranking | Airport Ranking | Advertise | Passenger's Choice Awards | Site Map | Contact Us | Links |

1999-2012  Copyright Skytrax