Geneva Airport

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Customer rating from 201 reviews
3/10
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4/10

Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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4/10

Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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4/10

Geneva Airport customer review

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).
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3/10

Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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Geneva Airport customer review

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).
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Geneva Airport customer review

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
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Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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Geneva Airport customer review

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.
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