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Geneva airport - reminder if huge security queues

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Travelled back from Geneva on Wednesday evening. We only travel with hand baggage so normally get to the airport about an hour and a quarter before the flight. Hadnít really thought that Wednesday evening would be particularly busy but on getting to security the queues were absolutely massive. So.......for the first time we put into practice our Ďemergencyí plan. Have mentioned it before on snowheads but a few years ago so maybe time for a reminder if anyone else is in a similar position.
Instead of going through Swiss security, head back downstairs to the French sector - where you would go if you are picking up a rental car from the French side. When you reach the car hire area go back on yourself, and pass the small baggage reclaim belt. Go through double doors and snake round a couple of glass corridors passing small customs desk down the escalator and you will find yourself at the French security check point!! Absolutely deserted - we passed through that and made our way straight to the gate which was boarding and we were straight on to the plane. Given that it was a full flight we were about the 20th people on board and I am guessing the majority of passengers were stuck in the security queue on the Swiss side as a lot of flustered people arrived on board in a hurry. So glad we had this short cut up our sleeve. Worked like a dream. If you donít know the route itís a bit like finding your way back to the French car rental sector for the first time - you should ideally do it when youíve plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the route and then when you really need to use it in a hurry it will be familiar and simple. Really came into itís own on Wednesday and may help anyone travelling over the busy periods coming up
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Interesting. Can you check in entirely on the French side? Am picking up in Gva on Sunday. Might get there early and suss it out.
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Thanks. Sounds really useful. Very Happy
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i use this a lot, but you need to be aware that its not always open. something to do with flights arriving for connecting flights, not really sure, but its probably only open 50% of the time. if your in a rush and its closed you've just added an extra 20 minutes to your wait at security.

edit...waits at security have been getting longer for the last couple of months. 30 mins isnt unusual now Sad
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@eddiethebus, hmmm, dispute that and I fly about 1ce or 2ce a week now out of GVA...

We arrived 08:10 at easyjet bag drop which seemed heaving to me, thru security (which was hugely busy) and I was sneaking a cheeky prosecco (cos itís an airport) in the lounge at 08:20 ....

I normally find security maybe 1-2 people in front of me?
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luck i guess. i flew once in november and again in december and both were havoc with people panicking, ducking under ropes nearly in tears :/
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I wish I had known this last year - I missed my flight because of the 1 1/2 hour queue through security. Thank you I will remember this for next time.
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Weíve paid 8chfs each to use the fast track expecting it to be chaos today
http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-478/
Any estimates on Easyjet bag drop queue at 15:00 today?
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A few years ago we flew Easyjet to and from Geneva and rented a car from the French side, I seem to recall we were able to return the car, then check on to the flight and clear security without going into the main terminal, really quick through all of it.

In contrast, we flew out with Easyjet on 2 Jan this year and we nearly missed our flight. Fortunately our plane was delayed on the way to Geneva but I recall over an 1hr queue for bag drop and then a long queue for security. Easyjet weren't interested in offering any assistance to anyone or giving any information.
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Get an Easyjet Plus card and Fast Track security is free.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Also beware the passport checks before the gates. I nearly missed my flight last week due to that queue.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@bar shaker, Isn't the Easyjet Plus card about £200 a year?
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At 15:00 Easyjet bag drop was 30 mins and security was only 15m. Assume itíll get busier later....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mate of mine going through Geneva this evening says it's mayhem? We flew back the same pre Xmas Friday last year and had 1.5 hour queue for Easyjet(only half desks open) and then security queue back to the escalators. Had to cut through at the zig zags to make the flight, two crying daughters st my side helped!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
At Geneva now, staff said security upstairs was really busy so after EasyJet desks, they showed us around the back of oversized baggage to an extra small security area and got straight through there. Been through Geneva loads of times and it's the first I've known about this option.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@snowhound, sounds horrific. All that stress with two crying kids! My family fly out on new year's eve in the afternoon. Shouldn't be a peak time - flights were cheapo - but am going to explore the French option tomorrow.
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My friends report huge queues on arrival at Chambery today. 'Enhanced security checks'
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Innsbruck at 06.30 this morning worked like clockwork and fast. Also the Austrian Airlines charter flight was the best service Iíve experienced for a European flight for over 20 years.
Good tip about Geneva. Have rented cars French side several times and found route through doors and corridors OK, especially if you have kids and pretend youíre in an episode of Dr Who snowHead
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Ha! Yes it is like Dr Who. Or Alice through the Looking Glass.
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@loatie, a real time thank you, am in an extremely busy Geneva airport enjoying a glass of wine after avoiding the 1-hour-plus security on the Swiss side! The French side took all of 1 minute!
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PeakyB wrote:
Innsbruck at 06.30 this morning worked like clockwork and fast.


Doesn't sound like the Innsbruck I've used...which also has a secret second security - upstairs, all the way back along towards check-in (from memory - which isn't the greatest after a week in Ischgl!).
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@gra, Brilliant - glad it worked out for you. Happy Christmas!!
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Major benefit of hiring car from French side
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Went through Geneva today. Arrived early to potentially swap to an earlier Easyjet flight but knocked that on the head when we saw the huge mass of humanity inside! Had a leisurely lunch and then got stuck in. Took 40 mins to check in and then another 40 mins to get through security (swiss side) and finally a 5 minute wait at passport control.
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Have just ascertained you cannot check in for international flights in the French sector. But did park there - the Swiss side a scrum today but loads of spaces French side. Now sitting in the international baggage hall awaiting my arrivals. Security queues long on French side but this is no doubt an unusually busy day with French passengers going home for Christmas.
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Why is it so bad at Geneva? Tis like nowhere else. If they were in the EU I bet it wouldn't be that bad.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@ElizabethLizzyLiz, too much space allocated to Toblerones Puzzled
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@ElizabethLizzyLiz, you've never been to Stansted or Luton then?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Or Chambery...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
And another tip...

...a two pence coin works in the luggage trolley's if you arrive and are yet to break into your euro notes!!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Am I right in assuming that if I am arriving from a French resort, I will be going through French security ??
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@albob, no. French security only for domestic France flights.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Fly from Sion.
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@under a new name, Thanks for the reply - will try to remember the info posted by loatie
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ďWhy is it so bad at Geneva? Ē

Itís not.
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Mjit wrote:
PeakyB wrote:
Innsbruck at 06.30 this morning worked like clockwork and fast.


Doesn't sound like the Innsbruck I've used...which also has a secret second security - upstairs, all the way back along towards check-in (from memory - which isn't the greatest after a week in Ischgl!).

Tried to fly into Innsbruck on Saturday 23, diverted to Friedrichshafen because Innsbruck was fog bound. Sorry, off thread.
snowHead
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Thanks for the short cut - we just did this as queue at Swiss side was mayhem. Almost went to French only gates by mistake but got sent the right way.

Advise doing a recce if you can Very Happy
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I'm looking at carrentals.com, and I'm seeing options that say (a) GENEVE FERNEY VOLTAIRE - Cote Francais Airport
In Terminal, and (b) Geneve Ferney Voltaire - Ferney Voltaire In Terminal.

Is (a) French side and (b) Swiss side?
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@NeddySkiGoon,
Quote:

Tried to fly into Innsbruck on Saturday 23, diverted to Friedrichshafen because Innsbruck was fog bound. Sorry, off thread.




Yes, bad luck on that one. We departed Innsbruck about 8am that day. Visibility was only maybe 100-150 metres.
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@mr. mike, I think anything listed as Ferney-Voltaire is French side. If you keep scrolling down you should see more options - anything with Cointrin will be swiss side.

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