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Geneva airport - reminder if huge security queues

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Came through last Saturday for a 14.50 flight. Arrived at 11.50 and sailed through security. Had a look couple of hours later and queues looked to be 3 deep in the lines with majority of desks in operation. Also had a sneaky look at where you'd come out from the French sector at the same time and it looked empty on the other side.

Gate was posted 45 mins (D85) before departure time and we went straight away and found about 20 folks in front of us at passport, through in 5 mins.

Then sat on plane for an hour waiting to be de iced .
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@Upsidedown, did you find somewhere to sit for that long wait between security and passport control?
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@Ozboy, @Poogle,

Thanks for your help, i’ve not been through Geneva for a while so i appreciate your advice, there’s three of us coming back on a Monday and after four days in chamonix i want an easy experience at the airport so I’m going to book the passes.

Ill report back on my findings.
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There's seats upstairs on the Mezzanine level.
Downstairs, everyone hogs all the seats in all the cafes/restaurants.
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Hurtle wrote:
@Upsidedown, did you find somewhere to sit for that long wait between security and passport control?


Yup there were stacks of seats to be had , turned right out of security then left into main concourse and left just past the first of the travelators , looking out onto the runway.
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@Upsidedown, @andy, ta!
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@Ozboy, often also D gates to UK.
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@Hurtle, From my experience, the real issue is security. I've never had much of a wait at passport control. But it's a roll of the dice: If you don't book a pass there will be very long security queues. And if you do book a pass, then there will be no security queues at all Very Happy
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if you book easyjet extra leg room or up front seats, but are not a member of easyjet plus, do you use the easyjet plus bag drop desk.
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@Poogle, I blinked - and booked a pass! wink
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Thank you to whoever recommended buying the Priority Pass. Well worth it today, Saturday. Massive line
bypassed at security and breezed through passport control.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
...but a few hours later, no issues. Arrived at the airport about half 5. Check in took about 20-30mins, but no queue at all for security (all Swiss side) or passport control.
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i'm doing the geneva airport easy jet thing in a couple of weeks. half term madness to be exact

how does one buy a pass? is it from the easyjet booking or from the GVA airport site?
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You know it makes sense.
@JONR,
BobinCH wrote:
We’ve paid 8chfs each to use the fast track expecting it to be chaos today
http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-478/
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Thank you 😀
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Used the priority lane Friday evening around 1930 and sailed through. The normal security lane didn't seem too bad, maybe a 10/15min wait.

The passport check on the other hand has been a much longer wait recently with a 20 minute wait on a good day especially if you are behind the first few rows of the aircraft or bused to the terminal on arrival. The departure passport check isn't any better.

If the travelator is switched off do not walk down it as it means the queue at passport control is backed up and usually has the larger line, take the other side on the walking path.

I've been through Geneva about every 3 weeks since early September and its not getting any better. Luckily I've avoided Saturdays during ski season.
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Quote:

We’ve paid 8chfs each to use the fast track expecting it to be chaos today

http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-478/

Thanks for the recommendation.@BobinCH, We used the fast track on Sunday evening at around 7.00pm, and it saved a lot of time and stress versus a ridiculously long queue
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compostcorner wrote:
if you book easyjet extra leg room or up front seats, but are not a member of easyjet plus, do you use the easyjet plus bag drop desk.


If you have Speedy Boarding then you can also use priority bag drop, but not priority security/scanning. I think you get the bag drop priority if you book in the first 5 rows.
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This was the queue for passport checks on Sat 27th at GVA... for arrivals!

Even being first off the aircraft and only being overtaken by those that ran, it still took 15 minutes to get through passport checks. The people at the back must have been there for an hour. You can't see the end of the queue as it went around the corner beyond the travellator.



Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 6-02-18 15:38; edited 1 time in total
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Ozboy wrote:
@gad, EasyJet (non-charter) departs from the main GVA terminal 1 and B gates when I flew in January.

There is a cafe in the B gate satellite gate hub so no need to hang around the main food court and better to get passport control our of the way.


Not so.

My last three EJ departures from GVA have been through C. One to LGW and two to STN.
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@bar shaker, if there's more than one of you, send another person round to the other side of the passport desks to check if the two on the other side are open. Over half the time I find they are, and there's no queue, with the officers sitting here chatting.
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Got to the airport exactly two hours before my BA flight, no queue for bag drop, straight through security, having paid for fast track, and through passport control within 5 minutes. Wow. Best ever, I think.
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gad wrote:
@Ozboy, @Poogle,

Thanks for your help, i’ve not been through Geneva for a while so i appreciate your advice, there’s three of us coming back on a Monday and after four days in chamonix i want an easy experience at the airport so I’m going to book the passes.

Ill report back on my findings.


As other people have said, the quick pass wasn’t really worth it as the queue to get through passport control is the worst bit, however we had priority boarding with easyJet and that was definitely worth it as the queue to check in bags was horrendous.
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Only just discovered this thread... Had the same experiences as some of the early posters, just before Xmas... Horrendous EJ queues and even more horrendous security queues... Literally sprinted to our flight and made it by seconds (having originally run to the wrong gate as well Embarassed )... We were very fortunate that some randoms, that we spoke to in the EJ queue, let us jump in front of them at Security, saving us about 15 mins queuing... There were arguments, pushing and shoving and one fight in the security queue... The issue is that NO ONE is managing this queue... There was a guy patrolling it but when folks were climbing under and over the barriers he would just watch them and shake his head.

I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone travelling through GVA to just shel out €8 and go priority... For the sake of £5 it is a no brainer... Everything about GVA sucks massive sh*t and is the perfect tonic to ruin any kind of day you're having... Smile

Nice tip about the French side tho...
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Note that the priority lane pass can only be purchased up to the day before travel, not on the day. So you can't just buy it online when you see the huge queues!
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EasyJet is the worst... Found flights were far cheaper when taking skis with BA. Zero lines, empty planes.... bliss.
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kachoong wrote:
EasyJet is the worst... Found flights were far cheaper when taking skis with BA. Zero lines, empty planes.... bliss.


The issue is weighing up the convenience of flying from my home airport (Bournemouth) or the long (ish) trek up to Heathrow to go with SwissAir or BA... To be honest, I'm still favouring the 10 minute drive to BMTH airport... The thing with EJ at GVA, when it's busy you may as well just go stand by Check in desk 1 and wait for you flight to be called as I've never, in there last couple of years, got close to actually checking in by queuing... Always get called out, which leaves you approx 45 mins to deal with security, which as we all know, just aint enough time...

I'd buy the priority regardless nowadays... Just takes the pressure and stress away...


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 26-02-18 12:54; edited 2 times in total
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kachoong wrote:
EasyJet is the worst... Found flights were far cheaper when taking skis with BA. Zero lines, empty planes.... bliss.


I use them at least 20 times a year and find them pretty good.

If you want to save a couple of quid and not buy Speedy Boarding (which includes speedy check in), then you can hardly moan about the queues.

My only criticism of them is actually of their handling agents at Gatwick, DHL. They have taken to starting boarding around 45-50 minutes before the flight leaves. This is often long before the aircraft even arrives and means you move from a seat, to a standing queue... where you then wait for 30 minutes.

Easyjet themselves are pretty good in all respects.
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Is Speedy Boarding a set fee, or is it based not e price you pay for the flight???
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@AlpineAddict, Neither, in my experience it's a variable fee depending on route and duration, but not ticket price.

Also, in your position it would take a big price differential for me to want to go to Heathrow - by the time you factor in parking and fuel costs, it would be hard to be cheaper than Bournemouth. I'll happily pay to fly from Southend vs driving to Heathrow to fly almost free (on Avios), but sadly flight frequency is poor.
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snowdave wrote:
I'll happily pay to fly from Southend vs driving to Heathrow to fly almost free (on Avios), but sadly flight frequency is poor.


Nail on Head mate... A lot ids also down to flight frequency... I am tied to school holidays due to my girlfriend being a teacher... It also rules out weekend trips, unless I travel up to Gatwick or Luton, as BMTH only offer 1 flight per day and it is usually in the morning...
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AlpineAddict wrote:
Is Speedy Boarding a set fee, or is it based not e price you pay for the flight???


It's included in the cost of the front 5 rows of seats. The cost of these is pretty standard, in my experience, regardless of destination.
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Hurtle wrote:
Got to the airport exactly two hours before my BA flight, no queue for bag drop, straight through security, having paid for fast track, and through passport control within 5 minutes. Wow. Best ever, I think.
I always take the fast track now -for 8chfs it means I can swing in an hour before departure for schengen flights and know I will still have time for a coffee in the lounge.
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I have suffered delays at security at Geneva airport many times over the years.
A few weeks ago on a busy Saturday I was surprised to be shown a new additional security check area immediately opposite the EasyJet check-in desks so I didn't need to go to the main security area on the floor above. It therefore took me only a couple of minutes to clear security because there were no queues at all!
Yesterday, I travelled through Geneva again. The airport was not very busy but this 'new' security short-cut was once again available (on a quiet Monday). I asked the staff if this new route was available for everyone or just EasyJet customers and she confirmed it had been introduced for use by anyone and was quite simply provided to reduce the pressure on the main security area.
If anyone is not aware of this new 'short-cut' I would highly recommend it (no need to pay for fast-track or hope the 'French route' is open!) and after clearing security just follow the signage and it brings you out directly into the main Duty-free shop in the departure area on the floor above the check-in level.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 27-03-18 14:20; edited 3 times in total
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@Mr Marmot, is this new area opposite the EJ bag drop or up on the first floor? apologies I only ever travel with hand luggage & check in online so I have no need to go to either & usually go straight to 2nd floor main security area.
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Jonny996 wrote:
@Mr Marmot, is this new area opposite the EJ bag drop or up on the first floor? apologies I only ever travel with hand luggage & check in online so I have no need to go to either & usually go straight to 2nd floor main security area.


Yes, it is in the EasyJet bag-drop area at one end of the check-in level of the airport. The door is in the wall facing the EasyJet bag-drop desks and at the very 'back' of the EasyJet bag-drop area. People who have bag-dropped with EasyJet are normally marshalled around the area with the tape barriered EasyJet bag-drop queuing system and right past this door. However access is also available without going through EasyJet bag-drop from close to the escalator which takes you up to the general security gates on the floor above.
When I have used this new route there has been a member of staff standing close by and encouraging EasyJet passengers to use this new small security check area (only 3(?) security gates).
When you take the door at the back of the EasyJet bag-drop area it first leads you outside the building into a small courtyard area and then back into the building where the security process takes place. After security you are directed by blue arrows on the floor through areas of the airport which are also used by people departing towards the luggage claim area. Following the blue arrows eventually takes you to an escalator up to the next floor and directly into the middle of the large airport duty free shop.
Maybe Snowheads should keep this new route secret to stop it becoming crowded!
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Mr Marmot wrote:
Following the blue arrows eventually takes you to an escalator up to the next floor and directly into the middle of the large airport duty free shop.
Maybe Snowheads should keep this new route secret to stop it becoming crowded!

This sounds like the same route the French security takes you........another secret way Very Happy
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Jonny996 wrote:
Mr Marmot wrote:
Following the blue arrows eventually takes you to an escalator up to the next floor and directly into the middle of the large airport duty free shop.
Maybe Snowheads should keep this new route secret to stop it becoming crowded!

This sounds like the same route the French security takes you........another secret way Very Happy


That may well be the case. Just before you take the escalator up to the duty free shop you are the other side of a glass partition where there is another security gate. At a quick glance I couldn't see if this was the 'French' entrance or some sort of airport transfer area.
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just pay your 8 euros for fast track, and no problems
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