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Your most hated “ski” airport?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just wondering if there is an airport you avoid when booking your ski holiday. Is there one that your heart sinks when it comes up as the cheapest? Or do you just suck it up as part of the experience?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chambery because of the fog risk, Lyon the best IMHO as it has the least amount of ski traffic - also I never transfer on a Saturday
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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?
@bambionskiis, our worst experience has been at Chambery where there was nowhere to feed the kids when we were delayed for three hours.We did have food with us on the coach, but it had been eaten by the time we got to Chambery, and a 5am departure from resort followed by standing around in Aime for an hour meant they were cold tired and hungry. At the time, I think there was only a baked potato stall open at Chambery and it had sold out before 10am. I wouldn't avoid it though, in fact I think we used it again after that, but I do recall hubby saying that if we had driven we'd be halfway to Calais by now. It is more the whole transfer experience that makes us avoid airports.
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Manchester T1 - a 3rd world experience for a major airport that is open 365 days a year as opposed to 18 weekends like Chambery and Grenoble.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Stansted, without a shadow of a doubt. Full of stag and hem parties.
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My worst personal experience - Innsbruck because of a very long disruption for which the airport was totally ill equipped. Wasn't their fault - lots of fog in the UK. TO gave us vouchers for food which meant queueing forever for SFA. Nowhere to sit, place was teeming with people. All facilities overwhelmed. And I had a stinking cold. We had been picked up horribly early morning and got back to Gatwick quite late in the evening. I suspect if I'd ever used Chambery on a busy Saturday it would be right up there - but having only used it at quiet times it's my favourite. Was once in the car ) within 5 minutes of walking down the airport steps. And...... it was heaving down with rain, which turned to snow as I climbed up the easy drive to the apartment. snowHead snowHead snowHead And the icing on the cake - free parking!!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Liverpool for bad attitude and poor service, Geneva for the queues. I don't like the whole airport experience especially the seemingly arbitrary application of security protocols (belt off/belt on, shoes off/shoes on, kindle out of bag/kindle in the bag etc...) it just annoys me. Just got to suck it up and get on with it unfortunately.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@cameronphillips2000, Those hem parties eh wink . Gangs of pissed up people staring at the bottom of your coat or skirt Laughing Laughing
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Chambery because of the fog risk, Lyon the best IMHO as it has the least amount of ski traffic - also I never transfer on a Saturday
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Gatwick. Loads of ski flights departing, but chuffin miles away.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Geneva is hard to believe.
Savage queues to get through immigration and baggage then a fight to maneuver through arrivals followed by a 15 minute walk through the airport, then the train station then out the back of the supermarket service area, lift will likely be broken so 4 flights of stairs followed by a dangerous walk through the uncovered and unmarked coach park.
all this with kids, luggage, skis etc.

Surely that can't be beaten?
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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.
Gatwick.
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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
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
Crikey, not good is it? We were stuck in terminal 2 at Salzburg last week. We arrived 2 hours before but by the time we got to the food Stand the queue to board was already massive. According to wiki, terminal 2 is to become a uk terminal post-Brexit because of increased security checks (don’t know if that’s true). Wierd thing was, there was a whole room for checking in bulky and ski items but people were still at checking with their skiis. Not sure why that would be. The trouble was it was heaving so people lying their skis on the floor became quite a trip hazard as I saw several people found to their cost.

There were massive queues from Birmingham this time which a security person I got chatting to blamed on people not being prepared to take their ski boots off. We had our laces undone well in advance but sure enough people in front of us, after watching those in front removing their, still weren’t ready when it was their turn. They then were taking them off the belt and standing there putting them on again until the guards moved them out of the way.

Personally kittila airport in Finland was bad for the hours of delay we suffered there. Hardly any facilities. Torture.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Manchester certainly gets points for totally stupid design and layout. In practically every possible sector of the terminal.

Geneva is fine. Specially for those of us already inside Schengen. Only the wait for gate announcement and nowhere to sit in the meantime that's an issue (can't sit in any bar/cafe cos they're packed with people doing the same).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I haven't experienced it as a passenger myself but I used to fly ski charters into Grenoble and gathered that the terminal facilities were pretty inadequate, anyone agree or not? Certainly the service we experienced during the turn around wasn't usually an example of shining efficiency even when the French authorities weren't trying to dismantle us during a 'random' (e.g. It's British so lets get 'em) inspection.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gatwick, only 96 miles away, but what feels like a very long 96 miles.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes ski and snowboard bags for a few days holiday.
could do a full thread on this!
unless your a professional who is under contract or racing or something like that.
leave the f**King things at home.
go try out the latest model for a week for less than carriage.
I will make you carry your own stuff through the airport, through the crowds, all the way, you bring all that crap, your problem.

Please please please just rent at resort.
snowboarders are the worst btw
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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?
andy wrote:


Geneva is fine. Specially for those of us already inside Schengen. Only the wait for gate announcement and nowhere to sit in the meantime that's an issue (can't sit in any bar/cafe cos they're packed with people doing the same).


I've never had a problem finding a seat in the upstairs waiting areas at Geneva. I have been stuck in the Easyjet check in snake for nigh on 2 hours once though, and as a result I always look for a route that doesn't involve Geneva on a Saturday.

Grenoble was the worst for me, 20 years ago. No facilities and chaotic check in & security. But any airport can be bad when it's busy.
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Geneva security queues can be awful on a Saturday. I always try to avoid it on that day. Never had a problem at Innsbruck - though I know it can get fogged-in.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Being contrary... Zürich is a great gateway to Europe. Organised with typical Swiss efficiency and having a railway station in the complex is very convenient for us.

We can touch down at 7:40 and still make the 8:40 connection to St Anton at the HBf.
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Chambery every time. I've been there as a passenger once (which was one time too many for my liking but one time too few for the number of flights I've booked there!) and I've done the commercial pilot simulator training in there too. Having done the whole 'fly into the dead-end valley, follow the motorway, turn right at the supermarket car park, right at the hospital and with luck the runway should be straight ahead of you' procedure I am rather glad I don't go there with work. You don't need much to go wrong and suddenly you have a headache on your hands. The approaches hang so much on wind direction and good visibility that the weather is crucial - and most of us will be attempting to go there in the winter. A season not known for it's good weather. The other problem is that most of us are travelling on a weekend during a season that only lasts 16 weeks. These tiny airports don't have the money to put lots of resources into terminals that are frantically busy for 32 days a year and ghost towns the rest. Chambery, Kitilla, Grenoble mentioned here, but there are others that are only busy on ski transfer weekends and quite otherwise.

Going back to terrifying approaches - in my company pilots have training for Innsbruck and then do 3 flights there a season. Once they have completed their 3 trips, they don't have to do it again unless they volunteer. I've not been, but I do wonder what brought about the 3 flight limit (I do long haul and we have no such limits on further-flung difficult airports like Mexico City etc.)

These days, unless I am on a package trip and don't have the choice, I choose large airports and scheduled flight services at a time which isn't between Saturday morning and Sunday early afternoon every time I can, even if it means flying on a Friday night and staying in a cheap hotel. Airports like Geneva will fly the bucket and spade brigade on a winter weekend into the big shed beside the main terminal, but the likes of BA, Lufty, even Easyjet, etc will go through the main terminal building which is, well, nicer. Munich and the little extra driving is my first choice.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
cameronphillips2000 wrote:
....hem parties.


Did you take it up with anyone?


I'm here all day, thank you!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
When I first used Chambery, it was a quiet, little used airport - which has over time, turned into a hell hole....especially for flying back from.
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Gatwick? My experience there recently, since the improvements, has been OK. Certainly the security lanes are much better.
We are only 15 miles away, so that helps.

Flying anywhere is a chore, though. Does anyone else remember when it was almost part of the holiday?
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Geneva awful and top of my list, and I fly a lot with work. Especially trying to return a hire car first. Utter mess. Or easyJet check in. Skis always seem to take forever to arrive when inbound there. It's like they are surprised to have a large volume of skis arrive every weekend in winter!
Also had to carry luggage up to the roof carpark once as lifts now working. Great fun with skis and a little kid, as well as helping some of the older people on our bus too...

Grenoble was not good yesterday. Sat in a tent after a huge check in queue, then waited ages in line for security, where the boarding pass was scanned at 3 separate points in a closed queue system. Pointlessly inefficient, but there's no point investing for a few weeks a year. Sorting the process would be easy though.

Not a fan of Manchester but never found it too bad, use it regularly for work. T3 is horrible.

Gatwick seems badly laid out, sprawling and poorly signed, as well as miles from us but no real problems compared to Geneva.

I think my all time worst airports are a shootout between Washington Dulles and Paris CDG.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Miami. The resort transfer is stupidly long.
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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.
Chambery would probably be mine. Especially since the last time I went, plane was delayed to wait for fog to clear then when it didn't it was diverted to Lyon last minute and so we had to wait for the transfer coaches to drive from Chambery to Lyon...

If only I could fly to Zurich all the time for all ski trips, loads of flights (from London at least), I can fly from City, less than 45 mins from plane to train station in Jan and can even check in for the return flight at the train station.
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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
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
All off them, I can't stand the mass stupidity. Surely in this era there can't be many people who haven't been through an airport before yet most find the simplest task difficult.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@rob@rar, Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Izzop wrote:
Gatwick, only 96 miles away, but what feels like a very long 96 miles.


Seems a bit closer now as the 3 years of 15 miles at 50mph speed resriction has gone from the M3😄
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I refuse to fly to or from Innsbruck. The technically minded SH’s will explain in better detail the scientific/ geographic reasons behind it......I just remember feeling like I was inside a washing machine for the spin cycle during take off/initial climb and don’t really fancy doing it again!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Geneva is easy if you know what you’re doing. Valet parking, security fast track pass (8chf) and three lounges to choose from (I vote for Swiss or Dnata) et voila - minimal time spent queuing with people who act like they’ve never seen a body scanner before
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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?
Chambery
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Chambery.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Grenoble was appalling last year returning from a week in La Plagne with one of the big package operators. Basically 8 flights to the Uk all leaving within an hour from an airport that is only capable of handling a handful of passengers at a time. So unsurprisingly there were enormous queues for everything. The time it took to get through security meantthat they had to hold all the flights so we ended up a couple of hours late home.
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On another note, London City is rather nice.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Geneva - skis took an hour to appear last time. Ridiculous
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Birmingham..always takes almost an hour after landing for bags to appear even when there is only a couple of flights landing😩
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
And the one to the. North West of Milan is dreadful. Hotels supposed to be o. Site are at the back end of dodgy industrial area s and country lanes. The taxis wont wake you as they don't fancy a mile trip.
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For departures I don’t care, I’m going skiing! Tho the absence of a lounge at city makes delays more painful.

For arriving back, I find Heathrow the worst for immigration queues. City and Southend the best by far.
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