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Chambery Airport today

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Landed at Chambery on time today around 12 noon. Got held on the aircraft for 90 mins, then over an hour queuing to get through passport control. In all, it’s was 3 hours from landing until leaving on our transfer coach.

I always avoid chambery if I can, much prefer the Geneva experience despite a longer transfer.

Is today a normal chambery Saturday or was that particularly bad?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have not experienced that....but have always travelled in Jan.

It's never a particularly good experience...and I have always found flying back is worse, as it's not equipped to deal with the numbers all trying to fly out.
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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?
@laura1182, As I reported on the tignes thread, firstly there was an issue with visibility which meant flights were delayed. Secondly the customs and passport staff imposed their own version of post brexit rules on UK arrivals as a protest for extra staff, despite no one having a clue on what those rules will be. A French union will never pass up a chance on gaining more members. Of course they choose to protest at an airport where 95% of arrivals are from the UK. Of course when we all fly to Geneva next year they will wonder where there jobs have gone......
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chocksaway wrote:
@laura1182, As I reported on the tignes thread, firstly there was an issue with visibility which meant flights were delayed. Secondly the customs and passport staff imposed their own version of post brexit rules on UK arrivals as a protest for extra staff, despite no one having a clue on what those rules will be. A French union will never pass up a chance on gaining more members. Of course they choose to protest at an airport where 95% of arrivals are from the UK. Of course when we all fly to Geneva next year they will wonder where there jobs have gone......



Love the Frenchies eh??……….. snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
45 minutes extra to Geneva is well worthwhile. Chambery is a sh*thole on a Saturday and the lack of investment in deicers, automated landing systems and the regular fog makes little to redeem it. I have spent more time in transfer buses from Chambery to Grenoble or Chambery to Lyon than the extra time taken getting to Geneva.
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I was stuck the other way. Quite a few delayed flights caused all sort of mayhem at security & then air side where there was only standing room with people waiting for the plane home!

Maybe you arrived with some other delayed flights - hence similar issues & a build up of people.
Previous Saturday we got through sec. quite quickly (considering there was only 2x booths open).

IMO the airport cant cope with the amount of footfall. Just need to look at the toilet queue to realise that!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Went through a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday with no problems either way, but I'd do anything to avoid Easyjet on a Saturday evening at Geneva!
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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!
@DavidYacht, to be fair to Chambery they are trying to run a major airport but for only 20 days a year. The average number of flights is 30 on a Saturday and 5 on a Sunday. They have improved the terminal, but its a tricky business model.

As to investment in automated landing systems, they can do no more because of the geography of the area. As you approach over the lake heading to the southerly runway the height at which a pilot must be able to complete an approach or overshoot is determined by the ability of the aircraft to overshoot (on one engine) and climb above the mountains to the south. The installed equipment is more then enough to get you to that point.

Additionally, the terrain is too severe to do a normal straight in approach to the northerly runway or to complete a safe take off from the southerly, this gives us a couple more problems:

1 If there is a strong northerly wind, the pilot must be able to break off the approach to the southerly runway and do a circling descent using visual cues to land heading north, clearly the weather has to be very good to do this.

2. As take offs have to be made heading north over the lake, if there is a strong tail wind from the south aircraft performance is severely affected by the tail wind. As the aircraft has to accelerate to counteract the tailwind before accelerating to achieve take off speed they run out of runway (which is very short anyway) so the only way to achieve a safe take off is by reducing weight - fuel load (requiring a fuel stop) or off loading bags or passengers or both.

In summary, if you were going to build an airport it would not be at Chambery!

The solution would be for the departmental authorities to get together and throw a lot of money at Grenoble, a 'standard airport' (and leaving Chambery to th puddle jumpers). The runway there is more than capable of handling many more flights, it is the aircraft parking and terminal handling facilities that are the limiting factors. But now you are talking regional politics! As Grenoble is only an extra 35 minutes transfer time, it would be the best solution.
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Ah French regional politics ... why there is no link between St Martin and Valmorel!

Stayed in a Sunday to Sunday chalet this year ... the Airports are so much more civilised
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Have been using Lyon over past couple of years. What a revelation. Biometric passport readers upon arrival, none of the issues with passport control when leaving the country that you experience with Grenoble, proper departures lounge.
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brovert wrote:
Have been using Lyon over past couple of years. What a revelation. Biometric passport readers upon arrival, none of the issues with passport control when leaving the country that you experience with Grenoble, proper departures lounge.


This. We used Lyon for the first time this year instead of Grenoble.

Night and day difference. Obviously any airport can be a horrible place in delays but at least Lyon actually felt like an airport with plenty of seating/places to eat etc rather than a shed on the edge of a stretch of tarmac.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Have flown into, & returned from, both Chambery and Gronoble. Once in both examples so possibly not representative.

Chambery was chaos in both directions (good flying conditions) & while Grenoble was largely painless on arrival the return bit was simply pandemonium: queues for security coming out of the main doors (again good flying conditions).
The facilities after going through security at both are rather limited and underwhelming.

Never again for either - would be a 'deal-breaker' for me if somebody proposed using them on a group trip.
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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
Thats why we drive now
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I gave Chambery a second chance for a trip to the Tarantesie last week. The first time ten years ago it was dreadful, akin to a Eurostar arriving at Sodor station to visit Thomas and his friends.

This time a similar experience to the OP. We were held on plane for over an hour on 9 March before being released to join back of an hour long queue to get through passport control due to "strike action". Leaving yesterday was even more chaotic, with flights being shown as leaving on time but passengers for those flights not being allowed through security until just before, and sometimes after, this time. Then they found another 30-40 minute queue. All the "Information Desk" could say was that the flight would not leave without us! We were not told about strike action yesterday but all security machines were in use and appeared fully manned - it was simply a case of a poorly organised set up trying to cope with far more passengers than could reasonably accommodated in the space available. GVA can also be an over crowded pain in the arsnic but at least it works. However, even with this hassle it was still 6hrs shorter and cheaper than driving.

Let alone the passengers, I cannot see the airlines or TOs putting up with this given the chaos it causes to their schedules so Darwinism should see Chambery revert to being a hobby airport.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Thorney,
Which flight?
I arrived on the 9th & had no issues getting off the plane, etc. In fact we landed 30mins early & had to wait for our driver!

On return (Sat) our flight was delayed & then we was called through security line B (not the long queue at A).

The issue I saw was there was a few delayed planes & the airport not big enough to cope because of it.
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My experiences of Chambery have been , pretty much , terrible. Cancelled, diverted and delays. Only used 5 times, but never had a pain free run through. I avoid like the plague now and use Geneva ( at least you know what you're getting ) if I'm getting a transfer, or Lyon if I'm hiring a car.

Geneva has the advantage of much cheaper flights than Chambery and much more choice as well.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yep, assport control has recently become really slow at Chambery... for us Brits, anyway... They told me last yr it was because of Schengen... Reckon they also do it on purpose, tho... chatting and joking away... one of them just standing there watching the other 2... Took nearly 2 hrs just for our one flight to all get thru..

Oh yes... and the queues at check-in on the return! Disorganised chaos!
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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?
There was a report in La Dauphine the local Savoie newspaper last sunday that 10,000 people were held up at Chambery airport due to strike action by customs officers, it was blamed on Brexit and predicted more chaos to come. Happy days.
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@Lee Shaw, Not so much a Brexit itself, but a campaign for more staff to deal with a perceived (or imagined) increased workload following a no deal Brexit. A French union will never pass up a chance to create more members.

If it was just Brexit it would have happened at Grenoble as well where 95% or more passengers are British, just like Chambery. Hopefully as the news of Chambery's reputation spreads pressure from those in the Savoie tourist industry will bring some common sense.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ever since we had to unpack 4 board bags and put anything that wasn’t a board into taped up plastic bags to check in (despite us having paid extra for them to be 23kg, and confirmed on the booking they were oversized length) I won’t go near Chambery...
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To add balance, i’ve travelled through Chambery in package deals for the last 4 years of trips (in early April, and on Sunday transfers)... and not had a problem. Was I just lucky?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Richie_S wrote:
To add balance, i’ve travelled through Chambery in package deals for the last 4 years of trips (in early April, and on Sunday transfers)... and not had a problem. Was I just lucky?

I've regularly travelled through Chambery for about 30 years. In that time, we have been re-routed once on the way in, about twice on the way out....and been delayed on departure once.

It's never a great experience.....but much worse on the way back.

When I first used it, it was little known about/used and a much more pleasant experience....it soon became popular, due to the short transfer time - and that's when it all became problematical.
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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!
The French customs officers have been operating a work to rule for the past fortnight or so, though I understand that today is the last day of that (for now). @chocksaway, not just Chambery - it has been the same story with trains to London from Gare du Nord, though it has barely had any coverage in the UK. Eurostar had to basically cancel their timetable and bookings and were just running a train an hour with passengers put on the next one on a first-come, first-served basis because it became impossible to predict how long the security queues would take.

I travelled to UK from Paris yesterday and it took 2.5 hours to get through (and we were forewarned, so turned up early). There was no sign of any extra checks beyond what I'd normally expect. The main delaying factor seemed to be that only 2 out of 4 security gates/scanners were in operation, so I'm guessing the work to rule included a ban on overtime or unofficial weekend cover.
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