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Geneva, Saturday mornings - how bad?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking at flight options for next Easter, and am thinking an early morning departure from UK (around 6-6.30am) seems decent, price wise.

That would get us into Geneva around 8.30-9am local time. I've heard horror stories about Geneva, but would an early flight reduce that issue, or do I have to accept that it'll be horrendous at any time on a Sat?

Cheers
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
My experience, across early and more relaxed flights - it's completely random!

I've had weeks where check-in was fine but security a nightmare, but then flying back in Jan check-in had huge queues but security was a breeze.

Flew in to GVA in mid-Jan and baggage reclaim was chaos, though mainly due to ski converyer being replaced.

Based on those experiences I warned my friends before our Feb half term trip and... Check-in queues fine. Security fine. Only problems were in the tiny food court.


An early flight might not save you issues at GVA but does give you the most time to then get to your resort and sat down with a beer.
Likewise a late flight back gives you the most room to handle any traffic, etc delays.
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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?
Flying to an Alpine airport on a Saturday in high season will always involve some "chaos".

For French and Swiss resorts, GVA isn't perfect but it's certainly better than Chambery or Grenoble, which can be simply appalling when busy.

Last time I flew through GNB was a departure back to UK. 7am on a Saturday in season and the toilets were already out of loo roll.
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Half term can be busy, but Easter is normally fine.
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@SHAP, worth identifying if this is the charter terminal you're talking about, or the main terminal.

In my experience (c.15+ flights/yr in/out of GVA) the main terminal is fine until it gets near capacity, then gets abruptly awful; even on the same day, a couple of flight delays, or a couple of hours difference in arrival time, can make a massive difference to your experience.

e.g. if you are seated near the back of the plane, and it arrives shortly after even 1 other plane, the passport queues could be 30 mins. Near the front, with no planes just landed, we were through in 2 mins on a Feb half term Saturday this year. Same with baggage - hugely variable.

I've no experience of the charter terminal, and intend to keep it that way Happy
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That's assuming next Easter's traffic volume will be just like other years... rolling eyes
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Mmm, this was the reason that I was ideally looking at Thurs-Thurs flights, but accom is rare as rocking horse poo-poo for anything other than a weekend.

Might just have to put up with it.

Cheers
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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!
Easter is never busy and will be even less so next year. And GVA is usually fine anyway as reported above. Don’t sweat it.
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SHAP wrote:
Mmm, this was the reason that I was ideally looking at Thurs-Thurs flights, but accom is rare as rocking horse poo-poo for anything other than a weekend.

Might just have to put up with it.

Cheers


Are Friday and/or Sunday flights an option for you? Going out fly late Friday/straight to a Geneva airport hotel and Geneva airport hotel/Sunday flight home. Book early and prices aren't too bad, especially if you can fill a room. Plus you have the chance of a day/day and a half extra skiing.
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@Mjit, Flights not bad for Fri-Sun, but the thought of adding 2 nights in a Geneva hotel isn't thrilling. I think we'll prob go early flight out Sat, and late back the following Sat. Should be able to stay in Avoriaz untill 4ish then, so a sneaky bit extra ski time.
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Quote:

accom is rare as rocking horse poo-poo for anything other than a weekend


Then I think you are looking in the wrong places. Chamonix at least seems to have many more places that will do "broken" dates ... Airbnb ...
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@under a new name, true, but places like Airbnb or Homeaway always seems to show availability for dates, but when you enquire, they suddenly say no, only Sun-Sun or Sat-Sat. Will keep looking.
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Quote:

@Mjit, Flights not bad for Fri-Sun, but the thought of adding 2 nights in a Geneva hotel isn't thrilling.

It depends upon your definition of thrilling. My nepthew booked a cheep hotel in Geneva once because it was cheeper to fly on a Friday and stay in a hotel rather than flying on the Saturday. It was in the red light district.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@johnE, Laughing Laughing Laughing

Mrs SHAP may not be so keen...
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@SHAP,
Ive worked as a transfer driver for PdS resorts (and have done many other alpine roles).

The earlier the better is my advice about a Saturday arrival into Geneva for peak weeks.

Think you have been looking at Avoriaz right? and a 10am Transfer depart from GVA even the busiest Saturday over Easter will be fine.

The Bonus about Morzine/Avoriaz/Les Gets area is that there are two routes...... so switched on transfer drivers will check the traffic before departing GVA and then decide on the route.

Routes are...

1 x via Thonon on Lac Leman (Lake Geneva route).
2 x via Motorway past Annemasse then through Tanninges.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@snowdave, Actually the charter terminal is great in terms of quick in and out. Virtually no facilities though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@SHAP Most websites simply don't do anything other than Sat-Sat but many immobiliers will have people on their books who will consider a weekday-to-weekday let. Most seasons, for example, we will take a couple of bookings that are weekday/weekday. So my advice is to go direct to the letting agent and ask. If an agency has what?, a couple of hundred or more properties on their books, the odds are someone will be up for it. When we go out ourselves, it's always weekday/weekday so that leaves us with a start and end week that's partial (I'm talking self-catering apartment here).
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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?
SHAP wrote:
@Mjit, Flights not bad for Fri-Sun, but the thought of adding 2 nights in a Geneva hotel isn't thrilling. I think we'll prob go early flight out Sat, and late back the following Sat. Should be able to stay in Avoriaz untill 4ish then, so a sneaky bit extra ski time.


Yea, just had a quick look and seems plenty of other's have the same idea so nothing cheap left. Clearly a book-well-in-advance plan. I've certainly done it for ~£50 in a next-to-airport/free transfer bus hotel on a non-peak week, to swap from the choice of a single, ~10am flight on a Saturday to a choice of 5 flights across the day on a Sunday. An extra day's skiing and not getting up for a 5:30AM for a transfer bus? Worth £50 of my money any day Very Happy
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Thanks guys, all good info.

I think going for the early Sat option out seems to be a winner. Should hit resort by lunch time, beat the masses, and aim for a late flight the following week for the same reason.

@@247snowman, yes, Avoriaz.
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Geneva Airport is like something from the 1970s.

It sucks every day of the week.

Ski collection area is a disaster.
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Whitegold wrote:

It sucks every day of the week.


Something with which I guess you are very familiar.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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It does have the most expensive McDonalds i've ever eaten in Laughing but last winter discovered the Turkish Kebab place, which was great!

When we flew in last year, late Thursday night, ski pick up wasn't great, skis just come out on the back of trolley, and people dive in. Not exactly the most organised.
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