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The joy of GVA - Arrivals

GVA FlightGeneva Airport. Love it or hate it if you are skiing in the northern Alps, it’s tough to avoid it.

Having spent a season as a resort transfer driver I’ve spent plenty of time in the airport and come to love it. Ok, I made that last bit up but let me share my insider knowledge to help smooth your journey through GVA.

Firstly, the good news. It is an extremely efficient airport. Throughout my entire season, most skiers were exiting baggage collection into the arrival hall 45 minutes after their flights landed at weekends and 30 minutes on a weekday. For passengers with just hand luggage, it was usually half that time. Times were occasionally extended by the need to collect ski or snowboard bags from the oversize carousel.

Secondly, it recovers from a crisis very quickly. Whenever transit times were extended due to snow, extreme weather or multiple flight arrivals it recovered very quickly in a short period to the usual transit times.

At weekends the arrivals hall gets chock full of transfer drivers, taxi drivers, loved ones, dogs and holiday company reps’ all trying to find their clients and exit tout suite. So, if you're meeting a transfer driver, best get a mobile number and call them to find out their location, otherwise you’ll just have to walk up and down the rows of people looking for your name on a board.

On weekdays it’s completely different; relaxed, chatty and chilled with plenty of space for all.

For a large airport, GVA has surprisingly little car-parking. If you have paid a premium for a private transfer you can expect your transport to be parked in the car park just outside the arrivals hall, thus you should be on your way in minutes. For others in a shared transfer, it’s usually a schlep to P33, a 5-minute walk through the airport, best to consider it as part of your pre ski training programme.

If you’re hiring a car for your transfer, remember that you land in the Swiss section of the airport. So if you have hired your car from a French hire company you will need to access the French sector to collect it. Simply turn left out of the arrivals hall, then left again through the single door into France.

Perversely, the quickest way to join the motorway heading to the Alps is to head in the opposite direction to start with. Simply head north on the E62 signposted Versoix, Lausanne. Exit immediately at Junction 7 marked GD-Saconnex, head for Ferney driving back over the motorway on the bridge, then turn left at the first set of traffic lights, bear left, bear right and access the motorway on your left. This route avoids the urban area around the airport and the numerous traffic lights that seem to be always on red.

Remember though, that you are in Switzerland, so you will need a carnet to drive on their motorways legally. Most hire cars have this as standard but best to check.

Safe journeys!

 Monsieur Mogul

Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski.

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