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Geneva Airport Guide

Geneva International Airport (IATA code GVA) welcomes over 15 million passengers a year, many of whom take onward airport transfers to nearby alpine ski resorts such as Chamonix and Morzine. When you book a Geneva airport transfer with Mountain Drop-offs, we are at arrivals to meet you 24hrs a day, seven days a week for your summer trips and your winter ski holiday transfers at excellent prices.

The airport is actually just 4km outside of Geneva City Centre and straddles the border with France and Switzerland. GVA is one of the busiest airports in Switzerland and is a major hub for Swiss International Air Lines, easyJet Swiss and Darwin airlines. With ever-increasing passenger numbers, the airport is undergoing a large expansion programme, offering improved passenger facilities both airside and landside, more gates for planes and revised security procedures to meet Geneva Airport’s Schengen requirements.

Guide section

Geneva Airport - our guide

Quick, convenient and comfortable Geneva Airport transfers

Mountain Drop-offs transports thousands of passengers to and from Geneva Airport every year. For those arriving at the airport, there will be a uniformed Mountain Drop-offs driver or co-ordinator to greet you as soon as you pass through the doors into the arrivals hall of the main Swiss side. We also have a dedicated desk where you can meet with a member of Mountain Drop-offs staff. It’s located next to the Tekoe Tea Shop, opposite the UBS cash machines in the main arrivals hall.

Please note some flights (mainly originating from France) still depart and arrive into the French side of the airport. Yes, Geneva has a French and a Swiss side! Flights from the UK into Geneva arrive at the main Swiss side.

Throughout the week, your Mountain Drop-offs vehicle will drop you off and pick you up right outside the main departures and arrivals. During the weekends, all departure drop offs are right outside too, but the strict airport regulations at Geneva Airport mean that for weekend arrivals, we will lead you to your pick up area by the train station. All airport transfer companies operating in and out of Geneva Airport are obliged to adhere to these regulations, but many omit to tell you before you book.

Landside facilities at Geneva Airport

As airports go, Geneva is actually a pleasant place. Landside (i.e. before security) has shops, bars, toilets and restaurants too. The Montreux Jazz Cafe on arrivals level is a good place to hang out and you can see the baggage reclaim hall from there too, if you’re keeping and eye out for friends. Up on the departure level the Food Court has the usual mix of High Street brands including McDonalds and Starbucks, as well as other options. It has a nice, very large roof terrace for a bit of al fresco dining.

When flying out of Geneva Airport you will, of course, have to go through security. Heightened EU security rules can mean lengthy queues at peak times, so please allow for this. You can also opt to pay for Priority Lane at security (costing around 8CHF), which can be booked online from the Geneva Airport e-services hub page. As with all airports, Geneva follows the strict guidelines regarding restrictions to hand luggage. For the latest information on this, check with your airline.

What’s airside at Geneva Airport

Having gone through security you will be airside and this is where you’ll find the duty free shops, offering everything from iPads and smart watches, to cashmere scarves and chocolate…lots of chocolate. There are also places to grab something to eat, from a lowly sandwich, to a platter of oysters washed down with a flute of Champers.

For those travelling with kids, a visit to the creche on the mezzanine level on the airside departures is a must. There are games, books and slides, as well as rest area and a kitchen – perfect for nursing mothers. Access is free for 0-5 year olds accompanied by a parent and the creche is open 08:00 t0 20:00 each day. Those looking for peace and quiet before boarding should also head to the mezzanine level where there is plentiful seating area away from the shops, bars and restaurants. Just make sure you don’t get too comfortable and miss your flight.

Also, remember that some of the gates at Geneva Airport can be around a 10-15 minute walk away from the main departure hub, so make sure you allow time before your flight to get to your gate. Once there, you’ll find there are toilets and most have a little shop and cafe area too.

Activities section

Things to know about Geneva Airport

Geneva Airport insider tips

Geneva Airport is bustling and busy. If you don’t know the place that well, here are some top insider tips from our canny Mountain Drop-offs transfer drivers and airport-based co-ordinators who know GVA like the backs of their hands!

Free wifi – the airport offers 90mins of free wifi access. You just need to find the network ‘Free Wifi GVA’, enter your mobile number and then use the access code sent to your phone.

Smokers – Geneva Airport is no smoking, but there is a swish smoking lounge after you’ve gone through security into departures. The lounge is on the right hand side past all the shops.

Pay with € or CHF – you can pay in euros or Swiss francs at restaurants and bars both airside and landside at Geneva Airport, so no need to change money when your onward travel is in to France

Underground shopping centre – there is a full range of shops and services in the train station (follow signs to ‘Gare CFF’ accessed via arrivals) including a left luggage service, Migros supermarket, restaurants and even a hairdressers and manicurist.

Showers – shower rooms are available (15chf). Located landslide in arrivals (near the Montreux Jazz Cafe end) and airside in departures

Creche – a proper little self-contained creche room is on the mezzanine level airside after security. Access is free for 0-5 year olds accompanied by a parent and is open 08:00 to 20:00. A lifesaver for new mums!

Luggage trolleys –  don’t forget a 2chf or 2euro coin for your luggage trolley (it’s a ‘caddy’ in French) and if you’re travelling with oversize bags (skis, snowboards, bikes, golf clubs etc) these items arrive on the separate oversize baggage lift which is on your right as you enter the luggage reclaim hall

Lost/damaged bags – contact the correct handling agent office for your airline as there are two (Dnata for British Airways, Jet2 and MyTravel, Swissport for easyJet, Aer Lingus and Swiss International Air Lines)

Schengen shenanigans – although Switzerland isn’t in the EU, it is signed up to the Schengen agreement, which allows the freedom of movement of people. It’s a complicated subject, but you can read all about Schengen visa requirements on the official EU Schengen page.

Sleep time – although a busy airport, the main terminal T1+ actually shuts between 00:00 and 04:00 each night and in case you’re thinking of doing an overnighter at the airport, the doors are closed and all areas inaccessible.

And a reminder of where we are at the airport:

Mountain Drop-offs
Aéroport de Genève
Route de l’Aeroport 21,
1215 Le Grand-Saconnex

Our dedicated Mountain Drop-offs transfer desk is next to Tekoe Tea Shop and opposite the UBS cashpoints.

Our handy Geneva Airport guide was brought to you with the help of seasoned transfer clients and our team of Mountain Drop-offs transfer drivers. We run transfers to and from Geneva Airport all year round and have been doing so since 2003. Friendly and reliable, book your transfer to your favourite Alps resort with us in confidence. For more information on Geneva Airport, check out the official Geneva Airport information website available in English, French and German.