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Geneva Airport Guide

Geneva Airport is our most popular transfer hub. 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 to name but two.

When you book a Geneva airport transfer with Mountain Drop-offs, we are at arrivals for your airport pickup to meet you, 24hrs a day, seven days a week for your summer trips and your winter ski holiday transfers – and all at excellent prices!

Gateway to the Alps

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 Airlines and easyJet Switzerland.

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.

Dedicated Mountain Drop-offs transfer desk in arrivals

We 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 ones originating from France) still depart and arrive into the French side of the airport. (Yes, Geneva has a French and a Swiss side), but flights from the UK into Geneva arrive at the main Swiss side.

Airport drop offs and pick ups – the rules

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.

Geneva Airport Arrivals & Departures

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 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.

Security at Geneva Airport

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.

Geneva Airport transfer signs

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 Play Zone airside is a must. It’s aimed at 3-12 year olds and is located between gates A5 and A8 in the transit zone. There’s also a Baby Care room in the east wing near gate C for breastfeeding mums and baby changing.

Geneva Airport passengers looking for peace and quiet before boarding should also head to the mezzanine level, where there is plentiful seating  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 120mins 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 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 (open 7/7), restaurants and even a hairdressers and manicurist.

Showers – shower rooms are available (15chf pay at Geneva Info desk). Located airside in the bagage reclaims zone, in departures near the Premier Class lounges and in arrivals near the Post Office.

GVA luggage at the airport
Pic: Markus

Luggage trolleys
–  don’t forget a 2chf or 2euro coin for your luggage trolley (it’s a ‘caddie’ or ‘chariot’ 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.

Looking after your luggage – our top tip for avoiding bag mix ups is to personalise your baggage with a sticker, a ribbon or a strap so you know straight away its yours! Helps when picking your luggage off the carousel and taking your bag from the van when being dropped off on your transfer.

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.

Geneva Airport Switzerland for the Alps

Your Geneva Airport FAQs…

  • Which ski resorts are close to Geneva Airport?

    If you’re planning a ski trip flying in to Geneva and want to know which ski areas are nearest to the airport, here’s our list of the best resorts within an hour or so of GVA: Chamonix, Morzine, Les Gets, St Gervais, Megeve, Les Carroz and Samoens

  • Where can I keep track on my flight to Geneva?

    The airport has live departure and arrival boards on the Geneva Airport website. There’s also an App where you can opt for alerts on individual flights to keep you informed. If you book a transfer with us from Geneva, we also keep track of what is happening with your arrival and departure flights.

  • My bag hasn’t arrived/my luggage is damaged. What should I do?

    Contact the correct handling agent office for your airline straight away(there are two handling agents at Geneva). They have offices in the arrivals hall. Dnata for: British Airways, Aer Lingus etc.  Swissport for: easyJet, Swiss, Flybe, United, Jet2 etc.

  • Where is lost property at Geneva Airport?

    It depends where it was lost! There are different agencies and offices to contact. For example there’s a dedicated lost property service for items left on the Swiss train network, Swissport handle lost property at security control and the Police collect items lost in public areas inside or outside the airport. All the contact details you need are on the Lost Property page of the Geneva Airport website.

  • What is the contact telephone number for Geneva Airport?

    The Passenger Information line is +41(0)848 19 20 20. Calls are charged at 0.08CHF/min from Swiss landlines, more from mobile networks.

  • Are there any decent Geneva Airport hotels?

    There are no hotels actually within the airport complex itself, but there are several chain hotels such as Ibis, Movenpick, Nash and Holiday Inn within easy access (and often with free shuttle services). It’s worth noting the airport closes its doors between midnight and 4am, so there’s no kipping down for the night before an early flight. Don’t forget though that Mountain Drop-offs operates according to the flight schedule, so we can get you there for those early red-eye flights.

  • Where can I look to compare info on cheap airport travel to and from GVA?

    We’ve done a rundown of all the ways to travel to and from Geneva Airport so you can see what transfer options and travel choices suit you.

So now you know all there is to know about Geneva Airport…

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.

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