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Looking for Advice for a Layover in GVA

Looking for Advice for a Layover in GVA

Old May 2, 22, 7:00 pm
  #1  
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Looking for Advice for a Layover in GVA

My return flight on July 6 was JTR-GVA-LHR-LAX. Layover in GVA was 8hrs. Layover in LHR was 8hrs. I had an opportunity to revise the route. It is now JTR-GVA-IAD-LAX. GVA now has a layover of roughly 17hrs (arriving 5:55pm, departing 11:30am next day). I am very happy with this new route. I lumped two short layovers and have a good overnight.

I am planning to stay at either HIX GVA or at a quaint hotel I found (Hotel Central - https://www.hotelcentral.ch/).

Both have pros and cons. HIX is at the airport. Shuttle is reportedly consistent.

Buuuttt, if I go with Hotel Central, its not really hard to go to the airport at all hours (and free). I have never seen Lake Geneva at night. (I did a day trip from Zurich three years ago.) Trains run fast and on time so getting to GVA at 9:30am wont be stressful.

HIX includes breakfast, as expected with Express.

What other factors would you consider to make a decision? What would you do in the end?

The post is nothing alarming or frantic. Just consider it as a thought exercise. Thanks.
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Old May 3, 22, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by SharkyTheArchae View Post
My return flight on July 6 was JTR-GVA-LHR-LAX. Layover in GVA was 8hrs. Layover in LHR was 8hrs. I had an opportunity to revise the route. It is now JTR-GVA-IAD-LAX. GVA now has a layover of roughly 17hrs (arriving 5:55pm, departing 11:30am next day). I am very happy with this new route. I lumped two short layovers and have a good overnight.

I am planning to stay at either HIX GVA or at a quaint hotel I found (Hotel Central - https://www.hotelcentral.ch/).

Both have pros and cons. HIX is at the airport. Shuttle is reportedly consistent.

Buuuttt, if I go with Hotel Central, it’s not really hard to go to the airport at all hours (and free). I have never seen Lake Geneva at night. (I did a day trip from Zurich three years ago.) Trains run fast and on time so getting to GVA at 9:30am won’t be stressful.

HIX includes breakfast, as expected with Express.

What other factors would you consider to make a decision? What would you do in the end?

The post is nothing alarming or frantic. Just consider it as a thought exercise. Thanks.
Well, the Holiday In Express GVA is walking distance from the airport, so easy to get to the airport as well. The shuttle is mostly for the benefit of a particular kind of people that have forgotten that you actually have legs that can take you places :-)
And as it is in Geneva you will get the free transport pass, and you have a choice of walking back to the airport to take the train in to town, or walking to the tram stop and taking the tram.

But in your case I would indeed stay in downtown Geneva, and have a good dinner there :-)
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Old May 3, 22, 8:32 am
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I stayed at the HIX a few years ago on a visit to Geneva, the only reason I did so was because it was needed for an IHG promo. I think I got enough points from that stay for a free night somewhere else. While it was a lot more expensive than I'd normally pay for an HIX, this is Switzerland and it was cheaper than hotels in the city. Yes, breakfast was included but there were no hot items (apart from things you heat yourself i.e. bread and drinks).

I went there on foot, but all medium/large airports in the world have complex road layouts and I somehow had to run across a road with no walking route. Later I found the bus stops to go into the city and back. After my stay I took the shuttle because it was free and was leaving just as I wanted to leave.

If there's no strong reason to pick IHG definitely stay in the city, especially with free public transport.
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Old May 10, 22, 5:58 am
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I vote for staying in town . A walk to Old Town or along the lake is very nice and peaceful after breakfast. Geneva’s public transport system is efficient and can take you to interesting places like Carouge, the Gemini cake car, etc. And kudos to you for making the flight change that now provides a restful break in the middle of a long trip.
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Old May 17, 22, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by KayVeeBee View Post
And as it is in Geneva you will get the free transport pass
The free transport pass will be given at the hotel. Therefore train back to the airport will be free but you still have to pay for your trip between the airport and the hotel.
And there isn't anymore the free 1h transportation ticket that used to be available at GVA!
Such a shame...

Yes, I'm complaining for 3 CHF but I don't get it as the city of Geneva is strongly promoting public transportation.

Originally Posted by KayVeeBee View Post
But in your case I would indeed stay in downtown Geneva, and have a good dinner there :-)
Despite my comment above, the airport is very close to the city center. Staying downtown is no brainer (I wouldn't say that for CDG or LHR)
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Old Jun 12, 22, 3:04 pm
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Hijacking this thread if it's okay, as my situation is very similar- even on the same United GVA-IAD flight at 11:30 AM, just in mid-August instead of early July. Will be arriving to GVA from nearby Annecy and dropping rental car off at the French sector - I know this process pretty well as I picked up a car at the French sector a few years ago and understand how to access it, crossing into the Swiss sector inside the airport, etc.

We are flying United business class, and I know we will have access to the SWISS business lounge. We will have only carry-on bags and boarding passes on our phones. Wanted to confirm a few things for those who know GVA well:

1. There is fast track security for business class passengers, correct? I assume this is generally only a few minutes line at most.

2. The SWISS business lounge is before passport control, correct?

3. At passport control, is there a fast track/priority line for business class passengers? Wanted to know how much time to budget for this. US citizens in case it matters.

4. We are pretty smooth travelers and don't need extra cushion time generally. I was assuming we could plan on arriving at the GVA French side rental car area around 9:45 AM and have enough time for our 11:35 AM departure. Does that sound reasonable?

Thanks all for your help.
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Old Jun 13, 22, 3:02 pm
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1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No - it's split between Schengen/EU passports and others.
4. Probably but depending on how crowded the airport is, it won't leave you much time in the lounge.

As a general note, I would expect airports across Europe to be understaffed and crowded with inexperienced / slow / confused leisure travellers in mid-August. I'd be more relaxed with a bit of extra buffer time.
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Old Jun 14, 22, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No - it's split between Schengen/EU passports and others.
4. Probably but depending on how crowded the airport is, it won't leave you much time in the lounge.

As a general note, I would expect airports across Europe to be understaffed and crowded with inexperienced / slow / confused leisure travellers in mid-August. I'd be more relaxed with a bit of extra buffer time.
Thanks, this is very helpful. Seems like the most likely line/significant wait will be at passport control, but my guess is that the staffing issues there won't be quite as bad? Because they are government employees (less staff volatility) and also because by that point the flow of passengers is smoothed out. Just a guess. We will probably try and arrive around 9:30. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 15, 22, 1:35 am
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The only thing that would matter to me is the size of the rooms. Geneva has lots of hotels with tiny rooms, unless you specifically book a larger room. The HIX has standard rooms and it's fine for 2 adults. It's close enough to Blandonnet by foot to catch a tram to the center (about 15min). Or you can bus/walk to the airport and take the train there but I still think the tram is the easiest.
But if rates are similar and room size is ok, I'd definitely stay in town of course. Like everyone said, you will have a free public transport card for your entire stay and it's super easy to get to the airport by train or bus.I would even pass on the HIX shuttle.... unless you need to get to the airport at weird hours, when buses are less frequent.
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Old Aug 19, 22, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No - it's split between Schengen/EU passports and others.
4. Probably but depending on how crowded the airport is, it won't leave you much time in the lounge.

As a general note, I would expect airports across Europe to be understaffed and crowded with inexperienced / slow / confused leisure travellers in mid-August. I'd be more relaxed with a bit of extra buffer time.
Follow-up with the result. Was aiming for 9:30 AM arrival, but walked out about 5 minutes later than planned, and heavy rain meant we lost probably 5-6 minutes in the drive. Arrived at the rental car dropoff at about 9:40, and were in the Swiss business lounge by 10:05 or so, even without using the priority security lane. As discussed, were in the lounge for only about 20 minutes (perfectly fine at that time, just grabbed a quick breakfast), left around 10:30 and made it to the gate area right at 10:45 as boarding was beginning.
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