The main issue is that it is small and crowded. Some work was being done when we last inspected it in late 2011 and that will improve the car parks and approaches, but little can be done to increase the size of the terminal.
One advantage is the airport being very close to the city centre and easily reached by train in a few minutes. Just four kilometres to the city centre.
Geneva Airport serves Geneva and all of the French towns and ski resorts and, in the winter, it is very busy with ski flights. A major hub for easyJet Switzerland and Flybaboo, it is also used by many international airlines, but far less so than Zurich.
The main airport is in Switzerland, but there is a French terminal that is in France. Most flights go from the Swiss side but, if flying into France, then your flight is likely to depart from the French side. They are connected by a walkway where you have to pass through passport control.
This divide can affect car hire and it is often cheaper to rent on the French side than the Swiss side, so check out both! If you rent a car on the French side and want to drive on the Swiss motorways you will need to purchase a Swiss motorway pass. If you do not want to do that and want to reach the main French ski resorts, then you will have to drive through Geneva city to bypass the Swiss motorways and then connect to the French motorway system.
Swiss car hire stations are not at the airport and you have to take a bus to the car hire area. All car hire companies share the same bus and it runs with high frequency, but allow some time as the queues can be long at peak times. The main Swiss sector of the airport is accessible from the N1 airport motorway.
If you forget about cars and just use the trains, this is very easy at Geneva Airport. The station is connected to the airport and all Swiss trains start at the airport, which means they all stop at the Cornvian, the city station. Trains run to all major cities and there is no need to pre-purchase or make a reservation.
The train to Geneva is free if you pick up a free ticket before passing through customs. Look out for the machines near the carousels.
A number of French buses pick up at the airport and serve the main ski resorts in winter.
Left luggage is available in the arrivals hall or at the station. Wi-fi is available and there is an Internet café in the station. Meeting facilities are offered at the NH Geneva Airport Hotel and the Mövenpick Hotel and Casino.
Shopping, whilst cramped, does offer duty-free and a number of fashion and luxury brands. There are pharmacies, showers, a medical centre and a nursery.
There are not enough parking spaces and this can be a real hassle if you are meeting someone.
There are a number of hotels near Geneva International Airport, but with the city being just four kilometres away, any hotel is close. The NH Geneva Airport Hotel is a short walk from Geneva Airport and the others all offer a short transfer service.
At busy times, the dining locations become very busy and cramped. If you have time, it is often a better idea to dine before passing through security. There are better options on the landside with a favourite being the Swiss Chalet in the arrival halls, close to the station.
Airside is very cramped and sometimes it proves hard to find seats. A good tip is to go up one floor where there is a lot more space. Most passengers are unaware that there is a higher floor and the seats overlook the runway and hills beyond.
Showers are in the arrivals area near carousel 6 and by the post office. In the departure area showers are near the business lounges.