05/06/2012

easyJet ropes off their automatic check-in terminals

Last year, some easyJet automatic check-in terminals were often broken. Now, at busy times, most are roped off. Result: back to those long zig-zag queues before the counters! Why?

I noticed this "back to the past" approach when going to the airport with someone who had a Tuesday flight back to London. In the area where there are located about 20 automatic check-in machines, almost all of them were roped off and hence made inaccessible. The inevitable consequence was one of those long queues where one moves slowly left then right in a snaky queue between parallel tapes. What we could describe as a "back to the past" traditional method of queueing, as well as being a reason why passengers are told to be at the airport two hours in advance of the departure!

Why was this the case: I have no idea. It is probable that this was a busy time of day for easyJet (around 2pm), and that there are quiet times (I am not quite sure when these could be!) when the automated check-in machines are made available. Maybe, also, the unstructured queuing to get at a working check-in machine was causing frustration and arguments between passengers!

Of course, at some airports passengers can opt for "Speedy Boarding", via an extra payment, to have access to priority check-in desks (I am unsure whether easyJet in Geneva has such check-in desks). Maybe this will apply to the flights designed to be attractive to business travellers (fast check-in, choice of seats, special lounge maybe?), as easyJet tries to lure these passengers away from the more traditional airlines? However, Lufthansa, one of many airlines currently losing money, are hitting back with a full page advert (in Le Matin Dimanche today, 6 May) for Geneva-Berlin next month from CHF 49 (not including a possible CHF 11 credit card charge!).

So what next? How about the system that we get in post offices, Swisscom help centres and other places, whereby we enter at a gate where we are given a numbered ticket (perhaps by pushing a button), plus an estimate of the expected waiting time, and then wait patiently until our number flashes up? If we knew that it would be long (more than 30 minutes) we could even go and get a coffee and a biscuit (against payment, of course, and at inflated prices!).

I have not looked at the use of the automatic check-in terminals for other airlines, but I did not notice any similar snaky queues anywhere else.

 

12:46 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, geneva, airport, check-in | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

05/03/2012

Foreign Air Force planes visit Geneva

Since mid-March 2012 big Hercules C-130 transport aircraft of the Algerian and Moroccan Air Forces have been visiting Geneva regularly. What are they transporting?

These aircraft, with just one exception, do not emit any callsign to indicate what flight they are operating. Unsurprisingly, they do not appear on the Airport arrivals and departure boards. Somehow, however, the spotters around the airport seem always to know when they are coming, and hence are invariably there to take photos.

One recent one, belonging to the Royal Moroccan Air Force, came here yesterday morning, May 2, then left just before 8 am this morning. Its departure over Vernier would have been very noticeable to Vernier residents: the ARAG microphone in Vernier indicated a level several times more noisy than any other early departure (though the departures to the USA subsequently registered similar, though lower, levels). This level of noise will probably be repeated, perhaps today, by a different Hercules of the Royal Moroccan Air Force which arrived today at 10h30 am. On the Web there is a nice picture of this aircraft, with registration CNA-OI and in military camouflage colouring.

Also very much of interest is the Hercules registered as 7T-WHP and belonging to the Algerian Air Force. Since 16 March of this year the aircraft comes to Geneva every Friday between mid-morning and early afternoon. It stays for two to three hours before leaving again. One would suppose that this is the time required to unload it and/or load it, but as to what is unloaded or loaded we have no knowledge. Perhaps someone could learn more by going to a vantage point around the airport tomorrow, Friday 4 May, equipped with a pair of high-power binoculars!

It is interesting to note that Switzerland has a problem with some Algerians whom it would like to deport, since the Algerian Government refuses to sign an agreement to take back these people. This has led to the Geneva State Councillor, Isabelle Rochat, to make proposals to incite these unwelcome Algerians to return voluntarily to their country in return for certain financial incentives. These proposals have been extensively debated.

Perhaps the Geneva government should ask the airport to refuse these Algerian Air Force flights until the Algerian Government accepts that they return carrying some of its unwelcome (in Switzerland) citizens!

 

15:45 Posted in Unusual aircraft | Permalink | Comments (3) | Tags: hercules, geneva, airport, algeria, morocco, rochat | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

04/26/2012

TAP flight arriving around midnight

My predictions of flights from Lisbon to Geneva arriving around midnight were rapidly confirmed last night, but other late flights should not have been allowed.

Read more ...

10:04 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: tap, geneva, airport, westair | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

04/25/2012

International noise awareness day

Today, April 25 2012, is International Noise Awareness day. The reports of the great and continuing increase in traffic at Geneva airport is very relevant to our noise awareness.

Read more ...

11:35 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: noise, awareness, geneva, airport, health | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

04/15/2012

Palestinien militants to Tel Aviv this weekend

Today, Sunday 15 April, the web site of this newspaper says pro-palestinien militants refused boarding on EZS1525 to Tel Aviv. How about  other flights to Tel Aviv this weekend?

Read more ...

03/25/2012

Lille FC coach beats airport offside trap

March 2012 044.JPG

Last Friday night the driver of the coach of Lille Football club performed miracles to turn things around. The team then beat Evian 3-0 in Annecy and are now in third place.

It was late afternoon on Friday 23 March, when I was near the General Aviation centre, on the North (Jura) side of the airport, that I saw this luxurious red coach manoeuvering to get to near where the passengers on the private jets come through the customs and out into the car park. Knowing that region, I realised that he would be in big trouble, since that is a narrow road, at the end of which the area for turning round mostly has parked cars all over it, so I followed him down.

20120323_coach2.JPG

This coach turned out to be the official coach of Lille Football Club. The driver told me that he was there to meet the Lille FC players and staff, and then take them to Annecy to spend the night before playing Evian TG on the Saturday night. He would then bring them back to the airport, where they would fly back to Lille. I told him he would have two problems: turning his coach around and then queueing to go through the Vernier tunnel and the Bardonnex customs post.

He started an attempt to turn the coach around, with me trying to indicate when he was getting too close to a wall, a building or a car. After 15 minutes he was still trying when, by a great stroke of luck, the owner of the critical parked car arrived and moved it: ouf!

While waiting for the team to arrive, he told me that the opposing team, whose full name is Evian Thonon Gaillard F.C., had been promoted into the top league in France last season, after only one season in the second league. This rapid ascension seems to be in part because of support from the Danone Group. However, even when they were in the second league, their home ground did not meet the required standards, so they had to find a suitable ground to play their "home" matches. There was some talk of them playing in Geneva, but finally they opted to play in Annecy.

Their flight, in a Dornier DO-328 registered as OY-NCO and operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia, landed at 7h35 pm. A quick passage through customs meant that they left at around 8pm, so they would probably have missed the worst of the Friday night jams, got to Annecy and had a good night's sleep. They then beat Evian 3-0, thus keeping their third position in the French league, and returned to Geneva to take a flight on a similar, but different, Sun Air aircraft (OY-NCN): it left at 11pm on the Saturday night.

20120325_Lille.JPG

Curiously, when I looked up the result on the Swiss teletext on the Sunday morning I saw that the match was goalless at half-time, before finishing as 3-0 to Lille. The first goal for Lille was a penalty transformed by Hazard in the 36th minute! Maybe the person updating the teletext sports pages did not get enough sleep?

The next important encounter in Lille will take place next Wednesday, 28 March, when a team of lawyers of DSK United, renowned for their robust defensive play, will try to neutralise the attack of a team of state prosecutors.

 

11:11 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: lille, football, evian, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

03/08/2012

Volkswagen flies with Cayman Island aircraft

The Volkswagen car group has a fleet of 9 jet aircraft, including a big Airbus A319. All have been seen in Geneva this week and all are registered in the Cayman Islands!

Read more ...

14:33 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: vw, volkswagen, geneva, airport, motor show | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

03/07/2012

Motor show visitors from Serbia?

Geneva airport had probably its first flight from and to Belgrade yesterday, 6 March: a flight by JAT Airways. The airport still calls the company Yugoslav Airlines!

Read more ...

12:38 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (7) | Tags: geneva, airport, belgrade, serbia | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

02/27/2012

An Iranian Government Jet in Geneva : PetroSuisse link?

Yesterday morning Le Matin Dimanche wrote that Petro Suisse is a front company for Iranian petrol dealings. In the evening an Iranian Government jet came to Geneva! Coincidence?

Read more ...

11:09 Posted in Unusual aircraft | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: iran, naftiran, matin dimanche, petro suisse, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

02/15/2012

A Russian Ilyushin visiting Geneva: tax inspectors?

Yesterday, 14 February, a spotter filmed the landing of a visiting Ilyushin 62-M. The aircraft used the callsign RSD045, registered to the Russian Federal State Budget Institution.

Read more ...

12:27 Posted in Unusual aircraft | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: ilyushin, rossiya, geneva, airport | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

02/12/2012

The Bise and two aborted landings

It cannot be easy landing an aircraft into a very strong wind. In the last week (at least) two pilots were sufficiently disturbed to have to abort, hit the gas and go around again.

Read more ...

01/31/2012

Despite the airport spin, snow causes problems

teletext_20120131.JPGAnother few inches of snow causes many flights to be delayed. Apparently, however, this is unknown to the airport spokesman, who claims that flights are mostly on-time.

Read more ...

18:10 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, spin, snow, delays | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

01/04/2012

Is Basel more important than Geneva?

Yet again the lack of a genuine spare aircraft causes some easyJet Switzerland passengers to suffer long delays. Yesterday, two flights to Gatwick left with almost 5 hours delay!

Read more ...

13:11 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: easyjet, switzerland, geneva, airport, delays | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

12/15/2011

One less very noisy flight

The noisiest regular flight at Geneva airport has long been a Boeing 747 cargo flight to Shanghai, proudly announced by the Airport in July 2009. Now it seems no longer operational.

Read more ...

19:05 Posted in Noise around Geneva airport | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, jade, boeing 747 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

11/29/2011

CO2 from Geneva to Durban

With Global Warming ever more obvious, emissions of CO2 are being discussed in Durban, South Africa, and here in Geneva. Attending the Geneva discussions is possible with a minimum of CO2 emissions!

Read more ...