Geneva Airport’s departure lounge for under fives
The journey back home is never the best part of your holiday. Geneva airport always seems to be swarming with busy travellers. It’s the norm for tired families to find themselves in a mad rush, frantically trying to find seats and a strong coffee. All whilst keeping an eye on the departures board and looking after the energetic kids. Oh, and don’t forget Dad’s Toblerone!
Well help is at hand at Geneva airport, in the shape of the airports best kept secret…
On a recent trip through Geneva Airport, with a lively 1 ½ year old on my husbands shoulders (as well as most of the hand luggage), instead of frantically looking at the departure board and running to the gate, we took a moment to breath and happened to glance at a rocking horse symbol next to the board labelled “kids area”.
Unsure of what to expect, we looked at the time and decided it was definitely worth investigating. To our surprise and delight, it was a short lift ride to a quiet part of the airport, just above the hustle and bustle of frantic coffee drinking travellers. All none the wiser of the ample seating and calm atmosphere that lingered above them. Why had we never noticed this before?
Just outside the Kids area there was plenty of seating for adults and older children as well as room to park your pushchairs. There are a few rules the airport ask you to follow when using the facility, one of which is that there be one adult from each family supervising the children. We were travelling outside of the holiday season, so there was no problem with both Andrew and myself being in the room with our son.
There are a few rules and safety measures in place for families using the facility, such as:
The Kids Area is for the use of children up to 5 years of age.
Children must remove their shoes and adults must use the slip on plastic covers provided. There is a shoe rack just outside the room where you can safely leave your shoes.
Food and drink must not be eaten in the nursery area. There is a small kitchenette where you can prepare and eat meals.
Luggage, strollers and bulky items must be stored in the areas provided for this purpose. There is room for suitcases and strollers just outside the room as well as a small area within the nursery, where you can leave your coats, handbags, important items and nappy bags.
A single adult per family is authorised to accompany his or her child. With plenty of quiet seating just outside the nursery, this means that one of you can have a little rest. Although they had no problem with both myself and my husband going in with our little one.
Let them run wild in the fantastic and colourful play area
The free play area was fantastic for our toddler. The room has a play kitchen, with plenty of drawers and cupboards to keep him occupied. There is a low table for drawing and colouring and also a reading area, with books in many languages. A departures board is also in the reading area, which was great as it meant we didn’t rush anywhere to look for one. Jasper particularly loved playing on the colourful slide and tunnel.
A real bonus for families travelling with very young children is the sleeping area. It has 6 bunk bed style cots with seating for adults.
There is a small kitchenette with a sink, fridge and microwave. It also has a highchair and some spare children’s cutlery.
The changing facilities in the kids area was also a pleasant surprise, with two changing areas complete with nappies and wipes. However, do come prepared as they may not have all nappy sizes you need. There is also a mini toilet for the older toddlers and children.
I should mention that we were travelling outside of the holiday season, so we were the only people using the facility. We did speak to the receptionist on the desk, who informed us that even during the busier travel times, the kids area was quite a chilled out place to be.
We will definitely be using the kids area again on our next trip through Geneva Airport. Although, I will still have to plan for a coffee stop at some point!