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Old 23.07.2011, 22:07
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Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

In early September we plan to spend a few days in Interlaken. Our flight back to the U.S. leaves Geneva at Noon on a Tuesday. My mapping software says the drive from Interlaken to the airport is just over two hours. Having done minimal reading, however, I doubt that's true given the morning rush hours around Lausanne and on to Geneva. So my question for the clear experts on this forum is this:

If you HAD to start your Tuesday morning in Interlaken and arrive at GVA airport by no later than 10:00 AM, what time would you start driving?

Thanks!
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Old 23.07.2011, 22:13
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

Do you have to allow for dropping your car back to rentals? Are you insured in case you are delayed by an incident on the motorway, etc?
Personally I wouldn't want to make such a journey before a long flight, just in case... Why not book a night by the airport- and get there latish so you can enjoy your last day, and not worry?

Touring Club Suisse says 2h15 mins + drop car off + rush hour around Bern = allow 3h30- so 6.30?
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Old 23.07.2011, 22:28
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

Thanks for the quick answer. Arrival at 10 AM assumes dropping the rental off at that time. I have gold benefits on my airline, so I am assuming 90 minutes for check-in will be sufficient.

Incidents on the motorway (involving others, of course) are what concern me. How frequent are major (i.e. more than 60 minute from average) delays along these routes? I'd been assuming a 6 AM departure would give me allowance for morning rush hour delays of about an hour, and then an extra 45 minutes for the truly unexpected? After that, I'd simply accept that I wasn't intended to make this particular flight.

The reason we're disinclined to book by the airport are that rates are incredibly high for that night for some reason, and that I will be with my 2 year old son and rather pregnant wife. If we know we're likely to get to the airport on time, getting up at 6 AM is a less stressful option (because they just sleep in the car) than packing, checking out, driving to a new hotel, checking in for a few hours, unpacking, packing, etc.
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Old 23.07.2011, 22:37
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

Incidents/accidents are rare- but they of course do happen. We missed a flight as we were stuck on the Motorway for over an hour just minutes from the airport once. Do you know if you have to see a member of staff at the car rentals or can just drop car and keys? Officially you should have 2 hrs for check in for long flights. Maybe look at a hotel around Nyon- which is close to the hotel? Or just make sure you have breakfast stuff to have in the car.
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Old 23.07.2011, 22:44
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

I'd say hit the road no latter than 6, but 5:30-45 is a good idea. Yes, you might be a bit in advance but those lines between Lausanne and Geneva sometimes get slow or not moving at all.

Once I was taking forum members from Villars-sur-Ollon to GVA which is around 1 and half hours ride, their flight was at 11 and we departed around 6:30. We hit some traffic after Lausanne and at some point we were not moving. I think we reached the airport at between 8:30 and 9, I don't remember correctly.

You have a bit more road and probably you will hit Lausanne-Geneva section later in the rush hour and it can be worse for you than my scenario.

In the beginning you will have almost no traffic so don't drive less than the speed limit thinking you'd be fine.
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Old 23.07.2011, 23:11
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

I'm probably about half way on your journey - Interlaken is about an hour in one direction - and Geneva an hour-and-a-half in the other.
I personally would recommend minimum of 21/2 hours - and that's without unforeseen delays.
On journeys of this distance it's sensible to add up to 10% for minor hold-ups, traffic congestion - this gives you a fail-safe (barring major incidents) travel time of nearly 3hrs.

If your journey turns out to be trouble free, then you've won a bit of time to chill out at the airport.

TCS is the Swiss equivalent of the Auto Club and offer traffic info. (Vekehrsinfo in German): http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/verkehrsinfo.html

Also (on l.h.s. is Baustellen/roadworks):- it may be completed by now, but there was long term carriageway repairs (in two places) on the A12 between Bulle and Châtel-St-Denis, and Vevey and Lausanne (A9), involving long contra-flows (I haven't been that way for a while, so can't report exact status).
Although traffic normally runs, it can be a bit slower during peak times.
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Old 23.07.2011, 23:11
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Gva airport is very small, you can be way later than 10.00 for a noon flight,
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Old 24.07.2011, 00:02
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

There is the critical time of 20 minutes around 8.00 I noticed. I used to drive from FRibourg to geneva every day. If you were just before 7.45 there was no trafic, if you were later you would be stuck, if you arrived at 8.10 ish there was no traffic. honestly id just leave at 8.00 and you will be perfectly on time , maybe a couple minutes late at the most
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Old 24.07.2011, 00:02
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

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it may be completed by now, but there was long term carriageway repairs (in two places) on the A12 between Bulle and Châtel-St-Denis, and Vevey and Lausanne (A9), involving long contra-flows (I haven't been that way for a while, so can't report exact status)
Still the case I think - probably better to do Bern - Yverdon - Lausanne and avoid the works around Vevey.
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Old 24.07.2011, 00:25
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

the one between bulle is still going on but no issues after 8
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Old 24.07.2011, 07:43
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

if you use the route planner on www.tomtom.com, it gives you the time based on data collected from user's experience of traffic conditions at various times during the day. So a depature at 8am might give a different time to one at 1pm for example.

Last edited by Dan of the dead; 24.07.2011 at 07:45. Reason: typo
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Old 24.07.2011, 08:03
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

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Thanks for the quick answer. Arrival at 10 AM assumes dropping the rental off at that time. I have gold benefits on my airline, so I am assuming 90 minutes for check-in will be sufficient.

Incidents on the motorway (involving others, of course) are what concern me. How frequent are major (i.e. more than 60 minute from average) delays along these routes? I'd been assuming a 6 AM departure would give me allowance for morning rush hour delays of about an hour, and then an extra 45 minutes for the truly unexpected? After that, I'd simply accept that I wasn't intended to make this particular flight.

The reason we're disinclined to book by the airport are that rates are incredibly high for that night for some reason, and that I will be with my 2 year old son and rather pregnant wife. If we know we're likely to get to the airport on time, getting up at 6 AM is a less stressful option (because they just sleep in the car) than packing, checking out, driving to a new hotel, checking in for a few hours, unpacking, packing, etc.
Lived in the Lausanne area and if there is a bad traffic accident then the traffic can back up for an hour or more. Plus, there used to be some construction north of Lausanne that made things just a bit worse. Of course, that could be done by now...

If you can return the car in Interlaken and take the train you would be more relaxed and it is still beautiful.
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Old 24.07.2011, 09:34
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

Google Maps has just released a Traffic Info layer for Switzerland and 12 other European countries. The color coded overlay tells you the traffic situation for a given time. Another helpful feature is the webcam layer, where you can watch in real time, the traffic cams positioned on your route.

http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/googl...c-info-europe/
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Old 24.07.2011, 18:32
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

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Google Maps has just released a Traffic Info layer for Switzerland and 12 other European countries. The color coded overlay tells you the traffic situation for a given time. Another helpful feature is the webcam layer, where you can watch in real time, the traffic cams positioned on your route.

http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/googl...c-info-europe/
This is territic, thanks! I never knew about this feature. The TomTom route planner is great, too. I was able to see the historic data for Tuesdays along the whole route, and it looks like we'll get through Bern before the worst of the traffic and to Geneva after it.

The fastest estimate at any time of day is 2 hours 9 minutes. The slowest is 2 hours 24 minutes. While I remain skeptical that normal rush hour slows things down by only 15 minutes relative to open roads over a 210 km stetch, we'll just plan to leave at 6. That should get us to the airport by about 8:20 AM, which is 3:40 prior to our departure. We could lose another two full hours to traffic and still make our flight.

Appreciate all the help from folks on this forum.
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Old 24.07.2011, 21:00
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

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Google Maps has just released a Traffic Info layer for Switzerland and 12 other European countries. The color coded overlay tells you the traffic situation for a given time. Another helpful feature is the webcam layer, where you can watch in real time, the traffic cams positioned on your route.

http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/googl...c-info-europe/
Thanks for pointing this out - very useful. I never noticed the appearance of the word "Traffic" in the box on the right of Google maps, to tick.
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Old 24.07.2011, 21:16
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

If you're driving from Interlaken to Bern to Geneva also be aware that there's a lot of construction right around Bern, and that will also slow you down. I'd definitely get on the road before 6.
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Old 25.07.2011, 12:14
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Re: Morning rush hour drive from Interlaken to Geneva Airport

Getting around Lausanne, and continuing on the A1 towards GVA anytime near rush hour in September will make you think twice about driving, with all the traffic and congestion (I would second the train option if possbile). During summer holidays it is ok, but during the normal working periods, the A1 around here can be a parking lot, even without an accident, and more and more each day, with either rain or an accident, it will be paralzyed. Hitting GVA after 9 a.m. should be ok, but Lausanne around this time will be difficult at best. I would plan at least 3.5 hours or more, depending on whether you can miss your flight/take a later flight or not.

Also, be aware of the Jeune Genevois holidays (8 Sept.) in GVA in early Sept., you did not mention a date. And Jeune Federal for Lausanne/VD.
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