Swiss airports warn of long waiting times over May public holidays

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
Swiss airports warn of long waiting times over May public holidays
A flight over Zurich airport. Photo by Stefan Fluck on Unsplash

Patience is required of those travelling by plane over Ascension Day and Pentecost as Basel, Zurich, and Geneva airports warn travellers of long waiting times. Here’s how to get ahead of the queue.


While many people living in Switzerland are looking forward to much-awaited weekend breaks overseas, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg on Monday cautioned travellers against late arrivals at its airport.

The airport said it expects “a very high volume of passengers” over the coming Ascension and Pentecost weekends which will lead to longer waiting times at its checkpoints for both departure and arrivals. The airport therefore strongly recommends an early arrival – at least two hours before your departure time.

Similar sentiments have also been expressed by Zurich Airport.

May holidays are also very busy at Geneva airport, especially as it is a hub for passengers from both Switzerland and neighbouring French communities.

Last year, over 41,600 passengers left from or arrived at Geneva airport on Wednesday before the Ascension, and this year huge numbers are expected as well.

Ascension Day takes place on May 18th and is a nationwide public holiday in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Pentecost is on May 29th and is a holiday in most cantons.

READ ALSO: When are the Swiss public holidays in your canton in 2023?

Prepare your trip ahead of time

In order to pass through check-in and security checks smoothly, the EuroAirport advises passengers to find out entry requirements imposed by their respective airlines as well as country of destination well ahead of time.


Make sure you know if an identity card (ID) will be sufficient for your travel, or whether you need to bring your passport or perhaps even visa along for the trip.

Those who have the option to check in online should also do so to save time.

If you’re arriving by car, note that the number of parking space is limited. You can, however, reserve a parking spot in advance, but remember to schedule in sufficient time for parking. In general, it is wiser to use public transport to the airport to ensure a timely arrival.

Save time at the airport

According to the airport, increased passenger volumes over the weekend periods are likely to lead to longer waiting times at both passport control and check-in zones. Passengers should therefore keep their documents ready for check-in at passport control and the counter – and if you’re being dropped off by a relative or friend, make sure you keep track of time.

Further to this, travellers are advised to check the types of items they will be bringing along for their trip are allowed as hand luggage if they are to be brought onboard. For checked cargo luggage, ensure the items you have packed are permitted on your flight. Note that certain items are not allowed on planes for security reasons.



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