Newest Review: ... There is also a small play area outside the airport which is again brilliant for those with children. Once you have checked in (at one of ... more
Great little airport
Bern Airport (BRN)
Member Name: historywitch
Bern Airport (BRN)
Advantages: small, less hassle, great way to explore Switzerland
Disadvantages: Can be boring if you arrive too early.
Bern (Belp) airport is a very small airport on the outskirts of Bern. It is well connected to Bern station by a regular bus route or it is about 25/30 francs to leave your car in the long term car park. Bern is linked to London City as well as other airports in Switzerland and Italy. Outside the airport they have a viewing platform from where you can see the planes and helicopters taking off and whizzing by, so after we have checked in that is the first point of call for us with our daughter. There is also a small play area outside the airport which is again brilliant for those with children. Once you have checked in (at one of the four checkin desks) you can leave the airport and wander around the local area. Inside the terminal building there is a small gift shop and a cafe which sells meals and snacks. I flew using Darwin/Swiss airlines who use small engined prop planes and the service was excellent and the flight was a quick 1hr 50 minutes to London City.
With some airlines and flights you only have to checkin 20 minutes before the flight leaves and the secured waiting area and metal detectors are opened up 30 minutes to an hour before the flight leaves (they have to wait for a local policeman to arrive to man the metal detectors.).
Having been used to the usual stress, hassle and miles of walking usually involved in taking a flight, this was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had. Flying with my toddler was pleasant and easy to manage-the staff of the airport were lovely and made a big fuss of her. I wish I hadnt arrived two hours before my flight though, as once we had eaten and watched the planes there wasnt much left to do! You literally walk in off the road, straight to checkin and then into the secure area-20 minutes maximum walking!
If you live near or in London and want a quick break or a longer holiday in Switzerland I would thoroughly recommend flying into Bern, rather than Geneva or Zurich, just to lessen the stress. There are fewer flights a day, but there were only 3 other people on the last flight I took which was fabulous! Darwin is a very reliable airline and if you book in advance (I only booked a month or two in advance and got a great fare of £60 for my daughter and myself-one way) it can be cheaper than other airlines.
Summary: My preferred way to enter and leave Switzerland
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