There is a train station at the airport which would take you into the main station for the train to Lyon. I believe you can get a free ticket for that journey, but don;t quote me on that.
There is a free train ticket from the Airport to Main Station. See the link >>
The trains are large and you have enough time to carry on all the heavy luggage.
In both stations you will find hand-cart for luggage.
You will need a 2 francs coin to use the luggage trolleys from the baggage carousel to the train and I've never seen anywhere in the passport control or baggage areas where you can get Swiss coins. You might have to make your way out to the main hall before you can get coins and get a trolley. Also the luggage trolleys can be difficult to find sometimes at the main station in Geneva so don't plan a tight connection just in case. I believe you will need a ticket for your pet as well but I don't know if the pet is free from the airport to the main station - I would assume so.Edited: 17 June 2014, 20:06
From July 15th, there will be work done on the train line to Lyon (yes, the French rail network company believes it is appropriate to do them at peak season). So the line will actually be closed and trains will be replaced by bus until Bellegarde. Details on tgv-lyria.com/main/…Engineering-works.asp
So, you might want to consider renting a car from Geneva airport French sector and drive to Lyon (about 2 hours) instead of taking a train to Geneva main station (downtown), then a bus to Bellegarde, then a train to Lyon, then whatever required local public transportation...
Many, many thanks for the valuable information!! We know it is going to be a challenging trip, but never did we think it would have turned into a challenge that most likely would have lasted all day. We are taking your advice and will be renting a car. Thanks again!
Make sure to rent from the French sector (hence selecting "France" on the website of your favourite car rental company) as renting from Switzerland would generate a hefty international drop off charge in Lyon.
Once you will have collected your luggage and pass the customs, turn left and go up one floor (Departures). At the end of the hall, by AF-KLM ticketing office and check in area, there is a small automatic door (that you can pass with a trolley). Go through, pass the French customs (normally not manned) and you'll be in the small French sector. Car rental desks will be in front of you.
And don't forget to bring the papers for your pet. These might be checked in Switzerland when you leave the Customs Hall and could be checked in France (but unlikely). Also inform the rental car company that you are travelling with a pet and what sort. they need to know this in advance.
As for the Baggage trolleys - anything round that is 2.5cm across will work. I have two plastic "slugs" or "jetons" given to me by the Manor Food supermarkets and Coop Supermarket respectively. This is the same size as our 2frs coin. And I use these for ALL baggage carts here including the ones at the airport and the stations. I just measured a US quarter and it is slightly smaller but worth trying. A UK 2p piece works in them as does a €2 coin. All they want to insure is that you return the cart to a "dock" so they don't have to have staff running around the airport collecting them. Personally I think they are putting their own concerns ahead of passenger service. But this system has been in force now for several years and is hardly likely to change.
Hmmm - anyone willing to help me start a campaign against this practice?
take care in the train station . keep your bags in your hands. don't put them on the floor. they will be stolen right away
Maimoaz, that is just plainly an incorrect statement. Thousands of people pass through the station and set their bags down beside them and they are not stolen. Of course, like anywhere, it pays to be alert and not allow yourself to be distracted b anyone or anything.
Additionally, there have been quite a number of reports of theft at the main station in Geneva but I don't recall any of thefts at the station at Geneva airport. That doesn't mean they don't happen. Also, it is more pickpockets around the train stations and not outright baggage theft. That seems to be more on the trains as reported here on TA.
Sadly I know of about 5 people, all Swiss, who have lost bags etc at both the GVA airport and it s station.
If you put a bag down on the floor keep your eyes on it/them. It is important. Geneva is right on the frontier with France and criminals come there - apparently from the HLM suburbs of Lyon - every day. If one is alert and careful things are ok. They move onto to someone who is not.Edited: 21 July 2014, 07:48