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Customs/Immigration from Oslo to Chicago via Stockholm

Customs/Immigration from Oslo to Chicago via Stockholm

Old Aug 10th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Customs/Immigration from Oslo to Chicago via Stockholm

I'm traveling from Oslo Gardermoen to Chicago O'Hare in early September, with a connection through Stockholm Arlanda, all on a single SAS itinerary. Unfortunately, the only available connections are pretty tight - about 1 hour, 40 minutes between my arrival at Arlanda and my departure for O'Hare.

What should I expect for the connection in Stockholm? Will I be able to check luggage and clear outbound customs and immigration in Oslo, and simply connect in Stockholm as I would any normal flight? Or will I need to retrieve luggage at Arlanda, and re-clear security to begin the "international" leg of my trip? I'm afraid my connection might be pushing it if I need to re-clear security, depending on how busy the airport is that day. I'm hoping given that these are major airports and a single airline itinerary, that I'll be able to "connect normally", especially given that there are no direct Chicago flights from Gardermoen...but it never hurts to ask, as maybe I should modify my itinerary so I don't "plan to miss a connection."

Thanks in advance!
Andrew
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 03:32 PM
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In Stockholm you should be able to check your luggage through and stay within the international departure area without going through immigration or customs. It's only in the States that a transfer from an overseas flight requires a new security check when connecting with a domestic flight even in the secure area--which is why one cannot buy liquor in a duty-free store and get it home if there is a domestic connection.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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Thanks for the info, Michael!

Yes, I experienced that on a Rekyjavik (anyone sensing a Nordic theme) to Chicago flight that connected through JFK. I was checking luggage on that trip, so I was able to jam anything duty free in to the checked luggage, as it had to be re-checked.

On this trip, I'll also have checked luggage. But it sounds like I can check my large luggage in Oslo and not have to collect and re-check in Stockholm. Which means I stand a chance of making that connection. I'm just a little unclear since you mention checking in Stockholm - I'm looking to check in Oslo and hopefully not have to touch it again until I get home.

Thanks,
Andrew
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 11:05 PM
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"It's only in the States that a transfer from an overseas flight requires a new security check when connecting with a domestic flight even in the secure area"

Not true, and the advice is consequentially misleading in at least two ways.

Many countries have the sense not to trust other countries' security precautions, and the requirement for all passengers, wherever they've arrived from, to go through security before getting on a plane is getting close to universal. But that requirement still varies from country to country, and the poster should not rely on inaccurate generalities, such as Michael has given

At Arlanda, the poster's checked bags will be automatically transferred. The poster will have to queue for outgoing Schengen passport control (his Oslo-Stockholm flight is to all intents and purposes a domestic flight), he'll probably go through primary security and, since this is a US-bound flight, is liable to the secondary security often imposed by US-bound airlines. Both the outgoing passport check and likely security are within the secure area, and are usually far faster than normal checks on passengers arriving from landside.

If he's bought duty-free booze in Oslo, it's essential he makes sure it's put into the special sealed bag that allows duty-free to be carried through security at Stockholm, because he won't have access to his checked bags there, and can access duty free only after he's checked his bags in at Oslo. Last time I checked, the US doesn't recognise this system, so he'll need to check the booze into his checked baggage in the US if he's making an onward connection at home.

There's no guarantee the flight from Oslo will be on time, and there's always a likelihood a connection will be missed. If SAS have sold you the ticket, they're promising to get you to your final destination. Prolonged checks at the connecting airport aren't the biggest risks to a connection (late planes, clogged gates and all the usual horrors of flying are all far likelier): but it's SAS' job to sort you out if anything goes wrong. You might have to hang round Arlanda for several hours, or reroute vis London or Frankfurt: but you'll get home no later than lots of other people delayed for one of the zillion other reasons flying isn't reliable.

That's why there's a 100 minute gap and not a 10 minute gap.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 11:07 PM
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Caveat: No personal experience with a "Nordic connection" like yours, but:

Standard procedure when leaving the Schengen area via another airport also in the Schengen area to a non-Schengen "international" destination would be:

Oslo:
Luggage gets checked through to your final destination in the US.
You won't see it again until you disembark at your first (which in your case is also your final?) US airport.
No immigration.

Stockholm:
Passport control ("immigration") as you leave the Schengen area here (and not in Oslo).
Additional security screening as you fly to North America.

1hr 40 minutes is not exactly tight to connect.
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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I forgot about our rush through security (we by-passed the line because one of us was in a wheelchair) in Frankfurt when going from domestic to international travel.
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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Great advice, everyone.

Flanneruk, as you say, I am somewhat counting on the flight from Oslo to Stockholm being effectively a domestic flight because of the strong Nordic passport union/Schengen treaty/whatever you want to attribute it to. So clearing outbound passport control in Stockholm was somewhat expected, as I don't expect the area I'm in at Arlanda to be "sterile" enough to allow me to complete all that junk in Oslo.

Cowboy, Chicago is my final destination, so I won't need to re-check duty free liquids purchased in Oslo/Stockholm (and probably won't buy liquids anyway, but good to consider).

I know 1 hour 40 minutes isn't a tight connection - if flights are on time, there should be no sprinting through terminals involved. But if I needed to worry about luggage, I could see it being close/bad. For example, when flying from Keflavik to O'Hare via JFK in 2012 (all on a single Delta itinerary), the 3 hour connection we had in JFK was *just barely* enough. As stupid as it sounds, JFK's horrific international arrivals process, and the need to collect and re-check luggage to Chicago, burned every minute of that connection. I was less worried there - JFK to Chicago is an easy flight to get rebooked, whatever. Stockholm to Chicago is a bit of a different matter. There aren't 20 flights a day.

But this has pretty much put my mind at ease. Thanks everyone!
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