Customs in Oslo/Helsinki

Old Apr 30th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Customs in Oslo/Helsinki

My wife and I are American citizens flying from Frankfurt on SAS to Bergen with a connection in Oslo to another SAS flight. Will we be able to check our luggage in FRA directly to BGO or will we have to claim it in OSL, go through customs, and then recheck it to BGO?

After the Hurtigruten trip, we will fly from Bergen to Helsinki with a connection in Oslo, again on SAS with Blue 1 operating the OSL-HEL leg. Are we likely to be able to check our bags the whole way through to HEL from BGO as well as clear Norwegian customs in BGO or will there be a two-step process in OSL?

Thanks for any information that will allow us to plan properly by knowing what to expect.

BigBlue
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Old May 1st, 2008, 04:25 PM
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ttt
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Should be all checked-through. No need to claim at OSL.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 12:18 AM
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BigBlue:

It's not as straightforward as it seems:

When travelling to any Norwegian provincial airport with a connection in Oslo, you have to clear customs in Oslo. The connecting flight is a domestic flight operated without immigration or customs control facilities at the respective airports.

This means, that even if your luggage is checked through to your final destination, you have to claim it in Oslo, clear customs at OSL and check it again at a bag drop counter in the departure hall (having checked it through to your final destination will enable you to use the bag drop counters instead of queueing at a regular check-in counter).

It sounds somewhat complicated, but it usually works quite easily.

On your flight out of Bergen, however, you will be able to check your bags through to Helsinki and need not clear customs at OSL. A passport control will be made when changing over from the domestic to the international section at Oslo airport.

Hope this helps, enjoy yout trip

Phil.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Germany, Norway and Finland are all in Schengen, so any flight between them is treated as a domestic flight with no passport or customs formalities. If you can check through to your final destination (if they are all within the same airline alliance such as Star Alliance), it makes things very simple, just like catching a domestic flight in US.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 01:47 AM
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Alec:

Your information ist not totally correct: Norway is not a member of the EU and as such, though passport controls are largely absent (an effect of the nordic countries treaty, which predates the Schengen accord), customs controls are still in operation.

The Schengen accord exclusively regulates the free circulation of persons, not of goods. Countries outside the EU, but members of the Schengen accord (Norway, Iceland, later this year Switzerland) still retain their sovereignty over the cross-border transport of commercial goods, and hence retain their customs authorities and regulations.

BigBlue: On arrival from Frankfurt you will notice signs at the entrance to the OSL baggage claim area that remind international travellers on transit to Norwegian destinations outside Oslo their obligation to retrieve their bags and cross customs control (which by the way is perfunctory). Disregard this sign, and your bags will remain at OSL baggage service.

Enjoy your trip

Phil.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Phil, thanks very much. Had I had to bet on the process, what you describe is what I would have bet on. We traveled from St. Petersburg to Stockholm a few years ago and were introduced to Schengen at our arrival in Stockholm. Your clear and precise description is exactly why I posted.

To rkkwan and Alec, though your intention is to help, you can see clearly that, unless Phil is dead-wrong, following your advice would have potentially caused us some severe inconvenience. As I am disabled and not able to handle any baggage at all (leaving that undesirable task to The Good Lady Wife), such inconvenience would have me muttering your names under my breath throughout the transfer. What I'm trying to say, politely, I hope, is that if you don't know, don't guess and don't assume.

BigBlue
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Yes, I apologize, and thanks Phil for the clarifications.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 03:50 AM
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BigBlue

If you want to be sure, check with airlines concerned, rather than rely on replies on a travel site. Esp if you are disabled and a wrong advice can have a major influence. We are all friendly bunch here and try to help each other - your parting reamrk is uncalled for and you should withdraw.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 04:52 AM
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What do the airlines say? Their word is the only one that really matter. Really.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Alec, I understand helping each other and that's one of the reasons I use the boards (and contribute as well). Your statement that Norway is part of Schengen is totally incorrect and I don't need to call an airline to confirm that fact. My parting remark stands. Giving wrong information with an air of authority is harmful and you are the one who should consider an apology as rkkwan was sensitive to do.

BigBlue
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:33 AM
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You totally misunderstand the nature of this travel board - not all replies are correct in every way, people misunderstand or rules and regulations change. It's up to you, as a poster, to verify the veracity of answers given, not the responder to double-check before replying.
My comment stands and you are in the wrong.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:33 AM
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BigBlue-- you are rude. Yes, Alec made some wrong statements on his post, but he did so while trying to to help you out. All you proved with your little tantrum is that you were not worth the time.

Go and get your answer from the airline; it is kind of DA to begin with to post such question in this forum when it is so obvious that all you are going to get here is hearsay....

Some people shouldn't leave the house...
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Alec's statement that Norway is part of Schengen is totally CORRECT. It's just that he doesn't understand what Schengen is.

I thought Big Blue - having been given downright duff information from people who didn't know what they were talking about - reacted with considerable tact and grace.

As did rkkwan when his error was pointed out.

On this occasion Alec isn't just talking nonsense. His attitide when his nonsense is pointed out is downright curmudgeonly, and he really ought to apologise both for his wrong-headed advice and for his graceless reaction to a well-deserved and delicately phrased rebuke.

Not to mention, if he's a citizen of an EU country, his disgraceful ignorance about a key political issue that matters in that country.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 01:18 AM
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flanneruk

We are old friends on this and several other travel boards we post to. I always enjoy reading your acidic remarks, with your nicely-turned phraseology and exposing humbug whenever you see one.
On this occasion, I concur with Viajero2's opinion of OP, who is treating this board as an official travel advice column and becoming rude to people who post, not always accurately but with a genuine attempt to be helpful. I repeat - people should not rely on advice given here, unless they have verified the facts for themselves, esp doing so would have critical consequences, such as health and safety. Just read the terms and conditions of fodors talk.
Proper way to behave is to thank people's helpfulness, not to make a gratuitous, rude comment on someone who is only trying to be of assistance to fellow travellers.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 02:52 AM
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Um Alec...

May I remind yo that a correct answer had been given, when you butted in with your uninformed hogwash?

As of your whining about the OP being responsible for checking the accuracy of an answer: If you had checked the accuracy of Phil's answer, you wouldn't have been tempted to divulge your badly researched supposition.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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It is fascinating to me that my suggestion that people who don't actually know the answer to a question should not assume or guess when posting a reply would be considered rude. To my mind, it is only logical that offering incorrect and misleading advice, however good intentioned, would really be rude as well as potentially harmful.

There have been suggestions that one should check with the airlines for the final word. In my close to two million miles of travel on this planet I can assure you that I've received a lot of erroneous and misleading information from them. There is a tendency in some personalities to simply guess if they don't know the right answer just to avoid telling someone they don't actually know. And, information at some airline websites can be both erroneous and misleading as my current experiences have shown in booking this trip which comprises half a dozen air tickets with three different airlines and four different booking venues.

A major advantage on this board is that it is populated by people with actual and current experience with the topics to which they reply. Absent such qualifications, others, while intending to be helpful, are, in fact, not.

Alec, if you were offended by my statements, please accept my apologies. I had no intent to do so.

May we now, please, move on?

BigBlue
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Old May 4th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Yes!!
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