We have family in Norway, and we want to take advantage of being so close to them which is part of the reason we have been there three times since Daniel was born (that, and we love it there). Peter had a busy week at work, so Daniel and I took the opportunity to get our of town and jump on a plane.
Getting there was a breeze. If you’re flying alone, I highly recommend having a sling with you. There are gates with stairs, and sometimes you need to enter the plane from the tarmac. I’ll review Gatwick another day, but it was an easy enough airport to navigate.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Gardermoen airport in Oslo. While gorgeous, if you are traveling solo to Oslo, be prepared to do everything yourself and do not rely on other passengers or staff. Keep this in mind when packing. I have never had so few offers for assistance. I hope it was because I seemed so competent with what I was doing (though I highly doubt this).
Landing in Gardemoen:
When I landed, it was a long walk to security (when you fly Norwegian you need to check your pram), then a fairly long walk back to the luggage conveyor. A plus, there is a great duty-free store that you walk through when you get downstairs. The pram comes out at the far corner and I needed to assemble it while wearing Daniel. I chose to get the rest of my luggage first and then bring the luggage-filled trolley to the over-sized baggage section.
ASIDE: I was overjoyed to see this sign on the ground (crowding around the carousel is a personal pet peeve of mine)
I managed to get the pram assembled fairly painlessly while wearing Daniel. He was still sleeping, so I popped him in the pram and arranged the rest of my luggage. This is what my gear looked like as we headed towards the trains. The trains in Oslo are awesome and easy to navigate solo (I’ll write another post about the trains shortly).
Flying out of Gardemoen:
When you fly out of Gardemoen, you’ll have to check your pram with your luggage, rather than at the gate like most airports (at least if you’re flying Norwegian). So, again, don’t forget your carrier or sling.
I was surprised that two men ignored me as I struggled to get the packed pram onto the over-sized luggage conveyor with a baby strapped to my chest. The gentleman working the over-sized baggage counter was similarly unhelpful. I’m not sure if this is a gender-equality cultural effect, or just poor service by Norwegian airlines, but it was disappointing either way.
Through security, I removed the metal bar from our sling (we have the Stokke MyCarrier) and I was able to keep D-man on through the metal detector (I tried this again in Spain and was not allowed to keep it on, but I also was wearing a jean jacket, so perhaps if you go sans jacket you can keep the sling on). Keep in mind, if you’re travelling with a carry-on suitcase you may have to lift it onto or off of the security conveyor belt without assistance. This may seem minor but it can be quite tricky to do with a baby strapped to you chest. Once again, I was surprised that no one offered to help me (probably since this had never occurred in the past when flying solo).
One nice thing is that on the other side of security, they have these nice buggies to hold your carry-on baggage. These buggies also have a child-seat in them, which is amazing if you child is awake.
Share your airport experiences with us. Have you been surprised at the kindness of others? Have you been disappointed?