With only two officers on duty, lines built up quickly on Saturday morning at the passport control station at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen for those leaving Norway and Europe’s Schengen region. Some passengers became so frustrated by the unexpected waiting that tempers flared, while many feared missing their flights.
It’s not the first time there’s been problems at OSL Gardermoen’s passport control posts for both arrivals and departures. This time it was departing passengers who got stuck in line for as long as 50 minutes.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday that some angry Americans heading home on morning flights to New York claimed that this would “definitely be the last time we visit Oslo.” Some passengers started yelling and at least one scuffle reportedly broke out. It didn’t help when personnel from British Airways and Qatar Airways ventured out of the gate area and shouted for passengers to hurry up because gates were closing.
The line moved faster when a third officer came on duty. “There were two people on the job, and that was too few,” airport spokesman Lasse Vantstein told Aftenposten. He admitted that passengers normally need to allow at least 15 minutes, not 40-50 minutes like the case was on Saturday.
“But it’s up to the passengers to arrive at the airport well ahead of departure time,” he said. “I recommend allowing more than five minutes from the time you get in line (at passport control, which is after security and at the end of a long terminal) until you’re in your seat on the aircraft.”