We are three floors below the check-in counters in the terminal. Suitcases and boxes fly past at a furious pace, in carts attached to a roller coaster-like mechanism. This is the baggage handling facility at Oslo Airport.
This is where your suitcase lands after you have checked it in. This is where it is scanned, sorted and transported to the right aircraft.
To outsiders, the baggage facility can resemble an amusement park, but even if it’s tempting, it’s not advisable to hop aboard and take a spin around – the system isn’t exactly designed for people with arms and legs, says baggage boss Per Viggo Andersen.
“No, it’s designed for luggage and isn’t meant for humans,” Andersen laughs.
Nevertheless, it’s not unusual for things other than suitcases to pop up in the system. Per Viggo has 18 years of experience from the industry. Although he’s seen about everything he never stops to be amazed.
“One time we had a cat here who was missing for several days. We formed a search party, but the poor kitty was pretty scared, so it was impossible to find it. Fortunately, it popped up by itself after two or three days. Another time someone tried to send four canoes in a row – as you can imagine that didn’t go so well. A 24-piece set of china also suffered a crushing defeat down here.
Andersen has a whole binder full of stories and pictures from the opening of Oslo Airport in 1998. Some episodes he remembers more than others. Early in the 2000s someone sent a suitcase full of paint cans. It ended with a ruined suitcase, a red baggage belt and dozens of suitcases that had changed color during the trip.
“The worst thing is that the guy blamed us because his suitcase was destroyed. I don’t think he was very pleased when he got the bill from the insurance company, because it wasn’t small,” he says.
Mishaps aside, people should not be apprehensive about sending oversize or nonstandard luggage by air. Items such as rollators, ski poles, hockey sticks or other objects that can get stuck in the regular luggage facility must be checked in at the special baggage counter in field G.