With thousands of people taking to the skies this Christmas, the security checkers at Oslo Airport have only one wish: Pack all your wrapped Christmas gifts in checked baggage!
The holidays can get off to a bad start for travellers on their way home for Christmas if they haven't given much thought to what they have in their carry-on baggage. If you don't know what's inside the Christmas gift in your carry-on, it will have to be opened and, in the worst case, surrendered to security personnel.
"Unfortunately, each year we see travellers who don't know what's inside the wrapping. Our security personnel are then required to open the gift in the security check and, in the worst case, the gift has to be left behind," says Joachim Westher Andersen, media manager at Oslo Airport.
Christmas travel is subject to the same security rules that apply to ordinary traffic, but people often have other things with them in their carry-on baggage at this time of year. During the Christmas rush, passengers often tuck gift packs of perfume or creams in their hand luggage. Another frequent sight is gift boxes of cured meats that include knives, which create problems in the security check. Nor is it a good idea to pack expensive cognacs or toys shaped like weapons in carry-ons.
"Our people are here to help the traveller and want them to have the best possible journey home for Christmas. It is therefore extra sad for us when we have to open and, when necessary, destroy Christmas gifts. It's not a good feeling and we hope people will heed our request," says Andersen.
When people go away to celebrate Christmas they often bring food for parties with them. Food in general is a permitted item as long as it's not considered a liquid. Please be aware that some Christmas baked goods may contain cream fillings that are classified as liquids.
"It's not always easy to know what counts as a liquid and what doesn't. Any jam or jelly is classified as a liquid, so homemade marmalade is the not the best thing to have in your carry-on," Andersen explains.
Travellers stopped with prohibited items in the security check will be given three options: The passenger can send the object as checked baggage, drop it off at lost and found for storage, or surrender the item. If an item is surrendered, it will be destroyed and cannot be retrieved at a later date.
Good preparation speeds up the security check
In wintertime we have to put on more outerwear than usual. For this reason, it's important to prepare yourself while standing in the queue so you can pass through the security check as quickly as possible.
Take off your winter coat, belts and winter boots before you go through the metal detector and remember that all electronic items and liquids must be taken out of purses and bags and X-rayed separately. Liquids must be in containers of 100ml or less and consolidated in a 1-litre clear plastic zip-top bag. Only one bag of liquids is permitted per passenger.
Using the special family lane at Oslo Airport is a good alternative for families with children. You will find it under the yellow balloon, centrally located in the security check area. Here, security checks are performed on the children's terms.
"Passengers are generally good about preparing and following our requests. By being pro-active, we hope we can spare many passengers on their way home for Christmas the anguish of seeing Christmas gifts confiscated," concludes Andersen.
Oslo Lufthavn AS (OSL) owns and operates Norway's main airport, Oslo Airport at Gardermoen. OSL is an important transport hub in Norway with more than 21 million passengers and more than 200,000 aircraft movements every year. Oslo Lufthavn AS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Avinor.