Saturday, January 11, 2014

How Is Norway?

I don't know how Norway is because I never left the secure part of the airport.  To top off my status miles in 2013, I flew to Oslo for an hour and left on the same 757 that brought me. I was upgraded the whole way, so it was a pleasant experience. I did enjoy the small bit of Norway I experienced, but I didn't leave the airport, so I won't add it to my country list.
757 Seat DEN-EWR
My flight from Denver to Newark went quickly and uneventfully.  I went with the chicken salad because the other option was the gross Continental cheese burger.  I slept most of the flight and read the rest away. I didn't pick up Hemispheres magazine because I wanted to save it in case I ran out of other things to do on later flights.
Chicken Salad Lunch - Never Pick the Burger
The flight to Oslo left a half hour late and eliminated a third of my time in Norway.  Once boarding began, I was excited to grab my seat and give it a test drive.  The BusinessFirst seats on international 757's are fully flat and have a 15in-ish tv.  The seat is comfortable and easy to sleep in.   The tv was a let down because the movie offerings were not very good.  Luckily I was distracted by food and felt tired.
United 757 Business First Seat
Outstanding and Tender Steak
I slept most of the way and suffered through the first few minutes of a few films after dinner.  Once we started landing, I packed up all my stuff (it didn't take long, I only had a backpack) and was ready to sprint off the plane. I only had an hour to make my flight and I still needed to clear customs and security. 
SAS Star Alliance Gold Lounge - OSL
Seating in OSL
Customs was a breeze thanks to my EU passport.  I then took the door for international connections, so I didn't have to leave the airport and endure more security screening. I printed off all my boarding passes before leaving Denver, an important action because the security staff wanted to see my boarding pass before allowing me to the international wing.  With less than an hour on the ground I attempted duty free shopping (bad selection and astronomical prices) and relaxed at the SAS lounge.  Before I could finish my beer at the lounge, I had to leave for the gate.  There is a customs check before boarding so build in some extra time for that and other delays. 
Snack Before Landing
Once on board I found my new seat and got comfortable.  We left on time and I enjoyed the meal service before sleeping the rest of the way.  I flew through US customs (thanks Global Entry) and was able to catch an earlier flight to Denver too.  A great trip, though I only saw airports.  A few tips for flights like this:

  • Print all your boarding passes out before leaving your first airport.
  • Pack a change of clothes, pack light.
  • Bring enough to keep you busy if the tv breaks or has nothing worth watching.
  • Stretch out and go for a stroll now and again.
  • Stay hydrated.

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