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I am hoping to make a round trip from Albany (ALB) to Stockholm (ARN).

At my target dates, one possibility is to go from: Albany to Newark (EWR) to Copenhagen (CPH) and then to Stockholm (ARN), and vice versa, using a combination of United Airlines and SAS. (So, United to get to Newark, then SAS to go from Newark to Stockholm, and vice versa.)

However, the layover at Copenhagen is short, one hour.

I am a US citizen but I don't have any experience traveling internationally, hence why I'm curious about layover times at other countries and if, other countries are intermediate stops, do we still have to go through some "immigration" or "customs" (I think that's what they're called)?

To be clear, I assume that when I arrive in Newark, I will walk over to some area for international flights, where people will then check my passport and such. The same for Stockholm.

My main question is if anything has to be checked during a stop where I'm not planning to leave the airport (as in Copenhagen)? I would do as much as I can to learn about the building of the airport so that I know exactly where to go from gate to gate, but if there's somewhere where I need to stand in line for an immigration or customs reason, that's what I'm worried about.

(I would also try and get these on one airline ticket, if possible ...)

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For this trip, you would not need to do anything at Newark besides proceed to your gate. This will likely mean taking a shuttle bus to Terminal B, where SAS operates. Do not exit the secure area, but take the airside bus, which will bring you near the gate for your flight to Copenhagen. There is no exit passport check in the US.

At Copenhagen, you will need to go through immigration control. This is because both Copenhagen and Sweden are part of the Schengen area, so they are treated as one "country" for immigration purposes. When you arrive in Copenhagen, you'll walk to the Schengen part of the airport and wait in line for passport control and a security check. As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, this may take some time.

SAS considers 45 minutes to be the minimum connection time in this case. This means that it should at least be possible in an hour, but you won't have much margin for delays, either if your flight is late or there are lines at the airport You may be more comfortable with a longer connection.

If you have purchased a single airline ticket, the airline will ultimately be responsible for rebooking you on another flight at no charge if you can't make your connection. However, this may significantly delay your travel plans depending on when the next flight leaves. I would certainly not do this with multiple tickets.

As far as customs is concerned, you will do this in Stockholm. If you've purchased a single ticket, your bags will be automatically transferred in Newark and Copenhagen. You'll claim your checked bags in Stockholm. Unless you are bring special goods with you or are bringing valuable items that you will leave behind in the EU, you can just walk out through the "nothing to declare" area.

  • Since the OP asks, it might be worth adding information about customs (I don't know this specific journey, but it's likely to consist of walking down a corridor labelled "nothing to declare" at whichever of Stockholm and Copenhagen luggage has been checked to at Newark) – origimbo May 7 '18 at 19:24
  • @origimbo Good point. I added a bit on this. – Zach Lipton May 7 '18 at 19:28
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    Note also that Copenhagen to Stockholm is perhaps the most intensively serviced route in SAS's network. If you don't make the scheduled connection there'll almost certainly be another flight a few hours later to put you on. – Henning Makholm May 7 '18 at 19:40
  • Thanks, this is very helpful, also good to know about Copenhagen-Stockholm flight activity. I am going to find a different itinerary that has a longer layover time. – ComputerScientist May 8 '18 at 0:22
  • And just to confirm for a return trip, I wouldn't need to go through immigration control if I went from Stockholm to Copenhagen, because those are treated as one country? Or would I since I'm a US citizen? – ComputerScientist May 8 '18 at 0:32
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If you need to book this as multiple tickets: this will NOT work. Don't do this.

If you can book it on a single ticket than the airline is responsible for getting you there, if your miss your connection. According to their statistics you have a good change to making this otherwise they wouldn't sell you the ticket.

Best option would be to take the SAS direct flight from EWR<->ARN (and skip CPH). That's currently offered from around $1050 round trip (ALB<->ARN through EWR, May, midweek).

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