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I (US Citizen) have booked a flight through American Airlines from DFW to Oslo. It will be FINNAIR from Dallas to HEL and Nordic regional air to OSL (booked as one ticket). I connect through Helsinki airport, but only have 50 minutes to do so. I land at 11:10 AM and am set to depart HEL to OSL at 12:00 PM. Is this possible? I have looked around and some posts seem to say so, but others are saying it will be too tight…any help will be appreciated so much!!!

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    The airlines have access to a lot of data for who made connections & who didn't, so if they are prepared to sell you a single ticket, that means they think an average person can make the connection. That doesn't factor in any personal factors that might slow you down though.
    – Dragonel
    Mar 14, 2022 at 14:55
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    Helsinki airport is relatively small and basically one contiguous building, there's two terminals but they are right next to each other and well connected. You can probably walk from one end to the other in about 10-15 minutes at most, even with a little bit of a queue at the schengen/non-schengen passport gates. Mar 14, 2022 at 16:17
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    Helsinki airport actually got a major expansion around late 2019. There was far more non-Schengen terminal than there used to be. Also, there are now different non-Schengen wings, so you can actually take a wrong turn (it used to be essentially one straight line). You might need up to 20 minutes to walk the entire thing by now.
    – Jan
    Mar 15, 2022 at 0:06

2 Answers 2

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The minimum connecting time for non-Schengen to Schengen like your flight from the US to Norway is 40 minutes, so not only do you have enough time, but you have 10 minutes to spare. :)

But more importantly, since you've booked your flights as one ticket, even if you miss the connection due to flight delays etc, you'll automatically be put on the next one. At time of writing there are at least 3 flights daily between Helsinki and Oslo on Finnair and affiliates, so unless you're booked on the last one, this should not delay you by more than a few hours.

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    And since it can cost them quite a bit in compensation if you arrive late, they have every incentive to make sure you do make the connection. However, it's worth being prepared for the bags not making it and arriving via a later flight.
    – jcaron
    Mar 14, 2022 at 11:30
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    So what, do they have an army of staff whose entire job is to make sure their time-constrained passengers get through immigration efficiently? Mar 14, 2022 at 19:48
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Another option is to have a special immigration line shortcut for short connections with one member of staff checking boarding passes to avoid it being misused
    – Anders
    Mar 14, 2022 at 20:50
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    Note that a MINIMUM time in a context like this does not mean that you have 10 minutes to spare. With two separate tickets I'd personally be wary, but since you're with one company at worst youll get there a couple hours later
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 15, 2022 at 11:48
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica you don't need an 'army of staff' for this. In normal circumstances you don't need any, but if the first flight is delayed, you have 1 or 2 staff members who can help the connectees. Spending a few minutes with them to navigate the airport, skip queues where possible, and let the follow-on flight know what is happening makes all the difference between missing/making a connection and is pretty common at most international airports.
    – David258
    Mar 15, 2022 at 17:00
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Lambshaanxy already noted that the connection can definitely been done and Finnair will guarantee you a flight to Oslo as this is a single ticket.

Depending on which gate you will arrive at, you might have to do some walking through the terminal. The non-Schengen area received an expansion sometime in 2019 iirc and while the airport is still on the small end for a major international one, it has gotten a bit larger. Another extension opened in December which I personally could not yet experience.

Between arrival and your connection departing, you will have to go through both security and* entry immigration. The first should be no hassle, as you will be in the segregated area for connecting passengers.

After having passed through security, you should already be thrown into the same corridor with other departing passengers except you’re still on the non-Schengen side. Again, queues should be manageable as the number connecting from non-Schengen onto Schengen flights should not be too excessive.

So all things considered, the connection is definitely doable.


* Commenters have assured me that passing through security is not necessary for incoming flights from the US, unlike flights from Japan which I was more accustomed to.

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    Are there really security for US arrivals? I believe in many other EU countries arrivals from EU, US and Canada are considered as safe.
    – Anders
    Mar 15, 2022 at 0:39
  • @Anders Erm … I’m not 100 % certain. I know that there is security after arriving from Japan. I wouldn’t see any reason why Japan and the US would be treated differently.
    – Jan
    Mar 15, 2022 at 0:40
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    The EU regulations are different for Japan and the US. Passengers from Japan must pass security check, but there is no such requirement for passengers from the US. Finland can of course choose to check them anyway.
    – Anders
    Mar 15, 2022 at 9:53

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