Two contrasting experiences – Oslo, all Norwegian nature, wood and steel, hushed tones, polite announcements. Relaxed border guards that do not see all as terrorists first and citizens second and who look at you and your passport with their eyes, rather than technologically scanning your personal record of all personal details including inside leg measurements.
Contrast this airport heaven with Heathrow hell –
On departure - there is no seating for the multitude, like some biblical scene of be-bagged refugees running for their lives. Anxious security queues with 17 year olds checking bags for liquids. BING BONG announcements that keep you on edge like a Special Forces deprivation torture. No brushed steel or organic tones just low ceilinged corridors with stained carpets in seventies patterns reminiscent of an Orwellian 1984.
From the moment you land - the joy of touchdown and the rush of unbuckling passengers is delayed when the captain reports they have lost the crew that operates the air-bridge. Baggage reclaim where actually receiving your bag eventually brings the excitement akin to winning a lottery. Passport controllers that delight in the game of “how long can we make the passport control queue,” or who send the unsuspecting to join another queue like extras in some giant game of snakes and ladders.
Come on Heathrow – what are you doing? You are just the worst airport brand experience on the planet.