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Everything you need to know about travel in Norway this Easter

Whether you're driving to the in-laws in Bergen, taking the train, or flying to your family elsewhere in the world, here's everything we know about travel to, from, or around Norway this Easter.

Everything you need to know about travel in Norway this Easter
Track work will be taking place near Oslo Central Station over Easter. Photo: Øystein Grue/ Bane NOR

Rail lines closed over Easter in Eastern Norway

Norway’s state-owned rail track operator Bane NOR is closing several lines around Oslo and elsewhere in Eastern Norway between April 1st and April 9th to upgrade the tracks, with all journeys served by bus replacements. 

Here are the stretches of track affected: 

Brakerøya–Mjøndalen/Sande. The R12, R13, RE10 and RE11 lines between Brakerøya and Mjøndalen in the city of Drammen will be closed.   

Ski–Mysen/Rakkestad. The R22 line between Ski and Mysen and Rakkestad. 

Oslo S–Ski / Moss / Rygge / Mysen / Rakkestad. Lines L2, R21, R22, R23 and RE20, from Oslo to Rakkestad. 

Oslo S–Lillestrøm. The L1 line travelling from Oslo S to Lillestrøm.

The Airport Express Train from Oslo Airport to Oslo Central Station is also affected by the track work, as is the Sørtoget line between Oslo and Stavanger.

Bus replacements on Oslo to Gothenburg train. Between April 3rd and April 5th, trains from Oslo to Gothenburg will only travel as far as Halden, with a bus replacement service for the rest of the route. From April 6th to April 9th, trains will stop completely. Passengers are asked to use Vy Bus4You. 

Bus replacements on Bergensbanen.

People travelling on the track towards Bergen should know that between April 1st and April 9th, the train goes directly from Oslo Central to Hønefoss, missing out on stops at Sandvika, Asker and Drammen.  

Between April 7th and April 9th, trains will not travel between Bergen and Arna, with rail replacement buses ordered to take their place. 

Travelling by road

Norwegian schools break up for påskeferie (Easter holidays) this Friday (March 31st) so you can expect heavy traffic on the roads out of the big cities starting from Friday afternoon and continuing over the weekend.

Typically well over a million Norwegians take to the roads over Easter to stay in their cabins or visit relatives. 

There is also likely to be heavy traffic between Maundy Thursday (April 6th) and Easter Saturday (April 8th), and again on Easter Monday (April 10th) as people return home. 

The E6 in Gudbrandsdalen around Lillehammer and the E18 in Agder tend to see delays over Easter, 

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has yet to issue its traffic prognosis for Easter (we will update this article when they do). 

Travelling by air 

While there are no strikes planned at Norwegian airports or at the airlines servicing them, anyone flying to Spain, Germany, Italy, or the UK’s Heathrow airport should check to make sure that their flight is not going to be disrupted. 

Between now and April 13th, ground services and cargo handling unions in Spain working for Swissport are mounting 24-hour walkouts every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 

This will impact most Spanish airports, including Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Reus, Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Málaga, Almería, Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos, Logroño, Zaragoza, Huesca, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur airports. It is not yet clear which flights will be affected. 

The German transport unions Ver.di and EVG mounted a 24-hour mega strike on March 27th. EVG has promised not to strike over Easter, but Ver.di has so far not given any such assurances. 

Those flying to Italy should keep in mind that air traffic controllers working for the company Enav are planning to strike from 1pm to 5pm on April 2nd. 

READ ALSO: Calendar of the transport strikes expected in Italy this spring

Finally, 1,400 security guards at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport plan to hold rolling strikes for 10 days from March 31st until April 9th, threatening “huge disruption and delays… throughout Easter.” Heathrow’s management have said that they aim to keep the airport “open and operational despite unnecessary threats of strike action by Unite”.

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Airlines in Norway criticised for treatment of passengers

Air passengers in Norway risk not getting compensation or treatment that they are entitled to from airlines, the Norwegian Consumer Council warned on Tuesday.

Airlines in Norway criticised for treatment of passengers

A significant majority of passengers in Norway who have had their case heard by the relevant aviation industry complaints body (Transportklagenemnda for flyreiser) this year have won against airlines.

So far in 2023, a full 85 percent of the complaints that the relevant entities have dealt with have ended in full or partial favour of the passenger.

“Such a high share of positive decisions is not at all positive, but unfortunately rather a clear sign that the industry does not take customer treatment seriously and in practice deprives consumers of compensation to which they are entitled,” Consumer Council director Inger Lise Blyverket said in a press release.

“The fact that so many (cases) end up (in favour of the passenger) tells us that the airlines, in practice, have too poor of a customer service. Instead of acknowledging when the consumer is right, the companies force them to go to the complaints body. That is unacceptable,” Blyverket said.

Furthermore, the Transportklagenemnda for flyreiser seems to be swarmed by cases.

Cause for concern

The Consumer Council believes that this indicates that many consumers, in practice, do not get what they are entitled to from the airlines.

“The situation is so precarious that we believe the minister of transport must step in to ensure that the airline passengers’ consumer rights (are safeguarded,” Consumer Council director Inger Lise Blyverket noted in a press release.

When a flight is cancelled or delayed, passengers in Norway have rights. For example, they may be entitled to new tickets on the next flight, food and drink, or standardised compensation, the Consumer Council said.

However, if the passenger and the airline disagree on the settlement after a deviation from the agreed-upon flight, the appeal body can be used to deal with the case.

The Consumer Council has sent an urgent letter to Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård demanding that the ministry get involved.

“No consumer wants to spend time and effort on complaints. A complaint body neither can nor should be a substitute for a customer service apparatus in the business sector,” the consumer rights watchdog said.

Most complaint cases involve SAS

One company, in particular, stands out negatively in this year’s case statistics, according to the Consumer Council.

“Unfortunately, we see that SAS is overrepresented in the statistics. The feedback from the company is often short or non-existent both to the consumer and the complaints body,” Blyverket said.

You can find out more about your rights as an airline passenger via the Consumer Council’s online wizard.