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Israel airport security - Beware

Chester, United...
posts: 3
Israel airport security - Beware

Has anyone else had problems in Israel due to Egypt or Turkey stamps in their passport? I was treated extremely badly by security at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv

123 replies to this topic
1. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

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2. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

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Removed on: 3:05 am, February 27, 2012
 
NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,666
reviews: 17
3. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Israel is, unfortunately surrounded by neighbors who want to see us wiped from the face of the earth. Yes, I read the review ( thank you Tilly) and I can appreciate it is uncomfortable. However, we only have Sarah's take on why she was selected. WE do not know the real reason. Egypt is a country with diplomatic relations with Israel. Tourists go back and forth --no big deal. Same with Turkey AND I think half of the citizens of Israel have themselves visited Turkey.

I feel confident that Israel security had a very good reason for the thorough investigation. Yes, Sarah says after 2.5 hours they found her innocent--well she knew she was BUT they didn't. They didn't confiscate anything and she made her flight. She DID have a choice--totally refuse and find another means of getting back to the UK ( crossing to Egypt or Jordan would have worked) She also indicates that she didn't give "permission" for some of the questioning--well-----you don't have to give permission.

No one likes extra questions and no one wants to be singled out. However, no one wants their plane, or the plane a loved one is on blown out of the sky. So, if you travel to Israel, you deal with the risk. BTW it has nothing to do with El Al. El Al does not run the security at the airport, the airport does and it doesn't matter which airline you are flying.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,934
reviews: 5
4. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

^^^^^

Ah! ..... In that case I'm sorry that you had that experience.

From what I've heard, that level of security/treatment *is* somewhat specific to El Al. I've never been to Israel, but co workers have mentioned the extra very tight, and probing (businessmen have been told to explain their papers) security for El Al flights - especially on leaving the country - but not as stringent for (eg) Lufthansa or easyJet.

So your point in that review "We were flying with El Al so I wonder if it would help to avoid this airline" may be appropriate. Not that El Al is a bad airline, but that it's country's security checks could be unpleasant.

(.... I would remind that El Al has been the target of terrorist bombings, including the failed Heathrow attack in 1986, when a woman was duped by her bf to carrying a package containing a bomb, and was only stopped at the the last time of security at the boarding gate)

Edited: 6:28 am, February 26, 2012
Cookham Dean...
Destination Expert
for Prague, Bohemia
posts: 20,057
5. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Israeli security are professionals unlike those we see in the UK - young, low wages, basic education, power hungry at times.

So I agree with rdglady - you must have given them a reason for the search, perhaps answered their questions with 'attitude'? The fact that you are British makes no difference!

And as for El Al - I would always fly with them to Israel rather than with anyone else just because of security.

Nerja, Spain
posts: 764
reviews: 120
6. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Yes we have at Eliat, however it was just repeating the same questions over and over again and we didn't mind as we accept that this area is subject to terrorist attack and also had the same at Tel Aviv, both El Al and Easyjet

Edited: 6:57 am, February 26, 2012
Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,348
7. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Turkey and Egypt are still "friendly" to Israel and given the number of people who travel to both from Europe it would be a rather stupid policy by the Israelis to hassle everyone who had been to both.

Glasgow, United...
posts: 2,040
reviews: 90
8. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Hi the Israelis are quite right to firm on security as for Turkey and Egypt being friends of theirs once perhaps Turkey Egypt cool but correct not now however i am afraid.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,666
reviews: 17
9. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

Security heading TOWARDS Israel may be tightest on El Al, but security FROM Israel is NOT run by El Al!

jockeygirl--I am not quite sure what you mean in your post--but there is a reason to asking the same questions over and over and maybe changing the format slightly. They are looking to see if you are consistent in your answers, People who tell the truth will tell it over and over--pretty much the same. People who are lying will have difficulty keeping track of their lies and inevitably trip themselves up, Israeli ( not only El Al) security personnel are also trained in non-verbal responses. They are good and they will keep at it until they are 100% sure that you are okay.

Again, not necessarily pleasant, but necessarily needed.

uk
posts: 2,617
reviews: 73
10. Re: Israel airport security - Beware

I fly from the UK to Tel Aviv a few times a year, usually with BA, but with LH a few time too, never flown El Al. I am a British female and I have Egyptian, Turkish and UAE stamps in my passport, all of which always trigger the interest of the security guards.

I can never say I've been treated particullarly badly. It is pretty much the same each time. First security gaurd asks me when I was last in Turkey, Egypt, UAE etc, why was I there, do I have any personal connection etc to these countries, then asks me the same questions again. They then give my passport to another gaurd who comes over and asks the same question. Nothing I would say as being treated badly. The last thing is always a statement along the lines to "We're asking these questions to make sure you haven't got a bomb", to which I generally just give a knowing nod.

I then have my hold luggage x-rayed, opened and everything swabbed for explosives before being allowed though to check in. There is then another round of hand luggage opening and swabbing prior to getting through to the departure lounge.

Yes, it is a lot more comprehensive than the security at most airports but I don't find it anything really to have major issues with?

Was the OP treated differently.

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