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Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

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Guildford, United...
posts: 2
Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

I am travelling to Jerusalem on business next week and would really like to take my tablet or even my old netbook so I can do some work. I also want to take my kindle and a camera. I have read a lot of postings elsewhere that say computers, tablets etc have been taken away at the airport and that the promised return doesn't happen. I am British, have a very standard British name (I wish it didn't matter but I understand it might) but I am mixed race and regularly get mistaken for all kinds of different ethnic backgrounds. I am flying British Airways to Ben Gurion airport, leaving the same way. Would I be better leaving all this kind of equipment at home and relying on my mobile phone for taking photos and computers at internet cafes to do my work? And if I do take them, do I do through the green channel or red channel?

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
posts: 4,386
reviews: 76
11. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

On entering Israel in March this year we had to answer a few questions and that was all that happened in Israel. Our main suitcases had been scanned in Australia, and our hand luggage had been scanned both in Australia and Bangkok where we changed planes. When scanning a computer it had to be outside the bag. I don't remember having anything scanned on entry into Israel.

When we left Israel last week our main suitcases were checked in before scanning and we were told we had to leave them unlocked in case they wanted to open them. (New procedure - the previous time we went to Israel we were with our suitcases when they were scanned and opened and we could then lock them again.) Our hand luggage was scanned and searched (if necessary) with us present. Again, if there was a computer it had to be outside any bag it was in when scanned.

When we arrived in Australia we found that one of our suitcases had been opened after scanning. There was a leaflet left in the suitcase to explain that this had been done by Israeli security. The thing that had attracted their attention was my husband's sleep apnea machine which had clearly been taken out of the suitcase and plugged Into electricity to check it out. (All the power cord and wires were put back jumbled up.). We had been concerned about leaving bags unlocked - particularly since we were changing planes at Bangkok, but we have been home 2 days and haven't noticed anything missing yet.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 26,938
reviews: 18
12. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

I have never heard of luggage being opened that belonged to incoming passengers--unless it is with them present in customs. There are many many places where your luggage could have been opened.

Heather--it is no surprise that they checked the sleep apnea machine. I wonder if you had said something when you were interviewed if it could have saved the check.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 10,996
reviews: 112
13. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

Incoming luggage is never checked. That would be done at your point of departure. In Israel no one goes through your hand luggage at passport control. The officer is there for security checks not if you are smuggling. You are supposed to declare certain items upon entry into the country, any country. If you are caught with something requiring customs while going through the green lines you will be fined.

Chana

Israel

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
posts: 4,386
reviews: 76
14. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

<<<Heather--it is no surprise that they checked the sleep apnea machine. I wonder if you had said something when you were interviewed if it could have saved the check.>>>

The luggage is now checked in before you do anything else. At that point my husband did mention there was a sleep apnea machine in it. The girl at the counter wasn't interested in what was in any cases. It was her job to weigh and label. Checking anything was left to security later on. (I think he would have been better to put it in his carry on luggage like I did, but he preferred keeping camera equipment with him and didn't have room for both the way he packed.) Looking back it might have been a good idea to put a label on it explaining what it was. They actually broke a knob off (not irreparably) - obviously trying to determine what it was.

Arizona
posts: 1,582
reviews: 18
15. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

my grandson was stopped and thoroughly interviewed and hand-checked leaving last summer, apparently because I decided HE could schlepp all our electronic stuff in his carryon - 2 kindles, 2 cameras, 2 tablets, cell phone, and a small laptop, plus the cords, converter plugs, etc.

I'm surprised to hear about being required to leave luggage unlocked for the entire trip -- I can't see how that's going to be acceptable to very many travelers, especially with some of the places people have to connect through. I would think the funky little 'TSA approved' locks should be permitted.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,492
reviews: 141
16. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

Good morning, AZZenny -- I am in Scottdale where we met several years ago! :-)

I have never bothered with locking my luggage for this simple reason -- those locks are so flimsy that anyone really wanting to get into it will have a delay of about five seconds. I take anything valuable in my carry-on.

I too now travel with a CPAP (sleep apnea machine); interestingly, with TSA pre-check, that is the ONLY thing I have to take out when going through security at US airports. At least with US airlines, that machine is an exception (as medical equipment) to the carry-on restrictions of one roller bag and one small personal item. You might want to check on that in the future. That I would never check as they are expensive and too prone to damage if roughly handled.

Douglas Duckett

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 11,269
reviews: 36
17. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

Locking your luggage is simply an exercise in fooling yourself - luggage locks barely provide any more than a few seconds delay to get into your luggage if someone wants to - and about the TSA locks - check out the Air Travel forum and see how many times TSA breaks these locks - so IMHO there is not much point in locking your luggage - at most, if you have zippers, I would use twist ties or something like that just to make sure they don't slide open unexpectedly - but beyond that, locks are just a waste of time and money.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 5,030
reviews: 104
18. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

I travel quite a bit internationally and have often had notices in my bags that one country or another had opened the bags and gone through them for security purposes. I never had anything missing, just moved around. In my experience, the risk of losing things from your luggage is not that things are stolen but that zippers or clasps break and the suitcase is partially open and things fall out. It has never happened to me but I have seen that many times on the luggage carousels. A lock would not be any help in this case.

Many airline permit you to carry any medical equipment onboard as an additional item. Sleep Apnea machines fit this category and are allowed as a third carry on. Check your airline to confirm this applies to you but it does for most Canadian and European flights.

19. Re: Immigration & Customs - Tablets, Kindles and Cameras

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