That's pretty much my sentiments but this was the first time I've read that kind of a warning in a guidebook.
The Lonely Planet. Better than it used to be (an awful politicized diabribe), but still a font of misinformation.
Oh my gosh, I need to apologize to Lonely Planet. I'm using their Turkey guidebook for this same trip and I guess I'll also pull my "age" card and call it a senior moment.
My apologies for my own inaccurate reporting!
We'll add Frommer's to the unreliable guidebooks, no problem.
No risk whatsoever. Here are the steps how to proceed:
1. Check the opening hours of the crossing on http://www.iaa.gov.il/RASHAT/en-US/Rashot
2. Take a servees-Taxi (in Israel we would call it a "Sherut") from Abdali station in Amman to the Allenby/ King Hussein Bridge. Or call your private taxi which will pick you up wherever you are. It is quite affordable: about JD 20,- for the entire trip to the crossing.
3. Enter the Jordanian Terminal compound, go to the Departure building on your right, put your luggage into the x-ray-machine at the entry of the building.
4. Go to counter no. 1 and give them your passport.
5. Go to counter no. 3 (!!) and buy an exit tax stamp for JD 5,- (That's the counter with the lady who is always eating some fatty stuff while dealing with the stamps)
6. Pass the exit tax stamp to the guy at conter no. 2 (!). He will have your passport at this point.
7. The passport with the stamp on a separate sheet will miraculously reappear at counter no. 1. Either the officer will pass it back to you at this point, or he will insist to deliver it directly to the shuttle bus.
8. Good occasion to do some shopping at the Duty Free shop: Excellent Lebanese Arak, fine Jordanian Wines...
9. Now you have the choice to get either on the shuttle bus on the right side of the Duty Free Shop (will cost you JD 4,- for one person and one piece of luggage). Or you go to the little building marked "Arrow Business Services - VIP" in order to pay a whole fortune for a private shuttle. The shuttle bus or the private shuttle will bring you from the Jordanian Terminal to the Israeli terminal. On the bus, you might have to wait a while before it departs. The private shuttle would help you to save some time - at a price!
10. A Jordanian officer will get onto the bus in order to check if you have the separate sheet with the exit tax stamp in your passport.
11. Someone will get onto the bus in order to collect the JD 4,- fare.
12. The bus will depart and drive down to the bridge.
13. Just before the bridge, another Jordanian officer will get onto the bus in order to collect the sheets with the exit tax stamp. (A pity - these stamps are beautyful!)
14. The bus will cross the bridge, you will look out of the window and say: Ooops, this little muddy stream is the famous River Jordan?
15. On the Israeli side, the bus will stop at a small booth where all the passengers will have to dismount and show their passports to an Israeli officer, while some soldiers check the bus for suspicious objects.
16. You get onto the bus again. The bus leaves for the Israeli terminal compound, where it might have to wait at the gate for a while. Then the bus enters the terminal compound.
17. The bus drops you at the main terminal building.
18. IF YOU HAVE VIP-STATUS (as a diplomat, an accredited aid-worker or head of a church): You proceed to the VIP line, where you can keep your luggage all the time with you. You answer two or three security-relevant questions, get your passports stamped, and whooops - you are in Israel. If you are a VIP, continue with step n. 25. IF YOU DON'T HAVE VIP-STATUS: continue with step n. 19:
19. Right next to the bus, you pass your luggage to the workers at the conveyor belts. From now on, you won't see your luggage for a while. That is normal - don't panic.
20. You enter the terminal building. Here you line up with hundreds of people before going through several security-scanners. There is one that will blow a whole stream of air against your body. Don't panic: They don't want to blow you away - they just want to check if you have any traces of explosives on your body.
21. An Israeli officer will ask you a whole lot of security-relevant questions. Don't panic: If you answer politely and as precisely as possible, this won't take long.
22. You proceed to the passport control where your passport will be stamped (except if you ask for the passport not to be stamped). You get your passport back with a little paper slip, the so called "gate pass".
23. You go through the exit gate where someone will take your gate pass from you. At this point, you will most probably start to panic: "Now, I am outside - but where is my luggage???"
24. Right behind the exit gate (still inside the terminal hall) you will see a huge pile of luggage, coming from the x-ray machines. Don't panic: Your luggage will be there and you can simply take it.
25. You exit the main terminal hall. Outside, you will find a small booth operated by a taxi company from East Jerusalem. You tell them where you want to go and how you want to go there - and they will either direct you to the next sherut or call a private taxi for you. This might take some time, since no more than three taxis are allowed to wait inside the terminal compound at the same time. Most of the taxis are waiting outside.
26. You get onto your private taxi or sherut. The price for each destination is fixed. If you haven't cecked that price beforehand at the booth of the taxi company, the driver will usually try to get some shekels extra from you.
27. When the taxi drives out of the terminal compound, the driver will have to show his ID at the gate and you will have to show your passport a very last time.
28. And off you go!
>>> As you see, there is nothing dangerous with the procedure. And if you don't get it right, there will be dozens of people to help you. Please note that this is only for the direction Jordan-Israel. For the direction Israel-Jordan, the procedure is slightly different. Maybe I will explain that some other day...
I see you must have dealt with "seniors" before. These are absolutely fabulous directions. Thank you so much. Allenby Bridge Crossing, here we come.
Well, I might be called the unofficial "local expert for Israel's border crossings". I have just counted: I have about 120 Israeli entry- and exit-stamps in my passport...
Very good instructions. There must be a way your post can be incorporated into the FAQ or Top Israel Questions section for future usage.
Dr. Z. - then someone should absolutely edit it. English is in no way my mother tongue.
And I just discovered that I made a a mistake in step no. 3: The departure building is to the left, not to the right. Sorry!
Your English is excellent and there is a minimal amount to edit.
I figured out how to add to the section "Top Questions for Israel" and also noticed that there is absolutely nothing there! I think I will take the initiative to edit your post and to add this to that section. It would be a wonderful reference for future travellers wishing to make that crossing.