Tel Aviv-Yafo TLV Airport Reviews | Ben Gurion International Airport

TLV Ben Gurion International Airport

Israel FlagTel Aviv-Yafo
2.5 out of 5
Latitude: 32.000454
Longitude: 34.870743
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"So this is what it's like to be mistaken for a terrorist!"


After flying into Tel Aviv, Israel, from Amman, Jordan, I went to the transit area of the airport (since I was changing from a Royal Jordanian flight to the El Al flight to Newark).

After more than a half hour, the bags for the three other passengers arrived, but mine did not (all of us were US passport holders). The workers said that my bag was not on the baggage carousel with the other luggage from the flight.

I asked to leave and go through passport control to check with the Royal Jordanian staff about my luggage. I was told to sit down and wait where I was.

After another half hour or so, the staff member in a suit told me all Royal Jordanian staff had left the Tel Aviv airport, so it was useless (he said) to go out and try to report my missing bag. And, if I did so, I would miss my El Al flight.

I went into the transit inspection area with the others. Every piece of our luggage was unpacked completely by a crew of as many as 17 personnel at one time. With each of our belongings, there was visible dissention among the staff doing the searching.

The four of us were increasingly annoyed with the unreasonable and unexplained delay (which extended to more than two hours).

Finally, my sole piece of luggage, my carry-on, was emptied completely. A few things were returned to the carry-on: my laptop, camera and wallet.

Everything else remained in a bin, and I was told I wasn’t allowed to take any of it on the plane. Included in the “forbidden” items: a package of Kleenex, aspirin, a notebook, pen and other such items that I routinely carry with me on airplanes, most of which have traveled with me on six continents – and which I carried without incident INTO Israel when I first arrived.

I asked if I could take my gum, earplugs and sleep mask. No. The staff person said quite forcefully that if I asked any more questions, he “would be certain that I missed my El Al flight”.

They took everything they’d placed in the “forbidden bin”, dumped it in a white cardboard box, stuffed some bubble wrap on the top and taped it closed. An identification tag was added, and I was given the receipt. A security person, who was holding my boarding pass, walked me (and my box) to the airplane, where I boarded among the last passengers.

If this is how they treat TRANSIT passengers, what about those who intend to stay in Israel? Are they all strip-searched?

Facilities: Good
Check-In Area: Satisfactory
Security Level: High
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