Jul 16th, 2004, 01:47 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
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I'm planning a trip to Israel this summer and will be flying El Al Airlines. I chose El Al primarily due to secruity, the bonus is that it is cheaper and it is a direct flight. I am so PUMPED!! However, upon speaking to business colleagues, and after reading several books and travel magazines about Israel, I keep coming across the EXTREMENESS of the security, both entering and leaving Israel. It has been described as intense, bordering on harassment. Now, I believe in Israel and it's right to security. I just would like a better idea of what to expect. I should mention that after 13 years of trying to get my friend (German, by the way) to travel to Israel with me, he has surprisingly agreed to go. So this is both our first trip. Unfortunately, this guy is very shy......if he hears a siren from an ambulance while driving, he gets nervous and gets shaky. I've seen him pulled over for not having his seatbelt fastened. The officer in our small town looked about 15 years old. Not threatening by any stretch of the imagination. Still my friend started stammering and stuttering. VERY NERVOUS. Get the picture? What can he really expect?
klyff is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 03:20 AM
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mgmargate is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Since you mentioned your German friend, I can assure you that the security procedure in Tel Aviv international airport are a LOT more friendly and laid-back than that of Lufthansa in Frankfurt...

So don't worry, be happy. As long as you don't try to joke with the security agent with something like "oh, I have 10 kilos of plastic explosives in my backpack" -- you'll have a great time.
Mamamia is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 06:46 AM
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Well, the security personnel at El Al do tend to ask "personal and nosy" questions, such as "what is the purpose of your trip"; "where did you buy your tickets"; "where did you stay last before coming to the airport", etc. I do think that most of the questions are stupid, but they are convinced that this will help them somehow screen the passengers for would be terrorists. NOw, knowing what to expect and also understanding that these seemingly personal questions are not personal at all, it should help you pass through the grilling process more relaxed...
Eli is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2004, 04:54 PM
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Eli, it's the body language they are reading, not your actual answers.

Mamamia, agree with you on Frankfurt
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 05:49 PM
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Not long ago on a business trip that included a quick stop in Israel, I was departing on Lufthansa, but the security clearance out of Israel is the same regardless of airline. I think the training is standardized across the airport. Anyway, those innocent questions for some reason triggered my nerves and I became red-faced and nervous. All that happened was I got a few more very serious-faced inquiries into my travel history but ultimately I was processed and made my flight. I just felt so embarassed and I have no idea why.
Mommar is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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True, no matter what airline you'll fly out of Israel (or in, for that matter) -- the security business is handled by the airport system, not the airline.

The Israelis, who have more experience in this matter than ANYBODY else in the world (unfortunately), have learned to use their HEADS.

Unlike some truely weird and silly procedures I have seen here, in US airports, where it's against the law to "profile", and thanks to that you can witness a 70 year old granny being searched, while a dark-skinned, middle eastern looking youngster would pass through untouched,
Mamamia is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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ooops, sorry, here is the rest of it:

Unlike what you can see here, the Israelis DO PROFILE, and do work like true security agents. A native Israeli would be treated differently than a young French tourist. A young Palestinian boarding a plain in Tel Aviv would be checked and searched and interrogated.

Some civil-rights activist may be unhappy, but this is part of TRUE security work, done professionally, and it has been shown to be very efficient and successful in SAVING LIVES.
Mamamia is offline  

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