What to Expect at Ben-Gurion Airport: Part 3

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We have already discussed airport protocol in Israel, and the security measures customary at the airport. You want to factor in enough time before your flight to pass through security and be responsible about divulging anything – even a brochure – you may have been given to take home.

Here are some final tips:

* Even if your airline no longer requires flight reconfirmation, it’s an excellent idea to check in online (if possible), assuring yourself a preferred seat and a boarding pass to print out. If the flight is overbooked, it’s comforting to be the last – not the first – to be bumped off it.

* Time is a precious commodity, but getting to the airport earlier than required is time well spent. Officially, you’re supposed to arrive at the airport for security and check-in three hours before your flight. Don’t cut corners: It is far better to be bored (or spend your remaining shekels) in the duty-free area than agitated in a slow-moving security or check-in line.

* If you have packed containers in your suitcase that the scanner cannot interpret (boxes, bottles, electrical equipment, etc.), be prepared to unpack them for inspection. This applies particularly to items wrapped out of your sight in a store.

* Finally, it also helps to keep in mind a line from 18th-century English poet, John Milton, who wrote what could be read as the modern airport super-mantra: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

An El Al plane on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport.Credit: Moti Milrod

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