Ben Gurion International Airport (IATA: TLV, ICAO: LLBG), often referred to as Natbag is the main international airport of Israel and by far the busiest airport in the country, located 19 km (12 mi) to the southeast of Tel Aviv.
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Ben Gurion Airport
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Attention! Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport of Israel!
If you want to fly to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport of Israel, be careful! I was in Israel from June 16 to June 22, 2017. I will try to describe the details of the trip. And you will decide for yourself: can you overcome such things or not? I am a teacher of foreign languages. I am a calm, polite, quiet, Orthodox believer person. I came to Israel alone to visit the Holy places. I wanted to go with a priest and the group. But I was offered to have a trip only in September. And I have to begin my work at that time. There were no more summer trips from the church. So I had to go alone. Passport control! As I remember it was the second ‘kennel’. Sorry, I cannot use other words. One Jewish girl with blonde hair and Marilyn Monroe’s hairstyle was just ‘great’! She ate, drank and chatted all the time. So she completely forgot about the whole huge queue of tourists who had arrived from different countries. And we had to wait for her for a very long time. Then the second girl, her colleague, with long dark hair and the same attitude towards foreigners came in. I was VERY surprised when this little dark hair girl started to talk to me. She asked questions very politely in English. But a normal person would be surprised with them because they were of the slowest level of the human intellect. I answered the truth in a calm way. Then, she called her blond colleague. It was rather strange but she asked me almost the same but in a rough tone in Russian. Realizing that I'm perfectly bilingual, she abruptly added, ‘Why did you come here if you know English language? Go to England!’ I couldn’t say a word after that. I was shocked. I know also German, Russian and Ukrainian languages. Does it mean I must go to Germany, Russia and Ukraine but not to Israel? Why? So I was sent to ‘the office of the border control’ (to the left and back of the queue). It was a real interrogation. They kept me and other foreigners near the office for 6 hours WITHOUT ANY FOOD AND WATER! And there was a crowd of tourists! Almost all of them went from home like me at about 7 am. And we didn’t eat anything and we didn’t drink water in a crazy Israel heat till 8pm. There are no shops so we couldn’t buy anything. Moreover, employees of these offices went by with water, coffee and food. They ate and drank all the time! By the way, a lot of tourists complained that their Wi-Fi didn’t work there. I had the same problem. And the cost of 1 minute of the conversation is 50 UAH. 1 sms is 8 UAH. So it was very difficult to communicate with your family or travel companies. I arranged with my mother that I would phone her. But obviously I could not do it on time. So she worried very much. I was interrogated by a man. It was in the room, which was behind the corner to the left of that office. He was tall, with dark hair, handsome but he was completely sure that ‘I and all the people in the world who sat on the chair in front of him told lies’. He was confident that nobody wanted to go to the Holy places of Israel and all foreign girls around were ‘prostitutes who wished to stay in Israel for work’. I answered his questions in a polite and calm way. Unlike the girls at the passport control, he spoke almost intelligently, but he shouted from time to time the following: ‘Why should I feed such people like you are?! Why should I give money to you?! We had a strike because of you!’ The most interesting thing was that I had just arrived to Israel the first time, I had paid for the trip by myself and I had never asked him or somebody else for money. Moreover, I don’t care about any strikes in general because I was fed up with the situation in my Lugansk. I just worked and saved money for that trip for about 10 years. I explained everything to him but he didn’t want even to listen to me and took away my mobile phone to check it. It’s interesting what he wanted to find there. I had the numbers of all my students and their parents only. So he gave the mobile back to me. This airport worker checked all my documents. He didn’t believe in the certificates for the excursions and other papers which I had. But all of them had wet stamps and signatures of the Israel travel company. He said that ‘I typed and printed all by myself’. As a result, this man said that I would fly home that day. Maybe it’s OK for the officials of Israel to communicate with tourists like that. But I think if they work in the International airport of the level, they have to be professionals. If the person can’t see who is a criminal or a prostitute and he has the position like this, I can understand why tourists were killed by real terrorists so many times in Israel. By the way, after my coming there, one girl was killed in Jerusalem with a knife by a terrorist next to the church. Now I know who let them in. As for me, thanks God, everything changed in the moment. My God helped me because I had arrived to see the Holy places and I couldn't be stopped. The employees of these offices returned a half of the plane of tourists those days! I saw the interrogation of the sick boy with his grandmother by a woman from the right office. After that, he shook and cried! Some people were sent back for no reason. There were blondes, brunettes, girls with brown hair, all pretty women and old people who couldn't speak English! And I am a blonde too. Well, they do not like pretty girls. What can we do? Moreover, the baggage of all detained tourists was thrown on the other side of the airport next to the exit. If someone came and took our suitcases, they would probably not be stopped. I arrived to the airport about 2 pm and asked for help from the employees of these offices because there was a great queue of the detained tourists like me but the transport company, which had to take me to the hotel, had to wait for me no more than 2 or 2.5 hours. I arrived alone and didn't know anything or anyone in Israel. Nobody helped. They didn’t want to listen. Moreover, I spoke with other travellers and learned that some people flying through Israel as a transit country to other places had missed their flights because they had to sit next to the offices for 6 hours like me. And they didn’t get the possibility to go by another plane. So their holidays were completely spoiled. I took my suitcase only at 8 pm after I was released! And I lost the whole day of arrival! The transport company, named the group transfer LIMO CIRCLE LINE LTD (ex. SESHIR) had to wait for me only 2 or 2.5 hours. I was just left. They even didn’t ask if I arrived and where I was. It was 8 o'clock in the evening. I was terribly hungry and thirsty. I didn’t eat and didn’t drink water from 7 am. I didn’t know anybody there. So I had to take a taxi. I paid $ 100 and 150 shekels to get to the hotel! Thus, now I can understand what ‘friendly’ people work in the airport named after Ben Gurion. I remember the day of my departure from Israel too. I wanted to go back home. The women on checking forced me to remove my shoes. I wore closed flat ones and I had to stand for a long time on the cold floor shoeless. At the same time, my purse with money was thrown far away from me. There were a lot of people but I was not allowed to take it. I don't know how it wasn’t stolen. Moreover, when I arrived home, my mother became ill. I even had to call her an ambulance because she was very nervous about my trip to Israel! I have only two questions: who keeps all these terribly unprofessional people of the airport on their working places and why?! They are a disgrace for the state When I came to the hotel at 9pm, I was terribly hungry and thirsty. I couldn’t say to the taxi driver to go to a shop to buy some food because it was dark and I was afraid of that unfamiliar man. So I had to go to the hotel as quickly as possible. Then I just came to the receptionist and asked her about any shop. She asked me why I needed it so late. I explained everything to her. And she didn’t let me go anywhere. She just fed me. I wanted to pay for that. But she refused to take any money. Anyway I'm really happy that I was able to visit Israel! And, thanks God, I visited all the Holy places I wanted! So, if you want to go to Israel, be ready for such an ‘adventure’!
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Ben Gurion Airport TLV
Arrival at TLV on 07/09/2017: Regarding the arrival: I was very impressed how nice the airport was and what a wonderful interior design it had. The lines for the passport control were long and slow though and we waited in line for almost an hour. It was kinda tiring after almost 10 hr flight, but it was part of the experience, so we took our time to chat and to look around. Departure from TLV on 09/19/2017: We arrived by train to Ben Gurion and it was easy to find our terminal. I am glad we went to the airport 3 hrs before departure! The line for check-in was very long. The security line after the check-in was moving fast but unfortunately my colleague was directed to a wrong security check line and I had to wait for her almost 40 minutes. By the time we made it to the gate it was almost time to board. I took a quick stop at two of the duty-free shops and in one of the items I bought a bottle of date honey (honey-like syrup, made of dates, made exclusively in Israel). Right before we boarded the plane, we had extra security check where we were asked if we were carrying any liquids. Since I bought the date honey from the duty free by the departure gate, I did not think there would be any issue with it because this is checked and secured area. Little that I knew the airport employee did not let me take the honey on the flight. I asked how was that possible and what was the point of all these duty-free shops selling olive oil and date honey if the passengers were not able to get them on the flight!!!! I want to emphasize again that these are duty free shops AFTER we pass the metal detectors and the other mandatory security checks and where our luggage is already checked and we don't have option to go back and put what we bought from the duty free into the checked luggage. So I wasn't happy when I had to throw a $9 bottle of something that I really wanted to take with me and I still don't understand the logic behind it. Besides that little hiccup , the whole experience in Israel was outstanding. Can't wait to go back, but next time I know to buy my date honey before I go to the airport and to put it i my checked luggage ☺☺☺
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