Date of visit: April 27, 2015
Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv is said to have the strictest checkpoints in the world, and the rumor that we should be at the airport four hours in advance was true. However, it turned out that there were no stamps on the Israeli side at both entry and exit, and no stamps on the Turkish side.
By the way, you can read more about immigration here, such as “Entry stamps are no longer stamped.
* This information is current as of April 27, 2015.
We took a taxi to the airport.
The hotel check-out time was after 9:00. I was told that the price would be around 200 to 300 shekels, but when I asked the driver, he said 400 shekels. “Can’t I have 200?” “No!” “I’m sorry, I only have 300 shekels and some change. I’m sorry, I only have 300 shekels and some change. I don’t know the result of the price increase, but I guess you can’t rely on the information on the Internet. Perhaps the price is from the new town side? The new city side is on the west side, so it is indeed a little bit closer to Ben Gurion Airport.
Barrier 1: Line up at the check-in counter 3 hours and 30 minutes – 3 hours in advance.
We arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, less than an hour from Jaffo Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The bill was only 300 shekels, the change was unknown, and they took everything (laugh). Well, that’s what I decided beforehand, but they really do take it with them, don’t they?
Maybe I arrived a little too early, but the airport was deserted. There wasn’t any stuffy atmosphere, and if we just entered the departure lobby, we didn’t have to go through any special check. Oh, was it surprisingly easy?
But this is just the beginning. Now it’s time for the world’s most tedious airport departure procedures to begin!
At any rate, rumors and guidebooks said that we should come four hours before, so I, being a worrier, arrived one hour earlier, five hours before. The departure time was 3:30 p.m. and it was now 10:30 a.m. I thought that would be plenty of time, but it turned out to be completely meaningless. The check-in counter was only open 3 hours before the departure time!
When I tried to get in line, I was asked to show my ticket. He then told me that it was still too early and that I should go kill some time around there. I’ve heard that foreigners, especially Japanese, take a long time to get out of the country, so I insisted that they check me in as soon as possible, but they didn’t listen to me at all.
There are almost no shops in the arrival lobby, let alone in the departure lobby. There is only a small cafe.
However, when I casually visited again an hour and a half later at exactly 12:00 noon, that is, 3 hours and a half before departure, they let me through easily. So it makes sense that four hours before is best, although five hours before was indeed too early.
Barrier 2: Interview before check-in, about 10 minutes (*depends on English ability)
I thought I was finally ready to check in, but I was wrong. There were a number of officers in front of the counter, and it seemed that I was supposed to be interviewed before checking in. If you don’t get through that, you can’t check in. Fortunately, a beautiful Israeli lady was in charge of me, but she was very strict. I guess this is normal, though.
First, you will be asked about the purpose of your visit to Israel and your past travel history. If the stamp is from a country that is not familiar to them, they will ask you where you are from. I was asked about Taiwan, Croatia, and Mauritius. These are standard questions, so if you can speak simple English, you should be able to get through.
Next, I was asked if I had any suspicious belongings and if I had packed my luggage by myself. These questions are also asked at normal airports, so I was able to handle them without any problems.
However, the question that troubled me the most was, “When and where did you pack, and where was your luggage from then on, and did you keep an eye on it? If you’re a seasoned traveler and have a strong command of English, you might be able to figure it out quickly, but it was difficult because you can basically just use when and where to clean up. I couldn’t immediately say that I had packed it myself in the morning and kept it with me from then on, so the officer was confused and told me to wait there for about five minutes. I was told to wait there. After about five minutes of waiting, he brought me a Japanese question board (or something like that). I thought he should have done that first, but anyway, this somehow cleared up all the questions.
Once you pass through gate 2 (I’ve taken the liberty of naming it), your checked luggage will be tagged with the barcode tag you see here, and you will be able to check in your luggage.
In addition, there was a “yellow barcode sticker” on the back of the passport.
Barrier 3: You can only check in 3 hours before – 2.5 hours before.
Well, it’s taken us a long time to get here, but we haven’t checked in yet!
Once you get through gate 2 and get the barcode tags and stickers for your luggage and passport, you can finally line up at the check-in counter. However, you won’t know which counter you should line up at until three to two and a half hours before. In my case, I got through gate 2 a little early, so I had to wait for about 20 minutes near the counter. I thought, “I’m still waiting,” but in any case, the counter location will be revealed soon. Then you can check in as you would at a normal airport. It was very smooth here.
Barrier 4: Go to the security check gate, which is considered very strict by global standards (about 30-40 minutes).
First of all, let me say this. As soon as you check in, you should head to the security checkpoint. There is a food court and duty free store inside after all the formalities are done, so just hurry to the security check! That’s it.
Anyway, the most difficult part was the security check. It was a good decision to keep my luggage simple. They make you take out all your electrical appliances from your bag. If you have coins in your wallet, they ask you to take your wallet out. Some people even had to take their coins out. I was allowed to just take out my wallet.
Of course, every piece of luggage that was taken out was checked for X-rays. After passing through the X-ray detector, each piece of luggage is further examined in detail with a mysterious stick-like detector. After passing through the X-Ray detector, each piece of luggage is further examined in detail with a mysterious stick-like detector that opens every pocket of your bag as well as every device you take out.
However, if it is a basic device, there should be no particular problem. The handling of the device is also comparatively polite, but because there is sometimes the place which is sloppy a little because it is a foreigner, the thing which is easy to be damaged may be careful to bring. Is it the degree that the handling of MBP became matter of concern for me?
Now, at the end of this stick, there is a macaron-like disc-shaped object that can be removed. After a few checks, the disc-shaped object is removed and put into the machine behind the attendant. Wait a few seconds, and a green light will come on. After a few seconds, the green light comes on, and you have to attach the disk to the stick again and start checking again. In my case, I had to check the removal of the disk twice in total. Both times the green light came on and there seemed to be no problem. It’s a bit disheartening and pathetic at this point.
In the end, we had to wait for a lot of things, but if all went well, I think it was a check that took about 5-10 minutes per person. However, the line up time was about 20-30 minutes (*depends on timing and season), so I think the total elapsed time should be at least 30-40 minutes.
Barrier 5: Passport Control (No time to waste!) That’s it!
Finally, I cleared the security check, but this is not the only immigration check. Finally, there was passport control. However, this was surprisingly easy. No questions were asked, and I received my pink card without any conversation at all. This will serve as your departure stamp.
This means that your passport will not be stamped. “There is no need to say “no stamp please. It’s the same format as when you entered the country. When you entered the country, it was blue.
Here, apparently, I didn’t need to show the card I got when I entered the country.
By the way, when you receive this pink card, it is better to keep it in your hand and not put it in your bag. There is an automatic gate just ahead, and you need to scan the barcode on the pink card you just received. Once the barcode is scanned, the gate will open and you will finally be able to go freely to the duty free area and each gate. Everything is now complete.
So it was just over two hours since I started to line up at the check-in counter, and the rumor that I should be at the airport three hours before was true.
Inside the departure lobby
Once you’ve reached this point, all you have to do is head for the boarding gate. And inside, it’s just a normal airport atmosphere.
I was hungry, so I had a light lunch. They had sushi, so I tried it. It was very tasty. I should have eaten more. Sushi is now common knowledge around the world, and there were a lot of people there.
Here is the menu, there were many kinds.
And the time has come. Now it’s time to board. Now we are finally out of Israel.
I got to Istanbul safely. Oh, by the way, where is the Turkey entry/exit stamp?
Tel Aviv takeoff was an hour later than scheduled, but we arrived safely in Istanbul. We arrived at Sabiha Gökçen Airport, the same place as when we left. It was around 19:00 in the evening and the passport control was very crowded, probably because of the overlap with other flights.
The conclusion was, “I did not get an exit stamp on the Turkish side when I left for Israel, and I did not get one when I re-entered.” That was it. I don’t know why, but it saved my life! Apparently, if you are heading to Israel by air from Turkey, you will not be stamped either on the Turkish side or on the Israeli side.
In fact, they even checked my checked luggage in detail!
We arrived at the hotel in Istanbul safely. By the way, I hadn’t checked whether the contents of the trunk I left were safe or not, so I opened it right after I entered the room, and it turned out that it had been checked very hard. There was a sign that the luggage was ransacked. And there was a paper like this in the trunk.
I knew it was too late now, but I’m not going to go this far – Israel. Fortunately, I was relieved to see that nothing seems to be missing.
After that, we had dinner near the hotel.
After dinner, we went to bed lightly sightseeing nearby.
The next day, we are off to Morocco. (End of Israel part, continue to Morocco part)