BOUND TO ISRAELDay 1: December 22, 2012
|I saw this image at EL AL website, posted just after the Gaza-Israel Conflict on November 2012|
|NAIA 1 Check in Counter|
As early as 8PM, EL AL (Israel Airline) check in counters opened. They placed a podium in front of the check in counters. There are EL AL crew stand on that podium and ask various questions to all non-Israeli passengers before they let them check in. I knew this would happen, but I thought it would be at the immigration office / passport control desk at Tel Aviv / Ben Gurion International Airport, not in Bangkok Airport before checking in.
I handed my passport and e-ticket to the crew and he asked plenty of questions about my personal life, my work, my finances, who pack my things and more. Another staff came and asked me again the same questions. They requested to present some of my travel documents, such as hotel and tour bookings. Then the first interviewer approached me again and asked another set of questions like, what is the purpose of your travel? I answered, It is a leisure trip. He also asked for my religion. And so I told him that I am a Catholic.
Then he allowed me to check in. After issuing my boarding pass, the crew gave me a heads up for another inspection.
Before the passengers are allowed to enter the boarding area, my travel documents were again checked twice. Non-Israeli nationals were asked to go for another security check. They inspected my hand carry bags manually in a closed door room.
EL AL departed on time. Travel time was 11-hours from Bangkok to Tel Aviv because EL AL doesn’t pass on aerial territories of Arab countries. Instead, it passed through India, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea then turns right at the Red Sea in Egypt Side (to avoid Saudi) then to Aqaba Gulf to Tel Aviv.
|EL AL Israeli Airline|
At the Immigration / passport control desk, the Lady Officer asked me again various questions including what is the purpose of my travel and what is my religion? Again I answered her politely then she stamped a visa on my passport and welcomed me in Israel.
|At Ben Gurion International Airport|