Air Travel to Israel
Most of the international airlines operate flights to Israel. El Al, operates many direct flights from the United States, Europe, the Far East, and Africa.
Other Israeli airlines such as Arkia and Israir operate flights from central locations in Europe. Please note that these airlines do not operate during Shabbat. There are no direct flights to Israel from distant locations such as Australia, or from countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel. It is therefore a good idea to reserve a connecting flight from these places, or to arrive in Europe and then purchase a ticket to Israel.
Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport, which is located near the town of Lod - approximately a half hour’s drive from Tel Aviv and 50 minutes from Jerusalem (outside rush hours). Ben Gurion airport has recently opened a new, modern terminal with a large variety of duty-free shops, restaurants and coffeehouses. Some flights from Europe also land at Sde Dov in north Tel Aviv or at Ovda Airport near Eilat.
From Ben Gurion Airport
Israel has a convenient and reasonably priced public transportation system. Options for getting to and from Ben Gurion Airport include: Egged bus (the national bus company); private car/van services; railway; taxi; rented car and limousine. For details regarding transportation depots and general airport information, please use the following contact details:
Israel Airport Authority
Telephone: +972 3-975-5555
Taxi’s from Ben Gurion Airport
The taxi companies based at Ben Gurion Airport are under the supervision of the Israel Airports Authority. We recommend that you only use these licensed taxis, operated by on-site dispatchers, rather than those which do not belong to these companies. The taxi stands and dispatcher’s booth are located at Terminal 3 on the ground level (G) of the multi-level road. Private-taxi (called “special”) and shared-taxi services (called “sherut”) are available.
Hadar Lod - transportation to all parts of the country.
Tel.: + 972 3-9711103
Nesher Tours - transportation to and from Jerusalem.
Tel.: + 972 2-6257227
Amal - transportation to Haifa and the North area.
Tel.: + 972 4-8662324
Taxi drivers are required by law to use the meter on all trips. Unless you know the accepted rates, do not be tempted to set a price beforehand. For long trips, the driver must charge passengers according to the Ministry of Transport price list posted in all taxis.
A 25% surcharge for night trips is in effect from 9:01pm until 5:29am (from 4pm on Fridays and holiday eves). Trips out of Ben Gurion Airport are charged an additional NIS 5.00, and passengers pay approximately NIS 3.00 for each suitcase. Passengers who request use of Road 6 (a toll road) will pay an extra NIS 11.00.
Passengers are advised to request a receipt at the end of the journey.
Transportation within Israel
Israel is a small country, and it is therefore easy to get from one place to another in a relatively short time. Public transportation is convenient, and you can get to almost any destination for a reasonable price.
Israel Railways operates convenient, inexpensive train service. It is also possible to travel by taxi, but this is more expensive, particularly for inter-city trips. It’s therefore preferable to use shared service taxis.
Buses are the most popular form of public transport in Israel for both local transport and intercity trips. The Egged bus company operates most of the intercity bus lines, as well as the local service in most of the large cities and towns.
The fare for all bus lines is reasonable, the buses are comfortable and usually air-conditioned, and there is regular, frequent service. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths in the central bus station in each city or town, or from the driver. Most of the bus lines do not run on Shabbat or on Jewish holidays. Service ends on Friday afternoon and resumes Saturday evening.
Egged provides intercity public bus service throughout the country. Passengers can obtain information about the various bus lines on the Egged website or by phoning the computerized customer service and information center. Each central bus station has an information booth and electronic boards displaying the departure times and destinations.
Egged Customer Service and Information: + 972 3 694 8888 or *2800
Immigration and Customs
All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they are departing the country. People with no nationality must hold a valid laissez passer, as well as a visa back to the country that issued it.
Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three months from the date of their arrival, in accordance with the conditions of the visa issued to them.
More detailed information on visa issuing and visa requirements can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Individuals from countries, who require an entry visa to Israel, should contact the Israel Embassy/ Consulate in their country in order to obtain their tourist visa. For a list of Israeli missions abroad, please refer to Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs site.
Individuals residing in countries without diplomatic relations with Israel that wish to attend the Annual Meeting should write to Ortra via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org no later than three months prior to the Annual Meeting providing the following information;
- full name
- date and place of birth
- passport number
- dates of issue and expiry
- place of issue
- flight number
- point of departure
- arrival date and time
Ortra will do its best efforts to arrange for a visa to be issued at the airport upon arrival however granting of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities in Israel. Handling fee charge may be applied.
Upon arrival in Israel, visitors undergo a security check and are requested to present a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of their departure, as well as entry forms with their personal details. It is important to ascertain that the details are filled out accurately and to keep a copy of the form in order to present it upon departure from Israel.
Arrival by Air – Visitors arriving by air will receive forms to be filled in during the course of their flight, in order to prevent delays at the passport controls. It is important to ascertain that the details of the passenger and the flight on which he/she arrived are filled out accurately. Travellers will be requested to present their passport, a boarding pass and an entry form at passport control. After their passport has been stamped, incoming travellers continue to the passenger luggage area, where carts are at their disposal. From there, they continue to customs control and to the airport exit.
Arrival by Land – Visitors arriving at the borderline passes on the Israel-Egypt or Israel-Jordan border will receive forms in which their personal details must be filled in. After doing so and undergoing a security check, they must present the completed forms together with their passport.
Tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan), please note: You can request that your passport not be stamped with an Israeli stamp. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped. The granting of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities.
There is a two-lane customs transit system, one green and the other red, at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Rafah (Rafi'akh) Crossing Point. At the remaining airports and passes, travellers must submit a declaration to the customs officer as to whether they have items that do not appear in the list of duty free items or whether the quantities exceed the duty free allowance.
Visitors who do not have goods to be declared may go through the green lane at the exit from the passenger arrival hall. Articles that do not need to be declared:
- Personal clothing, shoes and cosmetics – in quantities that can usually be carried in the traveller’s hand baggage.
- Alcoholic beverages – up to one litre for spirits and up to two litres for wine, per person aged 17 and over.
- Tobacco of all types – up to 250 grams per person aged 17 and over.
- Presents and other commodities – items other than alcoholic beverages, alcoholic perfumes, tobacco, and television sets, costing up to US$ 200, as determined by the clerk at the entrance terminal, according to lists in his possession.
- Food – up to a total weight of three kilograms, on condition that the weight of each type of food does not exceed one kilogram.
- Additional items – laptops, stills camera and movie camera (not including video camera), radio, tape recorder, pair of binoculars, personal jewelry, musical instruments, gramophone, pram, camping or sports equipment, bicycle and other like articles.
Visitors with goods for which a deposit must be paid that will be returned to them when they leave Israel must go through the red lane. Visitors with items not appearing in the list of duty free items or in the list of taxable items must also go through the red lane and declare them. In case of doubt, the tax authorities recommend going through the red lane. Failure to declare taxable items represents an offense, for which the traveller must pay an administrative fine, be prosecuted or have the goods confiscated.
It is forbidden to import the following items into Israel without a license issued in advance:
plants, firearms, raw meat, raw materials, counterfeit currency or documents, knife or penknife not intended for professional use, etc.
Israel Airports Authority are pleased to inform you that as from this coming Sunday,March 9, 2014, the Israel Airports Authority will implement a modern advanced security system for baggage inspection for flights departing Ben Gurion Airport – Hold Baggage Screening (HBS).
The HBS was developed by the Israel Airports Authority for totally automatic passenger baggage security inspection, and to improve the level of service. The system complies with the strictest of requirements and is based on the highest level of technology.
The new security inspection process includes a few questions, after which passengers will proceed directly to the counter of their respective airlines in order to check in for their flight and hand over their baggage.
After tagging your baggage at the airline counter, the baggage will be sent for the automatic inspection by the new HBS system. In certain cases the need may arise to open the baggage for manual inspection. This manual inspection is carried out under total electronic surveillance and documented.
- Bags should be unlocked.
- Security leaves the 3.5 hrs. time which is published for the whole security/check-in procedure as unchanged. This means that the security lines will open at D-3.5hrs and check-in opens at D-3hrs.
- Late passengers' acceptance – will be coordinated with the airlines as done before. It should be clear that 1 hour time is still needed for the baggage security process in the HBS. Late passengers will therefore be advised that there is a chance that his luggage will not make it to the flight on time. Therefore counters will be closed 60 min before departure.
- Oversized baggage will be dealt with in front of the elevator dedicated for OOG luggage.
No oversize baggage and/or unsuitable luggage will be accepted at check-in and to be sent to the HBS system and the baggage sorting system accordingly.
- The Maximum dimensions allowed to be accepted at check-in –
Length: 115 cm, Width: 80 cm, Height: 70 cm, Weight: 40 kg
After the security check in the departure hall, passengers continue to passport control. They must present their passport, airline ticket, and the form that they filled out upon arrival in Israel.
After passport control each passenger must check in at the counter of the airline they are flying with. They will then check in their luggage and receive a boarding pass and seat number.
Early Check-In Service
Early check-in service is available for El Al passengers next to the Central train station at Arlozorov in Tel Aviv. Passengers can check in their luggage one day before their flight, reserve their seats, and receive their boarding passes. Passengers holding foreign passports - including children and infants - must arrive at early check-in in person.
Each passenger must pay a fee of NIS 30 in cash for early check-in service.
Early check-in service hours for El Al:
Sunday to Thursday - 14:00-21:00
Fridays and holiday eves: 11:00-15:00
Saturday nights and holiday nights: from the end of the holiday to 23:00
Additional details are available at:
Passengers who have checked in early can arrive at the airport an hour and a half before flight time and proceed directly to passport control.
Some of the other airline companies have early check-in service. Passengers can clarify this with the airline. Information about early check-in for airlines other than El Al is available from the airport information service: 972-3-9755555 or on the Israel Airports Authority website. The El Al Website