Saturday, January 22, 2011

28 hours at Ben Gurion Airport

It appears that every time I fly out of Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, the Chaos escalates. I don't dare do it again, or I might lose a limb. My family and I were scheduled to take the 5:30 A.M. Lufthansa  flight from Tel Aviv to Frankfort, and then Boston.
It is recommended that when traveling, that you  be at the airport 3 hours in advance, so we planed to be there at 2:30, but were curbside more like 2:40. our lugage and animal cages (we have 2 dogs and 10 cats between our two households) took several trips to take in, so that put us at the initial security line around 3:15. In Tel Aviv the baggage screening that would take place behind the scenes if you were at an american airport, happens right in front of you as you get the 3rd degree from the Israeli equivalent of the TSA. So we were continually pushed to the end of the line because security can do that and they didn't want to deal with our large volume. once they x-ray our bags, 2 of them ar selected for further inspection, because of a jar of Marmite sandwich spread and a computer. so once we are through that step it was about 4:30. we stand in the check in line for about 10 minutes, and finally get to the counter. At the counter we have to argue with the representative who insists that we need a certificate from the U.S. department of agriculture in order to take the animals with us. Once they decide to let us go without the unnecessary certificate, they ask us to make tags for the cages, as we were doing this the woman in charge says that we should have been there at 4:30. Well we were and I had to tell her that we were, she says no I say yes she says no, ect. still not believing me she says that 4:30 isn't even early enough, so I counter with you said 4:30, so I am just going to shut my mouth. Well this mad her really mad, and she said I'm sorry you are not getting on this flight, you will have to come back tomorrow, and you better bring the certificate from the USDA. I'll spare you the details, but numerous calls were made between our vet, our travel agent and representatives from Lufthansa. Lufthansa admitted they were to blame, and re-booked our flight, with no certificate. In my opinion, Lufthansa didn't quite do enough to rectify the situation, because even though they offered us a hotel, they eventually made us camp out under a stairway in the airport. 2 dogs ten cats, 3 adults and a toddler.  Long story short we spent 28 hours at the airport before getting on our 16 hour, including layover, flight, and we are now safe and sound in our temporary rental in Fitchburg MA.

3 comments:

  1. Holy Moly!! That is some craziness! But, all's well that ends well and you are back on USA soil! Are you going to return to Wyoming? I'm glad you have your family together!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Settling in Fitchburg MA. The next post will give more info into whats going on and the fun is store for us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tried to block all of that out. Reading it now makes me thankful that we are now home. Our home and that we, please God, never have to go through that again...

    ReplyDelete