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Stopover or transit at London?

Christchurch/Aucklan...
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Stopover or transit at London?

Hi all,

I'm planning to do a tour of Hong Kong, the UK primarily London, and Israel in late spring 2014. The primary purpose to visit Israel for myself is to join an educational tour on Israel's religious history and I thought I would tag along the UK as well as I would have flown 1/3 to the other side of the world from New Zealand anyway, and adding a few more hours to the UK seems to be a money well spent kind of thing. And HK is to visit family and friends there and this will be a short stopover for a few days.

Now I know that Emirates have good service from HK to London at a very affordable rate and I got to fly on lots of A380 flights, plus I could also stop over in Dubai for a week before going to the UK. My draft itinerary is:

1. Christchurch - HK via SYD (on Qantas)

2. HK - Dubai (EK)

3. Dubai - London (EK)

4. London - Tel Aviv (El Al)

5. Tel Aviv - London (LY)

6. London - Dubai - HK (EK)

7. HK - SYD - Christchurch (QF)

Question: would I be in trouble if I'm not making stopover in London between leaving Dubai on the onward journey and going to Tel Aviv on LY? I could fly from DXB to LHR on EK and then fly straight from LHR to TLV on LY the same night. Would I land in troubles with Dubai/UAE's authorities, and would EK staff willing to check my luggage through to TLV? And how about the Israeli custom?

My preferred choice would be to stop on London for a couple days between arriving from DXB and onward to TLV, and leave my UK trip to after I'm back from TLV. But it wouldn't make sense to adjust from DXB to London's time zone, then switch my own biological clock to TLV (which is only an hour slower than DXB I think). But I may encounter problems at customs at both DXB and TLV, not to mention no chance EK would allow me to check though to the LY flight.

Would you guys recommend me to do a London stopover first, or scrap the idea of flying EK, or stick to my plan of transiting on the same day DXB - LHR - TLV?

Thanks in advance.

Israel
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1. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

<<But I may encounter problems at customs at both DXB and TLV, >>

It's not customs, it's immigration. And Israel doesn't deny entry to anyone based solely on where they have been.

Since the United Arab Emirates have no problem with Israeli passport stamps, presumably it wouldn't matter in the other direction either, although it would be worth asking the airline if they are able to check your luggage through to Tel Aviv.

But flying from Dubai to London to Tel Aviv on the same day sounds insane to me. How about going through somewhere that is more or less in the right area, such as Istanbul?

Bingley, United...
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2. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

I'd see where in the ME you can fly from Dubai to that is Israel-friendly - unless you like spending several hours in the air

Loughborough...
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3. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

That's an easy question. Amman, Jordan. Royal Jordanian fly to both Tel Aviv AND Dubai. And it isn't miles out of the way.

Israel
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4. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

Yes, of course, Amman is even closer than Istanbul! (Why didn't I think of that, and I'm right next door...)

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

Might be better if you book Emirates to Jordan then someone else to Israel "just in case" - either a change in UAE policy to Israel or, and more likely, you miss your flight between UAE & Jordan

Edited: 27 August 2013, 15:42
Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

Royal Jordanian fly from Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur to Amman, with an easy connection to TLV from the HKG flights. It's a quality airline, and transits through AMM are easy.

You might look at a simple round-the-world ticket (a Oneworld Global Explorer 26,000 mile RTW - ask any competent travel agent) - with this route - http://tinyurl.com/lt95n89

This route would have you return via the Pacific, with a stop in Fiji if you're so inclined.

7. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

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Madrid
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8. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

I'd see where in the ME you can fly from Dubai to that is Israel-friendly - unless you like spending several hours in the air

Cyprus is another option

Geneva, Switzerland
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9. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

DXB-LHR-TLV: Of course not! http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=lhr-dxb-tlv

AMM-TLV: Possible but does it make sense. Going by car/bus is much more fun (now be careful, it requires planning and getting the latest news) as it allows to go via the lowest point on the planet and see some of this beautiful country. And staying in Jerusalem is an absolute must anyway. Distance between the two cities? About 50 or 60km (I did it a number of time but can't remember exactly).

London: Always nice to stop over...

Edited: 28 August 2013, 07:21
Christchurch/Aucklan...
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10. Re: Stopover or transit at London?

Thanks guys for the feedback. Shuffaluff, we use the term customs here in NZ as an umbrella term when we talk about all sorts of borders clearances including immigration, the "real customs" and biosecurity clearances - sorry it might have confused you.

I'm open to scraping flying on Emirates and stopping over in Dubai - the purpose going that way is to try EK as an airline. Would flying LY from HKG to TLV, do the tour of Israel, and then fly LY again to LHR and do the UK tour, and using LY to fly back to HK via TLV make sense?

Also would rather fly on LY to enter israel because it is the whole thing about trying an Israeli airline. But I'm open to anyone's thoughts.