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Early Flight from Ben Gurion

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Orange City, Iowa
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Early Flight from Ben Gurion

We have an early flight (7am) from Ben Gurion and are thinking of staying up late in Jerusalem, taking the sherut to Ben Gurion, and hanging out at the airport until check-in.

Question 1 - Any advice about staying out late in Jerusalem (old city)? We're 50ish and are hoping there are cafes/pubs open late.

Question 2- Reading earlier posts, it appears we can check-in 24hrs prior to departure (El Al). If we only have carry-on, will this allow us to pass through security earlier, avoid morning crowds, and give us access to more comfortable lounges at the airport?

Any advice will be much appreciated!

Israel
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1. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

There are cafes/pubs that are open late in Jerusalem - but not in the Old City.

Regardless of pre-check in, etc. I'm quite certain that you will still not be allowed to go through security any earlier than 3 hours prior to your flight. You would have to check with El Al about this - if they give you your boarding pass at early check in then you would be okay - however, early check in may only mean checking luggage, getting seats, etc. Check with them to see exactly what they mean.

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2. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

The old city closes earlier than the new city. While there may be some after hours clubs around I know of no place that is open until 2-3AM which is what you would need.

Checking in 24 hours prior to departure is done in your home. (or hotel)

IF YOU HOLD AN ISRAELI PASSPORT!!!

elal.co.il/ELAL/…EarlyCheckIn.htm

Just in case you do-

Right now the website says it is 435NIS for a couple. (approx. $125) --for the same money you can stay an additional night in an inexpensive hotel and not have to hang out all night--

You don't go through security with any preference. You would go directly to the restricted passenger only area, stand in line for security and stand in line for passport control. The only more comfortable lounges at the airport are those available for passengers flying business or first class--unless you opt to pay for access. ( I do not know the cost) --otherwise it is all the same.

Israel
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3. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

You may do early check-in with El Al between 27-3 hours before your flight. At that time you can print out your boarding passes and technically are ready for flight. If you only have carry-on luggage you must go through initial security which is up to 4 hours before your flights take-off and then go straight to the departure hall for international flights. If you have checked-luggage you must have it scanned and then you go to check-in the luggage but since you have already checked in, all they do is check the luggage to the flight and may issue a smaller boarding pass than the A4(8.5X11) piece of paper you printed your out on.

Regarding comfortable lounges -- they are all identical unless you hold a King David pass on El Al (meaning you are a very frequent flyer on that airline). Morning rush is in the duty free and not on seats in the airport. I would like to suggest taking a hotel room and going to the airport after sleeping a bit unless you have no difficulties in falling asleep while sitting up on the plane.

Chana

Israel

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4. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

Chana you are talking about online check in and they were talking about getting rid of their bags 24 hours early and only having to deal with carry-ons. The link I provided talks about what they were talking about.

I have yet to figure out the advantage of online check-in. You still have to stand on all the lines to go through security, have your luggage scanned and checked in etc. etc. etc.

Israel
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5. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

I did not understand this from their post. But in anycase I would not recommend doing the early check-in for several reasons:

1. if when scanned something is found suspicious they will need to have their luggage rechecked when they get to the airport -- so they need to get there early

2. it does not totally shorten the check-in as one must go through security when going to the airport.

Early check-in online has alot of advantages such as attaining seating, if not already arranged. Short line for checking in luggage and those traveling on business/first class have a self security check-in (it might only be for Israelis, I'm not sure).

Chana

Israel

York, England
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6. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

The Jerusalem Hotel Restaurant on Nablus Road just outside Damascus Gate is open till late and is near the Old City. So is the great place just round the corner up some stairs (sorry I forget its name but really recommend it.)

BTW don't confuse what some call the 'City Centre' with the Old City. The former is the centre of West Jerusalem (Israel). The latter is in East Jerusalem (Palestinian). They are several miles apart.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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7. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

John,

Several miles is a great exageration. It's less than a mile from Jaffa Gate or from Damascus Gate to Zion Square and the heart of the (new) city center.

Israel
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8. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

I still don't understand the logic of your question. What are you trying to achieve? Avoid an additional day's charge of the hotel? In comparrison to the cost of the whole trip, this is really a small addition. You are probably flying back home to Iowa. You have a long and tiring flight ahead. Why not stay in the hotel for that night, have a nice dinner, a good night's rest and leave for the airport by taxi or "sherut" at 3 AM? That is what I would do in your place.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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9. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

I can understand why someone wouldn't want to add another couple hundred dollars to an already expensive vacation, just to get half a night's sleep.

I can imagine two or three other good reasons to choose not to have a hotel room for that last night.

It is not a question of logic, but of personal preference.

Orange City, Iowa
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10. Re: Early Flight from Ben Gurion

Thank you all for your advice.

The airport information was particularly helpful. We will only have carry-on luggage, so it sounds like early check-in won't be much of a benefit.

We aren't flying back to the U.S. directly (going to Athens), so thought staying up before our early flight might be an option. We can easily stretch dinner and drinks into the wee hours, but probably should sleep so we're ready for our next adventure.