You are going on vacation?(נופש) You have your plane tickets? (כרטסי טיסה) Your passport (דרכון) is up to date? Your suitcases(מזודות) are packed with your name, address, phone numbers, and I’d put your e-mail address on them as well, and everything is ready for your trip. Nowadays, you have to get to the airport (שדה התעופה) two hours early. I find that the best way to get to the airport is to go by airport taxi.(מונית) In Israel, it is called Nesher Taxi Company. You can take a regular taxi to the airport, but it is very expensive. The Nesher costs (עולה) about $15 or so. Reserving space in the taxi is easy, just call them the day before your flight (טיסה), and they tell you when you have to be waiting outside. If your flight is scheduled to leave at 6:00pm from Ben Gurion Airport (נמל התעופה בן גוריון), they will pick you up at 3:00pm in front of your Jerusalem home. If you live in Tel Aviv, it is much closer and they will pick you up at 3:30pm. It is usually a 40 minute drive from Jerusalem to the Ben Gurion Airport. You will be dropped off right in front of the International Terminal. (הטרימנל הבינלאומי)
Inside the Airport
When you go inside, you will have to wait in line, to show your passport and get your ticket validated. You need a printout of your E-ticket and your passport. A security agent (מאבטח) will come up to you while you are waiting in line to ask questions(שאלות) about who packed your suitcase, and whether you know about everything that is in the suitcases. The security agents are very polite (נימוס), and I have never had any trouble with this part of the check-in process.
When you get to the front of the line, the ticket agent checks your ticket and passport, weighs your luggage, puts the correct tags, for your flight on the suitcase, and sends them off to the baggage handlers. The ticket agents gives you a boarding pass.
Once (פעם אחת) I went on a flight at the last minute to the United States. I didn’t know that my Israeli passport had expired! (עבר זמנו) Actually, there is an Israeli Passport office at the airport! I went there, and they are open 24 hours for cases like this! They issued me a temporary (זמני) Israeli Passport on a piece of A4 paper. I had to go into the gate (שער) within two hours or it would expire. I don’t recommend relying upon this method to travel, but it worked once!
So now you go up to the gate. You might have more time to wait depending upon (תלוי על) how long it took to do the security measures. (אמצעי בטיחות) There are Duty Free shops and restaurants (מסעדות) if you get hungry or need a book to read on the flight.
On the Plane
I usually go right to the gate and sit down to wait (לחכות) there. I don’t want to be eating and have to get up in the middle of my meal to run (לרוץ) to the plane! When the flight is called, I show my boarding pass and get on the plane. Wow, I did it! I’m in my seat (מושב), and I’m off on my long awaited vacation! See you when I get back!
Vocabulary of the airport
נמל התעופה בן גוריון
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