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Published: March 15th 2016
Israel is probably the only place I'd suggest actually abiding by the "three hours for international flights" rule. As such, a 7:30 flight required me to be out of my place at 4:30 (ok, so 2.5 hours early. still). Luckily, our host had arranged a cheap taxi so he was waiting for me and travel to the airport was easy.
But wow, security. You have to go through a scan to get into the airport at all. Another passport check before security. Then a passport and intensive questioning check at security. Then two more passport checks inside security before actually hitting the scanners. Then the scanners (this part is similar to the US). But, after the x-ray machine, they take every single person's luggage and check it thoroughly. Meaning open it, unpack it, and do the trace elements test on everything. It took me an hour and a half to get from outside the airport to the gate itself. Luckily, that part was easy, and I had time to get a quick breakfast before the flight.
In Turkey, despite just flying through, I had to go through security again. At the gate, they check your passport three times and then also check to make sure all your electronics actually turn on. But at last, I was on the plane home and ready to go. Of course, that was a 10 hour flight from Istanbul to Boston, so I wasn't looking forward to that. But I did get to watch four movies on the plane! It was a long flight, but I made it home at last. And wow, was I glad to have Global Entry when I got in; the passport line was probably at least a half hour long and I was able to skip the whole thing!
And at long last, after 21 hours of travel, and a 9-day trip (not including travel), I was home, in my own bed, and extremely tired. On to the next adventure!
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