It doesn’t matter if this isn’t your first trip to Israel. First trip or thirtieth, for Jewish travelers, flying to Israel is always exciting. Whether you are flying El Al - Israel’s national airline - or any of the other many carriers that can get you to Israel, your non-stop flight time is about 12 hours. For most of the year, Israel is 7 hours ahead of the East Coast. However, Israel accepts daylight savings time and standard time on different days than America does, so at certain times of the year, the time difference is 6 hours.
While you may think that keeping kosher is easier in Israel, this is not necessarily the case as understanding the different kosher certifications is extremely complicated. This includes the kosher meal on your flight. If you are flying El Al, all the food is kosher. However, if you require stricter kashrus standards than El Al provides, Do All Travel can book that for you for your flight.
Security is tight when flying to Israel, so plan ahead and leave yourself some extra time before departure. When you land in Israel, don’t be surprised if the entire plane starts clapping. It’s all part of the joy of getting to Israel. In the airport, if you have nothing to declare, go through the green line.
For travelers heading to Jerusalem, you have a few options from the Airport. The bus (Eged #947) leaves every 20 minutes starting at 6:17 am till 10:22 pm. It takes about a 1:10 minutes to get to Jerusalem by bus. Most people prefer a shared taxi - or a sheirut - which are lined up outside the airport. Once the sheirut is filled with passengers, drive time to Jerusalem is approximately 40 minutes. The sheirut will drop you off at your destination.
Frequent travelers to Israel will probably not be accustomed to taking the train to Jerusalem as it is pretty new. It is a long but scenic way to get to Jerusalem if you are ok sitting for close to 2 hours after your long flight. It’s also clean, comfortable and not too crowded.
Here is a link to the railway: https://www.rail.co.il/en
For your return trip, you can book an airport taxi ahead of time to get to the airport and Jewish travelers who are concerned about kosher food should be aware that there is not too much kosher food available at Ben Gurion Airport. The Aroma Coffee shop, located past security, is Kosher Mehadrin and may be an option for some. Enjoy your flight home which you can spend planning your next trip to Israel with Do All Travel.
Click the link below to find out the conversion rate for the shekel today: http://www.boi.org.il/en/Markets/ExchangeRates/Pages/Default.aspx