More and more visitors to Israel

The number of visitors to Israel is growing significantly. In 2009, some 9 million passengers passed through the airports. In 2018, Israel Katz, the minister of transport estimates the number will be about 20 million passengers. These numbers indicate the growth of both tourism and business relations.

To help ease the pressure such growth causes, several airport projects are under way or recently completed. First, the original terminal at Ben Gurion, dubbed Terminal 1, has been renovated and inaugurated for use by budget airlines. Terminal 1 is currently slated for 33 outbound flights per day. In addition to this upgrade at Ben Gurion, an additional wing is opening in Terminal 3. The new wing will add 17,000 square meters and 8 gates.

Perhaps bigger news is that two new airports are planned for Eilat and somewhere in the north. Of course the new airport in Eilat will replace the current airport, while the projected airport in the north will be completely new.

 

5 must-visit places in Israel

Hananya Naftali has produced a YouTube video with his 5 suggested must-sees in Israel.

New: Basic Economy Restrictions

Just when you thought airlines had done everything they could to make flying as torturous as possible, they have thought of something else … Basic Economy. One of the new efforts to “provide more options for passengers” that many airlines have embraced is a new category of economy, which they identify as “Basic Economy.” It has even less flair than Economy. “Is that possible?” you might be wondering. In a word, YES. And, unfortunately, many group contracts are issued for Basic Economy.

Apparently too many passengers have protested that they had no idea of the latest restrictions that are found in Basic Economy, so airlines are requiring travel agents to tell their clients about Basic Economy. (Don’t say, you haven’t been warned.)

United Airlines
1. No seat selection: Seats are assigned by United at check-in and families and groups traveling together are not guaranteed to sit together.

2. No full-sized carry-on bag: A passenger may travel with only one personal item that fits under the seat in front of him or her.

3. No changes and no refunds: Ticket changes and refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy.

4. No upgrades and certain MileagePlus® member benefits are not available: MileagePlus® members, including Premier® members, will not receive Premier qualifying credit or lifetime miles; paid, earned, complimentary or mileage upgrades; or Economy Plus® seating benefits.

Delta Airlines
1. No Seat Assignments until after check in.

2. Passengers traveling together including families may not sit together.

3. No Refunds or Exchanges.

4. Last Zone boarding.

5. No paid or complementary upgrades.

6. No preferred seats including with medallion status

American Airlines
1. Only 1 carry on item that fits under the seat in front of you; you will have no access to overhead bins.

2. Seats assigned at check-in.

3. Fees to choose a specific seat.

4. Not eligible for upgrades.

5. No flight changes or refunds.

6. Board in last group.

 

Jerusalem Aquarium

Photo Credit: http://touchpointisrael.com

Photo Credit: http://touchpointisrael.com

According to a report by Abigail Klein Leichman, a national aquarium is set to open in Jerusalem this fall. The exhibit, designed by Raviv-Tal Environmental Architecture of Haifa, cost $25 million and is located on five acres next to the Jerusalem Zoo.

See Ms. Leichman’s article and photos here.

 

Firing Range

This sign illustrates the mistaken impression that many (perhaps, most) Americans have about life in Israel. They seem to think dangers lurks around every corner and that the whole country is a war zone.

This particular sign, marks a military firing range in the desert.

Firing range sign, warning of the dangers of being in the area. Photo: ©2017 Craig Dunning

Firing range sign, warning of the dangers of being in the area. Photo: ©2017 Craig Dunning