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Posted by on Dec 13, 2008 in blog | 0 comments

Flying On an Israeli Airline

A fiery crash. Many people fear that most upon boarding an airplane. I was petrified for other reasons. I was about to have a very intense experience. Two weeks in Israel and Egypt. The trip was full of twists and turns, but before I even left the country things got interesting. This is my story about flying on the safest airline in the world.

I started my expedition in Miami, Fl. Four hours south of my hometown of Orlando. It’s 6:00 am and the idea of going through security, after a long drive through the sunrise, does not sound like fun.

This is no ordinary flight

I am flying direl al by davidelnomoect to Tel Aviv, Israel, on the national airline El Al. This is no ordinary flight. I am will be traveling on the safest airline known to man. El Al, long before 9/11, instituted many of the safety precautions that airlines in the U.S. had adopted since 2001. They don’t mess around. Before each flight each passenger is interviewed.

It is now 6:30 and it’s my turn to be questioned. I was hoping to hear the word “next” from the attractive, female flight attendant. She seems harmless, but she probably knows how to break my arm with one finger. Instead of the G.I. Jane, a young disgruntled man interviews me. He immediately addresses me in Hebrew. I don’t speak Hebrew, and he didn’t seem to like that. My interview was anything but short. “What temple do you attend?”-“Have you ever studied Hebrew?”-“Do you have ties to any form of terrorism?” I found a way to mumble a slightly sarcastic “no” to almost every question. Apparently that’s not what they wanted to hear.

“You have been ‘randomly selected’ for further investigation.”

They took my bags, shoes, hat, and boarding pass. In my bag they found they one thing I was hoping they wouldn’t. It was a book about traveling in Egypt. Now, in case you skipped that day in history class I will fill you in. Israel and Egypt don’t like each other.

The discovery of my book led to more questions about the exact nature of my trip. After I truthfully answered every question to the best of my ability at 7:00 in the morning, I was escorted through security by the attractive female flight attendant, who turned out to be very nice.

I swiftly arrived at the gate. “Sit here. Don’t move.

If you need a drink, or need to use the bathroom raise you hand and we will escort you.” Great! I sat in silence, too afraid to even take my iPod out of my carry on. Eventually, this fear led to a need for the restroom. I raised my hand. Swiftly, my interviewer came to me. “Let’s go”. He scares me. I left the gate and returned, swiftly.

el al plane by mrottler
I board the plane before anyone else. Finally, a sense of tranquility. Then I remember that the drinking age on this flight is 18 years old. I fell asleep fast.

I awoke nine hours later with an awful headache and my headphones nearly exploding with sound. The flight attendant was asking if I wanted a drink. I don’t remember my response, but I do remember a three-course meal somewhere between 5 to 45 minutes later. I stood up to stretch my legs and use the bathroom. I sat down immediately after standing. I felt a sudden rush of blood to the head. Back to sleep.

We have landed. Everyone has exited the plane except for me. A flight attendant shakes me semi-violently. It was G.I. Jane trying to wake me. After yelling in my face like 15-year-old girl watching The Beatles at Shea Stadium, the flight attendant handed me my bag. She smiled and said, “Welcome to Israel. Thank you for flying El Al”. That interaction seemed to describe my entire experience. Swift service, with a slight smile.

By Dylan Starer

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