Monday, June 29, 2009

I've Been Detained...

My wife, The CheeseGuy's Girl has been in Israel for the last ten days and I'm going to meet her. So I did just that a few days ago and arrived at JFK with plenty of time to spare. So I wandered up to the El Al counter and tried to check in.

I answered a few questions and was asked to wait for a supervisor. Then the supervisor had a few questions for me and I answered them as well. I was then asked to have a seat over there...

(Clearly the "Group W" bench...)

(I think they were a bit put off by the fact I had no carry-on luggage.)

I was asked to return in 45 minutes to this particular spot and wait.

So I did.

I was then asked a few more questions and was taken directly to the gate, by-passing the long security line and then, jumping the queue, entered the search area with two El Al agents and then whisked off to the gate at the end of the B concourse.

A few minutes later, boarding began and I was kindly asked to board.

No chance to buy some water, go to the restroom etc.
I was in my seat 50 minutes before takeoff.

Fast-forward ten hours...

Arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, I went to Passport Control, answered some questions and was asked to: "Please come this way."

I was asked for my father's name and for his father's name as well, then left alone with the other detainees. About twenty minutes later I was released.
I decided to ask what the problem was and was casually told that
I had a "similar last name".

Well, Welcome to Israel!

I wonder if I will be detained on the way out of Israel.


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