With the chaos at the airports, Israelis traveling this summer are advised not to take luggage

Amid scenes of months of chaos at Ben Gurion International Airport, the Israel Airports Authority recommended on Sunday that travelers abandon their bags when they go on vacation this summer.

Ofer Labler, a spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, said the airport was dealing with a shortage of 1,400 workers and advised passengers to “be patient” when traveling outside the country.

He advised people to bring small bags on wheels that can be carried on the plane as hand baggage, rather than larger bags that must be checked in.

Labler also called on more people to consider working at the airport to ease congestion, claiming it’s a “great place to work”.

The staff shortage has led to chaotic scenes at Israel’s travel hub since most travel restrictions were lifted in March, and much of the world opened up to tourists.

In addition to the problems at Ben Gurion Airport, El Al customers recently faced a large number of cancellations as pilots went on strike demanding the company return their salaries to pre-COVID levels.

Passengers at Ben Gurion International Airport, June 14, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Passengers arriving at Terminal 1 in Ben Gurion were forced to wait in queues that stretched outside the door, while Main Departure Hall 3 saw the Departures hall become extremely crowded.

Labler said that since March, Ben-Gurion has seen a 340% increase in the number of passengers and flights. He added that the Israel Airports Authority has committed to dealing only with existing flights and is resisting pressure to add additional flights during the current peak travel season, which ends in October.

Labler noted staffing problems at airports and airlines in a number of countries, and said that Israel was in fact in an “excellent position.”

At London Heathrow, a baggage system malfunction on Friday left passengers waiting for two hours at baggage claim, leaving bags to pile up at one of the world’s busiest airports; Some passengers had to board connecting flights without their luggage.

Bags pile up at Heathrow Terminal 2 after a baggage system malfunction, June 17, 2022. (Screengrab/YouTube)

Gatwick Airport, London’s second-busiest airport, was forced to limit its activity in August to 850 departures and arrivals per day, 10% less than its peak before the pandemic.

Britain’s Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority wrote an open letter to airlines last week asking carriers to cancel flights in advance rather than at the last minute.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported that 6,500 flights were canceled in the US on Thursday and Friday, with nearly 12,000 delayed. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has called on travel industry leaders to find solutions to the disruption, with fears of a mass cancellation of the July 4 weekend.

It’s not about you (just).

Supporting Times of Israel is not a transaction for an online service, such as a subscription to Netflix. The ToI community is for people like you who care public goodEnsuring that Israel continues to provide balanced and responsible coverage to millions around the world free of charge.

Sure, we will remove all ads from your page and you will only be able to access some amazing community content. But your support gives you something deeper than that: the pride of joining Something really important.

Join the Times of Israel community Join our community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

You are a professional reader

That’s why we started The Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like yourself with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So far we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we have not put in place a paywall. But since the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining Times of Israel Society.

For as little as $6 a month, you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel Free adsas well as access EXCLUSIVE CONTENT Available only to members of the Times of Israel community.

Thank you,
David Horowitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel

Join our community Join our community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Comment