Welcome to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport

By Petal Mashraki | Published on 12/18/2018

Ben Gurion Airport (Tel Aviv airport code TLV) is Israel’s main airport located 19 km from Tel Aviv’s city center and 40 km from Jerusalem. The airport is among the top five airports in the Middle East thanks to its excellent design, service and because it is one of the world’s most secure airports. The security at Tel Aviv airport is high priority due to the delicate political situation in the region. In 2004 the airport opened after extensive renovations, modernization and the addition of Terminal 3. Today the airport has two terminals; Terminal 1 for domestic and low-cost international flights and Terminal 3 for international flights.

Ben Gurion Airport Services

At the Tel Aviv airport you will find travel agent representatives, car rental companies, ATMs, a place to buy a local mobile phone SIM and convenience stores. There is an excellent information desk and customer service counter. You will find signage in English, Arabic and Hebrew. There is multi-level parking for both temporary and long-term parking. Throughout the Tel Aviv airport there is free WiFi. The airport is fully accessible. There is an airport synagogue.

Tel Aviv Airport Features

The airport’s stunning duty-free hall has a circular design with a dramatic ceiling-to-floor waterfall in the center. There are duty-free stores selling a range of local and foreign products. While you do some shopping and wait for your flight you can enjoy a meal or drink at one of the restaurants and cafes. Throughout the airport the ceilings are high giving an open-plan spacious feel. Although there are no hotels in the airport complex there are several hotels near Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv.

Ground Transportation

Arrival and departure routes from Tel Aviv airport are via private vehicle, taxi, public bus and train. There is a pick-up and drop-off point for passengers and an easy to find taxi station right outside the arrivals hall. You can catch the Ben Gurion airport train to cities across the country including Tel Aviv city center, Jerusalem and Haifa. If you are on a package tour with Bein Harim Tourism Services or just need a pick up / drop off at Ben Gurion you can pre-book airport transfers.

As of June, 2021, all travellers to Israel must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure to Israel. This requirement applies to people with a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery. All passengers (Israeli citizens and foreign nationals), including vaccinated and recovered passengers, who arrive in Israel must submit an entry statement (Inbound Passenger Clearance) within 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time to Israel. To check the current Israel travel COVID-19 restrictions feel free to read this article.

Foreign nationals must have an entry permit certified by the Population and Immigration Authority. On arrival in Israel, all inbound passengers must have a COVID-19 PCR test done at their own expense. All travellers must register for the COVID-19 test at Ben Gurion airport website prior the arrival. It is recommended to pre-book. The airport transfer can be booked for one hour after the scheduled test time (the test time should be specified in the transfer booking comments).

Besides the COVID-19 test, visitors arriving in Israel pass though passport control, proceed to baggage claim and pass through customs. Travelers aged 17 and over are permitted to enter with no more than one quart (0.94 liters) of hard liquor, two quarts (1.89 liters) of wine, half a pound (226.79grams) of tobacco and no more than 6 pounds (2.72kg) of food.  You can bring in up to $200 worth of electrical goods and gifts. After passing customs you exit into the Arrivals Hall (Greeters’ Hall). Ben Gurion is located 40 minutes from Jerusalem and about 20 minutes from Tel-Aviv. Transport is readily available by rental car, taxi, bus and train. As you exit the Arrivals Hall you will see signs directing you to the various transport options.

"According to a decision by the government of Israel and in accordance with Aviation Regulations, all passengers departing from Israel, except recovering and vaccinated passengers, will be required to present a negative covid-19 test (PCR) before boarding the aircraft, taken no more than 72 hours before takeoff. Attention, upon arrival, you must present a printed copy of your covid-19 test results!  It is important to note that many destination countries also require the vaccinated and recovering to present a negative covid-19 test before boarding. It is recommended to check the requirements of destination countries when booking your tickets.

Departing passengers can be tested for COVID-19 at Ben Gurion Airport. The tests are carried out by Omega, through Check2fly. Departing passengers, click here to book a COVID-19 test. As a result of the pandemic, a lot of changes have been made in operating processes at Ben-Gurion International Airport. The services provided to passengers at Ben-Gurion International Airport have been significantly restricted, as have movements by passengers and aircraft", -  the airport website says.

On leaving the country travelers should arrive at Terminal 3 three hours before their flight. There are 10 self-service check-in stations or you can check-in through the usual airline desks. Travelers will be asked pertinent security questions like “did you pack your own bag” and “did anyone ask you to take something onto the plane for them” and then you proceed to check-in.

After check-in and receiving your boarding pass you move through to the area where hand luggage is checked. You can then enter the duty-free area. Duty free is open 24/7 and is centered on a beautiful rotund with walkways leading off to the various departure gates. Israeli duty-free is one of the cheapest in the world! In the same area you will find money exchange points, children’s play areas, Xbox 360 game stations, smoking areas, a mother and baby room, post office, banks, a synagogue, restaurants and cafes.

V.A.T. Refunds can be obtained from the Changeplace counter in the duty-free area or in the check-in area. If the goods are going to be packed in your checked-in luggage stored in the airplane hold then you can get your V.A.T. refund from a counter in the check-in hall. You will need to show the goods you have purchased and the receipts for them. The refund is given on goods valued at $100 or more and bought from stores registered with the Ministry of Tourism.

Ben Gurion Airport Services available at the airport include baggage storage at the western parking lot on the ground floor; a first aid clinic open 24/7 near entrance 21 in the gallery of the Greeters’ Hall; information counters; 3 V.I.P. lounges; a police station in the parking lot opposite Terminal 1 and with posts in Terminal 3 Greeters’ Hall next to entrance 11 and public telephones operated by either Telecards or coins. Every effort has been made to make the airport accessible for wheelchairs and visually or hearing impaired. Ben Gurion offers free WiFi throughout the airport and there are free luggage trolleys. Have a safe flight!