| It had been 11 years since I last arrived and departed from Ben Gurion Airport and some things have changed. Arrival was the same: A long walk to passport control from the gate, a little bit of a wait, and the usual interrogation by the border agent. I was temporarily detained as were other members of my group, but we were soon released without further questioning 15 minutes later with our entry permits (which have replaced the passport stamps). Checked bags were on the carousel by the time I arrived at baggage claim, so it was a very smooth and easy exit from the airport. Departing was a slightly different experience. I arrived 4 hours before my flight in case of long lines pre-check in. I got in line with 3.5 hours before my flight and by the time I had my interrogation, there were just under 3 hours left. The interrogation was surprisingly quick (10 minutes, which included questioning by a supervisor) and then I was allowed to check in at the El Al counter. After check-in, I went to security and was directed to the lines where the agents thoroughly check all the carry-on baggage. This was the most time-consuming process of being at the airport and a few passengers who arrived late were allowed to cut in front of me for fear of missing their flights. This process took a solid hour-plus just to have my bags inspected and then another 25-30 minutes for the inspection (as well as body scan). If the agents don't know what something in your bag is, they will ask you (they did this with one of my articles of clothing). If you have food that is concealed, they will ask you to open it up to visually confirm it (this happened with my protein bar. I also ate it in front of them since I was hungry). Once finished with the security check, I repacked my bags and proceeded to the biometric passport scanners and received my exit permit, which you scan to be allowed into the main departures waiting area. There wasn't enough time to grab a coffee or something to eat as my flight was already boarding. Before boarding my flight, gate agents checked my carry-on bags one last time for any liquids and then scanned my boarding pass to allow me to get on the plane. Plenty of seats and shops in the concourse, but a severe lack of charging stations/outlets. Overall, it's a time-consuming experience and, yes, I know of people who have been detained and questioned by personnel before getting on a plane in Tel Aviv. I also know of one person who was pulled off a plane and questioned. Everything is based on the sticker/barcode number the initial security folks place on your passport before you reach the check-in counters. I'd definitely arrive 3-4 hours ahead of your flight. Security will take time, especially if you are not an Israeli national.