11

This is a question for people who know Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport well (TLV).

In a couple of months, I am flying into Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport from Johannesburg on ELAL, arriving 7.10am at Terminal 3 (according to Google).

I then need to fly to Bucharest that same day. The flight I'd like to take leaves at 9.55am, Wizz Air, from Terminal 1.

I intend to travel with hand luggage only.

My question is: will I be able to do a transfer to catch the Wizz Air flight without having to leave the airport and come back in?

I need to know this because if I have to leave the airport and come back in, I risk missing my Wizz Air flight because of the length of time that security can take at TLV. Opinions on the feasibility if I do leave and re-enter, given my time constraints, are welcome.

9

No, it's not possible.

Update: having now done the trip just a few weeks ago, I can 100% confirm the answer is no.

I asked officials in the airport if it was possible, and they said I had to leave air side, get the shuttle bus, then go back through security, which is what I did.

Some more notes from my experience, to add detail to @yetanothercoder's very useful answer:

  • I got out from air side very fast on arrival (10 mins after getting off the plane), perhaps because I was on an El Al flight meaning I had an extensive security questioning at Johannesburg airport. My flight arrived around half an hour early
  • Terminal transfer was as in @yetanothercoder's answer - every 15 minutes, takes 15 minutes. There's an additional risk that you don't get the bus because at least in my case, there were quite a few people trying to get on and not all were successful
  • Passing through passport control and security at Terminal 1 (no checked in luggage) took approximately 45 minutes. As a man travelling on my own all of my electronics were thoroughly swabbed

Overall, I had tons of waiting time and would say that you could probably do the transfer with 2 hours between flights if you're lucky.

  • 1
    Thank you for coming back and providing a great answer from personal experience :) – JonathanReez Aug 13 at 22:04
  • I doubt that flying El Al is the reason you got landside fast. The two time consumers there are waiting for luggage (having none always helps) and immigration (guys y you were lucky). – ugoren Aug 16 at 10:54
  • +1. Also, the terminal transfer is an annoying experience - you can't even wait for the bus someplace that's air-conditioned. And somehow the bus ends up taking a lot of time even though the direct distance is now that long. At least you're not waiting in the sun... – einpoklum Sep 10 at 11:44
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Unfortunately as far as I'm able to find there is (still) no air-side transfer between terminal 3 and terminal 1.

There is a shuttle service between the two terminals that you can take. It leaves every 15 minutes and should take about 15 minutes to get to the other terminal, worst case this means a travel time of 30 minutes if you just miss a shuttle. It does require thought that you transfer land-side and depending on crowds can take you between 30-60 minutes to exit the airport. Additionally you will need to make sure you're allowed to enter/transfer through Israel.

As you're flying with hand luggage only it will shorten the advised check-in time allowance to 1.5-2 hours (if I recall correctly).

All in all it'll probably take you between 2.5-3.5 hours to make the transfer. As you've got 2:45 between flights, theoretically if everything goes smoothly, you should be able to make the transfer. If you booked the flights through a travel agent I'd advise you to get in touch with them to see if the time between flights can be increased so you can make a less stressful transfer.

Note: I travel frequently to and from TLV but have never transferred through TLV so this is information found based on a search on the internet after attempting to find the information on the airport's website.

  • "still"? I don't think there are plans to introduce such a transfer service. Even the land-side transfer sucks, as you've pointed out. – einpoklum Sep 10 at 11:45

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