I’ll be visiting Jordan and Israel soon in a guided (recreational) group tour. The group will be some 20 people in size. The organiser gave us beautiful leaflets on what to expect in the countries we are visiting. I stumbled across the following sentence (translated from the German original) in the Israel leaflet and startled:
Sometimes laptops are withheld for inspection upon departure and later sent on.
I will admit that I am being slightly paranoid, but I am generally very unhappy to leave my laptop in someone else’s control if it was their idea (and not mine). Even if it is security forces. I realised in this question, that it would be a generally very bad idea to decline airport security or emigration officers their desire to search my laptop. Instead, I am seriously debating leaving my trusted laptop at home for the trip with all the drawbacks implied. But sometimes it doesn’t hurt to get a reality check.
How likely is it for one’s laptop to be withheld due to security reasons, meaning I’ll have to board my plane without it?
The reason I am asking here is the travel organiser’s word choice of gelegentlich in German. From patient information leaflets of medicine, that word is used to describe side-effects that happen to 0.1–1 % of all subjects. That already sounds like a threshold I’m uncomfortable with.
Answers should ideally supply a percentage of withheld laptops based on total laptop (or traveller) count. But ‘I’ve never seen that happen and I fly from Tel Aviv three times a week’, is also good enough.
Note that I am explicitly taking about the laptop being withheld while I board my plane back. Try not to include those counts where either I just log onto my account to prove it’s my laptop, or they take it for inspection into a neighbouring room but I can get it back before I board the plane.
In case it matters: I am a German citizen and to the best of my knowledge the entire group is entirely made up of German citizens.