As we drove to the airport, our guide did not accompany us. He said we'd have an easier time with security if he wasn't there. As we approached, the bus was stopped at a checkpoint and allowed to go through. We had been prepped to expect a number of us to be asked innocuous questions that we were to answer truthfully by security. Israeli security checks people more than things. While bags are screened with high technology, they are primarily looking for people that may be more likely to cause problems. How people respond to regular questions apparently gives highly trained people insight they need.
While we were waiting for everyone to go through the first round of baggage security, Donna B. was approached by someone who asked that she take a picture of her. The conversation covered all the basic questions that we were told to expect from Israeli airport security. The woman volunteered no information about herself. We seem to have been surreptitiously checked-out.
The metal detectors we then passed through with our carry-on baggage didn't require us to take off belts or shoes, and were pretty straightforward compared to the US.
|The dangerous snow globe|
So I took it outside security and went to ask to get the checked bags back and put it there, at the recommendation of TSA. (We hadn't originally checked it since we were afraid of it breaking with pressure changes or rough handling.) The person at the baggage desk said it would be no problem and would take about an hour. We had about four hours before our connection, so that seemed fine. After two hours of waiting, I went back to the desk. They said that the bags had already been sent to the other terminal for putting on the plane and they couldn't get them. Apparently they knew this more than 90 minutes earlier, but no one came to tell me.
As I left the baggage counter, a woman who worked for an airline was walking by, and she felt like the right person to bestow a snowglobe upon. I asked if she had a daughter, and when she said yes, I gave it to her. She was very grateful and said she collected snowglobes. At least it found a good home. Julia ended up with one from the New York airport, taken in a carry-on onto the plane, but bought on the other side of security.