By Dan Garwood, NFTY in Israel North American Coordinator
Our first buses leave for Israel in less than 4 weeks! This means we’re about to facilitate 470 teens transferring through our various gateway airports on their way to Israel or Europe. Fortunately, they’re not all traveling on the same day!
I have personally helped run over 100 of our group airport departures over the last decade, so I thought it would be helpful share what to expect at the airport. Read on!
Meet Your Busmates
This is the first time that you and your busmates will get together as a NFTY in Israel group! From this moment, you’re going to travel together as one community for the next three, four, or five weeks. This is a great time to start getting to know each other! To help with that, you’ll…
Get a Name Tag
Would it be a Jewish youth program if there weren’t name tags?
But seriously, please wear them in the airport and on the plane so our airport facilitators, your flight chaperone(s), and your fellow participants know you’re on NFTY in Israel!
Check in For Your Flight
When the airline is ready to check in our group for the flight, we’ll help you get lined up at the check-in counter. You’ll show the check-in agent your passport, give them your luggage to get loaded on the plane, and they’ll print you the boarding pass you need to get through security and board our flight.
Go Through Security and Head to Your Gate
Who doesn’t love taking off their shoes and belt to go through airport security? You’ll all go through as a group, and once everyone is through, you’ll go together to your gate so you know where to go when it’s time to board the airplane. Along the way, take note of where the bathrooms and restaurant counters are so you can take advantage of them during the little bit of free time you’ll get inside the secure area.
Lots of Waiting
It takes a lot of coordination to get a whole group checked in for a flight, through security, and boarded on the plane, so we build in a lot of extra time to make sure everyone is able to get on board. This means you’ll have a lot of time waiting around in the airport. Bring a deck of cards or some easily packable games, a book or magazine, and a phone charger. You can also use the time to get to know others in the group, or get a meal or snack.
Board the Flight
Before your flight opens for boarding, you’ll all meet back up at your gate. Together, you’ll board the plane to start your incredible adventure! Nesiya Tova – Have a good trip!