Wednesday, May 04, 2005

From the 'Only in Israel' file

Foreign airlines have lodged complaints in recent months to Israel’s Airport Authority about many Israelis they say have developed a tried-and-true method of having their outgoing flights delayed for takeoff until after they have finished purchasing items at the Duty Free shops...
Since the opening of the lavish Terminal 3, more Israelis have tried to delay their flights to continue their shopping spree, airline officials say. As a result, they plan to toughen their takeoff policies and say they will stop passengers from boarding their planes if they don’t arrive on time for their flights.
A spokesman for one airline said travelers have faked stomachaches and made up elaborate stories about lost hand luggage. But the most sophisticated method, he said, involved sending friends or family “messengers” to try and stall gate attendants.
“By using this system, the family will continue to stroll around the Duty Free shops and the ‘messenger’ will try to delay the flight by making different and weird claims,” the official said.
The chutzpah! The chutzpah! You gotta love it.

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