[United Confirms Negotiations For Airport Club!] Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Will Expand Again To Accommodate Record Passenger Growth Rates

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Update: United confirms that they are in negotiations with Natbag to open a club in the airport to service their 28 weekly flights between North America and Tel Aviv.

United’s only currently operational club outside of North America is in London/Heathrow.

The airline also operates United Clubs in Guam, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, though those have remained closed since the start of the pandemic. United planned to open international premium Polaris lounges in Hong Kong, London, and Tokyo before the pandemic, though those plans remain on hold.

The Star Alliance operates joint lounges in Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome.

Do you think United or the Star Alliance will succeed in opening a lounge in Natbag?

Originally posted on 9/7:

Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, known in Hebrew as Natbag, will be expanding again.

Natbag’s Terminal 3 opened in 2004 with Concourses B, C, and D. In 2018 the airport expanded with Concourse E. Each concourse offers 8 jet bridges and 2 remote stand gates.

The airport will now be adding both Terminal 3A and Concourse A.

Terminal 3A will open in 2023 and will add 22 new check-in counters in a space that’s about 100 feet wide and 427 feet long. It will emulate similar expansions used in Amsterdam and Budapest airports. It appears that it may be located where COVID testing was done, on level G arrivals, on the left side.

Concourse A is the final concourse that can be added to Terminal 3 and approval has now been given to plan and build it out.

I took this picture of Terminal 3 at the top of this post a couple of months ago from the roof of Natbag’s stunning Air Traffic Control Tower:


I labeled the concourses in the photo at the top of this post. Concourse B is on the left side, followed clockwise by Concourses C, D, E, and the long hallway where arriving and departing passengers walk through. There is space between that hallway and Concourse B for one final concourse, which will be built as Concourse A.

In addition to presumably 10 more gates, there will be added VIP lounges and restaurants. Currently there are subpar Dan and Dan+ lounges in Concourses B, C, and E as well as a much nicer El Al King David Lounge in Concourse D. United and the Star Alliance has long requested a Star Alliance joint lounge at Natbag, perhaps this might happen with the new Concourse A?

Hopefully the airport figures out how to streamline its operations, as the number of lines and time required to to board an international flight is just ridiculous. 2 months ago we spent hours snaking through byzantine lines ranging from a security line before check-in, the line to check-in, a horrendously slow line for people checking duffle bags, security, customs, and a special line for people with strollers to go through customs gates. And that was with shortcuts for business class customers. Pity the family in front of us that didn’t properly get an inbound tourist visa slip for their baby. Kafkaesque is an understatement.

Luckily, it seems that the airport knows it needs to clean up its act, as it has announced a plan to streamline operations next year.

Starting September 17th, the train between Natbag and Jerusalem will run throughout the night, except Thursday night.

A 400 room hotel with a rooftop pool is slated to open in 2024 on the western side of Terminal 3.

There are a record 109 weekly flights between North America and Israel on current airline schedules, an incredible turnaround from earlier this year when just a handful of flights operated.

With the growth of Israeli tourism, it probably won’t be long until plans will need to be drawn up for how to accommodate more passengers after Terminal 3 reaches capacity.

HT: yandmk

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37 Comments On "[United Confirms Negotiations For Airport Club!] Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Will Expand Again To Accommodate Record Passenger Growth Rates"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Why not fully utilize terminal 1?


Your right


What they really need to do is to widen the security area is after checkin and to have all desks manned at peak times!


“Googles byzantine”


Dan, is checkin one word?

Good question

What’s it going to help if they don’t have enough workers for it?!



Reuven Zecharia



If Wikepedia is updated, it seems that there are currently 8 Oneworld carriers, 6 SkyTeam Carriers, and 13 Star Alliance carriers flying to TLV. Might be off by one or two but Star Alliance definitely seems to have the largest presence in TLV so a star alliance lounge would make sense for sure.

Dan\'s the Man

Pity the family in front of us that didn’t properly get an inbound tourist visa slip for their baby. Kafkaesque is an understatement.

What happened? It sounds like it would be the immigration officer’s error if they didn’t make sure they accounted for the right number of people who were present at the passport control kiosk at entry. Would love to hear what happened and how it got settled.


I like the Dan’s Deals livery.


How did you get to the top of the control tower? Isn’t that a secure area?

Dan\'s the man

Dan has top security clearance but thank you for your concern.


Watched uncharted? All it takes is some chewing gum.

Dan\'s the man

Dan- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes your lounges aren’t the best but your website is awesome! 🙂


This peaked my curiosity. To my knowledge, Terminal 1 is primarily for local flights to Eilat. Almost all international flights depart and arrive in Terminal 3. So what is Terminal 2 used for? Is there a Terminal 2? I never heard about it.

Nat Zitomer

Back in the day, before Terminal 3, a very small T2 handled domestic flights, mostly to Eilat. When T3 opened, domestic moved to T1. As low-cost proliferated, they began check-in there, with passengers shuttled to T3 for personal security and PP control. Low cost pax were then bused to their aircraft the old way.


After Terminal 3 was built, two was demolished and is now part of the cargo area. Some Busses to the airport still announce the stop as terminal shtayim.


They need more staff not a bigger terminal, I waited over a hour and a half just to drop a bag by elal, and elar should stop weighing carry ons it makes it much longer and no other airlines do

Oleh Chadash

Turkish Air weighed my carry-on two weeks ago and made me take stuff out.

E Lankin

Aren’t they building Terminal 2? If not, what is that new construction?


if moshiach is coming soon they better build these additions quick…


No need, everyone will come on eagles wings


I think they need to open another airport near Netanya or Hadera to ease the burden of Natbag and make it more practical for driving up north upon landing. It will take years but they better get started.

Oleh Chadash

This would be great. Those areas are becoming more popular and it is a multiple hours’ drive.

tony c

Just came back from TLV, did VIP service, chick-chok. wish they offered this in USA.


It’s called clear


Depends on the Israeli government’s willingness to make TLV a competitive environment versus protecting ElAL. I hope they succeed and accept priority pass lol

Lounge Fan

Looking forward to using my United Club passes from the United Explorer Card in Tel Aviv !


Wait, how did you get to the top of the control tower? I’d love to take my son there?

tom bradley

IAA is leading them on!!
no airline or even alliance ever had a lounge there, why should they all of a sudden give united one?

Baltimore Maven

Bump. Hopefully United will start flying again. We need a Polaris lounge with Badatz hot food, showers, etc.