Visiting Beirut

Old Nov 7, 19, 5:48 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In between LAX and LGB
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 754
Visiting Beirut

A few months ago while looking for a place to visit that I've never been to on Skyteam, I found a great deal on LAX-BEY for $500 rt on DL/AF/KL. I called up DL and was able to use my Global Upgrade Certs for all except for CDG-BEY-AMS. Now I'm 1 week away from my trip, and I'm a little worried about the recent protests against the government going on. I really want to go, as I have been watching Beirut street food and tourism videos on YouTube, which has me very excited. I did call DL, and they did say there aren't any travel waivers for Beirut, even though I saw MEA actually does have a travel waiver in place. So I have come up with a couple of solutions in case Beirut really starts to deteriorate.

What I've come up with so far:

1. Buy second ticket the night I land to Amman, Istanbul, or Dubai. I've been to all three, but I think I would get bored rather easily. I've done all the major tourist destinations.

2. Buy ticket to Amman, cross the bridge over into Israel/Palestine. I've done this before as well, but there is more stuff to do in a weeks time. I would be very worried about problems arising on my return flight from Beirut.

3. Buy second ticket to Muscat. It's actually a place that looks fascinating to me. The only issue is there doesn't seem to be a direct flight from BEY, so it would be a long one stop, one I wouldn't be able to do after landing in Beirut at 5pm.

Any other suggestions in case Beirut becomes an issue? Algeria/Tunisia might be a place I would like to visit as well, but really havent researched flight options.
bsagator is offline  
Old Nov 8, 19, 1:53 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates & Arizona, USA
Programs: UA MM/1P, EK Ag, QR, TK, Marriott Life Ti, Hilton Dia, IC Spire, Hyatt Glob, Shangri-La
Posts: 4,193
I agree that Beirut is a great destination, and agree with your hesitancy to go now. Could be any number of headaches.

I think you've pretty much outlined the options. I would just check MEA's flight schedule and see where I could go in a manner that connected with my existing flights. Assuming you are a U.S. passport holder, Algeria might be difficult as you need a visa in advance. You could fly to Jeddah -- they now have e-visa, for which I got approved in minutes -- just for the heck of it. Or maybe Yerevan (they only fly twice a week), though it will be cold.
bsagator likes this.
mecabq is offline  
Old Nov 8, 19, 10:32 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In between LAX and LGB
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 754
Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
I agree that Beirut is a great destination, and agree with your hesitancy to go now. Could be any number of headaches.

I think you've pretty much outlined the options. I would just check MEA's flight schedule and see where I could go in a manner that connected with my existing flights. Assuming you are a U.S. passport holder, Algeria might be difficult as you need a visa in advance. You could fly to Jeddah -- they now have e-visa, for which I got approved in minutes -- just for the heck of it. Or maybe Yerevan (they only fly twice a week), though it will be cold.
Yerevan and Baku are high on my list of places to visit, but as a native Floridian living in Los Angeles, my body shuts down under 50F/10C, so those places I would like to visit in the Summer. Saudi Arabia is out, as I do not have any inclination to visit. My AF flight arrives into BEY at 215pm, so I could easily hop on a number of flights to AMM or DXB. Alas, I'll just wait and see. I could easily just purchase a flight in Beirut after a couple of days there if I feel unsafe, and my hotel is extremely cheap at the 4 points Sheraton, $300 USD/week, so I can just keep my hotel room there in case I want to get out for a couple of days.
bsagator is offline  
Old Nov 8, 19, 12:57 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,576
Beirut is on my must-see-one-day list, so I hope it works out for you to stay there and to report back.

2. Buy ticket to Amman, cross the bridge over into Israel/Palestine. I've done this before as well, but there is more stuff to do in a weeks time. I would be very worried about problems arising on my return flight from Beirut.
What does this one mean for passport stamps? Will you receive Jordanian exit stamps that show you entered Israel? Will Lebanon let you back in on the return if that's the case?
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Nov 8, 19, 5:35 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In between LAX and LGB
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 754
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Beirut is on my must-see-one-day list, so I hope it works out for you to stay there and to report back.


What does this one mean for passport stamps? Will you receive Jordanian exit stamps that show you entered Israel? Will Lebanon let you back in on the return if that's the case?
No, Jordan and Israel stamp on a separate piece of paper. I'm more worried about Lebanon authorities going through my phone and social media. I've already deleted old pics from my past visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem from my instagram.
bsagator is offline  
Old Nov 8, 19, 11:07 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,576
Well, if Lebanon goes to that extreme ... What about Cyprus? (I didn't know about the piece-of-paper thing with Jordan.)

Here's hoping you can stay in Beirut. It would be such a shame to plan this trip and then have to leave. I want to hear about the place too.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Nov 9, 19, 6:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates & Arizona, USA
Programs: UA MM/1P, EK Ag, QR, TK, Marriott Life Ti, Hilton Dia, IC Spire, Hyatt Glob, Shangri-La
Posts: 4,193
Originally Posted by bsagator View Post
No, Jordan and Israel stamp on a separate piece of paper. I'm more worried about Lebanon authorities going through my phone and social media. I've already deleted old pics from my past visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem from my instagram.
Not sure about that in the case of Jordan. For a trip earlier this year, they stamped me both inbound and outbound at AMM. If you are exiting by land, and you have an exit stamp at a land crossing with Israel, or no exit stamp at all, then in Beirut they may infer that you visited Israel. Not sure if they pay attention that closely or if they care.
mecabq is offline  
Old Nov 11, 19, 7:26 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Den Haag
Programs: AA PLT, 1MM, Global Entry, UA GLD, TSA PRE
Posts: 564
Beirut, albeit all of Lebanon, is a must visit. That country has so much diversity, food, nightlife, nature, history. Hopefully it works out for you. I just did Algeria/Tunisia myself about a month ago, and the toughest part indeed is getting a visa for Algeria. You'll have to get it locally, and they can process in a week, but sometimes not that simple. That being said, Algeria is a hidden gem and tourism is finally starting to build a bit. Cyprus is boring IMHO. Not the best time to be in Palestine to be fair. I'm going to Saudi in 3 weeks, and they approve visa's now within minutes of online application. Oman is great, and completely cut off from the rest of MENA. Complete opposite of Dubai, Qatar & Bahrain, would go back in a heartbeat.
Bonaturtle is offline  
Old Nov 12, 19, 11:04 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: EMA (how boring) but BHX is more convenient.
Posts: 530
I don't have plans to go there anytime soon, but I'm curious about people's impressions of Beirut. Once before I looked it up, and on Google Streetview etc. it looked very westernised, and not that distinctively Middle Eastern. Is that true in real life?
OccasionalFlyerPerson is offline  
Old Nov 12, 19, 11:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,576
I've read travelogues about Beirut for years. Even during the worst of Lebanon's times, you'd read these pieces by travelers who'd say: "I know I shouldn't be here, but it is such an amazing place." That always intrigued me.

So it's settled then. The OP is going to stay in Beirut for the duration of his/her trip. Just kidding. Do what is best (and safest) for you. Report back if you can and let us know what transpires.

I like this vintage travel poster:
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Today, 3:29 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: HNL
Programs: UA Nothing (Former Gold), Global Entry
Posts: 669
I'm booked for January. I'm following the news closely, but fully intend to go at this point, based on what I've read. Will keep a close eye to see if anything changes in the next two months.

Last edited by Taoyuan; Today at 3:48 am
Taoyuan is offline  
Old Today, 4:09 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In between LAX and LGB
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 754
Beirut is as safe as safe can be. I've only seen one negative interaction, and that was from the rooftop of my hotel where I witnessed a couple dozen kids do a sit in on a road nearby, but that lasted like 10 minutes. I feel much safer here than I do in LA. Uber is cheap and easy to use. When I didnt have Wifi, taxi drivers charged me just slightly more than Uber rates. Nightlife has been fun so far. Food is great. The streets are very walkable and I havent felt like I was in an area that I shouldn't be in, even though I walked a total of 10.5 miles yesterday.



ajGoes likes this.
bsagator is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread