El Al Going Way Above And Beyond!

249

Update #3:
-DDF members and DD commenters have are reporting significantly better luck with flight changes (date and one-way changes) and hold times of under 10 minutes by calling the Israeli number at 01197239771111 (from the US), and then prompts 2, 3, 1. Call using Google Voice or your OBi for 2 cents per minute.
-People are now reporting being able to entirely switch their trip by weeks!
-Additionally reps are now saying that some 9,000 people got in on this deal…cool!

Update #2: Email confirmation showing booked into “W” fare class, which earns full AA miles according to this AA page.

 

 

 

 

 
Click to enlarge/clarify.

Update: People are reporting that different reps are enforcing different rules. Some won’t make changes until tomorrow. Some won’t allow any date changes, some will allow 1, 2, or even 3 days. Some require a round-trip change for $150 while others have done a one-way change for $75.
Bottom line as I always say if you don’t get the answer you want: HUCA!
And do it soon as seats appear to be quite limited on the nonstop flights. It seems the best prompts to push is for new reservations, as I suggested in the post below.

Based on the twitter postings of Will Run For Miles (@katruns26point2) on Twitter I just called El Al to change my friend’s flight for Pesach.

He was originally booked from 03/19-04/04 for $336.80. I also booked him on an additional flight in January that he wanted to change as well. Lucky he was at my house when the whole deal went down!

I just called El Al for him (800-223-6700) and followed the prompts to change a ticket book from a 3rd party. After waiting on hold for over half an hour the phone call was disconnected. I called back to book a new ticket and waited just 10 minutes. The agent that answered took down my phone number and promised a return call by tomorrow.

After just a few minutes I got a return phone call. The rules are:
-You must change both directions, you can’t change just one-way, so the fee is $150.
-Not all flights are available and seats are limited, so you’ll definitely want to call sooner rather than later.
-These tickets are being booked into fare class “W” which earns 100% redeemable miles when credited to American Airlines! This is much better than the G fare class for the connecting flights that only earn half the miles (or possibly even no miles depending on the airline) and is in it of itself a good reason to switch to the nonstop flights! American miles are much more valuable than El Al miles, plus unlike El Al miles they never expire if you maintain any activity and you can redeem them for travel on El Al without fuel surcharges (unlike with El Al miles as well)
-You can change the date forwards or backwards by one day on both ends. They may be flexible on this as “Will Run For Miles” reported being able to move them by as many as 3 days, but that flexibility may be based on how full their flights are on the surrounding dates as they were not willing to budge from that rule for my friend and for others on twitter.
-The agent was very kind, even offering to move him as close to the front as possible and was extremely thankful for the business!

Kudos to El Al for booking people into a fare class that earns full mileage and for being flexible on the travel dates!


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249 Comments On "El Al Going Way Above And Beyond!"

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

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YoniF

Well that sucks. I cancelled my flight bc they wouldnt let me chhange the date.

Mihah

didnt you say to email. and starting tomorrow?

Hudi

How many AA miles will I earn non stop NYC tlv

Jeremiah1083

Are all flights booked with this deal by default G fare class? How can I check?

Yo Yo

If I already have 965 El Al points, is it worth it to just stay with teh connection flight?

jack

What about earning avios points instead, is it worth it?

daniel

@dan- i booked through expedia and when i called el al to see if i can make changes they said i need to speak to expedia. Did i do something wrong?

Q

Is the change fee per ticket or per itinerary? If it’s per ticket, are they also charging the additional fee for lap children? Thanks

jack

I just called – they need it done via email – they wouldn’t do it over the phone

Dovie

So the current flights which have a connection wont be earning any miles?

Dan

@YoniF:
😥

@Hudi:
11,355 from JFK or 11,384 from EWR.

@Jeremiah1083:
The flights that I have seen have been in G or N class.
The way to check is pretty complicated. Login to an AA mileage account, check reservation, plugin the date and flight you are on, but you need to figure out the AA flight number, not the El Al codeshare number on AA, and then you can see the fare code.

@jack:
El Al doesn’t partner with BA.

@daniel:
HUCA.
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/22047

@Q:
Per ticket. No fee for lap children to change.

@jack:
HUCA.

@Dovie:
Depends on the airline, but they’ll likely either earn half the miles or no miles.

milechazzer

Dan – Are you sure they’re not budging on changing just one-way to non-stop, or do you think it’s worth a try still?

thx

bhphotoman

spent a hour on the phone they said call tomorrow

shlomo

Dan, does this mean i can change my tickets to go to israel for pessah for just 150 even if i booked for november?

Eli

Does anyone have any tickets they bought with the intention of selling? I need two.

DZ Telzer

If I change from a stopover to direct how many AA miles would I have gotten if I went with a stopover and how many direct.

Dan

@milechazzer:
My agent wouldn’t budge.
YMMV.

@bhphotoman:
Try calling the new ticket department.

@shlomo:
Lol, reread the post.

@Eli:
That would be quite a trick considering there’s no name changes on airline tickets once booked.

@DZ Telzer:
You should gain about 5,000 miles, making the $150 fee much less painful.

Mihah

Dan, you responded to everyone but me 🙁

Dave

@ Eli, don’t be an idiot; you cannot buy tickets already booked.

@Dan, you should really change the title of this post. Requiring that passengers change both legs is hardly going “Way Above and Beyond.”

Read people!

@shlomo: If pessach is “one day” before or after your flight then YES!

@Eli: Please just shoot yourself.

Chanie

@dan Can you change a first name if it’s the same last name but different birth dates?

Dan

@Mihah:
Because your question didn’t make sense to me.

@Dave:
Between the W fare class and the change of dates I still stand by my title.

@Chanie:
No, no, and no to name changes.

David

@Dan – Are you sure that that LY flights earn AA elite miles? I was under the impression you only get regular award miles.

Read people!

@Mihah: The post implied that because of reports to the contrary, Dan tried a different way and it worked! So go ahead and do the same. Policies change all the time. Take advantage while you can.

nesanel

How could I change my flight from November 5 to chanuka time?

sam

they said call back tomorrow. What time do they open?

Dan

@David:
It seems you are correct.

@sam:
I’d HUCA.

Read people!

@nesanel: By observing an early chanukah this year on November 6th. Re-read the post and previous comments.

mickeyg

Thanks Dan!

John

Just changed my flight to non-stops. called the usa # pressed all the options to book a new ticket, was connected immediately and didn’t even wait a minute. Rep was very nice over the phone.

sam the man

they said not until tomorow

jack

I just changed only the way there (from Newark).

They didn’t have availability for the return so I left it meanwhile – she said I can call until 9/1

shiya

what is the best price now with ElAL from JFK to Israel, next month?

K

OK. so i just called up to change my flights.

First, the guy told me that at first they were only changing both flights or none, but they announced to the agents that they can now change just one leg.

I changed just one leg (going) and they charged me $75 each ticket and re-issued the infant-lap for free!

I was also able to change to a day earlier…which the first agent I spoke to told me I could not. HUCA!

shiya

in their one went to sell his ticket, even for a higer price?

bhphotoman

@ dan YOU are the man

just changed my tickets to direct and extended coming home for 2 extra days woohoo

also she said you had to change both or nothing and she would not budge she even got her suppervisior on the line and he said both or none

it was $300 total for me and my wife and she gave me much much better seats!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks so much dan!!!!

Dan

@jack:
I would HUCA, especially if you are flexible with dates.

south

Just spoke to agent. Was willing to let me change one way, but said could only leave from EWR and come back to JFK. No direct flight back to JFK. Is that what others are hearing as well?

Dan

@south:
if you are flexible insist on JFK and find out when the next day with JFK availability is.

bhphotoman

i was suppose to fly from and to newark with these changes i fly from jfk and they are better flight times

south

I forgot she also insisted that I could not change the date at all.

bhphotoman

@ south HUCA

Levi

Gata love EAl Platinum Status 🙂 Any flight is available, any date change is available!! Btw, you can also call 18007663525

HLS

Dan,

Thanks for all that you do.

Thoughts on how many hours in London would be a minimum to make it worth being there?

Thoughts on adding a Cleveland connecting flight??

Signed,

A proud fellow CLE’er 🙂

Aryeh

I see booking code S for the AA segment and G for the el al segment?

Mordy

Sent them an email last week when the statement was released and they called me this afternoon. I was originally flying on 11/7 & 11/14 and they easily allowed me to switch my return flight to 11/15 and even confirmed my seat selection! Entire process took 5 minutes. Thank you Dan and thank you for Elal for great service!

Bracha

Pros:
Direct flight
11,384 AA miles

Cons:
$150 per ticket

Thanks, but no, thanks.

Dan

@HLS:
If you have 6+ hours in Zurich or 8+ hours in London you can probably enjoy a couple sights.

Connecting in CLE? No chance.

@Aryeh:
The AA segment in S should earn 100%.

@Bracha:
135K miles gets you a $20,000 first class ticket on top-notch carrier Cathay Pacific to Asia.
This gets you started on that 😉

ozzy

I have just been informed to call the new york office as they are taking changes, the office in Israel is not taking in changes till tomorrow. Also try using the Hebrew automated system, they picked up in a few minutes.

Just so you know.

@Bracha: You are gaining about $90 worth of miles. So its really costing you $60 and saving many hours of travel.

miriam

I called and after being on hold they said to
call back tomorrow

K

@Bracha:

You should be able to recoup at least $150 from those miles.

אפי

I heard that they are letting people upgrade to business and first for relatively cheap. I heard $190 each way.

daniel

$bracha or dan

what does 11,384 AA miles get you? does it get you a domestic flight?

HLS

Thanks Dan for the response!

@Just so you know: Pardon my ignorance, would you mind please teaching a novice what you meant as I have four tickets and am trying to make a “smart” decision. Thanks in advance.

Jack

Dan, the “W” class on Elal she claims will get you 45 points for each direction.
How can I add my AA number (which Im going to enroll for the occasion) on this ticket?

Also, to upgrade to business is much more than claimed above. Its standard upgrade fee (if at all available on this class)

Hello

I just changed my ticket and immediately got an email : “congratulation on joining Elal Matmid club”

(when asked over the phone if I had an account I said yes but that I didn’t have the number with me..

Did they enroll and assign me a matmid number so not to have me put an AA number??

south

Sorry meant no direct back to EWR. Anyone got one?

yosele

with the W class fare would it be easier to upgrade with points or miles?

ozzy

I just changed one leg of my flight for $75. No aviaablity to upgrade first or business at this time, only other option for upgrade is $99 for a emergency exit seat.

Ariel

Just called to change my tickets for the return to JFK. No issues.

Agent mentioned that they were just told that they can change only one way.

Dan

@daniel:
It’s enough for a round-trip flight within Hawaii.
12,500 is a one-way US48 flight.

@Jack:
Call El Al to add your AA number.

wondering

is it better to pay this 75 fee with ae gold or ae platinum

farmerjoe

just spoke to an elal rep about changing my ticket. she told me i cant make changes till tomorrow, however when i asked her if i must upgrade to direct BOTH ways she said no, i can upgrade one way for $75

hannah

Can’t anyone verify what time the glitch lasted till. I would really like to know if I legitimately was too late to book-it seemed to go through, or did cheapo air screw me, and not put it through till it was too late. Thank you.

Anonymous

@daniel: call on tuseday EL AL

Quick q

I jsust got an email that my itinerary was updated, el al put me on a direct flight. I did call before but didnt confirm the change. I feel like not calling for fear of losing the fear of being uograded to nnstop for free..what to do?

A

@Dan:
Dan any advice for a 7 hour stop over in london. What do you recommend?

DAVE

SWITCHED 1 WAY NO PROB – INFANT ON LAP IS NO EXTRA CHARGE

THANKS AGAIN DAN!

yikes

I booked with Vayama. As recent as Thursday, my credit card showed a 350$ charge from el al and a 1$ charge from Vayama, both pending. I checked today and the charges have disappeared. However, when I log into El-Al i see my reservation and all the details. What does this mean?

Igor Ivanovich

Can’t you also just get the AA miles after the flight by faxing in the boarding pass and itinerary?

BTW, Dan, did you see the article in Mishpacha magazine? You are on the front cover! 🙂

miriam

anyone know what time they open tomorrow?

Anonymous

Anyway to do one day date change for FREE? or only for $150 per ticket?

Anonymous

This stinks. I’ve been on hold for about an hour now and no sign of an agent in sight

Mendel

@dan
I emailed ELAL and I just got a call back about changing my flight. The rep was very nice and allowed us to change only one way and to go one day earlier.

Thanks for all your help! It is really only because of you that me and my wife can go to Isreal. Something we were waiting to do for a very long time!

justatraveler

was on hold for over an hour only to be told that I need to call tomorrow morning after 10 A.M…incredible!!

gefilete fish

Ela AL just responded to my email I sent 2 days ago. I was not offered anything good to pay more for. They offered direct flights that did not give me more time to stay over. It was a matter of 4 hours savings each way. If I could stay a day or 2 longer I would of paid for that. They told me the dates we not available. I dont think she even tried to look at other dates. I wil try again.

JUST FYI

I got through to 3 different reps….all said call back tomorrow. ! rep was for new tickets, one rep for changes and 1 for Matmid member

Dan

@wondering:
Premier rewards gold.

@hannah:
Officially it was pulled from GDS at 1pm, but people I know booked as late as 2:15 from cheaptickets.

@Quick q:
Interesting!
I don’t think I would call.

@A:
http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=141.0

@yikes:
Call El Al to confirm you have a legit ticket.

@Igor Ivanovich:
Sure, but why bother with that when you can just call to give them your number or give it at checkin?

Interesting, care to scan the article and email it to me?
dan@dansdeals.com

@Anonymous:
Only with paying for direct, but possible as low as $75 if you find a rep to do it one-way.

@Mendel:
Enjoy!

nanch

i have a stopover in London for 2 hours.Does anyone know if it’s possible to
extend it a few more hours/days?

Dan

@nanch:
Your only option is to switch to nonstop.

Anonymous

ugh looks like I have to call back tomorrow

ozzy

Founda rep to do one leg for me…today I experianced HUCA at its best took me and a friend of mine over 20+ calls to get through and finally get what we want!

Thanks for the support everyone!

Nic

Wow, with all the people switching to the non stop I am going to have the plane for myself.

yikes

@Dan:
I called and gave my ticket confirmation number i received from Vayama, and she had my name on record. I did not want to ask about my credit card, paranoid they would just cancel it. Not sure why my credit card has no charge, but perhaps I’ll wait a couple of days and see if it shows up. As of now, my ticket still shows up on Vayama website as well.

gefilete fish

El AL just called me back a second time. First time they did not accomodate me. I didnt budge. 2nd call I was able to return on a later date so I went for it. I am very happy. She also offered me good seats and special kosher meals.

quick q

@Dan:

You think they’d charge me to change it to EWR if im already on a non stop? I need to call to book seats, is that gonna b a prob?

Danny

Help me out. What does HUCA mean? My roots are Borough Park, but I’ve never heard this expression.

Ddawg

Anyone have any experience with this? My wives ticket was mistakenly booked under her maiden name as apposed to her married name which is now on her passport? I called elal and expedia but have had no luck. Any idea what we can do/anyone ever fly international with this sort of problem?

sky121

@Danny:
Hang Up Call Again

chAIM

Any info on expedia insurance if it still covers the original flight even if you upgrade to non-stop?

Anonymous

@Danny: Hang Up and Call Again

Tixtoisrael

I also booked thru vayama and have El al confirmation # but no charge to credit card. On el ALS website I see my reservation. Should I worry? I spoke to vayama and they said the reservation is there. Is vayama a reputable site?

yikes

@Tixtoisrael: It seems to be a reputable website. I find it hard to believe that the ticket is not valid given that El AL has my name on file when I called and that I still see the complete reservation, with seat numbers and everything. Perhaps we got it for free 🙂 More seriously, I hope nothing is wrong with the reservation. Let me know if you hear anything.

Yes

Does Expedia insurance cover if I switch to non stop flight?

Sunny

Is it worth staying 12 hrs overnight in madrid over non-stop?

Kathy (Will Run For Miles)

Hi. I just thought I’d provide the blog post where I discussed my rebooking experience.

http://www.willrunformiles.com/2012/08/rebooked-my-el-al-jfk-tlv-tickets.html

thank you! And I wish you all wonderful trips.

ms

exedia tickets are changble with out charge? i didnt buy ins

Kathy (Will Run For Miles)

I bought my tickets via Expedia. Faced no obstacle rebooking.

josh

Are the flights operated by swiss mileage eligible for *A

lkwd8

Dan,can i upgrade to business using AA miles?

ms

thanks kathy . is there any way to upgrade to biz class

scott

Hi Dan, I have a stopover in Madrid for 4 hrs, and was considering touring w/ my family for an hr or 2. Do we need to recheck our luggage, or does that go trough automatically to the connecting flight?

SR

What was the biggest allowance for a date change anybody has made? Ahold I even bother asking for a few weeks later? Dan..thank again for everything…can you please post a couple of different airports and the minimum time there would be to leave the airport. Thanks.

Dan

@ozzy:
Congrats, HUCA FTW!

@Ddawg:
You can add a middle name, so add her married name as a middle name, and bring all the supporting docs you can to the airport and you should be fine.

@chAIM:
Why would it?

@Sunny:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=850

@josh:
An excellent question. Don’t know the answer as it’s booked as an El Al codeshare.

@lkwd8:
No.

@scott:
You do not need to recheck luggage, but with just 4 hours it’s probably not worth leaving the airport. But I’ve never been been to MAD so maybe someone else will chime in.
I definitely wouldn’t bother with just 4 hours in CDG or LHR though in ZRH I might.

@SR:
Biggest I’ve seen is 3 days unless you have El Al elite status.
YMMV.

John

Dan, you mentioned to @Ddawg that he can change his middle name. I have spoken to numerous agents at both expedia and EL AL and they all told me I cannot add a middle name. Please let me know if there is something else I should know. Additionally they did all tell me not to worry as the first and last name are what’s really important but our passports do have our middle names so I was inquiring just to be safe.

Dan

@John:
That’s what someone else told me worked for them.
I guess YMMV, but you definitely have nothing to worry about if you forgot a middle name, they never care about that.

DL

I went to the El Al website to check my ticket status. For one of the flights, they say I am eligible for an upgrade to business class and to enter in a price I am willing to pay. I will then get an e-mail to see if my offer was accepted. (I am flying on December 26, so maybe that is why.)

THANK YOU!!!

Dan,
First thank you again!!!

My ticket is JFK-MAD-TLV then TLV-CDG-JFK
my flight is opearated by AA on JFK -MAD and CDG-JFK
The rest is Elal.

It looks like they are all G class
how many miles will i gain so i can compare to what i am getting with direct?

Dan

@THANK YOU!!!:
5,736 connecting.
11,355 nonstop from JFK
11,384 nonstop from EWR.

EliE

Just changed my flight, no return flight to Newark…contrary to media reports the agent just told me that 9,000 tickets sold!

PS shout out to Abie’s Dad for notifying us of the deal

Ben

Dan,

Are those numbers (5736, 11,355) the same for stops in London and Zurich?
Thanks.

justatraveler

You don’t have to wait till 10 A.M EST. You can call to change ticket now which I did. Wait time is less than 5 minutes. First person said i can only add one day to original itinerary for non-stop flight. I thanked him and hung up. I called again within seconds. Got another CSR who was able to change my flight 2 days later. “W” class. I wanted the 1 A.M flight but only 9:40 A.M flight to JFK available.

bee

@ Dan..thanks so much for letting us all benefit from this deal!! Do you think they would all me to pay the upgrade fare for six tickets and leave out of LAX??? Don’t want to shlep to ny if I don’t have to???

sara

the 1 days before, or after option were not available anymore on my days needed – advise is hurry- limited availability on each flights for this W class- I kept my original days and switched to direct- Newark also unavailable only JFK-

me

they were not able to offer me any flights non stop- no availability around pesach at all. is this a huca or there is what there is? thanks

Kidooo

Wow thanks Dan! Just chaned managed to push my return flight 3 days ahead after calling twice!

Yitzi

I just called and changed our ticket to israel 2-days earlier and direct!

Mendy

Is a 7-hour stopover in Paris long enough to see the sights?

James

Has anyone had any luck with a direct flight to or from LAX? Thanks!

JUST FYI

I wasnt able to change my flights….no availability…

emesmamosh

The Rep, allowed me to change from march 18th to march 16th ONLY because there was no availability on march 17th, i gladly took it.

she also told while this fare was booked in class W it will have the rules of the original the G and N class. it is only being booked in w to open up fares so people can change. seems like we wont be getting 100% miles. any heard anything about this???

Danny

HUCA = Hang up. Call back. Oye. How’d I not know that. It’s not an expression used on Flyertalk. We just say that if you don’t get the answer you want, hang up and call back.

eliott

I booked for the beginning of January i called early morning and they had very little options to switch they were not very accommodating.

Esther

I tried to return to Newark, and they didn’t let. Has anyone had any luck with this?

Adam

Dan, if I have a platinum Amex, will I be able to use the AA airport lounge in EWR? Or will I only be able to use the US Airways one? I just switched to the non-stop flight on El Al and credited my miles to AA.

Andrew

Does anyone know if the ElAl office in NYC will issue changes in person?

Travels

I know someone who got 4 days added to their stay..

Danny

Dan,
Do you have a mileage calculator you recommend so I can compare my choices? Thank you.

Travels

I know someone who got 4 days added to their stay..

best way to get through to elal? cant seem to get through..

abe

how many AA miles do you earn if you go one way non stop & return with a stop?

Laura

Thanks so much!!!!!!!!! Just changed my flights (waited 1/2 hour on hold – not bad) to R/T JFK-TLV. W class. No problem at all. Rep. was very pleasant. Kudos to you Dan. You made so many people so happy…tizkeh l’mitzvot. My husband’s mother is ill and we really wouldn’t have been able to go to see her if not for you.

Dave

Dan – is that mileage per passenger? Im flying with my wife and 2 kids

thanks

daniel

I was able to move my tickets 4 days. I tried 5 but they said 4 was the max. Purim in Israel here I come!

DE

Did anyone have this issue? My return flight leaves in the morning from Tel Aviv, and I wanted to go non-stop leaving early morning (not to waste whole day and can go straight to work), and El Al told me that this deal to upgrade to non-stop is only for flights from Tel Aviv leaving during day and not red eye flights. Should I call again?

joey

@dan i keep trying to call but get disconnected when I route is there something up?

Quick q

Turns out my itinerry was changed basd on email I sent just inquiring,

el al

i keep getting disconnected too! any other solution?

how long did you hold?

on hold for 35 minutes… how long did you guys wait to speak to a rep?

yl

AMAZING!
i was kicking myself for only booking 1 week (sunday till sunday) in the rush (with stop overs it would only be like 5 days).
They let me change it 4 days earlier (wednesday) and one day later [monday](could have gotten more but need to work for a living).
THANK YOU ELAL.
QUESTION how do you go and register aa miles for elal flights? also is there anyway that my aa # can get credit for my kids flights? (i am paying for the tickets after all)?

please let me know

dans

has anyone had any luck correcting a spelling mistake on their ticket?

how long did you hold?

@how long did you hold?: Hung up after an hour because I needed to take a call… Hope it only takes 10 min this time…

sara

@DE: Told me the same thing- and I called several times- so I took the 9am flight

Rochel

just called the Israeli phone number, very short wait, with nice rep willing to change to any flight within a few days that was available, switched from Sunday to Thursday before without a problem.

how long did you hold?

@Rochel: clever – going to step out a buy a calling card

jose

i just changed 3 weeks, was gonna go beginning of jan now going end of the month, thank you elal!

KV

Did anyone book around Pesah? Any luck with getting direct flights around passover?

Rochel

@Rochel: clever – going to step out a buy a calling card@how long did you hold?:

got that idea from the forums, check it out you can hear a lot of other peoples experiences

miriam

thanks to jmansour for his idea to call the Israeli number.
I wasn’t able to change my departing flight earlier but was able to extend my return flight by 3 days.

No Success

I called the Israel line twice and got two different reps. I think they may notate the reservation when you try to change it because the second rep knew what I wanted right away when I called…

I am flying a Wed at 6 PM with a 6 hour stopover in Switzerland. I wanted to fly direct that night on the 11:50 flight. They said they don’t have any seats available that night. I know for a fact that flight is mostly empty (looked on Expedia). They are only offering me Thu at 1:15 from Newark or Tue at 6 PM from Newark.

Any advice? Is it because this a very in demand flight?

I

First time posting; just wanted to say thank you to Dan. I’m sure your site is seeing a tremendous increase in hits since this story broke, and it’s well deserved. I cannot thank you enough for my success story (6 tickets – 2 adults + 4 children for $2.5k and switched them all to RT @ 3am EST). Thank you to all you posters who volunteered info.

Of course, a very special thank you to ElAl – if any Executives @ ElAl read this post, my family and I are forever grateful for this opportunity (haven’t been there in 4-5 yrs – since the economic collapse). I made it clear to every rep I spoke to since this happened how grateful we are and what a Kiddush Hashem this turned out to be. So thank you again – KUDOS @ ELAL!

(Side note for the all the naysayers out there: when this story broke, I was told it MAY be an error, but we called a reputable travel agent who confirmed it was an ElAl incentive at the time. Pricing began @ $360- RT and by the time I finished entering my dates and booked, it went up to almost $450 per ticket, and I figured this wasn’t so far off from the $500- days and must be legit for a fall/winter promo w/ a stopover to fill flights. So yea, I booked it legitimately and would’ve walked away from it had it not been legit – yes; I even told that to the first ElAl agent I spoke to the day after we booked it and they said “no worries” w/ that whole speech. What a pleasure to deal with!

Thank you ALL again. Israel here we come!

A-Yid

Anyone have luck upgrading to non stop at end of December? Said they cant do anything for then…Hang up and try again or is that final?

no luck

@A-Yid:

I have the same problem as you. seems like no seats available….i tried 3 reps.

Pupa Rav

I just changed “one” way to direct, thru calling the Israel number, and they let me “change dates” from Wednesday night, to Motzei Shabbos 11:50pm.
thanks dan!

MoisheP

So I switched to a direct flight from EWR to TLV on Saturday night. However the closest direct return flight is 2 days later or 3 days earlier then my preferred flight date. Will HUCA work for that? Or if there is no availability then there is nothing to do about it.

Binyamin

They charged me $75 per person per leg. And then they called me back later and told me they forgot to tell me about a $15 charge to change the infant ticket as well. Also, they didn’t let me fly back to Newark. So I’m going there from EWR and coming back to JFK.

Netanel

What is the israeli number please if anyone knows?

dee jay

did anyone get a return to ewr? they keep telling me there are no available seats on any of the dates around my ticket time.

Dan

@Mendy:
Probably enough to see a site and grab a bite.

@Dave:
Yes.

@yl:
Everyone needs their own AA number and must collect their own miles.

@Netanel:
Read the post updates.

@dee jay:
Many people have, try the Israeli number.

question

I called and they told me they only have a flight for 3 days earlier and i cant take that, but they said i should call back cuz one mite open up. did anyone else have that?

joe

there was no availability for direct flights around the time im supposed to come back to new york,they said el al only designated certain flights for this ‘promotion’ , any chance they will open more flights later on?

Jacob

Just scored! Leaving 3 days earlier and returning 1 day later 🙂 ELAL = SUCKERS!!

Dan

@joe:
Try the Israeli line?

@Jacob:
Lol, they’re just happy with the extra $150 they made.

SBF

I changed to a direct- they were very stringent in regarding to a day before or after only- I see people were able to change it days earlier and later– what are my chances of them changing it?

jerry

dan
when i went to fly.com it redirected me to travelocity not expedia. i was charged for taxes and fees. is there anyway to get that charge off? whoever booked through expedia didn’t receive that charge.

Mihah

they charged me $15 per lap child. did anyone else have this?

YES

The first rep I called said only thing available non-stop is leaving from Jfk and I decided to take it. When asked about the return the rep said nothing is available. I called a few hours later and the rep said I am able to get a flight coming back 3 days later. I did not want to take to many days off work, so I said I would call back. The 3rd rep said the have a flight available the next day to JFK however, I wanted to come back to EWR. Finally the last time I called the rep said they have a flight a day later to EWR OR JFK and I booked my return flight coming back to EWR.
I did have a few issues such as when I spoke to the 4th rep and I told her they charged me 15.00 for two infants she said I was nto charged that and she does nto have the two infants listed. Make sure when you make changes they have everyone listed.

joe

@mihah: yes i changed one way and they charged me $7.50 for my lap child

levi

Called with my father gold member # got answer within a minute and I was able to change my flight 1 day ahead and my wife’s 5 days ahead, I asked if I can pay the 150$ with elal points but they didn’t allow me

Ben

@YES, we’re all your calls made within a few hours of eachother?

Mendy

Dan,

Just letting you know that I tried to get hold of a NY rep at El Al to no avail. I then called Israel and the rep was the most helpful! No waiting time, added 1 day and direct flight!

Additionally, just changed the direct flight for outbound not inbound flight!

Moshe

Calling here is a waste of time. They hang up on you automatically. Called Israel number and works easily. However they arent offering any flights around Chanukah. Should I keep trying, or it is the way it is with no change. (I also changed seats and Meals which Expedia randomly chose..)

mordy

My elal itinerary has my updated flights yet my expedia itinerary still shows my original flights. Should I be concerned?

Dan

@Moshe:
I’d HUCA a few times.

@mordy:
Nope.

Concerned..

Bought tickets and travelling with a 4.5 year old and 2 year old.. concerned they’ll go insane on the 12 hour flight… thoughts? Also, I’ve been to israel (albeit 13 years ago).. things to do with kids that young? Can’t exactly travel the country with kiddies in tow..

Unconfirmed

Unconfirmed if this is exactly what Rabbi Willig said,
but intresting

You may be interested to know that Rabbi Willig spoke at our shul this shabbos about the El Al ticket incident. He did not give a blanket psak to everyone (but he was asked to give a psak to specific people). He did gather a lot of information, but said that facts are still emerging. He said that 5,000 people bought tickets for ~$400, for a loss of $2mm to El Al. The promotion price was suppossed to be $800, but the thrd-party pricing source mistakenly left off the fuel surcharge. He said it’s unclear who the third party is at this time, whether they are Jewish or not, or who will end up bearing the financial loss. He discussed the thought process behind a potential psak, and I would summarize it as follows (according to my level of understanding). It depends on the buyer’s rationale: if the buyer of the tickets thought that it was a mistake/typo and that they would take advantage of it, then the halacha would be to cancel the transaction. If the buyer was under the impression that it was a legitimate promotion, then according to most halachick analysis the transaction would not need to be canceled, and either the seller or the third party would bear the loss. THEN, he told everyone to not focus on the halacha, rather to the idea (and he cited language from the Be’er Hagola) that history has proven that anyone who makes $ from someone’s mistake, even though they are within their halachik rights, Hashem will take away that gain from that person, but that anyone who gives up $ in order to make a kiddush Hashem, even if they are not required to by halacha, Hashem repays them amply. Rabbi Willig concluded that even though El Al is required by law to honor the prices, it would be best for ticket buyers to voluntarily write a letter to El Al explaining that they don’t want to profit off of anyone’s error and to cancel the transaction if possible. I’m just passing along what I heard in case it is of use to you.

Dan

@Unconfirmed:
If that’s what he said he left out a major factor.
Airlines are a business with huge fixed costs but very little marginal costs. The marginal cost of flying additional people on a plane that would anyway not be sold out is next to nothing.
In this case El Al was able to sell seats for $350-$500 and collect an additional $150 to fly on El Al where there’s little real cost for them.

Sure, some of these people may have paid more money to fly on El Al to Israel, but most people would not have gone to Israel if not for this mistake, thus to categorize it as a loss is patently unfair in my opinion

Benyomin

I changed my return flight to non stop and the class is W
my departure flight is a stop over and is class G
how many miles will I get? does it pay to change my departing flight to non stop?

Dan

@Benyomin:
Use http://gcmap.com/
Plugin your routing. Got G class divide the miles by 2.
For W class you should earn full miles.

Confirmed

Dan,
Why you can get tickets to Istanbul for $500-$600, but tickets to Tel Aviv cost around $1000?

Dan

@Confirmed:
Because people will pay it.

mimi

Dan how many miles would it be for a class W?

stop n london

Dan,

I have a 12 hour stop n london. Do I claim my baggage? Or is it automatically transferred?

Malky

Can someone explain what the talk is about all these miles. Should I open an AA card now to get the miles we have 4 tickets

happy customer

I managed to get a rep on the line, after several atempts. she was able to change 3 different reservations for me, tottaling 9 tickets plus 2 infants. we are leaving a day earlier, coming back 2 days later, and will get 2 free milage tickets later from all this!!! it’s just awesome…… thanks a million dan.

ms

changed one way for 75$ thanks elal

very happy

sent an email last night to elal about changing my return flight. A representative called me early this morning and we changed it to a direct flight leaving much later. She was very accommodating and very pleasant.. this was a gr8 deal..thanks dan !!

Yaakov

Was on hold for an hour finally hung up and emailed 1min later get a call back…

daniel

how do we know what class our ticket is? Where would it say it?

el al

i tried 4 different times to speak with different reps and so far they have no direct flights within the a couple days i want to switch to. What can i do now? is it worth to keep trying?

REB YID

Just called ELAL..
NO Hold times with the Israeli numbers

They are starting to run out of seats on some of the flights. Only allowing certain amount of the Expedia tickets on each flight. They are allowing you to change the date within a couple of days. I got one flight at an ideal time..and one not so ideal..

Abie

Just called the Israel number and told the rep that I will only change to direct if my tickets (2) can be moved for almost 2 weeks. After a brief wait he came back saying that his supervisor has accepted it and was actually changed dates. BTW the wait to speak to a rep was just 2 minutes.

Thats how we do

Just changed 3 tickets Chanuka time flight was for December 8th at night now im leaving December 4th so who ever said you cant change more then a couple days your WRONG 🙂

MA

I just changed my tickets 3 days later leaving NYC – TLV and 6 days later TLV-NYC by calling the Israeli number. They gave me the dates last night when I wasnt sure yet. Today when I was ready to change – I had to call twice to get the right rep. However this rep was only able to get a morning flight for the return date.

sol

so far I have:
1-booked 2 flts. for chanuckah @ 350$
2-Changed the name on 1 of them 4 friend.=free
3-changed return 2 next day direct 75$
4-changed outbound stop over 2 full day 4 me & friend=free
5-outbound aa=full milage+ proiorty booking with plat card
6-return direct full milage

RedWIng19

How is everybody getting through? I have been on hold for a total of over 3 hours without getting through to a person! Tried both 800-223-6700 and 800-766-3525. Any tricks to getting through?

Rebbeh

I just called and they dont have many dates available. So if you wanna change even if your flexible you need to act quickly before its all gone

daniel

my flight is w class. Does anyone know how many aa miles each way that translates to?

Sunny

I was quite surprised after calling the israeli #. I just spoke to one guy there and he was really rude the way he spoke to me. He was yelling at me that there’s only one flight avail. for me which is earlier than my current ticket. When I asked him to get onto the next morning flight at 01:00 he yelled at me again that he just told me what my only option is. I called back and they told me again only one flight, “do you want it? no? ok enjoy your flight”. Anyone think things will change closer to Aug 31?

Confirmed

I wonder if after all the “volunteers” are moved to the non-stop, if EL AL will offer a free switch for the “non-volunteers”.

Dan

@sol:
Care to share how you did a name change?

@RedWIng19:
Israeli line.

@Sunny:
Welcome to Israel!

@Confirmed:
😀

RedWing19

Yes, the Israeli line was answered in a matter of minutes not hours. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make the change I wanted. Still considering the options they did offer…

south

HUCA at its best. Finally got my tickets to and from EWR. Have been trying since Monday. Called Isreali line today and they got me flights a week later than I had booked, but I really didn’t care.

Lap Infant

When I added my baby it was $163 after taxes (which I’m assuming is 10% of current ticket price).

How did everyone get it for $15 per infant?

(I would kind of feel weird asking them to change it because of my cheap ticket, but if I do decide to call…)

jose

my infant was only $104.00

jose

he did not change no name, i spoke to one of the big guys in elal, he said no changing whats so ever.

anon

I think the $15 was the round trip fee to change the ticket to a nonstop flight

daniel

@lap infant— Were you able to add on a unborn baby? I think the $15 was for people who already had infant seats paid for and just changing to direct..

Im trying to add an unborn child and they are not letting me saying i need a name and birth date. Can anyone advise on this?

Aaron

Yesday I called (using the Israel number via Google Voice for just 2 cents a minute) and they told me they couldn’t switch me on the day of my original flight. They could only do the day before on the day flight. I called a total of 3 times yesterday and they always told me the same thing. They said the flight I want isn’t full but that they only alloted a certain number of seats for the cheap tickets to be switched from. I called again first thing this morning and after putting me on hold for a few minutes to ask if he could do it. He said I was able to open up 2 seats. I paid the $75 each and am good to go. He even let me take the Newark flight. Now instead of travelling all day coming home I’ll be able to spend the day in Israel and leave at night on the red eye. Don’t switch to a date/time you don’t want just keep trying by calling the Israel number.

Mihah

@daniel: Just add the child when it is born. The cost for lap child is between $150-$300

Suri

Called the NY office yesterday and after holding 98 minutes, the woman said they are closed. I argued that I initiated the call at 4:35 and it’s not my fault that it took forever to answer. No luck with them. I called Israel twice at 2Am EST and was told no flight available on the day I want or the day before. I called NY at 9AM and was told the same. She said keep calling since they may add seats. After holding for another hour this afternoon in the NY office, I got disconnected. I sent an email, no reply. Any ideas??

Sarah

I added a lap child today- $112.00

KV

What’s the latest time we can call ElAl in the evening? I only get home after 6 but i think they are already closed then and only emergency el al line is open

DanR

Dan, is there any chance in heaven that I could purchase four tickets to Israel for next year ? I missed the incredible deal, although I am having trouble trying to comprehend all the changes, but who knows maybe someone over purchased and wants to sent a family of 4 to the Holy Land ! Not for free of course……just not over the top and legit.

Fingers and toes crossed for luck !! 🙂

Ben

Called yesterday and they said no inbound direct flights available around the dates I had. Called again today and they had 1 day later, so I took it. After giving my cc info and everything was done the rep called me back about 10 minutes later to offer me a direct flight on the date I originally had, which was clutch bc I really couldn’t miss another day of work but was willing to do it for the direct flight. She was so nice. Thanks Alona! HUCA really works!

ddawg

@sol: howd you change the name?

Confirmed

@DanR: Wow! in you planet airlines are much nicer. In planet earth, airlines don’t allow you to to trade tickets with another person. Sorry

elal fan

Just called to change my ticket from a Wednesday morning to the following sunday night 12:35am direct flight to newark.

changed with no hassles!!

Suri

@Dan I finally got through today and was told all seats in my class are sold out. Do you think Elal will open up more seats? Anything I can do to change my flight?

Dan

@Suri:
Call the Israeli number and be flexible on dates.

Suri

@Dan I called there yesterday and they say the same thing as the NY #. I am looking to change the TLV–>JFK portion only. No seats available, only if I want to leave 3 days earlier or 4 days later, neither of which work. There are 4 of us traveling.

chana b

just spoke to a rep in isreal changed both ways to direct for my two tickets changed to a leaving a day earlier and coming back a day later. also added my infant. the rep was extremely helpful and patient!! looking forward thanks so much dan!

Aaron

@Suri: Suri- Keep trying. They told me that 4 times on the 5th call the person put on hold (like the previous agents did) and then came back and said he opened up seats for me. I got the date I wanted and the airport (Newark). Keep trying. You have until the end of the month. If the flight is for the winter the flights are no where near full yet.

Suri

@Aaron I called again today and was told the flight I want is full. There are 4 flights that day, and none are availbale. I offered to upgrade and they told me it wasn’t possible. Makes no sense since it’s a winter flight. I asked if I can switch to a connecting flight and was offered a stop in London for an additional $650 per ticket.
Did anyone have luck switching their ticket to JFK on 1/27?

Josh

Has anyone contacted expedia to see how changing the tickets affects their insurance?

EL AL

i had flights in november, i tried in the past 4 days over ten times and they kept telling me no flights available to change to around the dates i wanted. finally this morning they had for all 3 tickets openings for the dates i wanted!! way to go HUCA!!!!

nanch

@Josh
Expedia told me that as long the itinerary number isnt changed the flight insurance stays active.

Aaron

@Suri: Keep trying! Those flights aren’t full! They are just only allowing a certain number of the cheap tickets on the flights. I’d keep calling once a day until you get it.

Szmbialy

Expedia just canceled the firs part of my flight what do I do

Check Seat Location & Glatt Meals

Just rebooked my direct flight and checked the seat locations I was given by the El Al agent on seatguru.com. I saw that my seat was located on the worst row, the back row, with little recline and near washrooms (busy, crowded and noisy at times). Went to El Al website, in-putted my booking number and last name, and changed my seat to a better seat location at no cost and without telephoning and waiting. Can also book Glatt Kosher meals (“Strictly Kosher”)on El Al’s website. Good idea to have a seat map from seatguru.com or other sites when booking your seats to ensure you get the better seat rows, locations, etc.

Business Class on Changed Flights????

I purchased 2 tickets leaving the day before Presidents Day and returning the day after Purim. I called and they were happy to change my flight to leave Saturday Night instead of the Sunday and return on the Monday AM non-stop. Now here is my question. I got a confirmation from Expedia who I originally purchased the ticket from. And it shows my original flight as cancelled and the new NON-Stop flights having been booked in Business Class…. However, when I tried going onto Elal to select a seat. It would allow me to only select economy. Do you think this is an error on Expedias’ side?

Mordy

@Business Class on Changed Flights????

Same thing happened to me when I got my updated itinerary. Last thing I want to do is call right now but what are the chances of this mistake on top of the original?

"Business Seats"

My rebooked seat confirmation also noted “Business Seats”. When I checked the seat locations on http://www.seatguru.com I saw they were economy seats. I believe this is how El Al is booking them under this code or format, but it doesn’t mean it is an upgrade to business class seats, as the seat location is not in the business class area. As well, I booked with Hotwire and was told there is a delay between El Al changes and Hotwire finding-out about the changes and then forwarding a revised Hotwire confirmation. So, the purchased site will only forward you a revised confirmation after it receives notice from El Al.

Allen

How do you register with El Al to get AA miles? The El Al web site just allows for Matmid membership number.

Also, how can I tell what class the ticket is? My fare basis says NLAUSA and endorsements says M

Nic

@Szmbialy
Are u flying Nov 22 to ZRH?

solomon

@sol: how did you switch a name on elal ticket

Hadassah

I just realized that when my husband booked our tickets he booked my married name when my passport has my maiden name on it Ive read all the posts about no name changes what do i do????

Dan

@Hadassah:
Bring proof of your old name and name change.

Hadassah

drivers license with maiden name and married license would suffice you think? thanks !

Hadassah

I just got this email from elal “RESERVATIONS CAN NOT BE CHANGED AFTER IT WAS TICKETS ARE ISSUEDYOU CAN CANCELL UNTILL 31AUG FOR FULL REFUNDAND MAKE A NEW RESERVATIONS AT THE PRESENT RATE WITH THE CORRECT NAME” should i call expedia instead? or just show up at the airport ?

Aaron

@Hadassah: Just change you name on your passport. If you never changed your name on SS card. Do that first. You’ll need your marriage certificate to do that. After you changed your SS card you can amend / renew your passport with your new name.

chavie

I changed four tickets non stop only one way. They still have yet to charge my credit card the$300. Does anyone else have this.

itzy

is anyone gonna buy my 11000 miles????

sammy

Switched two tickets to direct flights and they allowed me to switch the dates to a full month earlier! HUCA magic!!

sky121

@Hadassah: I’d call ELAL and try to add a hyphenated name and bring your marriage certificate. You’ll be fine.

Abe Rose

El Al just called me that the offer of $75 per way for direct flights is still going on until Sept. 14 and also they are more flexible with moving dates. Looks like they really want you to switch to direct flights.

loveisrael

is a W fare on EL AL upgradeable ?

Shulem

I am leaving this motzai Shobbot and want to reschedule because of the matzav, I already changed it to direct flights and they want me to pay $220.00 each ticket and pay a regular fare to change. Any help?

sarah

I’m trying to adjust my flight time and they want me to pay the same penalty fee. I too am looking for suggestions.

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