El Al Is Testing Out Sale Fares That Are Only Valid For Friday Flights

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El Al doesn’t operate flights on Shabbos, but they do operate flights that land close to Shabbos and take off shortly after Shabbos.

El Al had a number of high profile diversions in 2018 that I wrote about:

If you do observe Shabbos, hopefully you know the risks of Friday arrivals on El Al. But even if you don’t observe Shabbos, you probably know by now that you should avoid Friday El Al flights as these are the most likely to be diverted. They aren’t diverted because of protesting Ultra-Orthodox Jews as some media outlets would have you believe, as those Jews would have preferred to exit the flight before it departed. They’re diverted because El Al is not allowed to operate passenger flights on Shabbos.

El Al always prefers to get the plane back to Israel on Shabbos so that it can operate the return flight from Israel after Shabbos. That’s why they don’t let passengers off the plane even after lengthy delays on the tarmac as they would rather divert to Athens and then ferry the plane back empty to Israel on Shabbos so that they don’t need to cancel the Saturday night flight from Tel Aviv.

However I’ve never noticed El Al sale fares that are only valid for Friday travel until today.

A reader tipped us off to a $379 bargain from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg:


As I was researching valid dates I noticed that the sale appeared to only be valid for Friday departures from Tel Aviv, arriving into Johannesburg on Friday afternoon:


And sure enough, Expert Flyer confirms that the sale is only valid for Friday departures:


I don’t see any other El Al sale fares that have a Friday restriction, but perhaps that’s how El Al plans to fill seats on more of these risky flights in the future?

It might look like a deal, but as Big Gedalia Goomber would say…

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30 Comments On "El Al Is Testing Out Sale Fares That Are Only Valid For Friday Flights"

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Yisroel Chai

Lol El AL probably hates you


Why would they hate him? There are plenty of Orthodox Jews who appear comfortable to take flights with the expected landing time 2-3 hours before candle-lighting. Some have been burned in the past, and promised they won’t fly that Friday itinerary again while others would be glad to take additional risks in the future. Non-Orthodox travelers (non-sabbath observant) are likely fine landing 10 minutes before candle-lighting.


El Al promise to land on time
If it’s the weather than I understand but if the crew is late,it’s their fault.

Don\'t travel on Friday!

Promises don’t go very far, even with natural causes – like weather. It’s up to the customer to make sure to account for any reasonably likely scenario that would involve chilul Shabbos.


El Al’s idea of Purim humor?


I actually LOL’ed thinking this was a Purim joke
the Sat nite return leaves JNB @945 which is very tight


I think it’s a direct insult to elal that they can’t sell seats on such flights


Dan, awaiting your article about the new Israel-Chicago routes!


Why would you not publish the interview? You don’t owe ELAL anything….

Joy Travel

Watchout. This fare does NOT include bags as ELAL has pulled free bags on this route!


They probably don’t want to risk being responsible for people carrying on Shabbos!


I was on that flight and if the crew would come on time like all the passengers and not stay in their hotel because of their ‘union “agreement we would land on time at least 4:30 hours before Shabbat.


its high time (pun intended) that some charedim step up to the plate and start an airline to tel aviv that will
A)treat its customers the way they should be treated not taken for granted (which el-al doesnt do)
B)be sensitive to the needs of the charedi public when it comes to shabbos (which EL-AL is at best grossly negligent or ignores completely )
C)listen to complaints and try adjusting accordingly (again when looking at el-als record the customer is always wrong ,always at fault,customers always act obnoxious its never the crews fault)
we each have had our experiences with EL-AL whether when it comes to davening or congregating near the galleys (of course according to halacha you can daven in your seat) i find it puzzling that UNITED over all is much more sensitive and understanding towards religion then ELAL is
UNTIL EL-AL FEELS THE HEAT = $$$$ THEY WONT CHANGE money talks (** walks)
as someone whos involved in the industry the #’s are their passenger wise and business wise their is room for another airline with direct daily service to tel-aviv
many business class passengers are very unhappy with the fish tail narrow seating on the new dreamliner so another airline with more comfortable seats would perhaps sifon off
business class passengers as well


That endeavor was tried out in the past, the frum airline was called “Tower Air”. Needless to say, it had failed….


Unfortunately they did not keep Shabbat.


The Charedi public could opt to follow Halacha and not embark on a journey so close to shabbos. Sorry, anyone who boards a plane scheduled to arrive after Chatzos on Friday does so at their own risk in violation of Halacha.

In the Athens case, all the passengers consciously boarded that flight after the 1st delay to arrive 2 hours before shabbos best-case scenario. Any of them could have declined to board and spend shabbos in NY.


Many drum passengers journey this flight. It usually arrives a few hours before Shabbos. You can also take the Gautrain for $10 direct into Sandton CBD or to Rosebank where you’ll be much closer to any Jewish neighborhoods avoiding Friday tra. Both options are around 15 minutes express on a comfortable train ride. There’s a Chabad House across the Sandton station where most world-class hotels are situated as well.

Big Gedalia Goomber???

I always thought his name was “Goomberg”! Unless that’s just the Uncle Moishy version. I have a son with that name, and this song is everyone’s first reaction to hearing his name 🙂