In December I reported that United was temporarily suspending flights between Chicago and Washington DC-Tel Aviv.
United has extended the suspension of those routes through at least April 1st.
In January, United operated 10 weekly flights between Newark and Tel Aviv, with the earlier flight 84/85 only operating 3 days a week.
In February, that’s being reduced to just 1 daily flight once Ben Gurion reopens, with flight 84/85 suspended through at least March 6th. If you were booked on those flights you can be moved to flight 90/91 or you can request a full refund.
Starting on March 7th through March 31st, United will operate 10-11 weekly flights, with flight 84/85 operating on select dates only.
United will continue operating flight 90 from Newark to Tel Aviv at 8:25pm instead of 10:55pm through March 26th, after which it will revert to the later time.
United will also reduce flights between San Francisco and Tel Aviv from daily to 3 per week through March 31st.
In short, United will operate 13-14 weekly flights to Tel Aviv instead of their planned 27 weekly flights. With Israel’s borders remaining closed to foreign nationals through at least March 1st and with the airport currently closed, that’s not much of a surprise.
United is also changing the schedule of their Chicago-Tel Aviv service.
Originally they flew on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from Chicago to Tel Aviv, departing at 6:45pm and arriving at 2pm the next day. That meant Sabbath observant Jews were only able to fly the route on Mondays. The return flight was on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
The reason for that schedule was that United didn’t think it would make sense to fly from both Chicago and Washington DC to Tel Aviv on the same days of the week. That’s because both flights only operated 3 days per week and needed to pickup additional connecting passenger feed in order to turn a profit. However, I mentioned last September that United would be open to changing the schedule and that’s exactly what United is doing going forward.
Starting in April, United will fly from Chicago to Tel Aviv on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday, meaning that Sabbath observant Jews can now take the flight on Sunday or Tuesday. The return flight from Tel Aviv to Chicago will now operate on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so that Sabbath observant Jews can take any of those flights.
If you were previously booked on nonstop Chicago flights, you can call United to change your dates or request a refund.
The Washington DC to Tel Aviv schedule in April continues to operate on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday with Tel Aviv to Washington DC on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday.
Of course if Israel remains closed, those flights are unlikely to operate.
United is the only airline in the world that has maintained daily service (other than during the current airport closure) to Tel Aviv during this pandemic. They even changed their post-Yom Kippur flight time when a DansDeals reader requested them to do so.
Were you booked on any of these cancelled flights? What do you think of United’s new Chicago-Tel Aviv flight schedule?