WOW! El Al Adding Present Location Zmanim To The 787 Entertainment System!

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Judaism has specific rules for times and directions for the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers. And like everything in Judaism, there are endless opinions about when those times are. I spent much of the time before the Antarctica cruise studying these rules with experts and preparing for the mind-boggling implications of when to pray and even when Shabbos would fall out based on where we might be cruising at the time.

In-flight prayer times, or zmanim, are a major conundrum as you never know where you will be at what time. Chai Tables offers in-flight prayer times based on flights taking the Great Circle routing, but planes often don’t take the most direct routing. That’s especially true for flights since Russia closed off their airspace.

MyZmanim’s in-flight approach looks at recent routings, but again, past results don’t guarantee future performance.

A few months ago I spoke to my son’s class about those implications and how it would affect Sefiras Ha’omer and Shavuos based on the path of the flight. That came after this fascinating DDF thread on the topic and comparing Chai Tables with MyZmanim.

DDF member yandmk sent me some pictures of zmanim, including prayer times and direction, from the entertainment system on El Al’s 787s. How awesome is this?!?

The system is offered in both English and Hebrew:

 

You can also change from current location to other cities:

 

I am curious to see if they’re using the Great Circle to find the direction to Jerusalem, as was preferred by the Alter Rebbe, or the direct compass route. It would be great if there was a way to toggle between both opinions!

Either way, this solves a huge pain point for in-flight prayer times and directions.

It’s something that Arabic airlines also offer, except they pray 5 times a day and towards Mecca.

On Emirates:

 

I reached out to El Al for comment, and they said that the system is still in beta testing, which is why they haven’t made an official announcement about this feature. They said that they are still working out some minor tweaks, but they are thrilled to offer this service and that there will be other new additions coming to keep an eye out for.

They also said that for now it will just be loaded on their 787s, but based on customer feedback, that may be expanded fleet-wide.

Kudos to El Al for adding this helpful feature!

What other features would you like to see El Al add to their entertainment system?

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34 Comments On "WOW! El Al Adding Present Location Zmanim To The 787 Entertainment System!"

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

AsherO

Cool but can we be sure it’ll be real-time and won’t the people who care most get hung up on which Shitta they do/don’t follow?

Cb

Economy Beds ala new zealand air

AAA

I saw this feature on my Elal flight 3 weeks ago, but it wasn’t working.

I love kleenex

It’s in beta. Read the post nu

Avi

Just flew with them this week,the zmanim were off by 2 hrs.

yosefsv

Same here. I flew with this week, and it was for sure not accurate.

Zach

Now I want to know which library they’re using (such as KosherJava) 🙂

elikay

It says on the screen Kosherjava

Zach

I didn’t see that on my phone screen (at first, now I do). That’s awesome to see!

Elisheva

I’d like to see them fly to Toronto 🙁

I love kleenex

That’s irrelevant to the zmanim

Yehudaa

I’m not sure I’d want to rely on beta zmanim. I’ll wait 🙂

Dan\'s the man

Don’t wait too long to daven otherwise you’ll for sure miss the zman…. 🙂

DBS

Lakewood Daf Yomi

MDY

Stefansky! 😉

Jordan Wendle

Cool. This IS news worthy! Thank you Dan!

Canadian

Wait till Ynet and the other anti-dat’s pick this up, I wouldn’t celebrate yer.

Nathan

This could be helpful to those flying on fast days to know exactly when it starts and ends.

sygdet

Interesting blog from Kosher Java on this topic:
https://kosherjava.com/2019/10/02/inflight-zmanim-calculations-why-so-complex/

It seems that ELAL is using the Kosher Java API. Look at the pictures.

DZ the Telzer

Here is an article on KosherJava.com discussing Zmanim on the plane.

https://kosherjava.com/2019/10/02/inflight-zmanim-calculations-why-so-complex/

Chevron

Funny that you posted this I’m curious what happens on Muslim long haul flights? Where do they bow?

Work-for-ur-muny

I’m waiting for when they’ll serve warm beer in foam cups, lukewarm coffee in a becher, with onion-garlic flavored chocolate delicacies. Only then may the backlash be strong enough to initiate some meaningful change.

Joe

Dan what is this they give you a free flight and you do unlimited advertising for them

Jack out of the Box

Elal unfortunately has flights which in summertime depart the gate as early as 2 minutes after Shabbos (standard time – not 72-minute-type shitas) if the don’t by chance leave early. Those flights are boarding on Shabbos. So they’re sitting on the plane tinkering with the new entertainment system and they see “End of Shabbos in 30 minutes”. As the plane is pulling away from the gate the captain announces “For those who are interested, havdala will performed in the main cabin right after the safety instructions.”
I was sure they would do better than that when bought by Rozenberg.

JJS

blah, blah blah. Nonsense.

Moshe

Please give an example of the flight schedule you’re referring to.

Jack out of the Box

https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=627.msg2597077#msg2597077
See schedules also for LHR-TLV and CDG-TLV on Saturday nights in June/July.

Y

Kudos to El Al

AG

Yes it works, used it last night.
thank you

dyb

i just flew and it was way off. for example 20 minutes after takeoff it said local time was 3 hours before tel aviv . the whole way it was clearly off.it doesn’t say on the screen that its in testing mode which can cause people to make mistakes,hopefully it will improve with time.

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