El Al’s London King David Lounge Has Closed And Is Now A Priority Pass Art And Lounge; Is Paris Next?

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El Al’s King David Lounges are one of their competitive advantages. In Tel Aviv the only other lounge option are the Dan Lounges, which are underwhelming and often overcrowded. United has long wanted to open their own lounge in Tel Aviv, but Dan Hotels appears to have lounge exclusivity there aside from the King David Lounge. Priority Pass lounge membership only works at the Dan Lounge, you’ll need to be flying El Al business class or have status for access to the King David lounge.

On our trip to Israel last month I skipped the Dan Lounge and went right for the Schmoozy Bar. You can access that with the Priority Pass membership that comes with cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve. I picked up some free bottles of wine to go while I was there thanks to my Priority Pass cards:

 

El Al is coming under increased competitive pressure in London. Virgin Atlantic begins flying the route starting on 9/25 using a daily A330. British Airways begins flying their new A350 business class suites starting 12/1. On the other end of the spectrum they are facing competition from low cost carriers like Arkia, EasyJet, and Wizz Air.

While some airlines beef up on their offerings in response to competitive pressure, El Al is retreating by closing their King David Lounge in London last week. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate their own lounges with excellent Hermolis kosher meals while El Al will be the only carrier flying the premium Heathrow-Tel Aviv route without their own branded lounge.

Art and Lounge runs a lounge in Newark that is available to El Al business class passengers and Priority Pass cardholders and they are now operating the old King David lounge in London.

I wrote about the Art & Lounge in Newark Airport in my Svalbard trip report.

It’s a decent lounge option and is great news for Priority Pass cardholders as it means there’s another lounge option with kosher food options. However it’s certainly a step down from a King David lounge.

The Art & Lounge site also mentions that a Paris lounge is coming soon. Does that mean that the King David lounge in Paris will also be closing and giving over its space to Art & Lounge? Will El Al contract out all of their lounges outside of Tel Aviv to Art & Lounge?

Have you been to an Art & Lounge? What do you think of them replacing King David lounges?

HT: HFP

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33 Comments On "El Al’s London King David Lounge Has Closed And Is Now A Priority Pass Art And Lounge; Is Paris Next?"

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Shaul Yaakov Morrison

Can’t see JFK going away but as a PP card holder, I’d appreciate more options on JFK T4.

Jake

Where is the Schmoozy bar in TLV?

Glushtygiz

Airside abt 50 feet into C gates area I believe

Jeff

Just curious what you did with the free bottles of wine/water. They don’t allow you to bring any liquids on flights from TLV to US, even id you got them after security….

shimino1

And how do they know that you have liquids?

Dianey

They can search at the gate

Harry

Whilst it takes a lot to get me to fly El Al anywhere even in Business, their King David lounges are one definite plus. I guess even BA saw that when they negotiated sole use of one of the Dan lounges in Ben Gurion. That lounge is far calmer and better stocked with food and drink than the disasterous main Dan Lounge or even it’s newer Business and First only lounge, i.e. no Priority Pass entry. What on Earth is El Al thinking in London? A new competitor that is a class airline, Virgin Atlantic, and new equipment in BA Club on the Airbus 350, and now they drop their own KD lounge? I guess El Al thinking which is why they are generally such a third rate airline!

moe8555

The Dan+ lounge has been closed for months…

Carl Sherer

They are supposed to take over the new one at the E gates. I have not been able to get in there. For a while, I thought it was because the E Gates were closed, because the asphalt collapsed on a Friday afternoon on a Cathay flight. But I still have not seen it open. Last Sunday, I took off from the E Gates, and they told me I could only use the Dan lounges at B&C.

Carl Sherer

When can you get into the Dan Lounge at Ben Gurion E gates? I fly BA every month, have Emerald status (from AA) and have never been able to get in there in the morning.

LHR

Recently I visited the Lounge in LHR several times and wasn’t able to get the Kosher Food only in in the First class Lounge, anyone with the same experience?

Dianey

Whichh lounge?

LHR

BA in Terminal 5a and 5b

Eric Gurevitz

I was just in the smaller terminal 5 ba lounge. No problem getting the parve hotdog sandwich and soup both times I was there.

Josh

Dan, how do you know that Art & Lounge in London will offer kosher food?

Jo Ann FRIEDMAN

Art and Lounge in Newark would not give is kosher food as we were there on Priority Pass

Fattal lounge

New Airport Lounge to Let You Land at Ben Gurion in Luxury
The new facility operated by Fattal hotels will cost up to $395 per passenger and allow executives to conduct business meetings without traveling to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem

Fattal lounge

Called Fattal private terminal

Tavster

Capacity will be an issue before a LY flight. The KD lounge was already crazy packed with just LY J, premium and status. I’m assuming they would cap PP before the LY flights.

Definitely sad news. I used to use a lot and the food had become high quality, imho

Jake

Curious: How do you bring the wine bottles on board if there’s a second security as delta and others have one at tlv?

Matovu

What ? You never bought anything in Duty Free In TLV ?

richie

When u buy something from Duty Free u get a Duty Free bag.

ryan

Does Elal premium economy get you into the King David lounges?

What about premium checkin?

Dianey

Kind David lounge – no
Premium check-in – yes

MZB

You won’t be able to access Art & Lounge with priority pass during the times of the Elal flights, in other words you won’t be able to access the kosher food with a priority pass. Elal have 2 flights a day from LHR, at 15:20 & 22:20. Note that on priority pass website it says the lounge is closed between 11:00-15:00 and closed after 18:00. I’m assuming they’ve given exclusive use of the lounge to Elal for their flights

dave

so amex cards with gold status will give you now access to all these art lounges?
why does Dan only mention chase sapphire reserve?

rino

Amex cards won’t give you access to Shmoozy Bar.

Nate nate

Did you use multiple PP memberships in your name, presumably from different credit cards?

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