Update: Commenters below share their experiences on Privilege Style, which range from mediocre to horrific. The most worrying one is from this commenter who wasn’t allowed to use their FAA approved carseat during takeoff and landing, a clear violation of FAA policy.
While some people have tried to be accommodated on an El Al operated flight and been refused, others have been able to be moved to another flight, so definitely keep trying until you get an El Al rep wiling to move you.
The OU has also released the following statement:
“The El-Al meals from New York are certified in the commissary only, but due to the way they are served, it is recommended to order a Regal (Mehadrin) Meal. The Orthodox Union does not certify the planes. This applies both to El-Al and Privilege Style operated planes.”
Originally posted on 1/12:
Due to “operational constraints” El Al has Spanish airline “Privilege Style” flying and operating a number of El Al flights between the US and Tel Aviv. That means you fly on a Privilege Style plane operated by Privilege Style flight attendants and pilots who are assisted by some El Al personnel. In industry terms this is called a “wet-lease”.
El Al had been using these planes to fly to select cities in Europe this past summer.
El Al says they are notifying passengers via SMS if they are going to fly on Privilege Style instead of El Al.
Privilege Style planes do not have premium economy seating, so you’ll have to request a refund if you paid for that.
If you do normally eat the regular Rabanut kosher meal on El Al, I’d definitely opt for the mehadrin meal if you’re flying on these flights. Well, I’d recommend that even on El Al aircraft as I’ve heard that the crew uses the ovens for their own food, but that definitely applies for Privilege Style flights.
El Al used to have a page on their site about this here, but they have taken down the page. Luckily Google has a long memory and you can view the page here.
Here is a list of upcoming 767 flights between Boston and Tel Aviv that will be operated by Privilege Style. The Privilege Style 767 is a former LOT Polish aircraft that was retired by them a few years ago. It has no seatback entertainment.
And here is a list of upcoming 777 flights between JFK or Newark and Tel Aviv that will be operated by Privilege Style. The Privilege Style 777 is a former Asiana aircraft.
Those lists are subject to change, so other flights may be impacted as well.
Have you been on Privilege Style flight? Let us know how it went in the comments!