Have You Purchased An El Al Flight And Wound Up On A Privilege Style Airplane?

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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!

HT: MarktMan, via DDF

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113 Comments On "Have You Purchased An El Al Flight And Wound Up On A Privilege Style Airplane?"

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High end hobo

How do the J products compare? Anything decent thats better than LYs current pain in the rear end ‘bed-like’ seats?

Yehuda

I had this situation with Elal and I complained to the dot that Elal wouldn’t change my flight even though I booked a Elal flight unless I paid the difference and this is the response that Elal sent to me today. It doesn’t make any sense what they’re trying to say but here goes

Dear Mrs. ****

Your inquiry has been transferred to El Al’s customer relations department.
As a result of an increased activity and in an attempt to address demands, some of our flights from New York, including flight LY002 on the 11th of January were operated by the Spanish carrier, Privilege Style. This flight was operated by a 767-300 aircraft.

Under the general terms of carriage, aircraft leasing is a common practice in the airline industry and is designed to ensure that we fulfill our obligations to the passengers and bring them to their final destination, especially during the busy winter season.

However, during this time period we are returning to our typical format of El Al flights from and to New York. Your current flight of LY002 on the 11th of January will be operated by El Al.

If you have any further inquiries or questions, our sales and service representatives at 1800-223-6700 (24 hours, 7 days) will be pleased to assist in any matter.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your continued patronage and we wish you a pleasant flight.

Yours sincerely,
Jeffrey Lozon – Customer Relations
Fax: 972-3-7602233
Email: customer@elal.co.il
EL-AL ISRAEL AIRLINES LTD

Rich

By privilege do you mean a seat that has legroom enough for someone over 5 feet tall, or do you mean sitting next to some overbearing black hatter who wakes you up to make the minyan?

Flying

I am flying on one of these flights and they changed my reserved seat so that my family will not be seated together. ElAl said they can’t fix it and I should take care of it when I get to the airport. You should definitely check with them.

DAS

i noticed this on the elal site when booking a ticket recently.
What is the business class seat on these flights on 777?

Harry

I came in wilh it yesterday on the 9:40am flight TLV/JFK
It was horrible. Just stay away from Elal and thats it.

Dan

@Harry:
More details please!

hvaces42

My daughters friend flew it to EWR last week. She said ot was horrible…and she’s Israeli, with a much higher tolerance level for discomfort. She said that they spoke no Hebrew AND no English.

DF

Flying JFK to TLV 1/20 returning 1/31. Looks like I’m good, but thanks for scaring me!

Anonymous

i see my mother in law will be on this on both directions.

chff

They changed back to their own planes today for the rest of Jan to NYC

Chaim

Flew on it to JFK, worst flight of my life. Never touching El Al again.

David

@chff:
What is your source for that?

Son in law

@anonymous:
Mother in laws from around the world will be assuming that their son in law wrote that post.maybe post your name so that only your mother in law will be upset.
Concerned (and overwhelmed) son in law

Moshe

I just flew out of Newark on Saturday night. Our 10:30 Pm departure did not take off until after 1 Am. We departed the gate on time, but sat and sat and sat and then returned to the gate. The pilot announced that we were going back for some “modifications”. What the heck is “modifications”? I tried looking up “modifications” on my English/Spanish dictionary but couldn’t find anything. Eventually we were notified that the “reversal” was not working and we would have to wait until it was repaired. On the bright side, there is definitely more leg room than standard EL AL and the seat pitch is at least 1″-2″ more. The flight crew tried to be helpful to the best of their ability. They were very polite and even with the language barrier came across friendly and helpful. I would say, there is no reason to shy away from them.

Black Hatter

@Rich: May I suggest a good therapist to help you overcome your fear of us.

JayJ

I flew with them 1/11. The plane was old school. No under seat chargers and no videos. They did not have HALF the Kosher meals ordered, so I’m not sure if ordering the Special Kosher will help you. Landing was VERY scary. We landed first on the right wheel, then left wheel, then right wheel AGAIN, until we finally touched down. They were courteous, but it did not make up for the other uncomforts.

sk

I just flew on that flight – what would you expect from an airline with a name like privelege air…..

The flight was one big disaster:

The crew did not know what to expect and were bombarded with drink requests to the point that I overheard the Israeli crew member telling them to stop, its over 2 hours and they need to get the meals going….

We were given an extra seat (a manager had blocked one for us in return for a mistake they made on the way to TLV) and the crew gave it to someone who was sitting next to someone “who stank”

The plane is old – bad video systems many of them broken or unclear screens, no outlets, no premium economy (some people paid for it and were upset about that)

Bathrooms were not cleaned and got really nasty

The crew were confused in general, interesting that they didnt have israelis as many people were asking for things in Hebrew which they didnt understand.

We left late and didnt make up the time, could be wrong but I think with the newer planes they are able to make up time when they are delayed

Upon landing before even stopping half the people were getting their luggage and crowding the front, the crew were so overwhelmed they didnt even stop them (annoying as we had seats in the front and didnt enjoy the benefit of getting off quickly)

Kiruv

Thank you for the information about the kosher food many times I’ve been on connecting flights through Europe and many not yet frum Israelis were not aware they had to order kosher on the non elal flight

Motty

I have a ticket for me and my wife for 1/16/2016 10:30 from Newark, I was originally a elal flight changed to this privilege so I quickly payed for the exit seats, now after this post I checked online my reservations and to my excitement see that it’s back to a elal flight, I called elal and they requested a refund for me and I bought the economy plus seats, but I was told by elal that it might still change so all I can do is hope for the best

Issamar Ginzberg

I was booked on a Finnair flight which was changed to a “Privilege Style” flight… and Finnair offered me a free rerouting with any OneWorld carrier or a refund. (I took a reroute with BA)

Is there any rule governing an equipment change?

Anguished

Got onto this flight and was really surprised and disappointed
The crew didn’t speak English, Hebrew, or even Spanish. There wasn’t a soul on the flight who knew what they were saying. Every time a flight attendant spoke everyone just nodded along in bewilderment not knowing what to say.

the bathrooms were horrific. Either the toilets were broken or everyone on the flight decided not to flush

There were nail clippings littering the floor, I don’t know why

No entertainment or power outlets

Samuel Svarc

Issamar,

I’m just so excited to see your name that I had to post. Whatever happened with that desktop?

IYM

I flew Privilege Style from BOS>TLV on 12/28 and TLV>BOS on 1/10. It’s definitely not a ‘luxury’ plane (no personal screens, no wifi, no video streaming that El Al promised on my reservation, no power/USB plugs, in fact- there were even ashtrays on the armrests!!). I was also very upset that there were no Mehadrin Kosher options for the BOS>TLV leg of the flight. The only choices were ‘Regular Meal’ (which was ‘kosher’ but had no hechsher) and Hindu Vegeterian. (However, some other frum people somehow arranged to get meals from MK thru their travel agent’s arrangements with El Al…).

Another majorly annoying thing was the fact that I bought tickets waaaay in advance (I’m not your traditional DDFer) in order to reserve seats ideal for our group of 8. The plane change was done without notice and I was forced to scramble for not-such-ideal seating arrangements.

However, the Spanish stewardesses were very nice and helpful (especially the short man with a trimmed beard). There is MAJOR exaggeration going on here about them not understanding English. They weren’t all fluent in English, but they managed just fine…

BTW- seat 36C is broken and doesn’t recline at all…

SIL

Thanks Dan, just booked my mother-in-law on one of the Boston-Tel Aviv Privilege flights.

chff

@david – In the GDS I still see Privilege Style EWR-TLV for Jan 13 but the rest of Jan is regular Elal

chaikel

I smell a price mistake on B767s in the near future

Anonymous

@Moshe: I too was on the same flight and agree wholeheartedly with the above .

Yossi

I flew them in the summer from London to Tel Aviv when i had booked with El Al. I was flying with my wife and daughter but we went Business Class which was very pleasant and the staff were very polite and helpful. Correct it didn’t have the latest entertainment system but we survived it! 😉

Anonymous

@chff: it will change back to “privilege style” tomorrow

anonymous

I flew from Tel Aviv to Boston on a Privilege Style airplane. The seats were bigger and more comfortable than the seats on a El Al plane. The restrooms were clean and I received both of my strictly kosher meals without having any problems. The staff was polite and professional and spoke English fluently, although they weren’t as good as the El Al staff. The plane was old and was lacking entertainment, but overall, it was a pleasant flight.

Harry

@Dan:
The plane is over 30 years old. The seats in business are fabric only reclines 160 degree, My friends seat didn’t recline at all. but couldn’t do anything because he upgraded at checkin for $800, Food carts were broken it fell down on a business seat and spilled coffee on a passenger.
Bottom line Elal i always hated, but took them at no choice and iyh never again. I fly about 200k miles a year not having problems with any airline besides LY,
Hatzlucha

josh

Just flew with them in & out in 2 days from ewr to tlv in a 777-200. The staff was mostly their own with 2 elal attendants attached to the crew. It was a very pleasant flight with a courteous staff. I even received the same crew heading back! They where a delight to deal with the entire flight despite the language barrier. Would fly privilege charter any time in the future with no qualms. The only thing is 1 meal they where short on the strictly kosher meal(happens pleanty on elal also).

Hershel

The problem is not the wet lease it is that El Al are too mean to wet lease a decent plane or planes which would cost them more. That coupled with the fact that they will not let their passengers change flights is just typical of the arrogant way Israelis do business. Contrast that with the way Finnair dealt with a similar situation. El Al trade on the “security situation” to provide an inferior product at high prices. I am flying Tel Aviv to London tomorrow with BA. There you get treated well. If the preordered kosher food for some reason doesn’t arrive they will bring you fruit and lots of it and then compensate you with AVIOS. If the entertainment system doesn’t work they will also compensate you.

Martin

I find it so interesting that this is going on for sometime and it took till today for someone to post it to ddf and make it’s way here.
Guys get on ddf

anonymous 2

I would be really angry if El Al did that switch to me. I pay a premium to fly el al to some extent for their in flight entertainment, but largely for both the safety i feel on an el al aircraft (on board missle defense system) and the feeling of pride and excitement you get from flying on an israeli airline. (Yes i know their on board service is not always great). Did they still have typical el al screening at least?

Sean

@Rich

You can always make sure to fly on Friday night or Saturday. I can assure you that you won’t be awaken by one of your fellow jews who is continuing the tradition of your ancestors that has entitled you to the privilege to fly to your homeland today.

Josh

Do you know where I can get a list of the February flights?

Thanks.

zeena fruchter

do you have a schedule for february?

Malkie

I just flew on one of those planes from TLV-BOS, I booked glitter kosher with Elal directly flight was okay but because there were no personal tv screens it was a really long flight

Charles

@sk:
Flights making up time is a myth. Flights fly along highways in the sky that have an exact speed, no faster and no slower. If you look at a live map you will see that flight are barely 5 miles apart, different speeds would be a big problem.
There are times that winds help raise the speed for all or there is a way to reroute a bit shorter.

R

EWR flights look to be operated by LY metal even on those dates where they say it is “privilege” operated. Curious what their business class looks like

Travel Agent

Just spoke to El-Al and they said that they are working on putting all flights back to the Regular El-Al planes, and some flights scheduled for as soon as today will be changed back already.

Anonymous

not sure about that, on the way to Israel we left an hour late and still made it there on time as well as many other flights i have flown and been delayed

sk

BTW someone mentioned a major point about the flights – early check in isnt an option and then you come to the airport early but have huge lines to wait in before getting onto the old smelly plane…..

Oh, forgot to mention my table was broken and everything spilled all over me…..

Israel frequent flyer

Flew with my husband LY002 dec 29 jfk to tlv. & back Jan 3. We vowed never to fly with ElAl again. It was hot. Everyone was fanning themselves. At one point I pressed my button for a stewardess to tell them I needed water and they should please lower the heat. She starts yelling at me that they’re busy and I should go get the water myself. Thereby waking up the person sitting in the aisle seat- which I was trying to avoid. They were told more than a couple of times but did nothing about it. They left the lights on way past the time (like at least 2 hours )just because someone was trying to purchase something from duty free. The pocket in the front of my seat was torn-I eventually found out when everything I put in there fell out. The entertainment system SUCKED. All in all a really uncomfortable unforgettable & undeniably unfun trip with ELAL. Would never book them again.

Charles

@Anonymous:
Yes, had you left on time you would have arrived very early. No one aircraft can increase speed because the plane ahead is in the way.

Yon

What I haven’t seen anyone mention yet is Privilege Style’s policy against carseats! They allow FAA approved carseats ONLY when the airplane is in the air, not for takeoff and landing. Pretty sure this is illegal, but they told us “we are not an American airline so we don’t have to follow American rules”. (And yes – that was some of the best English I heard from the stewardesses, they had a hard time conversing, or at least comprehending.) It was very upsetting and not as safe.

Fm

I’m on a flight January 16th from newark that was operated by el al switched to privelege switched back to el al and now it looks like it switched back to privelege. I call el al to complain and they assured me they’re switching all their flights back to be operated by el al. Anyone know anything about this flight?

Dan

@Yon:
Wow, that is a big deal.
Please file an FAA complaint.

Motty

@Fm: so am I on the 10:30 from Newark, just got a phone call from elal that my economy plus seats are cancelled and will be flying with the different aircraft, I’m so upset

Dumb

Not to go OT, but how does one use a carseat on the plane? Is it only if you buy an extra seat for the baby or also infant in arms?

RDW

This is not new. In 2001 I took a regular El Al flight and I had a purchased seat for out 1 year old. Before takeoff we strapped him in to an FAA approved car seat. The foolish, uneducated flight attendant demanded that we take him out and hold him in our lap, per supposed airline rules. So when I realized there was no arguing with this fool I just waited until she set down and then on final taxi, strapped him back in to the seat.

Malki

Not un-common. China Southern doesn’t allow car seats. Period. on intra-Asia flights. Not surprised other foreign carriers do the same.

z

The car set thing is not exclusive to el-al. I’ve seen car seats and bassinets be put away both on turkish and lufthansa. Don’t like it? Dont fly El-Al. It’s the die hard El-Al people who have given them the ability to charge so much for so little anyways.

Motty

Besides of getting to fly on a different flight do you have any other options or suggestions? Will it work flying it and then complain if anything goes wrong to get back money or something?

Elozer kanner

Business seats on privledge flights do not recline flat for sleeping

Scotchy88

I wonder how much better Ukraine airlines will be…? I’m flying with them soon.

nathan

@fm
just spoke with elal, jan 16 newark is privelege style.
i would not rely on the rep that told you they are working on switching back, b/c rep told me they are having issues with pilots not the actual aircraft, we will never know!

Anonymous

I got the email a week ago, and now I called to switch flights, and I was told that it was switched back to El Al (though, it could switch back to Privelege). So before you get too nervous, you may want to verify what it really is. 🙂

Anonymous

@z: so much for so little? While I agree non-stops from NYC to TLV are, in general, overprice. El Al is 90% of the cheaper than United and Delta. If you don’t like El Al pay a little more for United. I don’t think United is any better for coach. Delta I think might be better.

Anonymous

@Elozer kanner: Neither to LY’s

ARI KAPLIN

seems everyone is sending their mother inlaw on these planes they should rename the airline “shvigger flights”
or shvigger airlines”

Anonymous

i just got off with el-al and was able to get a FULL refund w/o any cancellation penalty i had 1/18jan newark flight
the flt was waffeling back and forth it went from elal to privilege back to elal and now back to privilege

Dan

@Dumb:
If you buy a seat then you can bring a carseat onboard.
Otherwise it’s only an option if you happen to have an empty seat next to you.

@RDW:
I haven’t heard of such issues on El Al flights recently, so presumably that’s been clarified since 2001.

@z:
This has nothing to do with El Al. It’s a Privilege Style flight.

@Anonymous:
Nice!

Al

I just checked my reservation on ly28 on January 20 and it didn’t mention anything about a privilege flight on the website but the pdf link says it is. Is it possible that it changed or the website is just not putting that info on the reservation site?

Aharon B

I flew JFK>TLV on 11 Jan. Crew was very pleasant and professional. Yes, they took a bit longer with meal service than they should have, but they seemed to have it generally together.

Regarding the car seat issue, a couple near me had a seat for theirs and we’re allowed to keep it set up properly the whole time.

The aircraft itself was newer than most of El Al’s fleet, and roomier in coach than I expected, but there were some issues. The woman in front of me couldn’t recline her seat (good for me!), the guy across the aisle had his tray table in his lap and quite a few people had video screens that simply did not work.

martin

Dan where your guy at ELAL, Is he not following you anymore?

Eli

I’m seeing that my flight jam/16 Newark is this privilege, let’s make a poll rating from 1 to 10 how bad is it, everyone according to their experience had

shlomo

i just flew with “privlage” from newark to tlv from the start everyone knew something was different the stewardesses were not very nice or accommodating to anyone even simple requests for drinks were met with a scowl or an outright no.
the video systems had issues. if i were to see this as my flight again i would switch immediatly.
this is (as mentioned above an issue as far as kashrus however the crew inccorrectly were telling peope that the meals are really the same just one is “super” kosher

Travel Agent

@nathan: well yes the issue with the pilots is that They where going to strike a few weeks ago because they wanted El-Al to stop leasing those Spanish flights and this way giving them less work and salary…
so it seems like they where able to hammer out a deal that el-al would turn the wheel back, but I don’t know how far back…

Tovad

Was booked on the 13th Jan, Ewr-Tlv paid for exit door they changed the flight back and forth many times. After web checkin and boarding card in hand for a seat within 24 hours before flight on an Elal plane. I recived email they changed to Privilge again. The seat i had was not even on the seat map as this was 45. They moved me forward automatically at airport gave me a new boarding card and told me i will get a refund on the seat i origanally paid for!. Jammed up flight and the stewardesses were terrible.

Bigmoish

I just came in to EWR from Tel Aviv. must say it was a great flight.. way better than the 747 ElAl flight to Tel Aviv. great leg room and very courteous flight crew. Toilets were very clean and the flight was the best I ever had.

Bostoner

I was on a Privilege operated flight from Boston to Tel Aviv on January 7, in Business Class. The flight was a disaster – the reason I fly in Business Class is so that I can sleep on the flight and arrive feeling somewhat human. El Al specifically refurbished a 767 with flat-bed seats for use on Boston route, which is one of the reasons I was willing to take it, rather than going on United via Newark. Surprise – the plane was from Privilege, and had old-style “recliner” seats in business class instead! Thank you, El Al, for the bait-and-switch – it makes me really, really eager to book with you again.

I received a post-flight survey from El Al asking about my flight, and gave it to them. Their response was identical to the letter posted by Yehuda on January 12 (second comment above). Overall, I’m quite unhappy, and do not plan on flying El Al again in the near future.

Bostoner

Ezi

I was on a Privilege operated flight from Newark to Tel Aviv Jan 20 everything was perfectly fine no issues at all with the crew or the plane!

Sol

Hello Dan. This is an email El Al sent today to their travel agents in Israel.

‏יום חמישי 28 ינואר 2016
‏י”×— שבט תשע”ו
חוזר:21/16

סוכן/ת יקר/ה שלום,

הנדון: חכירת מטוסי בואינג

חילוקי דעות עם נציגי הטייסים בוועד העובדים של אל על חייבו אותנו, על מנת
שלא לפגוע בתדירות הטיסות ובלוחות הזמנים של נוסעינו, להפעיל מטוסים
חכורים מדגם בואינג 767-300 ובואינג 777-200.
שני המטוסים הנם של חברת Privilege Style הספרדית.
מטוס ה 767-300 פועל בטיסות היוצאות לבוסטון, ומטוס ה 777-200 פועל
בטיסות לניו יורק.

אנו עושים מאמץ כביר על מנת לעמוד בלוח הטיסות אליו התחייבנו כלפי
לקוחותינו המשותפים ומתוך תקווה להשיב את הטיסות לפעילות במטוסי
אל על בהקדם.

• המטוס החכור מדגם בואינג 767-300 כולל 247 מושבים, במטוס שתי
מחלקות שירות: מחלקת עסקים עם 18 מושבים ומחלקת תיירים עם 229
מושבים, לא קיימת במטוס מחלקת תיירים פלוס.
• המטוס החכור מדגם 777-200 כולל 299 מושבים, 28 מושבים במחלקת
עסקים ו-271 מושבים במחלקת תיירים, לא קיימת במטוס מחלקה ראשונה
ומחלקת תיירים פלוס.
• צוות הטייסים והדיילים הנו ספרדי, לצוות מצטרפים אנשי צוות של אל על
לסיוע בשירות.
• שרותי הקרקע מבוצעים על ידי אנשי השירות של אל על.
• תהליך הבידוק הביטחוני בארץ ובחו”ל, מתקיים כנהוג בטיסות אל על.
• מדיניות הכבודה תישאר זו הנהוגה בטיסות במטוס אל על.
• שירות המזון והמשקאות תואם לשירות המוגש במטוסי אל על.
• תכני הבידור מתורגמים לעברית.
• נוסעים אשר רכשו מושב במחלקת תיירים פלוס יקבלו החזר בגין
ה- EMD שהונפק (לביצוע ב-BSP).

יש לבדוק במערכת ההפצה עמה אתם עובדים לגבי עדכונים ושינויים בלו”×–.

אנא העבירו מידע זה ללקוחות אשר יטוסו בטיסות אלו.

בברכה,

סניף ישראל

Nisim

I has the same experience as most of you mentioned above. I got the same answer from El AL customer relationship agent.
There are a couple of things we can try to do:

1. Organize and maybe take some legal actions against El Al.
2. Post all those reviews on their Facebook company page. I know they will remove it but there is nothing better than using social media to show a company’s real face.

Sam8786

I’m flying from Ewr to Tlv on Feb 9th in two days from now and just go noticed the my flight is going to be managed by privilege. But the problem is they changed my seats also now I’m sitting 10rows away from my wife, what can I do?

Gabriel Gozland

Just flew to Israel and back from Newark on Privilege Style. Spanish crew was well meaning but just not up to the task. Plane was old and outdated. Not what I or the other passengers paid for.

ElAl Management listen up: Shut down and reboot your operation with new pilots who want to work, or we the passengers will do it for you. I fly to Israel 4 times a year and I’m not flying ElAl till further notice. Am advising my friends and relatives to do same.

Salvage situation while you can or the market will do it for you, and you will all be looking for new jobs.

Gabriel Gozland

Sent a note to customer@elal.co.il about my experience on Privilege.
Here’s the canned response I received (21 days, really?!? – are they living on a different planet?)

Thank you for contacting El Al Israel Airlines

We will do our utmost to reply within 21 days.

Joel

Gabriel, El AL sucks. Since moving to Israel in 2002 I have spent almost $100,000 in tickets for my wife and kids to visit her parents. I have not received a single upgrade or free ticket. Their program for loyalty is a joke. I just compared with Delta and I now realize I could have received a free ticket for 80000 miles which means only after 7 trips. El AL is for fries ie suckers.

Rob

@IYM: We just flew back from Israel today to Boston. Not a great plane at all for such a long flight, but it was fairly clean and the Spanish staff were friendly and all spoke English at least reasonably well. The car seat thing was really annoying. However, the price was really cheap and it’s the only direct flight between Boston and Israel, so it was good value for the money.

Harry

@Sam8786: Enjoy the flight!

Yons

@Yon: Just wanted to follow up to let you know that I complained to El Al (and got totally blown off) and to the FAA. The FAA is looking into where the flight attendants might have restrained the carseats on the full flight on the way there. (The specialist I spoke with couldn’t think of a spot and thinks they could be dinged for that.) Unfortunately, the carseat policies that apply to American based airlines do not always apply to international carriers. But they will follow up with Privilege Style.

tbd

I flew the other day from Tel Aviv to Newark. After reading all of the comments here I came with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. It was one of the best flights I ever had. Definitely more leg room then on El Al planes. The flights attendants all knew English, and were very nice. There were personal screens with movies. Excellent flight!

Boston Flyer

I have twice been bumped onto the Spanish privilege airline. It is a horrible plane. The so-called business class is back breaking. The seat is horrible. The heat is insufferable. Because the crew freezes up front they turn up the heat on the plane and it becomes incredible. Everyone walks off suffering and sick. It’s incredible that they can charge business class prices, stick you want to and ancient playing with horrible seating and not do anything about it except say that they are accommodating customers. Going from Boston to Tel Aviv is an advantage but next time I’m going through New York. This is terrible.

David in Monroe NY

I am flying Newark – Tel Aviv in two weeks. I know this is an issue between El Al management and unions. But it affects the customers! I use a website to see which aircraft is flying each day to/from Newark. It is on some days El Al 777, El Al 747, Privilege 777, or EuroAtlantic 777.

I sometimes use United or Delta (from JFK), it depends on the day of the week, the time, the price.

To tell the truth, El Al’s planes are also old, the video screen are terrible, the flight attendants are sometimes nice, sometimes very unpleasant.

My issue is the comments above. Some people say it’s the most horrible flight, some people say it’s just fine. I guess the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I don’t care about car seats, my kids are in college! And I don’t really care about a kosher meal either. I just want to be safe, arrive somewhat on time, and have a bit of legroom. Is that asking too much?

So we’ll see how it goes. If it’s really bad, I will just stick with United and Delta, and to hell with El Al.

Nancy in Palm Beach

I flew on Jan 21 and had requested an upgrade which cost $760 for the flight from Israel to Boston. I was not told about he new service, did not sign a receipt at the airport, etc. It is a classic bait and switch to Privilege Air. The man next to me had anaphylaxis when he was served fish after ordering chicken, served in the dark, no overhead light; then NO help from the staff and they tried to blame the passenger. A crushed package of OTC medication, etc. It was a nightmare in the seat next to me, luckily he did not die. I had no dinner service, broken reclining seat, etc. I am trying to fight the charge, but am told so far that if was a non-refundable ticket. This was a second charge, remember with no signature, etc. What a horrible experience, scared me so much and I felt so bad for the man. Terrible staff with no sympathy or concern.

Reader

@Nancy in Palm Beach:
Shameful El Al.
Do stop flying with them. You have alot of other – better options.
Return your Loyalty Card and never see them again.

Nancy in Palm Beach

Thank you. I just heard thru a friend requests for refunds for these flights are being honored. My first request was denied thru agent and Amex. We will see and I will post the outcome.

elalhater

el al sucks.my flight was on april 8th telaviv-newark got delayed for 2 and a half days and we had to do security every time. im jewish but #bds elal

Yaakov

I havea flight into newark from tlv leaving june 21 at 1215 am. How do i find out if it will be flown by privelexge. Are they still making the changes up and back

MMS

My wife and kids are on one of these flights – I called and they said we could get a full refund – but I could not find anything near the price point.

Justgetmethere

@David in Monroe NY: can you give us an update of how your trip was?

mindy

anyone have any comments an flying Aeroflot from new York to tlv? is it safe? are planes decent and how is the service?

Harry

I flew Privilege back in February from ewr to tlv. I have to say it was one of the best flights I have had to Israel. The staff was very friendly and the seat had more legroom than Elal economy (I was on the 777). Seatback entertainment was not great, but I was sleeping for most of the flight. Peeking into business class, they have a real business class with lie flat seats. I am not sure why I had such a great experience, but I would jump at Privilege faster than Elal.

zow

Dan, how can I find a list of upcoming El Al flights BOS-TLV that will be on Privilege? You posted flights for January in the link…can I find the source somewhere online?

My daughter is flying late August in Y. Thanks.

valeriya

@David in Monroe NY:

so how was your flight?

Bill

I agree with Harry’s assessment. My wife and I found ourselves flying to and from Israel aboard the PS 777 (our flight out originally scheduled for 23rd January – snowmageddon weekend). Given the circumstances and stress of leaving Newark, one could understand a few problems cropping up during our flight, however that was the case from our perspective. The PS crew did an excellent job making our flight as comfortable as possible.
Although disappointed at not flying on an EL AL aircraft I would not hesitate flying the PS 777.

bill

correction -line from my 6/17 comment should read
Given the circumstances and stress of leaving Newark, one could understand a few problems cropping up during our flight, however that was NOT the case from our perspective.
Sorry for the typo..

Marsha solomon

Anyone fly PS to Toronto? We’re booked to fly next month and we’re just notified that all flights to and from Toronto will be on these planes. Thx

Steve

Today, flight 007 TA to NY is being chartered be Wamos airlines.
Just got seated but very spacious in economy seating. Feels like economy plus in standard ElAl. Great service too.

MM

Flight on September 11 from YYZ-TLV says operated by PS, however El Al states that they will only be using PS on this route till the end of August. Can anyone clarify? Thank you

MM

Just checked El Al site again and they will be operating PS from YYZ-TLV through September 30

lea

i have purchased on may 2016 a ticket from tel aviv to toronto on september 2016. today 2 august an sms from elal announced the flight will be operated by air privilege. i am furious and feel deceited as i preferred el al to air canada ( which offered the same prices ) due to patriotic feelings. i feel duped- elal no more.
if i had wanted to fly with a charter company i would have done so and paid charter prices. i paid for elal -pilots, not for an old aircraft with unknown expertise of pilots.
please other passengers raise your voices and objections. let elal know it cannot play on “×”×›×™ בבית בעולם” and then send us flying with a spanish company

lea

@Marsha solomon: lea
how was your flight? we just got a text from elal that our flight to toronto on september will be operated by privilege air and feel really bad about this.

Dianna

I booked on El Al in late May and chose El Al because I am a Senior and wanted a non stop flight! If there were difficulties with the Airline Customers should be apprised, that they MAY be shifted to another Airline. This is sneaky and dreadfully lacking in Business ethics. I called El Al when I got the message I was NOT going to be on an El AL plane and was assured my return flight in late September would be on EL AL Today, another message that the return flight will again be Privilege. I am not at all happy as the reviews for Spanish Privilege are not at all encouraging. I will NEVER book again with EL AL. Shame on you!!! This is no way to operate a business!!!!!

Josh

We just flew yesterday from tel aviv to Toronto on the spanish privilege air flight. We were initially very upset that el al had switched the plane as we specifically fly only el al. However I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent flight. The seats were more spacious than on the usual el al planes. We had some Israeli staff on board to assist passengers who only spoke Hebrew. The spanish flight crew were delightful: friendly, attentive, and very understanding and helpful with our young children. They all also spoke English. The in flight entertainment did provide screens for each seat but they played the same old movies on a constant loop. The food served was the regular el al food including the drinks and snacks.

Mom

I booked El Al for a reason and was very disappointed not to fly El Al. (Toronto-Tel Aviv). Next year I will make sure before whether I fly El Al. If that is not possible I would rather fly Air Canada than some Spanish Airline.

Yaakov

Dan, due to ElAl pilot’s one-day “sanction” we just got bumped from an ElAl flight onto the Privilege 777-200 they apparently got from Asiana. We had a great experience.

All the food was ElAl (does ElAl serve a complimentary glass of Barkan wine in economy? Mevushal, of course). There were an extraordinary number of attendants because ElAl provided three and Privilege had 9.

The seats were very comfortable and reclined while siding forward. It felt like more room.

Yes the in-flight entertainment is dated but frum travelers usually use those less anyways.

Jack

Does anyone know if there is a way to know in advance what kind of plane you are getting with Privilege style. My parents are going tomorrow and the reviews seem to be mixed regarding what kind of plane they will get

Susan Miller

El Al Airline is on strike in Israel. Or the pilots walked off in Israel. According to Jerusalem Post article all flights have been cancelled on El Al and switched to Privilege Airlines. El Al has offered to refund with no penalty fee all tickets through November 30th. I am supposed to fly tomorrow out of Newark. I found a great ticket, a replacement on a different airline that is now gone as I have been on hold with El Al for over an hour still waiting. I am assuming it is because of this issue. I looked up the age of the Privilege Aircraft and am concerned because Spanish Airlines are notorious for not servicing their planes the way we do in America or El Al Does.So I may be flying in a Spanish Aircraft whose staff doesn’t speak English. This is just great. El Al should have increased it call center staff with this issue going on.Oy Vey

Woodmere

MY parents just left from Tel Aviv on Privilege (Thursday night, December 1) with no notice until they reached the airport.

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