While El Al Is “Closed” And Refusing Refunds, 95% Of Their Fleet Has Been Converted To Cargo Operating Flights 7 Days/Week

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El Al claims that they are closed and that’s why they haven’t issued refunds for flights cancelled over the past 2 months. That ignores that they have also stopped allowing travel agents to process refunds on their behalf.

They continue to sell one-off passenger flights, which belies their claim to be “closed”, and their cargo business is brisker than ever.

El Al advertises that they have converted 20 (out of the 21 widebody planes in their fleet) to haul cargo:

El Al’s widebody fleet consists of 6 777-200s, 3 787-8s (they’re not 787-800s as the ad says), and 12 787-9s.

With cargo rates skyrocketing, staff furloughed, and the price of jet fuel at record low prices, I wouldn’t be surprised to see El Al perform better with their operations “closed” than they were when they were open.

As a cargo airline they’re also able to fly on Shabbos.

El Al cargo flights from Shanghai to Tel Aviv with landings into TLV on Shabbos:


El Al cargo flights from Tel Aviv to JFK with landings into JFK on Shabbos:


There are even flights from Chicago to Tel Aviv, before the launch of passenger flights to Chicago:


The best part about flying cargo is that it can’t complain about flying on Shabbos, or not liking its seat or seatmate! Plus, no need to supply a glatt kosher meal!

Maybe El Al will decide to just stick to cargo instead of reopening? Then it can just keep everyone’s flight money if they keep pushing off when they will “open” again…

I don’t have a problem with El Al pivoting to cargo, but Enough Is Enough: The Time Is Now For El Al To Issue Refunds For Cancelled Flights And Stop Violating DoT Policy!

HT: tavster, via DDF

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26 Comments On "While El Al Is “Closed” And Refusing Refunds, 95% Of Their Fleet Has Been Converted To Cargo Operating Flights 7 Days/Week"

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A great summary of the current state of the air cargo market: https://youtu.be/r2oPk20OHBE

Ed Travel

How can God bless such operation?, knowing that they know better…
“If thou turn away thy regel on account of Shabbos, from doing thy chefetz on My Yom Kodesh; and call Shabbos an Oneg (Delight), the Kedosh Hashem (Holy Day of Hashem), “honored”; and if thou shalt honor it, not doing thine darkhim nor finding thine own chefetz, nor speaking [worldly] words” Yeshayah 58:13


I tried getting a refund for my flight VCE-TLV

Wed, May 6, 11:35 AM (4 days ago)
to *********, nicki.bell

Dear *******,

This responds to your communication regarding El Al Israel. The U.S. Department of Transportation seeks to ensure that all airline passengers are treated fairly. Complaints from consumers are helpful to us in determining whether airlines are in compliance with our rules and to track trends or spot areas of concern that warrant further action.

Based on the information you have provided, it does not appear that your complaint falls under one of the Department’s rules. Please know that we have no authority since your travel occurred between two foreign points. However, we will forward your complaint to the airline and will ask the company to respond directly to you.

We have entered your complaint in our computerized industry monitoring system, and it will be counted among the number of complaints filed against this airline in our monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report allows consumers and air travel companies to compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. The data in this report also serve as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Consumer information for air travelers, including the Air Travel Consumer Report and our pamphlet Fly-Rights, a Consumer’s Guide to Air Travel, can be found on our website, http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

N. Nicki Bell
Department of Transportation
Aviation Consumer Protection Division


I’m a travel agent and want to advise that EL AL sent email to agents last Friday requesting ticket numbers for all reservations that qualify for refunds. They are processing refunds in-house, as opposed to allowing us to refund them through ARC.


Any thoughts on redeeming open ended tickets for returning gap year students? I’m thinking of just booking united

Carl M Sherer

They’re supposed to be deciding on a bailout tonight. The news last hour said that the Borovich family (the principal shareholder) has to put up 100 million shekels (about $28 million).



Miraculously the day after I disputed my credit card, el al issues me a refund.


Are you sure it wasn’t your credit company issuing you a temporary credit ?


No. The refund says it comes from el al


I have not flown LY in decades. My last straw was when I flew Business from TLV to FRA. Although I was business I was a nobody, special care was the lady next to me, including stowing her roll on in the lav for landing so she would be ready to deplane quickly. and yes, we were on time so it is not like she was late for a connection.
I am sure the cabin attendants like flying with freight, it is their style to do nothing anyway. All they have to do is sniff for smoke since the cabin is not equipped as well as the hold.

Jack out of the Box

Elal’s claims about not flying on Shabbos are utter nonsense. Yet they have a very strong client base of frum people who buy into their lies and would never fly another airline to/from Israel. I have serious doubts as to the halachic permissibly of ever flying on Elal metal due to their Shabbos operations.

Name not relevant

Summary: El Al is scum.

Kosher without borders

Dan, you forgot to mention the 400 million they just got from israelí tax payers!


Someone should start a class action against them..

Harlan Kilstein

Can we have an address to complain to. I have tickets for June 1 and have no idea if I’m flying


What freight are they flying, and in what direction? The Chinese market for matzah can’t be that big. So the goods are coming from China, for use in Israel or to be shipped out elsewhere? What other airports are they serving (I noticed a flight landing at LHR the other day)?

What\'s good for the goose, is good for the Gander

I stopped flying ElAl years ago and feel little pity for those who continue to use them.
I use Jewish companies in every way that I can, but with ElAl you are just asking to get screwed


What is the schedule for cargo flights from NY to Tel Aviv?


I have a problem with El Al converting its self into a cargo airline. Where is it written in halacha that cargo can fly on Shabbos? Flying cargo on Shabbos is not Pikuach Nefesh. If and when El Al gets back to flying passengers, no self-respecting frum Jew should dream of flying with them.

Just saying

It’s their problem not yours.