[El Al Reinstates 2nd Newark Flight With Morning Departure From Israel] Exclusive: Here’s What El Al Is Saying About The Newark To JFK Flight Swap Fiasco

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Update, 4/27: El Al shares the following statement,

“Beginning June 12, the arrival time of EL AL flight LY 25, TLV to EWR, has been adjusted and retimed to arrive at EWR at 11:20AM. This flight will now depart TLV at 6:30AM. This schedule change is due to the realignment of landing slots at EWR.

This schedule will be in place throughout the summer travel season, ending in October. The winter schedule will be released in the coming months.

Passengers who wish to adjust their flight reservation due this change may contact their travel agent or EL AL.”

That’s a very unusual departure time for flights from Tel Aviv to North America, though it’s common for flights to Europe. It remains to be seen if North America bound passengers will take a flight departing Tel Aviv at 6:30am.

That means this summer, El Al will fly from Newark to Tel Aviv from 1:30pm-6:55am(+1) and 9pm-2:25pm(+1). El Al will fly from Tel Aviv to Newark from 12:30am-5:15am and 6:30am-11:20am.

El Al also confirms that all JFK flights will resume carrying coffins on June 12th.

Will you fly on the 6:30am flight from Tel Aviv to Newark?

Update, 4/4: El Al is emailing $50-$100 future flight vouchers to people on affected flights. They also are promising to reimburse people for expenses incurred due to the airport change, such as an Uber ride between airports. El Al also reiterated that they will also offer flight refunds if requested, though a refund will result in a cancellation of the $50 voucher.

Originally posted on 3/31:

Over the past several days, I have heard from many readers complaining about El Al switching their afternoon flights between Newark-Tel Aviv or Tel Aviv-Newark to JFK-Tel Aviv or Tel Aviv-JFK.

Indeed, a quick search shows that El Al has moved from an average of 2 daily Newark-Tel Aviv flights and 3 daily JFK-Tel Aviv flights to 1 daily Newark-Tel Aviv flight and 4 daily JFK-Tel Aviv flights through June 11th.

Exacerbating matters have been hold times in excess of 2 hours long. That’s something that many airlines across the world have been dealing with this year as pent up demand has created call center issues.

However El Al’s website is woefully behind the times and can’t handle complicated changes and cancellations like most other airline sites. The site redesign before COVID managed to make things even worse than before, which is saying something.

El Al also hasn’t reopened their US based call center, though their Israeli call center is now open during US working hours. The US number (877-995-0677) forwards to there. That being said, you may have better luck calling during Israeli working hours. You may also have luck using Facebook Messenger or Twitter DM or via Whatsapp at +972-3977-1111.

I speculated that perhaps there was a slot issue in Newark or JFK. Did El Al somehow lose a flight slot to operate afternoons out of Newark? Or did they need to preserve a slot from JFK, though JFK slot utilization requirements appear to have been extended through 10/29/22?

Here is what El Al wrote exclusively to DansDeals about the issue,

“Due to post-covid operational issues, presently we have been unable to operate one of our daily Newark flights as planned, and while we understand this is not ideal for many customers, we have moved the flight to JFK for the first part of the new schedule so that we can accommodate those passengers traveling to and from the New Jersey area.

For the past two months, our call center has been back to full staffing. Unfortunately, however, due to the significantly increased demand, our call center is experiencing both high call volume and long hold times. We realize that has exacerbated the situation for our passengers, and we sincerely regret the inconvenience.

We’re working tirelessly to increase the hours and manpower at our call center, and to accommodate all our passengers on the remaining flights.”

For now, the afternoon departure from Newark to Tel Aviv and back returns to the schedule on June 13th and El Al says they hope to have things resolved by then, but I think it’s likely that the flight switch from Newark to JFK will continue after that. To be safe if you want to fly from Newark, book the late red-eye flights between Newark and Tel Aviv.

Kohanim who can’t be on a plane with dead bodies have traveled on El Al’s Newark flights which don’t carry the deceased to Israel to be buried in the holy land. When I asked El Al about this several days ago, they said they were going to make flight 14 from JFK a coffin-free flight for the period while Newark has just 1 daily flight.

Some passengers booked flights to and from Newark and were only moved to JFK in one direction, meaning their car may be parked at the wrong airport. With other passengers, this change happened while they were in middle of their trip. A common complaint was that after hours of waiting on hold, El Al was not willing to do anything. Passengers were told they could pay the difference in fare to go back to the red-eye Newark flight, but were not offered changes without a difference in fare or a cash refund.

I asked El Al if they were in violation of DOT policy. They got back to me to say that they will be treating this like a cancelled flight situation. They can’t accommodate everyone on Newark flights, so they will automatically rebook everyone on a JFK flight, but if people ask for a cash refund, they will now be given one. That would allow people to potentially book another flight from Newark, which may wind up being a gift to United. Though people will have to first manage to get through to the El Al call center…

As El Al says they will offer cash refunds, I’d agree that this isn’t a DOT violation. El Al tells me that going forward, there may be exceptions made for people with extenuating circumstances onto a Newark flight, but that will be done on a case by case basis.

Was your Newark-Tel Aviv flight cancelled? Have you been able to get a refund or another flight? Share your experience in the comments!

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106 Comments On "[El Al Reinstates 2nd Newark Flight With Morning Departure From Israel] Exclusive: Here’s What El Al Is Saying About The Newark To JFK Flight Swap Fiasco"

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Wow. What a crap airline.

A Concerned Mother



POOP airline

Unconcerned Mother

Now that’s better!


I was in Isreal this week i had a return flight to Newark on Monday 1:30 i was told in the airport that my flight was changed & im flying to jfk


הכי בבית במאסר




People do not learn. Why are you continuing to book flights with ElAl at this point.

The fact that it is April 2022 and you still cannot get they to an agent is absurd.

The whole world uses COVID as an excuse, but this is beyond the pale



Jim Leberger

It was over $200 cheaper than the alternative, which means that the risk is worthwhile to me.


i’ve been able to change to the other newark flight for free


Can you tell more about how you did this ??

mor ukseah

if you wait long enough you eventually get phone help. I did it twice. It took a VERY long time but i eventually spoke to someone.


I appreciate your article. When I spoke with my travel agent earlier today, she told me that El Al was NOT offering monetary refunds, just a travel voucher for future flights. Now that I have your article, I am going to see if we can get a monetary refund, and see what’s available on United.
Thanks Dan!


Flying next week iy”H. Was booked from EWR, and they switched us to JFK. We had prem economy seats (ty qantas), and they gave us prem economy seats from JFK. Not a big deal, just an extra 45 driving time to airport (and $100 taxi fare). I called Elal to make sure our seats were together and the KSML was reserved, and only waited maybe 25 minutes on hold (called around 2pm ET).
Not complaining. I’ve waited on hold with United in the past for longer than that


When all push comes to shove, ElAl is the same airline it was before the new owners. It’s like a SNL skit, having a rich-man’s son in his twenties and a has-been (Omry Cohen) from Center’s Plan taking the pilot’s seat.

World Traveler

Woh, you seem to know a lot about the operations. The son is still involved? Thought the savvy business man father took over the reigns recently. And this Omry guy is a has-been? He must be old and outdated, huh. Glad we have people like you in the know to call out all the failures. And it’s so disappointing that new ownership is such a failure. I’m sure they haven’t been trying out working on change in the short time (and tumultuous time in the world) that they’ve been there.


I appreciate the Sarcasm. Well, it’s been about 20 months since Eli Rozenberg took controlling stake at ElAl. True, it’s not many years, but also true is that other seasoned professionals have made more significant and tangible impacts on their mew reigns of a business entity. I think it’s tough when one doesn’t have decades of exposure to successes and failures, brings along many buddies from a healthcare company (Hello! It’s aviation, not a NY Med Supp plan), and hasn’t cleaned up the website interface (which really is the entry gates for customers) by now. So, no, I don’t know everything there is to know, 20 months isn’t a multitude of years; but I do remain confused why 1. Website UI remains poor 2. Frequent flyer peogram hasn’t seen any ounce towards improvements 3. Why no seeming attempt at credit card partnership have been established. That’s really just the surface


Got them to change to EWR after multiple HUCAs


I waited on hold a few times with elal recently only to give up after waiting on hold for forever. This morning I called around 9:30AM EST and only waited for about 10 minutes! Neis! But the agent said to me “As we say in Hebrew אין מה לעשות” and it would cost me around $450 a ticket to change to the night flight from ewr! How normal is it to change the ticket you booked without options! Crazy! Well I learnt my lesson not to fly ELAL anymore!


my flight was changed from EWR to JFK, ELAL told me I can file a complaint after I return.. out to lunch. I cannot imagine anyone booking with ELAL at this point and not going to United, they are going to burn themselves big time. There probably was a monetary incentive to fly from JFK and they are hiding behind some COVID farse. shame on them & I have no doubt they will pay for this big time.


I was able to switch my MIA-TLV flight for no charge from Sunday to Tuesday 2 weeks ago however their call center was closed from Thursday until Sunday so I had to wait until day of flight to make the change. I know someone who’s flight to Dubai (TLV-DUB) has been cxl 3x now and El AL says it’s due to security issues or short staffing related to Covid. The call center situation though is unacceptable.


have recently experienced really long wait times on united…

Frequent flyer

This Sunday 1.30pm EWR to TLV booked a month ago cancelled 2 weeks ago changed to JFK. Regal meals didn’t follow so 12 hours no food. Return trip Wednesday 1.30pm TLV to EWR cancelled last week rebooked same time TLV to JFK. Day before departure time changed to 12.15pm. Tried to check in online late Tuesday only to get an error and a message that there’s a problem with one of the tickets and to call the call center….which was closed until 9am. On hold with the call center for 1 hour, told there’s no problem, come to the business class check in counter and find out that yes there is a problem.. and they can’t deal with it. Sent away to another counter ‘around the corner’ where we finally got some real help and were told that instead of being rebooked, one of the tickets had been voided. Oh and the icing on the cake – when we pulled up to security for business class we were greeted with “what are YOU doing here”. Needless to say we won’t be flying El Al again

Be happy

Had my upcoming flight switched and as much as it is an inconvenience for me , additional time and not to mention costing an extra $250 each way (as my inlaws were ready to drive me to Newark but JFK is just to far). My biggest complaint is how they handled everything. From the get go it was clear they could care less. I received an email informing me of a time change but neglected to mention they also switched airports! I figured being as its the same plane, even though its officially a new flight it should be the easiest thing just to keep all the seat reservations the same. Right? Apparently not. I now have a 6 month old, a two year old and a five year old sitting by themselves all over the plane. (I did consider for a moment if it might be a more relaxing flight that way;) So I called up Elal, spent the requisite 2 hrs on hold (can’t get that song out of my head now) and finally got through to an agent who basically told me there’s nothing he can do. If I buy an upgrade there are seats available together. When I informed him that I HAD booked seats together, HE (elal) was the one who switched them and therefore should pay for the upgrade – I was told “feel free to lodge a complaint “. I asked to speak with someone who could actually help me so he transferred me to an extension where no one ever picked up. So, feeling like I has no choice- I called up again and upgraded to economy plus so my family could sit together. A day later while I was checking to see if any new changes had occurred I noticed now all my seats were wiped out, just says unassigned but somehow the charges to upgrade managed to go through just fine. I spent most of yesterday calling, being transferred and then getting hung up just trying to get this issue resolved. There is just no one to talk to. Forget compensation, at this point I would be happy with just some actual customer service.

Jay D

My flight this Wednesday afternoon was switched from EWR to JFK. After a long wait time to speak with a CSR, we were told we CAN NOT get a cash refund and they refused to book us on the night flight to EWR (even though they were still selling tickets on that flight). The CSR said we can submit a receipt to get reimbursed for the Lyft ride from JFK to EWR (where our car was parked). While they may be telling you they are offering a cash refund, this wasn’t my experience and that of many other commenters.


Did you check elal’s website? When I checked my reservation which was switched from EWR to JFK, it has on the page an option to click to get a refund

Simple guy

Please clarify: according to DOT, if airline changes from EWR TO JFK, they need to offer refund like a canceled flight?


had tlv-ewr flight that was cancelled called once and was told there were no seats left on any other flights. called again and they put me on to any flight i wanted! if you are having troble getting through, i used gethuman.com and they called me when elal answered the phone(first time using this great service)


Support Israel and stop flying an airline that abuses its position.


I had my TLV-EWR flight changed to JFK. Same arrival time but a $200 Uber home to NJ instead of a $50 one. Sent them a polite but firm email and they reimbursed me my Uber ride.

Be happy

The problem with asking for a refund and rebooking for me is that I booked months ago. The cheapest replacement flight today that I could find was over $1k more per ticket (United was actually asking +4k for my return date ) So it would cost me additional (5×1k=) 5 thousand to switch at this point.


I just got 3 reservations switched to LY26 via what’s app! Thank you Dan for lighting a fire under their @$$.


I’m flying American to Israel in May and am curious to find out if American carries coffins on their flights. How can I find this out?


they do


How do i find out specifically which flights on American?


Dan, I want to thank you!!! I live with my family in Yerushalayim and we got the deal of 350 usd a ticket with Elal, TLV JFK TLV direct, and I was able to take my family: my wife and I, 8 children, and infant, a total of 11 people, for the price of $3680 round trip direct!!!!
My addiction to check Dan’s Deals, paid off!!! I was able to bring my family to New Jersey to visit my parents, my kids did not see my father for 2 and a half years!!! Thank you Dan for being a part of my Mitzvah of Kibud Av Ve’Em!

We were able to be at my brothers bar mitzvah, and my other brothers wedding, without that post, we would not have been able to make it to the family simchas.

Another thing. I personally fly alot from TLV to NYC round trip for business. 4 or five times a year. I tried all the direct airlines, except Delta. Although I was annoyed with ELAL that they changed a ticket on me as well, and I had to rebook all my kids seats so that we sat together, and I tried reaching them for hours but was not successful, just very frustrated, allow me to express my opinion.

First of all, NEVER book a ticket on any airlines at this time, alone, without a travel agent. A travel agent can reach Elal, but if you booked it yourself, you might have to wait hours, and still have the phone just hang up. The only way I was successful was by leaving a call back number which took more than 24 hours for them to get back to me.

There is a plus with the American Airlines flight, if you get a good deal on premium economy. Their premium economy seat is better than the Elal, and United seat. But the economy seat in American Airlines is the worst of the three. The economy seat of United and Elal are actually very decent.

Regarding the service on the plane and at the airport: I have found Elal being the best of the three BY FAR! The food on Elal, also, is the best of the three, BY FAR!

Not to mention that Elal has anti missle whatever, if that even helps.

We still have nightmares of traveling with United from our trip pre covid, TLV NEWARK. In the summer, that flight was diverted before from from Newak to Boston, 30 minutes before landing, because of a tornado in Newark. (Still can’t beleive it) We had booked for us a big van to take us from newark to my parents home, and United did not give any compensation. We needed to wait four hours, for a coach bus, to take us from boston, to Newark, at midnight, where we had no way to get from Newark to my parents, except NJ Transit, at 6 am.

United never got back to me, for any help, or compensation, or even to just respond that it was not covered. Moral of that story, I should have paid for the airline ticket with my Chase Sapphire, but for whatever reason I did not, so I had nothing to turn to. But United was not any better, even precovid, to what Elal is now, semipost covid.

Oh! Before I forget! stewardesses, helped my family on board, to give us as many empty seats as possible, so we can have more space! And, they made sure to bring this sticker toy thingamigig that kept my almost 2 year old busy for almost 2 hours, their and back!


the great help from the stewardesses, was on Elal, not on United


Anyone know what the discount credit that their promising is?


Did not know kohanim could not fly on a plane with dead bodies. Learn something new every day.


Does anybody know how and when to find out if there is a meis on a plane? What is the likelihood of having one on an 1150pm flight from jfk to tlv? And will it cost money to change to a different flight last minute if need be?


EL Al = Tower.

Robert Lehman

My travel agent was able to change my cancelled EWR FLIGHTS To the 9:00 Pm departure from EWR and the 00:30 departure from TLV to EWR with no additional charges.


Why not just do a charge back on your cc?


I didn’t even know my daughter’s flight had switched airports. I got an email 3 days before her flight saying that her flight was suddenly leaving at 1215 pm instead of an hour earlier. I checked in for her the night before her flight and suddenly had a boarding pass for JFK. I knew that I had zero recourse since I had checked in. Living in Lakewood though, I was not amused that I had to drive all the way out to JFK, when I had paid extra for Newark. Whatever, lesson learned. She’s flying Swiss for her flight back.


Thank you Dan for all this info. My april 24th flight was moved to JFK so at least I had advanced warning. I just called elal through the number Dan posted above 877-995-0677 and got through within a half hour. They said that they would reimburse the Uber trip if I upload my receipts through the contact us on their website, explaining the issue after my flight has passed. I am hoping they would really do this, but considering all the previous (un)communication reported above, I would consider this a step in the right direction. If anyone has has success doing this, please share


We also got one $50 voucher, and we were 2 passengers. What does that do for me? close to nothing. But when I called elal a second time, they offered me to switch to any other elal flight leaving from EWR that had available seats, at no charge.


If this was any other airline, rebooking for the same airport for any day would be easy and free. Only ElAl would have the chutzpah to charge.


if you have to link to upload the receipt, it would be appreciated.


The Elal rep told me to go to “contact us” on their website, then “contact us” again, state your issue and upload the receipts.


I received a $100 voucher. Maybe business tickets are getting more.


Is it possible to provide some type of confirmation that flight number ly14 won’t have coffins. I’m a cohen and I especially booked iut if ewr only to be switched to jfk. Thank you for the great work you do!


I am flying April 13 on the 00:30 flight to EWR. WHEN will I be informed is there is a change? It happened last year also. I have a continuing flight from EWR.


Got redirected to JFK for my return flight yesterday. They notified me in advance and switched my outbound flight for free to JFK as well after a slight back and forth since I complained about parking my car at a different airport. The only email I got from them was a survey, no vouchers or refund.


I found out at the ticket counter. Didn’t even get an email. Had to get a $250 taxi to Lakewood.


“They also are promising to reimburse people for expenses incurred due to the airport change, such as an Uber ride between airports.”

Does anyone know if that reimbursement will be by cash/check or will that also be a future flight voucher?

And does it have to be a ride between airports or is home-to-JFK also covered (i.e., are they strictly reimbursing only that portion of cost that is over and above what you would have incurred anyway to get to EWR)? What about fuel, tolls, parking, etc if you drive yourself and have to park at/near JFK?


From my conversation with the rep, it sounds like they will cover (cash refund) the difference between what it would have cost you to get to/from ewr to what it cost you to get to/from JFK. You might be able to complain that a family member would have driven you to ewr but not JFK, so the full expense should be on them, but you know elal, who can predict how nice they will be… and anyway where’s the proof for that? I plan to leave my car at ewr which was my original plan and take an uber from there to jkf which is pretty clear that it’s an extra expense, so I am hoping they will reimburse.


“Update: El Al is emailing $50-$100 future flight vouchers to people on affected flights. They also are promising to reimburse people for expenses incurred due to the airport change, such as an Uber ride between airports.”
Can anyone tell me how to go about getting this?


same question


My EWR flight was moved to JFK. No voucher given. Very annoying! Next time, United.


I received a $100 voucher as ElAl had shifted my business ticket to jfk.
Now if i put in the voucher in the ElAl search page, it will only show business fares! There is no possibility to see/book an economy fare if the voucher is there.
What is the rationale?! The larger voucher is because i already paid more for my current business flight – why can’t the voucher be applied to any regular fare?!


El Al call center was able to apply the full discount by changing the reservation manually in middle of the process.
Btw, they were very friendly and helpful (once i waited the looong hold time).


OMG! Now EL rebooked my son from a Midnight flight to the 4:45AM flight! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS AIRLINE? They make Spirit look like first class!


they cancelled the 1230 am from Tel Aviv both Monday 04/11 and Tuesday 04/12 this week….


If you use ElAl you must use a travel agent. When they moved my 13:30 flight from ewr to jfk, she got me on the red eye flight to Newark for no extra charge. This Sunday, at 5:30 pm she calls me and tells me that this flight has been cancelled, and I am leaving 6:45 am instead. The lines were long and security is understaffed. They had a person asking who had a flight to Barcelona, Frankfurt,… and finally I heard Newark and was able to check in my luggage and make the flight.


That’s gonna be the angriest and most tired flight ever. Arriving Ben Gurion no later than 3:30am??? And leaving at 2am to get there? No thanks.


I got rebooked to JFK for my family, 4 tickets plus an infant and got $50 voucher. Anybody expiernced with getting $50 for each passenger?


I got a $50 voucher for each passenger.


Worst flight time ever leaving from Israel to the US. Can ElAL do anything right??? It’s one thing if you’re flying to Europe at 5:30am- it’s just a few hours. But to arrive at the airport at 3am for a 6:30am flight that lasts 12 hours is insanity. No possible way to get any sleep during the evening. And there will be those that take this flight on Friday and any delay may result in shabbos violation issues.


United has managed to keep us off El Al because somehow, We always have some kind of voucher to redeem. Is it time to try El Al yet?


I have a flight booked in July leaving Newark at 130 PM. Can I assume that flight will be around when July comes? or will I get transferred to JFK?


I just saw this, after I posted on DD about this change. A 630am flight is awful. You are up in the middle of the night unless you don’t sleep at all! I will be changing my flight but to what?? We are on the Sunday flight so possibly need to depart at 1am instead, right after Shabbat


They changed my booked flight from 130 to 630 garbage airline.


they just changed my august 8 flight from tlv to jfk the morning to the afternoon. no big deal but i had spent loads of time on hold booking seats with a bassinet. Of course on the new flight i have no seats .after trying multiple times to the Israeli number which hangs up after a short message, I got through to the British number and was told that there are no seats together for the family,never mind about the bassinet. They agreed its terrible but can do nothing about it suggesting i call tel aviv……….
why oh why did i buy el al?????????


Can I cancel now and receive a full refund with no penalty if flight time was changed?


Actually great timing now for getting used to jetlag in usa


El Al is the only commercial airline to equip its planes with missile defense systems to protect its planes against surface-to-air missiles, and is considered one of the world’s most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft.


im trying to get money back from elal for a uber ride i had to do and their asking for my bank account info does that make sense?


So i had a el al flight scheduled from tlv to ewr in july that was changed today from 130pm to 630am! does that mean i can cancel this flight whenever i want & i will get my money fully refunded?
2. if i call them and ask them to reschedule me to the 1230 Am flight to ewr, would they do that for me free of charge?


From El al,s email, I thought they had just Changed my seats, not my destination to jfk. It took a long time and lots of frustration to get through to elal on phone. When I finally did, they changed me to the other newark flight with upgraded seats.


Our May flights were originally booked out of EWR. ElAl changed the times & airport to JFK. It will cost us much more to UBER to & From JFK than it would have cost to & from EWR. How can I get them to pay the additional cost?


How does one go about Uber reimbersment?
The phone customer service sent me to whatsapp which sent me to Phone service. Chelm


Made reservations well in advance for the summer. just got an email they switched 2 of my kids seats from row 30 to 45, due to change of aircraft (which is not true. its same 787). I called, after 1.50 min wait, was told nothing they can do, ask upon check-in for all kids to sit together! I said I wanted row 30, in the airport they’ll push us down to #55… They refused to upgrade to the $99 seats. they simply took away seats I thought was mine, for no reason!


i had a flight booked for late june from tlv to jfk its the 1205 flight and they switched the time to 620 am anyway elal will switch me to the 1 am flight without any change fees and with out any fare difference