After Pilot Dispute, El Al Calls Their Bluff And Suspends All Flights Indefinitely

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El Al has been at the negotiating table for months with their labor unions to extract concessions that would allow for the airline to be bailed out and survive the coronavirus era. Discussions have been highly contentious and pictures have circulated of negotiating rooms with the furniture overturned.

El Al pilots said that they would walk off the job and El Al has decided to completely shut down operations in response.

One major point of contention is that the airline’s 30 737 pilots have been out of work for months and wanted to be transferred to 787s. Of course a transition like that would require expensive training and isn’t something any airline would want to undertake during times like these.

El Al has been operating cargo flights and select passenger routes based on demand, but they are calling their pilots bluff by completely suspending operations. Planes have been ordered back to Tel Aviv without completing ongoing flights and the remaining 110 787 pilots will placed on unpaid leave as a result.

El Al flight 3 from Tel Aviv to JFK today is cancelled as a result. El Al flight 225 to Paris is also cancelled as is El Al 14 from JFK to Tel Aviv tomorrow.

In the meantime, passengers have been stuck in the middle. While Delta and United have been giving refunds for cancelled flights, El Al has only been giving refunds to select US passengers filing DOT complaints.

I can’t imagine buying an El Al ticket at this point in time. They may as well offer a donation receipt instead of a ticket in return!

HT: tavster, via DDF

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61 Comments On "After Pilot Dispute, El Al Calls Their Bluff And Suspends All Flights Indefinitely"

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They are crazy I had siblings in the airport already to fly to New York

vus vais Ich

didn’t ELAL previously make an agreement with the union that they would give in on all demands in exchange for a commitment to never strike?!?!

Ly dead

Not sure why anybody would want to fly with them


I stopped ✈ them years ago. They are a lousy airline who ironically hates Jews and that’s one reason they wanna stay private.. I fly with Delta and never looked back. Also, they have a great mileage system.


They do not hate jews…that is a horrible thing to say about our fellow bretheren..
Chas v’Shalom!… I love Elal yes while they are lacking in their frequent rewards program..if i can afford it, they are my preference. Flight attendants and pilots are very high stress and difficult jobs. Leave them alone. Dan you should censure that comment.


U so Democrat… fuyyy


for some reason the other airlines that fly to Israel can be more friendly to the Jews. It is very understandable where @Marc is coming from. Flight attendants and pilots are very high stress and difficult jobs on EVERY airline. The job description is Customer Service. If you dont give it, we can call you out for that.
EL AL could be described as an airline that is OK to good when everything is going right, when things go wrong they’re an utter disaster


@Marc said they hate jews…this is offensive and hurtful. Don’t defend him as to understand where he is coming from.

vus vais Ich

they are equal opportunity haters.
They hate Jews.
They hate Asians.
They hate whites.
They hate Customers!
they are angry, spiteful, hard to deal with grumpy people!
you see that in the current dispute, they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces

vus vais Ich

United and Delta also have pilots and flight attendants. What are you trying to say by saying that it is a high-stress job?

Also, it is spelled censor, not censure.

Also, they don’t seem to like anybody, Jewish or otherwise.

Concerned Jew

Question for you Dan I have tickets for my whole family on virgin on the 22 of July with a 12 hour stopover in England. Any ideas about this? Thanks


Virgin is not likely flying to Israel in June. Once they officially cancel the flight, you can get a full refund.


I can say I was scheduled to fly back home on a July 21st (MIA-LHR-TLV) Original flight back in mid-March, just after Purim, was cancelled.

I got an email from my agent on June 22nd telling me Virgin cancelled again and next available flight out of MIA to TLV would be Aug 18th. The way things are going who knows if that will stick either. This btw is the return portion for me.

@Concerned Jew, you may be able to see if there’s a Delta flight they can put you on. I didn’t want to fly the domestic leg and for more it would be a double connection, not looking for either.


Pilots haven’t been laid off, they have been put on upside leave


In a surprising move by El Al, they actually rebooked all passengers from LY 3 today and LY 14 tomorrow with UA

Jeffrey Ruttner

I think Delta is terrible.


It’s not just an airline, it’s Israel…


Remember the chet hameraglim.


Remember that grasshoppers can be giants or tiny, it’s all perspective


That was regarding Eretz Yisrael. This is the State of Israel.


Its what people have done to Israel

vus vais Ich

is it Israel? Or Eretz Yisrael?
Israel is a socialist state that roughly covers part of the previous and future territory of Eretz Yisroel.
Israel (as far as I am concerned) refers to the arrangements made by said socialist organization. It does not (or at least should not) refer to the land or the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel.
And yes, ELAL does have many of the issues that are found in the socialist society of Israel


Dan, Thank you for encouraging the DOT complaint. I received a full refund from El Al.


How long did it take for you to get refund after you completed the DOT complaint?

YF Deals

What happened to the 400 million bailout they received


They may as well offer a donation receipt instead of a ticket in return!
Love this!



My brother had to come back early from his yeshiva. The issue is we have a return ticket that is good for the next 1-2 years. Can we file a dispute since we can claim ElAl cannot service a flight now?


Total nonsequittur


The last line is gold! Thanks.


Most ridiculous situation I ever heard. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for El Al. they need to shape up or ship out for good


Yeshiva group flights are el al. I hope this is resolved before then


I had 6 Round trip for end of May. filed a DOT complaint, received a response from DOT but no refund. Keep following up and getting no response from DOT.


This is DOT’s update i received a few minutes ago:
“Your complaint about El Al Israel’s refund practices during the COVID-19 public health emergency remains open, and we are continuing to review this issue. Complaints from consumers help the Department identify problem areas and trends in the airline industry, and determine if additional action is appropriate.”



Travel agent says July 5 “corona” flight is not canceled (we have kollel men booked on that flight). Any information about what this might mean?


My father was supposed to fly back from TLV on LY003 today which we received a text notification last night that LY003 was cancelled and he was placed on United 91 which leaves Thursday 11:55pm.
He was glad he was placed on a flight back with United instead and not just left figuring out how to get a refund and how to fly back


Well since they are a non profit company they could prob qualify as a non profit for tax purposes




Perhaps it’s a stretch to believe that ElAl may permanently disappear, but if so I think a lot of good could come out of it for North American travelers. The North America- TLV market will recycle and refresh itself with (hopefully) new and exciting options. Such as American taking MIA, and perhaps jump-starting DFW? Maybe United jumping into LAX, expanding SFO, grabbing ORD? Delta may want BOS, and expand JFK? Would WestJet experiment with YYZ?


Doubt were going to see DL BOS-TLV. DLs BOS recovery is shockingly slow. As a DL plat, in my recent travels I’ve had to use a mix of JetBlue and AA simply because DL has all but disappeared from BOS… Only flights available at this point are to major hubs ATL, JFK, DTW, MSP, and even those are scaled back significantly. No SLC. SEA, SFO, LAX, ORD, FLL, BNA, RDU etc…. And those were all hubs or focus cities with the exception of ORD.
Not sure what they’re doing with the whole terminal A, but having flown out of A, B & C in the past few weeks, A is the least busy.
On a side note, MDW is almost a madhouse… Flew BOS-MDW yesterday and there was no gate space available… Every gate was occupied…


AND WE WERE SUPPOSED TO TAKE A 120% VOUCHER FROM THEM INSTEAD OF A CASH REFUND??? LOL!!!! LET THEM SINK AS DEEP AS KORACH WENT IN TO THE…… and s/o will take over and open a new airline the israeli gov doesnt need and want them. they want to open their own airline with THEIR SECURITY!!


Can I file a DOT complaint as a US resident if my ElAl flight was to Europe? (I booked two separate legs for my trip to America, and ElAl was only the first half)


Maybe complain through the EU. They are pretty strict and good for the consumer. But not sure if they are as tough on airlines now re Covid


Dan Why is it still ava. to book on line any ticket u want

Harabi MiUto

EL AL = Every Landing Always Late


Dan next on the ax list should be Air Canada for being bold enough to refuse to comply with DOT!


why can’t they just go out of business already, worst management in the world and it has never improved in over 20 years


I happen to like Elal and I do like that I am flying an Israeli airline. I do feel like this thread is a little like the meraglim. That being said, we booked with chase ultimate rewards points and cash for 7 flights on Elal on 7/12 and chase is not refunding it until they get approval from Elal which I don’t think is going to happen. Any advice?


El al are the worst

jerusalem resident