While the US has notoriously weak consumer protection laws for delayed or cancelled flights, Israel has some of the most consumer friendly laws in the world.
I’ve written about them several times over the years, including in this 2018 post.
In short, if your flight to or from Israel is delayed by 8 hours or if it’s cancelled within 2 weeks of departure and you’ll be 8 hours late due to that, you can request compensation. The airline will have to pay 1,300NIS for flights up to 2,000kms, 2,090NIS for flights up to 4,500kms, and 3,130NIS for flights over 4,500kms. All flights to North America fall into the latter category, so you can get about $1,000 in cash per traveler for a long delay or cancellation!
The law applies when there are staffing issues and when there are mechanical delays. The law does not apply when there are special circumstances not under the airline’s control, such as weather delays.
You need to contact your airline to file a claim. Be sure to state the exact compensation that you are seeking.
In the 2018 post I noted that DDF member jr611 was offered the choice of a $1,000 United voucher or 30K miles instead of the $845 compensation that was required at the time.
DDF member yandmk helps people file claims and shares with me that United is now offering a $1,200 United voucher or 60K miles instead of the $1,000 cash compensation. Unlike back in 2018, United travel certificates are now valid for 2 years instead of 1 year and they are valid for United partner flights instead of just for United flights, so that’s a fairly generous 20% bonus offer if you’re going to travel over the next 2 years!
A United travel certificate can be saved in your account, can used for travel by anyone, and can be used multiple times until all of the funds are exhausted. You can also merge certificates together and typically the expiration date will be extended for 2 years from the time of the merger.
60,000 miles used to be more valuable than they are today, though in 2018 they were only offering 30,000 miles and now United miles no longer expire. You would be parting with $1,000 cash for the 60,000 miles, so you would essentially be paying 1.67 cents per mile compared to the cash or 2 cents per mile compared to the travel certificate. That’s too rich of a mileage valuation for my blood.
You can contact customer relations and ask for Israel delayed/cancelled flight compensation with Air Canada by contacting them here, with American by contacting them here, with Delta by contacting them here and with United by contacting them here. If you are booked on El Al you can click here to contact El Al, click on “after the flight”, click on “other”, click “continue”, and then fill in your personal details and write the circumstances of the claim with a reference to the law that requires a 3,130 shekel cash payment for delays over 8 hours on flights that are more than 4,500 kilometers in distance.
Have you been compensation for your delayed or cancelled Israel flight?