On The Road: NYC And Israel Trip Notes, Update #2.

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I’m posting from a nice comfy couch at the Continental Presidents club in Newark, where it’s T-90 minutes until our flight to Israel.

The main Presidents club in Concourse C here is very nice and roomy, and is 2nd only to the expansive 3 floor lounge in Houston terminal E.

I realized that I may have some issues upon entering the Presidents club when I saw that I had 4 potential ways to enter the club for free: My Amex Plat charge card, my Presidential Plus Mastercard, my lifetime PC membership, and my BusinessFirst boarding passes…

It’s hard to explain the exact appeal of the club to someone who’s never visited one, but it definitely improves the entire travel experience.  This morning I had breakfast (Honey nut chex, bananas, and a granola bar) at the Cleveland lounge and now I’m filling up my water bottles with ice cold water for my flight.  Wi-Fi and Alcoholic drinks are all complementary.

The showers here are nothing spectacular but are very nice to have after a long trip.  The shower attendant will even press your clothes and give you a BusinessFirst amenity kit regardless of whether you are flying or not just for the asking!

For those who were asked from my last trip report, on my Airtran flight Skype and Gizmo5 were not blocked, however after placing a call it was only clear for the first 5 seconds, after that all that was heard was digital musical notes.  Go-Go is definitely using some sort of blocking system so as to not allow VOIP.  In addition the system only works when you get above 10,000 feet, it won’t work at the gate.

Here’s my trip outline:

-Renting a Mazda 3 from Budget for 2 weeks for $240 with a corporate rate.

08/24: Continental 84 EWR-TLV: BusinessFirst class.

08/25-08/28: Holiday Inn Tiberias (Normally $250/night, paid $30 a night-more on that in the next report1)

08/28-08/30: TBD. (Kfar Chabad or Jerusalem)

08/30-09/01: Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem (Normally $300/night, paid 5,000 SPG/night)

09/01-09/07: King Solomon, Jerusalem

09/07: Delta 153 TLV-ATL: BusinessElite class lie-flat seats on the new 777-LR aircraft.

Yikes-Time to head to the gate for the secondary TLV screening…catch ya from the holy land!

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22 Comments On "On The Road: NYC And Israel Trip Notes, Update #2."

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What corporate rate do you have from budget?


Would love to meet you while you’re here…


these are my favorite posts!


dan get ready for the king solomon i just stayed there for 10 night the rooms and service were horrid. let us know what you think of it.


I used Skype on American Airlines and Virgin America and had no problem with it except that the noise from the plane interfered with the call so i had to mute the mic but i was able to type to my wife and kids and hear them just fine when i plugged in my headphones, must be bad luck or st!


which Avis corporate did you use?


I tried a corporate code from a Google search and got a pretty good rate at Budget. I was just wondering what you are using for insurance on the rental?


Welcome to Israel. I’m here and would walk over to Budget this instant if i knew how to get that rate from Budget. Any help,Dan?


the flight back is a777 bu not the lr its a nice plane but not the lie flat seats private cabins etc.


@ C: It is the 180 suite-seats. Check your info again.

dan is da man!!

hey DAN.

Does it make any sense to sing up for the amex Platinum card and cancel (or change to a lower card) within the first month?
This way i wont get charged the annual fee of $450(!) – (at most it will be prorated)but i will still get access to airport lounges etc. plus will get the 25000 sign bonus…

Dan (or anyone)whats you OPINION?


dan im going to israel in a few months with elal. how do i do this skype thing?? it can be used while in flight? is there a cost?
also do u have any good rates for rental jan time?
appreciate the help. enjoy your trip


anyone know about the lounge in newark airport for elal? i heard its a hotel. is it any good? is it worth shlepping to it?


i was on the flight tweice in the last month new 777s not the suites im sure the seat goes down 180 but its a 222 figuration


Good work! I’m using my Mastercard World for insurance, but there’s seemingly no way out of the mandatory 3rd party insurance scam.

@dan is da man!!:
You can cancel any card with an annual fee whether its a new card or a renewal within 30 days of the charge showing up on your statement for free. Rumor has it the card works for club access even if it’s canceled…

Delta flies both the regular 777 and the 777LR to Israel.
The only way to know which version you’ll get is by looking at the seat map.
The regular 777 in BusinessElite is indeed 2-2-2 and is not lie-flat, the LR is 1-2-1 and is lie-flat.

But don’t take my word for it-look up my flight for yourself!


dan, how were you able to get Mamilla for 5k per night. did that include the 10k *W gave you and everyone else for the problems that came about due to the 4 Hotels being kicked out?

If yes then you didnt pay 5k per night but 10k

just got back from FCO and the UA 777 wasnt the reg 1 they use even thou the seat map always showed the reg configure

Hope you lock out with getting the 1-2-1, but just as CO showed the plane with AVOD before all of them were changed over. Equipment changes are done everyday, and you wont know what you will get till the plane leaves the day before over to TLV.

Been there too many times to rely on anything else , and sometimes I saw the better plane, only to board to see in the end it wasnt.

My Advice is to book 2 seats that will be on both planes so that if anything hits the fan, hopefully you guys will escape any problems.

As for the King Solomon I dont whats worse the rooms or the food, they both _____ !


240 Dollars is a good deal for mazda 3. What code did you use?

If one rents on Hertz Website and is covered by a cc on insurance, doesnt Hertz/avis still make you buy a insurance third party?


I just stayed at the King Solomon last week. Granted, it’s not the David Citadel but the rooms were clean and comfortable. The bathrooms were spotless and the service was very friendly.

Enjoy your travels!


Dan does that mean that your rate includes insurance. Can you tell me the breakdown on the rate and the insurance. Thanks



I dont know of a single company that wont charge the 3rd party liability. Unless you are taking their CDW which has it bundled into it someway.

Of cause that will cost more

Could be Dan rented 2 bikes and thusly doesnt have to pay the ins on it

But I cant understand how a Mazda 3 or 1 cat below automatic can be had for a net-net with everything for $240 or $120 a week.Could be Dan has something up his sleeve


freddie im not sure if we stayed at the same hotel. the rooms have a musty smell and my linen and towels were dirty. the electric in the room turn off every 3 min. there food was horrible and never enough. the milk in the morning was spoiled. and they never do anything for you. you are right that its not the citadel. but its worse then a motel 8.

david gross

B>S on the car rate tried everything , noway no how