I won’t rehash the story about the El Al glitch and the airline’s humble decision to honor the “hugely discounted” ticket bookings between JFK and EWR to TLV. Others, such as Deals We Like, Very Good Points and Just Another Point Traveler, all Boarding Area blogs, have covered the topic in detail.
All I can say, is that I was lucky to purchase two tickets for $353 per ticket RT.
When El Al issued its statement saying that it would honor these tickets, it additionally announced that purchasers would be given the opportunity to convert their tickets from a codeshare partner with a connecting flight in Europe to a non-stop El Al flight for an additional $75 each way. Such rebookings, could be made beginning August 14, 2012.
Thus, since the tickets we purchased were for $353 each, by adding $150 per ticket, we could fly non-stop to Israel for $505 per person.
After I purchased the tickets, I had decided that 4 nights/ 3 days in Israel (my first visit) was way too short, and hoped that El Al would let me change dates by a day or two here and there when I called on August 14th.
Also, it was not clear from El Al’s statement, whether the changes had to be done by email, or whether we could call These are the results of my call to El Al.
Here are my experiences – please note I have not received the confirmations of my rebooking yet, so its all based on what the El Al agent told me:
1) I called the main toll free USA phone number for El Al. I did not have to wait a long time.
2) I was able to change my flights to non-stops, and I was able to change the dates.
2/16 – JFK-ZRH-TLV
2/21 – TLV-LHR-JFK
2/17 – JFK-TLV
2/24 – TLV-JFK
My only dissappointment was that I had wanted to fly home on the flight that leaves TLV at 1am on 2/24, but was told that there was only room on the one that leaves at 9:40am.
3) I was told that certain flights were marked as “full” to people with these (glitch) tickets
4) I was told that the new flights were class W – which would mean 100% mileage for American Airlines Advantage members (Update: the information on the El Al website describes my fare is “economy restricted” – I am trying to verify that that will indeed be considered class W).
Anyway, I’m thrilled. I hope this has helped those who are yet to rebook and have questions. Please share your experiences below.
On a totally unrelated note – I would like to share with you a post I wrote a few weeks ago concerning: Jewish Olympic Athletes during the Holocaust.
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