Reservations: (020) 7121 1400. Ticketing: (020) 7121 1420
Online check-in (or “Express Check-In”) is available from 27 hours until three hours before departure, except for Eilat flights when it is available from 20 hours until three hours before departure.
Early Check-In is offered for passengers departing from Israel. For a fee, such passengers may complete their security check from their home or workplace and send their luggage to the airport from 24 to six hours before the flight.
If checking-in at the airport, El Al recommends that Economy Class passengers arrive at least three hours before departure. Check-in for Israel flights closes around one hour before the flight.
Hand luggage: Economy-Class passengers are allowed to bring one item of hand luggage weighing no more than 8kg (17lbs) with maximum dimensions of 56 x 45 x 25cm (22 x 18 x 10in).
Checked: Economy-Class passengers travelling to all destinations apart from North America and Eilat are allowed up to 23kg (44lbs) of free checked luggage each. Those flying to North America are entitled to up to two items, each weighing up to 23kg (50lbs). Passengers flying to Eilat are entitled to up to 20kg (44lbs) of free checked baggage. Infants flying in Economy Class are entitled to up to 10kg (22lbs) of free checked baggage as well as a buggy, carrying-cot or child seat. On flights to North America, this allowance rises to 23kg (50lbs), and on flights to Brazil it rises further to 32kg (70lbs).
Excess: Excess fees vary according to class and route. On Economy Class flights to/from Europe, South Africa or the Far East, excess is charged at a rate of 1.5 per cent of a corresponding category Y Economy Class ticket per kg overweight. Contact El Al for more specific information.
In Economy Class, seat pitch varies from 80 to 85cm (31- 33in). In Business Class, passengers can expect from 114 to 157.5cm (45 to 62in), and in First Class seat pitch can be as much as 195.6cm (77in).
Seats are assigned during the booking process. Preferred seats can be requested by Matmid (frequent flyer scheme) members at entry or Silver level who will be charged for the privilege. Those with a Gold or higher membership level do not have to pay for such a request.
Certain changes to the booking, such as seat reservation or meal preferences, can be made via the Manage My Booking section of El Al’s website up to 30 hours before departure. Other changes, such as changing destination, airport of origin, or passenger name, may be subject to fees. Contact the airline for more specific information.
Infants of less than two years of age may travel on an adult’s lap for around 10 per cent of the corresponding adult fare. A buggy or child seat can be checked-in as part of the infant or adult’s hand luggage allowance.
El Al sometimes offers discounted fares for travellers of 60 years or more on certain routes and tickets.
Cats, dogs and exotic birds can travel in the passenger cabin, provided that they are properly crated in a container not larger than 40 x 40 x 21cm (15 x 15 x 8in) that may be stored under the seat in front and that the combined weight of both animal and container is less than 8kg (17lbs). The airline must be notified in advance if you wish to transport an animal, and the animal must also be accompanied by all necessary documents, for instance certificates of health or import visas. Charges for the transportation of animals are calculated according to route as well as the animal’s weight. Contact the airline for more specific information. Service animals are carried free of charge and are not required to be crated. They may travel in the passenger cabin provided that they are kept on a leash.
Small musical instruments that are within the maximum size and weight limits may be carried as hand luggage. Contact the airline for specific information if you wish to transport a large instrument.
El Al’s interactive V.O.D. (video on demand) in-flight entertainment system offers content including movies, TV programmes and games as well as music via a selection of audio channels.
Matmid. El Al’s frequent flyer programme has five tiers of membership: Matmid (less than 1000 points collected during 12 months), Matmid Silver (1000 to 1999 points), Matmid Gold (2000 to 4999 points), Matmid Platinum (5000 to 9,999 points) and Matmid Top Platinum Circle (1000 points or more). Points are earned via flights with El Al as well as its partner airlines and may be spent on flights and upgrades as well as discounts with car rental companies, hotels and other non-airline partners.
See photographs of El Al in-flight meals taken by fellow flyers and read reviews at airlinemeals.net.
Atmosphere is the name of El Al’s in-flight magazine. It contains a wide range of travel and lifestyle articles.
El Al is not a member of any major airline alliance. However, the airline has codeshare agreements with airlines including JetBlue Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, Thai Airways, American Airlines, Air China and Iberia Airlines.
El Al Israel Airlines is the nation of Israel’s flag carrier, based at Ben Gurion International Airport, its hub airport, in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Its name means “to the skies” in Hebrew, and its slogan is “It’s not just an airline, it’s Israel”.
The carrier’s slogan is appropriate given its close connection with the state. The carrier was founded in 1948, the same year that the nation declared independence, and its first flight carried first president of Israel Chaim Weizmann back to Israel after a conference in Geneva.
Since its inaugural flight El Al has grown considerably and now operates a fleet of some 40 aircraft and serves destinations across five continents. Its schedule includes regular direct flights to and from London Heathrow and Luton airports as well as some Stansted services.