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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘El Al’

Did the US Let Hamas Rule Israel’s Skies?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

As Israeli officials work to untangle the mess at Ben Gurion International Airport in the wake of an international ban on flights in and out of Tel Aviv, an ominous question is hanging over the Jewish State.

Did the United States allow Hamas terrorists to rule over Israel’s skies? Why would an “ally” do such a thing?

Although the FAA lifted its ban — which had to be approved by the White House — by midnight Wednesday, it still wasn’t clear whether airlines got the message. Worse, perhaps they had.

The damage incurred by an unprecedented 48-hour FAA ban on flights to Israel by U.S. carriers was incalculable, triggering a cascade of bans and possibly unparalleled damage to Israel’s economy.

The European Aviatian Safety Agency (EASA) “strongly recommended” its airlines avoid operating in and out of Tel Aviv.

Air France, Lufhansa, Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Alitalia, Aeroflot and its associated airlines, and Turkish Airlines all suspended flights. Air Canada, generally a strong supporter of the Jewish State, also shied away.

Many still have not reinstated their flights. Those that have still have not established regular schedules. Ben Gurion airport is still a mess, with desperate travelers trying to figure out how to find their luggage and fix their ruined plans. Tracking down food, caring for children, getting enough sleep, changing clothes and dealing with hygiene needs — all of these issues were cast aside by many airlines after the first 24 hours, and by some from the very start, travelers told Israeli radio interviewers.

British Airways alone maintained its twice-daily flights to Ben Gurion International Airport from London Heathrow Airport.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his gratitude and special thanks to British Foreign Minister Phillip Hammond on Thursday in a news briefing with media, noting that apparently Britain alone understood the importance of not handing a “free prize to Hamas terror.”

Fifteen minutes before midnight, the FAA lifted its flight restrictions on U.S. airline flights into and out of Ben Gurion airport “by cancelling a Notice to Airmen it renewed earlier today…

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the notice read.

The back step followed a hugely publicized flight to Israel by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who scorned the FAA moved as ridiculous. Bloomberg immediately boarded an El Al plane straight to Tel Aviv, declaring to reporters that Ben Gurion International Airport is the safest in the world. The prime minister greeted Bloomberg at the airport, thanking him for coming and calling him a friend and a “man of principle and truth.”

New El Al Slogans

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

With El Al now being the only airline flying in and out of Israel, I came up with some new slogans for them. I hope they use one:

 

“El Al – The airline that flies you to Israel. The only one…”

 

“El Al – Our pilots are trained in evasive maneuvers”

 

“El Al – If we didn’t have a monopoly before, we sure do now”

 

“El Al – Keeping Israel Open for Business”

 

“El Al – We’ll take you anywhere (except Gaza)”

 

“El Al – Special Discount for Brave Americans – Just kidding, no discount”

 

“El Al – We never fly to Israel on Shabbat – those other airlines are just copycats”

 

“El Al – Hah! Now those HAS Advantage points you collected are really worthless”

 

“El Al – If you thought our service was bad when we had competition…”

 

“El Al – Fly El Al, see our anti-missile system in action”

 

“El Al – We’ll keep on flying, even when missiles fly too”

 

“El Al – It’s not just an airline, it’s an adventure”

 

“El  Al – Flying the unfriendly skies”

 

“El Al -We know why you fly us, because we’re the only one around’

Let’s hear your ideas.

4.8 Million Israelis Traveled Overseas in 2013

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

4.8 million Israelis traveled overseas in 2013, according to a report in Yisrael Hayom.

That’s an amazing number, considering there are only 8 million citizens in Israel. It’s also the highest ratio of travelers to citizens in the world.

It’s was a 11.6% increase from 2012, up from 4.3 million. The average traveler’s age is 40, and 900,000 Israelis traveled out more than once.

July and August accounted for 1.7 million Israelis abroad. If you add in the holidays in September and October, that number jumps to 2.7 million. An astounding one-third of the country was overseas at the same time.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder Israel never feels crowded.

Quite interesting, the time when most Israelis stop flying out of Israel are during wars and national emergencies, when the number of travelers out of the country drops dramatically and people choose to stay in Israel.

Go figure.

Pope Visits Sderot

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

The Pope saw Sderot before he left Israel.

Well, it wasn’t the Israeli town near Gaza that has been constantly bombarded by rockets and missiles from the Pope’s Palestinian friends, but rather, that’s the designation of the El Al plane that flew him out of Israel.

Still, there’s something mystically significant in that message.

An Israeli Italian Strike

Friday, May 9th, 2014

A number of El Al pilots didn’t show up for their flights on Thursday evening, calling in “sick”, apparently protesting against the side effects of El Al’s creation of a budget airline service called “Up”.

The Israeli version of the Italian strike left hundred of travelers stuck at the airport with long delays, and one flight to Munich was completely cancelled.

The pilots claim they are flying too many hours, and have too many last-minute itinerary changes as of late.

They’re demanding that El Al hire more pilots to lighten the load.

El Al recently cancelled their point sharing agreement with HAS Advantage Visa card holders, leaving angry and surprised card holders with many tens of thousands of points that can no longer be applied towards El Al flights.

Breaking: HAS Visa Points Now Worthless for El Al Flights

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

In a story the details of which are just beginning to dribble out, Israeli airline El Al and the credit card company Heritage Affinity Services (HAS Visa) are no longer in a cooperative agreement.

HAS allows owners to designate Israel-related charities as beneficiaries of their purchases. It also provides – or at least provided – the opportunity to collect “points” towards the purchase of many goods, including El Al airlines tickets. As such, it is a highly valued card in the American Jewish community.

The severance occurred without any advance notice. Customers in El Al’s frequent flyer group, “Matmid” received an email notice on Thursday morning, April 24, with the peremptory note that: “The point conversion program with HAS credit cards has ended.”

One HAS client, Helene from New York, who was collecting HAS points specifically for a flight to Israel told JewishPress.com that she was shocked by the email, and feels that El Al just robbed her.

HAS points which have already been converted to use for El Al tickets will be honored, but no other HAS points – including those already collected but not yet converted – can be used towards El Al ticket purchases.

El Al customer service representatives told frustrated customers that the divorce was a “mutual decision,” while the HAS service representatives were not even initially aware of the severance. According to HAS, after consultation with management, the decision was made by El Al.

Many American Jews use the HAS card especially in order to collect “points” which can be used towards El Al airline tickets. At least one card holder explained to The Jewish Press that the El Al arrangement was a major reason why many people became HAS cardholders.

Some customers have already been told that collected points will not be redeemed by the airline, although they will continue to be eligible for the many other discounts and services offered by HAS.

One Israeli, much of whose family lives in the States, wants El Al to, at the very least, provide a grace period for customers who have been collecting points in good faith.

“I think El Al has an obligation to honor the points for the next few weeks, so those of us who have collected enough for a ticket, can convert them now. This is very unfair and unethical.”

El Al Plan Will Carry Vatican Logo for Pope’s Return Trip

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The familiar symbol of the Israeli flag that adorns El Al airplanes will be accompanied the logo of the Vatican when the airline brings Pope Francis back from Israel to the Vatican after his visit in May.

A specially selected crew will man the plane, which will carry the pope, 30 church officials and dozens of journalists, Globes reported.

Incoming El Al CEO David Maimon said, “El Al is proud to have been chosen to provide its services for the pope and his delegation on his historic visit to Israel, and will provide the delegation a special flight at the end of the visit. We will meet all the needs of pilgrims who will accompany the Papal visit to Israel, including special aircrews for the flight.”

The pope will visit Israel at the end of his Middle East tour that will begin in Jordan and continue in Bethlehem and then Jerusalem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/el-al-plan-will-carry-vatican-logo-for-popes-return-trip/2014/04/09/

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