Wednesday, September 28, 2011

El Al: No Shana Tova for you

This wasn't the post I was planning to write, but this is something that is going to affect a lot of us very soon, so it's time to get the ball rolling on a community response.

Usually when I get emails like this telling me about some new company policy that is going to screw the public I delete it and tell the person to look at Snopes to learn the truth.

This one was almost no exception, except that the person who originally sent it, is someone in the know when it comes to flying El Al, so I decided to check it out.

Under their current policy (that they modified around 2 years ago), economy class passengers could take 2 bags of 50 pounds each (down from the original 70 pounds). If you needed to take 70 pounds the extra charge was still in the acceptable range (ignoring the high ticket price).

All passengers (except infants*)OL
Destination First Class Business Class Economy Class
All destinations
except North America
Up to 40 kg
(88 pound)
Up to 30 kg
(66 pound)
Up to 23 kg
(50.6 pound)
North American
destinations and Brazil
Up to 4 pieces,
weighing up
to 32 kg/piece
(70.5 pound)
Up to 3 pieces,
up to 32 kg/piece
(70.5 pound)
Up to 2 pieces,
up to 23 kg/piece
(50.6 pound)
Eilat - - Up to 20 Kg
(44 pound)

But starting November 1 all that will change for the much worse. Another way to phrase it is El Al will be introducing a new price gouging policy.

El Al is changing its baggage policies, and making them really really bad for us passengers.

Under their new policy, we passengers may only take with us one (1) piece of luggage!!!
(Apologies if the table doesn't display right).


General Public

Frequent Flyer Club Members

Matmid TL

Silver SL

Gold GL

Platinum, Top Platinum TOP


5 additional kilos

10 additional kilos

North America Economy Class One piece – 23 kilos One piece – 23 kilos Up to 2 pieces – 32 kilos each
Business Class Up to 3 pieces – 32 kilos each Up to 3 pieces – 32 kilos each
First Class Up to 4 pieces – 32 kilos each Up to 4 pieces – 32 kilos each

The El Al fines for additional luggage pieces will be $130 per piece and the fine for overweight will be $240!!!

To be blunt, this is outrageous. Our tickets are expensive enough, and the seats are squeezed together tightly enough. Now El Al plans to squeeze us even more with ridiculous luggage allowances!

Now is the time to call, write and complain about El Al's policy change.

If we consumers don't complain and stop this, we're all going to learn what the word "freier" means.

EL AL Israel Airlines, Ltd.
Customer Relations Department
15 East 26th Street
New York, NY 10010

Fax: 212-8520793

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Michael Sedley said...

I hate to break it to you, but outside of North America the standard on all airlines is 1 piece at 20 KG for economy passangers. Has been that way for at least 30 years.

When I made Aliya, Air New Zealand let me go up to 30 kilos but if I went above that they were going to charge me about $100 FOR EACH KILO!

If I had flown via the US, I could have taken 2 bags at 30 kilos each.

So in fact El Al are brining their poilicy in line with most airlines that don't fly to North American, I wouldn't be surprised if other airlines implement the a similar policy.

achmed zuchmir said...


Who cares what other airlines do? El Al is now implementing a policy that is bad for it's consumers. If you like being hit on your head by the neighborhood bully - because all the bullies do that- I can't help you too much.

Anonymous said...

@ Michael.

Actually, that is only the case with regional airlines. Most airlines allow two bags when flying international.

Gee a Moron said...

In the past year many airlines have changed their baggage policy to one piece 50 lbs. from North America. El Al is falling into line with this new trend.

What got me angry was the email heading announcing their new improved baggage policy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of 'baggage', did anyone catch O'bama’s “Jew, I mean a janitor” gaffe on CNBC ?

BL said...

@The Professor
I flew with a major airline today (Singapore Airlines), the flight was international, and the luggage limit was 1 piece at 20 kg.

Anonymous said...

Delta is charging $60 for a second bag to the Middle East and Delta $70. Half of ElAl. And they have a lot of exceptions on charging for the second piece.

Anonymous said...

Actually Continental doesn't charge for the 2nd bag to Israel

jeff said...

I stopped flying Every Landing ALways Late years ago. Why give them our money? Fly which ever airline is cheapest with the service you want

Dovid from Modiin said...

Continental charges an extra $70 for the 2nd bag.

MJ said...

It would be one thing if they were going to drop the prices on the tickets by the same amount, but obviously they won't.

They know that the majority of their coach customers need the two bags. How else to get all the stuff you buy at Target and Costco back to the Holey in your Wallet Land?

Consider that for the typical Israeli traveling, round trip tickets to America for a family of four are already more than a months household salary and hopefully this will raise enough ire from the public to get El Al to back down (it worked for Tnuva).

In the meantime I'm booking my winter flights now - as I think the policy starts with bookings - not flights - beginning nov. 1

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