Flying with Israel's National Airline
El Al Israel Airlines was established as Israel's national airline in 1948. Commercial flights began a year later, mostly to European capitals like Rome, Paris and London. Non-stop flights to the Americas began in the 1960s, and during this decade El Al achieved its first significant milestone by reaching 1 million passengers served. During the 1990s, the airline expanded its range of destinations to include South East Asia. El Al Israel Airlines now operates domestic and international flights to nearly 60 cities on 5 continents. The airline is also known for its holiday packages and for the low-cost alternatives offered through its subsidiary UP.
Flying with El Al Israel Airlines
Ticket classes with El Al include Economy, characterised by larger than average overhead space, LED lighting and ergonomic seats); Premium Economy, that's only available in certain routes and offers 96 cm of legroom; Business, which features dedicated check-in counters, access to the airline's airport lounges and flat-bed seats; and First Class, which offer exclusive ground and in-flight services.
Fare structure for Economy and Premium Economy tickets:
- Basic (hand-luggage only and non-refundable)
- Flexible Economy (checked baggage included and allows certain changes and cancellations free of charge)
- Smart (checked baggage included and allows all changes and cancellations at no extra charge)
Fare structure for Business and First class tickets:
- Business Special and Business Flexible (cancellation and refund fees may apply)
- First (unlimited changes and cancellations, highest baggage allowance)
Matmid club members get access to all the benefits offered by El Al's loyalty programme, which include exclusive airfare deals, business class upgrades and a range of complimentary in-flight amenities.
Passengers travelling with carry-on bags only can save time and check-in online or using the airline's dedicated app, which allows passengers to get on the plane using an electronic boarding pass. Self-service stands are available at selected airports.
- Checked baggage limits are determined by the ticket class. Economy passengers get a one 23 kg (50 lbs) bag allowance, Premium Economy travellers get two 23 kg bags, Business class travellers get two 32 kg (70 lbs) bags and First class passengers get three 32 kg bags.
- Hand luggage is similarly calculated according to ticket class. The allowance is one 8 kg piece in Economy, two 8 kg pieces in Premium Economy, two pieces with a maximum combined weight of 20 kg (44 lbs) in Business and two pieces with a maximum combined weight of 24 kg (52 lbs) in First class. In all cases, the bag's dimensions cannot exceed 56 x 45 x 25 cm (L + W + D).