Travel Guide: Flying to Israel What You Need to Know YeahThatsKosher

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Since the October 7 attacks, Israel’s war with Hamas has created substantial disruptions to air travel, prompting airlines to suspend flights to Tel Aviv. Amid these challenges, airlines are gradually resuming services, prioritizing passenger safety and operational viability.

The following guide compiles the latest information on how the major airlines are resuming flights to Israel, their expected schedule and how to take advantage of award travel on El Al.

3 major airlines resuming flights to Israel

United Airlines, known for its ambitious post-pandemic expansion, quickly announced its return to Tel Aviv, becoming the first American company to do so. Beginning operations on March 2, United strategically chose Munich International Airport as a stopover to ensure safe operations before transitioning to daily flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. The move underscores United’s commitment to expanding its network to unique destinations as it navigates complex geopolitical landscapes.

Delta Air Lines, on the other hand, took a more cautious approach, conducting an extensive security risk assessment before announcing its return to Tel Aviv. Scheduled to resume daily flights from JFK on June 7, Delta emphasized its commitment to closely monitor the situation in Israel in collaboration with the government and private sector partners. Despite the delays, Delta’s decision to resume service reflects a balancing act between operational considerations and passenger safety.

In the meantime, American Airlines, although the first to announce its return to Tel Aviv, faced setbacks that led to the postponement of its flights in October. Reports suggest a shortage of widebody aircraft as one of the reasons for the delay, although Simple Flying did not confirm as an official reason. However, American Airlines remains steadfast in prioritizing the safety of its crew and passengers, underscoring the complexities airlines face in resuming services amid uncertain geopolitical climates.

TLV Terminal 1 reopens, smaller airlines will resume flights

After five months, low-cost airline EasyJet plans to resume flights there from Israel on March 25. The return comes after Ben Gurion International Airports’ decision to reopen Terminal 1 on June 1, making it more affordable for smaller airlines. to operate due to its lower operating costs compared to Terminal 3.

After the reopening of Terminal 1, Ryanair also plans to return to Israel. The airline previously canceled flights because the airport did not give permission to use Terminal 3 with port taxes similar to Terminal 1.

Better ways to book award travel with El Al

With flights to Israel returning to normal, travelers are looking for ways to book vacations to Israel affordably. According to Dans Deals, Alaska Airlines recently reduced the price of rewards for El Al flights to Israel. Flights now start at 35,000 points for economy class, 45,000 for premium and 70,000 for one-way business.

By comparison, Delta charges 86,000 points in coach, 145,000 in premium and 320,000 in business on a one-way flight. However, the airline offers a round-trip discount of 96,000 in coach, 188,000 in premium and 410,000 in business.

For those who wish to book directly with El Al, the price varies greatly depending on whether the flight is in summer or winter. FlyCard members and executives in Israel receive discounted award rates, but it is difficult for non-Israeli citizens to receive these discounts as the points threshold is much higher.

In the future, airlines such as ANA, Flying Blue and Virgin Atlantic will allow cardholders to book flights on El Al. Currently, AMEX members can receive 35% off points through the AMEX Business Platinum Card for travel to El Al in any class of service.

Don’t have the right AMEX or points to book these flights? Use our credit card portal to find the right card for you.

Regardless of which card visitors to Israel choose, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to fly to Israel with reward points.

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