CastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 466 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 16280 times:
To be honest, I had no plans to visit South America at this point in time. It's just that my plan to take a vacation in BKK was delayed again and again, and by the time I could take it I decided that May is not the best time to go to Thailand - after all, if I want excessive humidity, I might as well stay put in TLV and wait to July.Then I just thought I would prolong the planned weekend in Berlin at the end of June to a whole week or 10 days (no amount of time is ever too much in Berlin) and that would be it. But I happened to be at TLV airport during the time of LY inaugural flight TLV-GRU on 2nd May, and then it hit me: I'm going to South America.
I've always wanted to visit Argentina. have heard interesting stuff from people who've been there, and decided that would be a perfect opportunity. after all, sea & sun I have at home practically all year long, so I was looking for something different than GIG (I know, some of you will find that hard to believe, but I prefer my vacations ocean-free), and GRU didn't appeal to me too much - though I definitely will visit Brazil at another time. still, I had my heart set on EZE for a while and that was going to be it.
So it was going to be LY to Brazil, and as for the competition from GRU to EZE - well, I'm not sure there is any. I was never too keen on AR and RG, LA has only 1 daily flight which didn't have the best connection (and so does BA), so the only option for me and the one I was really looking forward to the most was JJ. the timing couldn't be better: 2 hours in transit on the way to there, 3 hours back (which is needed with LY's harsh security). the choice was made, the tickets booked, and all I had to do now is wait for my flight.
And as long as I'm honest with you guys, I'll admit it: I'm not LY's biggest fan, to say the least. I think the airline has the potential but is too busy in doing so many things wrong, it'll never get anywhere. it's quite a while that LY is trying to get into one of the airline alliances, but without success - TLV is by no means a hub, and the fact the airline does not fly on Jewish holidays and Saturdays as to not anger the orthodox community is a huge problem (and as long as we're on the subject, the fact that all other airlines do fly around the clock does not bother those hypocrites flying with them, nor the fact that LY is now launching a big campaign targeting gay tourists to come to TLV. but god forbid if LY have a delay on a Friday which might cause the aircraft to be in the air during Saturday... and it might just be that I could forgive LY for all the rest, if they weren't such cowards of a minority of no more than 15% of israeli citizens, which as I said is using OAL anyway when they feel like it).
Then again, not everyday LY launches a brand new route. and as I was surprised when I heard it and first reported it here on this site only 6 months ago (and to very sceptic replies), I had to check it for myself.
The last time I sat my behind on an LY seat was in October 2007 when I flew TLV-BKK. I wasn't impressed then, just as I wasn't impressed with them to MUC in 2006, FRA in 2004, SXF in 2002 and YYZ in 1998. with over 50 flights under my belt during the last decade (yes, I do keep track) I think the fact that TLV is my home and I still didn't make even 10% of these with the national carrier, says it all. but hey, who am I to keep a grudge. maybe things have changed, I came with such great expectations this time. at least I know that with the launch of such an important route for them, LY will do everything to make this route their best, at least for starters, right?
Let's start with the ground service: LY has a very, but VERY bizarre rule to not employ people for a period longer than 5 years, the maximum amount they can do it without giving tenyure. what this idiotic rule causes, is that the staff is quite new (the ones working 2-3 years they move to the prestige check in), and the service is rarely professional. and how do I define "professional"? when I ask the agent at the gate how many passengers are on board, and the answer is "I have no idea". "not even an estimate?", I wonder, and she simply replies "no". ah well. if no, then no. how rude was I to ask.
just one more thing before I finish with the ground part: I don't think many are aware to the fact that in TLV itself, the security is not special to LY but it done by the airport security division and is exactly the same for all airlines. just on a side note, in case you feel LY would be "more secured" to fly.
An ad in the gate area for the new route
A look at the aircraft from the gate
Business class on this 772
Boarding the 772
Security, check in, boarding - and I enter the 772, simply to find out that low and behow, LY put on this flight one of it's older 772s, meaning no AVOD on the PTV. I'm disappointed, very much so to be honest. on such long flights, equipment is everything and can make a real difference. boarding comes to an end, and apparently the aircraft is less than 50% full from what I can see. I'm happy about the fact I have a row of 3 all to myself (LY configuration is 3-3-3), and relax.
But not for long. as soon as we start taxiing, I hear a yapping. constant endless monologue, and not very quietly. while I'm wondering who's talking on the phone (or at least it seamed that way) during taxi, I look up and discover that the F/A seated in her jump seat next to the door, is talking with her colleague which is seated at the opposite door! loudly! like she was in a cafe on the beach, and not a person who's suppose to give service for a bunch of passengers who are right in front of her!
We took off exactly at 2200 local time. the aircraft seemed nice and clean, not too old, and I tried to relax again, not that the human boombox went into the galley. but as soon as the seat belt signs have been turned off, one of the flight attendants come and ask me if that's my bag on the aisle seat. I say yes, and whoop - there's a passenger seating next to me. man, that was when I really got furious. I explained nicely to the F/A that I requested to block this seat for me so I could get some sleep, and was answered in "I'm sorry but this lady was seated next to a baby". ok, I'm not that cold hearted - but for the love of god, right in front of us, row 33 was empty. wide open, completely, on both sides. and why is that? because at some point, LY decided to charge USD 50 from any passenger who want the questioned honour to be allowed to sit in an exit row. of course, no one pays that, and those seats remain empty. but this is not the problem - the real farse is, that LY keeps those seats empty for the first part of the flight and will not let people seat there. perhaps someone will decide after an hour that he doesn't enjoy his seat quite enough, pays and move to the exit. but dammit, you know that after the first hour you will not say anything if anyone moves there, why seat someone next me when that's open?!
At this point I just tried yet again to relax and unwind. put on some music on my player and was browsing through LY's inflight magazine, all full of the news of the new route. just one thing was missing there - a guide to this new place you're flying to, you know, GRU?? no, why should they. it was more important to give an article about how to make Brazilian barbecue (big deal: put the meat, turn over, eat).
A look through LY's map of destinations, discovered mainly that they no one told them that Serbia & Montenegro got a divorce a couple of years ago. nothing exciting apart from that.
A look at yet another map, the interactive flight map, showed that the route is like a trip to Europe - going over LCA, ATH, FCO, MRS, BCN, MAD and LIS before turning left towards South America. now, isn't this trip long enough? can we really not avoid going over main cities in classical Europe?
The fantastic service kept being at its best throughout the flight. and in case you didn't get the irony, I will explain that LY's "no staff over 5 years" rule apply to F/As as well, except for pursers. what LY fail to understand, and can easily learn from European airlines, is that senior cabin crews know how to give better and more professional service, unlike a bunch a 20-30 year olds that did not comprehend fully that they are here to give service, and not to get from TLV to their next vacation lay-over. the service is therefore amateur at best, and far from being professional. so unprofessional, no one even knew how to stop the P/A system from giving a high pitch feedback during a couple of announcements (move away from the speakers, dummies!).
Another ad, this time in the form of a heardrest
Old age PTV on this older type of 772
Dinner time, finally. first, the crew do the drinks round. first and last, that is. no drinks (apart from water) will be offered again, throughout the flight, until breakfast time. and no, not even during dinner. you drank now? good, that's enough for you. no go to sleep. I thought I could at least have something alcoholic that would get me sleepy. little did I know, that no alcoholic drinks (apart from that cheapo wine) are served in economy class, at all. so ok, soft drink it is then. the drinks are served with a small corn flour snack, followed by dinner.
Now, about dinner - it's not unheard of that an airline will celebrate a new route with a special meal service. I didn't expect Brazilian steaks and Caipirinhas, but come on, the same old beef?? again??
and old is the operative word here... this funky cow have seen much better days, even in the refrigerator it was stuck in until now. the odd thing is, that like most airlines LY have also its own catering company for their flights out of TLV. one would expect that at least from here the meals will be better. and I do wish to remind once again, that there are no drinks to get it down with. a yes, coffee or tea, both lovely options when you wish to sleep.
After dinner, it's time to take out the trash. so here come's an F/A, with a big green plastic garbage bag, holding it open, and asking you to throw your trash inside. ok, WTF? too lazy to go around with a trolley? it looks like he was actually taking the garbage out. so unprofessional.
Dinner. looking better covered...
YUMMM. Appetizing, isn't it?
Lights are out, so I think I will try to get some sleep. I can't lie down anymore, so I'm trying to sleep while seated (while everybody else are already horizontal because they sit alone), but it's hardly comfortable. I open up a blanket to cover myself, hoping that will get me in the mood - but well, with that thing I could only cover the meal tray. LY, as it seems, are offering blankets that are thin as paper and the worst part is, they are just wide enough for a 15 year old girl. the thing hardly covered me from shoulder to shoulder. I've had more pampering blankets in the army, for god's sake...
No sleep, of course. I browse through the TV channels, catch the middle of some movie, then there are news. lovely, news from Israel are always a great mood setter to start a vacation - or maybe that's the whole idea, to make you happy you're flying away.
Six hours after dinner and 8 into the flight, and still no sleep. an F/A comes with a wicker basket like she's about to go pick flowers on some mountain in Switzerland, and ask if I would like a tuna or a vegetable sandwich (whatever that is). I opt for the tuna, and get the dullest sandwich I have ever eaten. if my mom would ever make me something like that for school when I was younger, I would not come back home. speaking of Switzerland, the sandwiched LX gives on mere 1 hour intra-european flights are much superior.
Three hours before landing and 12 into the flight, the lights are turned on and breakfast is served. and so follows: a bread roll that is so dry it actually disintegrates, a rubbery and well oily omelette, and instead of a proper knife something that looks like a scalpel, with which I am suppose to smear the rock hard butter on the even harder roll.
To make the entire event even more appetizing, I spot an F/A going around holding an oxygen balloon in her hand but at this point I am too tired to even try to figure what's that about.
Being awake now for almost 30 hours, I doze off just at the point where my new unwanted neighbour decided she slept enough and would like to read. how sad it is to discover that her reading lamp, although she's in the aisle and I'm in the window, is aimed at my seat and I get a sunny wake up. as I'm trying to understand if I died and that's the bright light or what exactly is happening here, she apologizes and tries instead the light of the middle seat. that one, miraculously is aimed at her aisle seat.
I manage to sleep a bit before the purser announces we are approaching GRU and asks everyone experiencing a high fever, coughing, and other flu symptoms to notify the crew. I understand why people are cautious with the swine flu, but is the appropriate message to give the passengers is bluntly ask that "if you have it, confess now"?
I was so happy and excited when one of the F/A came to me and ask to fill a questionnaire about the flight. oh, I gladly did. 20 minutes later, I just as gladly got off the aircraft into a nice Brazilian morning, swearing that if the former experiences weren't enough to understand, this is definitely the last time I'm flying LY.
Breakfast. and yes, that was the amount of olives and tomatoes. I did not eat half before taking the pic
Boy, was I happy to arrive to GRU. that was the most excruciating flight I've ever had, and I was happy this part is behind me. the apron was full with aircraft: RG, AV, AF, BA, IB, AA and two LH, which made me wonder if LH is flying MUC-GRU as well. I tried to think hard, but wasn't sure. As I entered the terminal, I was directed by an agent to the connecting flights section. now it's time to see how the Brazilians are doing it.
As criticism is constantly being heard about how STAR is getting bigger and bigger, I wanted to check for myself what the soon-to-be member is up to. the only thing I can think of now is, where they hell were they until now.
In the connecting passengers area awaited a young beautiful agent (apparently, Brazilians are damn sexy and no one told me) who smiled and asked me where I am headed and if I sent any luggage, and wished me a good flight. afterwards I was checked in by another very nice and smiley agent, which took exactly 30 seconds and I had my JJ boarding pass at hand. at this point, I already got from JJ in mere few minutes a better service than I got from LY during 16 hours.
Departures screen at GRU
The beautiful JJ A330 at the gate
Last one. I just love this aircraft
At the gate, half an hour later (I did not have too much time as LY flight was 40 minutes late into GRU), boarding commenced pleasantly and I was very excited to get on my first ever JJ flight. I was greeted by a beautiful A333 with a nice interiors, sparkling clean and looking brand new, comfy seats with good leg pitch and a footrest, and - with AVOD on a touch screen! yes, for this two and a half hours flight!
The cabin crew, just like their ground colleagues, were very charming and greeting passengers with a big but honest smile. during the boarding the passengers were also greeted 3 times over the P/A system. F/As were courteous, happy to assist with luggage, and basically give a great service. maybe it's coming off from an LY flight, but I was genuinely amazed by how nice this crew was. it showed that they really tried their best to make passengers feel welcomed. even before we moved an inch, F/As were going through the aisles, handing out butterscotch toffees (a nice touch), good and high quality amenity kits (again, I remind that this is less than a 3 hour flight), and even warm refreshing towels.
Boarding the A330
A look at the new seats
A better looking, brand new AVOD PTV
And again from the side
Even the lavatories are new and inviting
including a flashy sink!
A look at the cabin during flight
We were on our way right on time, and shortly after take off the crew served a hot breakfast and did the first drinks round - but this time, not the last. the choices for breakfast were very good Empanadas with ham and cheese or a sweet option which from my non existing Portuguese I gathered was some kind of flan with something. the meals were presented on a very inviting looking and colourful tray, with the title "Brazil on board". everything was great, even the dessert which tends to be very suspicious on most airlines' economy class meals. during the meal there was another drinks round (including many fruit juices), after which coffee and tea were offered as well. after the meal I took the time to go over some og JJ's inflight magazines - their regular one, and an additional very interesting bi-monthly one called "Red", which might just be the most interesting and informational inflight magazine I've ever read.
Breakfast. beautifully presented and actually tasty!
Route map midway between GRU and EZE
AVOD PTV menu
The flight went by like a breeze. I even managed to watch a movie just before I found out an online questionnaire regarding JJ's service quality on board, on the IFE system. just as with LY, I guess you could imagine the scores I gave JJ for their wonderful service, throughout. I arrived into EZE with a big smile, when I remembered a line from the CEO editorial in their magazine, saying how the employees are committed to making JJ your favourite airline.
Hey, guess what? you succeed.
A final look at the JJ A330 from an exeptionally dirty EZE bus. no, actually, they were all as dirty as they were old
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 11956 posts, RR: 37 Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 16180 times:
Shalom - and a great report; it's fascinating to hear reports about airlines we don't usually get to hear about. It looks like LY really need to clean up its act. Mind you, I wouldn't expect any airline to tell me how many pax were on board a flight, and certainly not LY!
I was pretty shocked that they were only offering water to drink!
PRAirbus From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2005, 1017 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 16047 times:
Nice report. LY cannot take-off unless it flies every day. Business travelers do need that flexiblity; options. What is wrong with ELAL targeting "gay tourists"? Gay, straight, Jewish, non-Jewish? Diversity means business and tolerance too...
LY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 2 Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 15972 times:
Sad to see that you didn't enjoy the flight... LY is not equal for a flight to another: it can be excellent at times, and average on others...
Concerning their 777s and 744s, they will all receive AVOD from october.
Quoting Vohiv239 (Reply 4):
Not necessarily. I flew on an LY 744 where the config is 3-4-3
Vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1286 posts, RR: 9 Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 15787 times:
Great read. Wow... I actually thought LY was a great airline with great service, but I guess not. I need to read more reports on it. I think I saw one on another website from Bucharest to Tel Aviv. That one seemed pretty okay (in terms on service and customer satisfaction)
Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with them. JJ looks like a sweet airline and hopefully i get to fly them one day.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
B767300ER From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 184 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 15265 times:
Interesting comment about the age of the F/A's too young on ElAl too old on UD legacy
carriers. Hey guys perhaps is not the AGE factor but the SERVICE factor - from
one "old" F/A who regularly flys into TLV.
WideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 473 posts, RR: 4 Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 15110 times:
I am genuinely surprised to find out that LY offers such a bad service. I thought that notwithstanding its peculiarities it was actually an airline to look forward to fly with. I hope they do something about it. Is there a reason for the 5-year rule? What is the logic behind this? Some reason related to security perhaps? If yes, how so?
Finally how did LY compare with its competitors with regard to its prices for this route?
Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
Flyprivate From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 105 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14974 times:
I Think you wrote a Biased article
-flight attendants speak to one another on all airlines and can def be annoying
- flight attendent was very helpful to the lady seated next to a baby - u had bad luck
- only free wine at dinner ?? some airlines dont serve booze and most airlines charge for it
- scalpel as a knife- your complaining about using a METAL cutting untensil on an flight coming from Israel ? would u rather a Plastic knife?
- No Avod - its coming...at least there going forward.. Elal was one of the first airlines to have PTVS
- i never heard a check in agent tell a passenger how many people checked in - its unnecessary info..
- I always welcome a Young Fresh Crew - with eager and happy employees over seniority
-are you seriously complaining about the Lack of an inflight guide to Brazil?
AsoRock From Bahrain, joined May 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14964 times:
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): A look at yet another map, the interactive flight map, showed that the route is like a trip to Europe - going over LCA, ATH, FCO, MRS, BCN, MAD and LIS before turning left towards South America. now, isn't this trip long enough? can we really not avoid going over main cities in classical Europe?
It really surprises me that being a Tel-Aviv resident with so much flying experience as you put it, cannot comprehend at once the reasoning behind the route: an overflight ban on Israeli-operated flights above most Arab states. Right?
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): I understand why people are cautious with the swine flu, but is the appropriate message to give the passengers is bluntly ask that "if you have it, confess now"?
Are you aware Swine Flu was declared a global pandemic recently? Did you even consider this is a formality enforced by the Brazilian authorities for all incoming flights?
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): little did I know, that no alcoholic drinks (apart from that cheapo wine) are served in economy class, at all. so ok, soft drink it is then. the drinks are served with a small corn flour snack, followed by dinner.
Cheapo wine? Perhaps you may have wanted to fly First Class then. Economy class is not a first class winery and won't be in the foreseeable future.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): and it might just be that I could forgive LY for all the rest, if they weren't such cowards of a minority of no more than 15% of israeli citizens, which as I said is using OAL anyway when they feel like it).
Yeah well sadly this very same minority is the reason we'll probably never see peace in Israel/Palestine anytime soon.
I agree with TAM's service which I always appreciate. It felt like a fresh breeze
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3 Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14926 times:
In regards to putting the rubbish in the bag; AA does the same thing. True it is not the most elegant thing to see but it does not bother me. As to LX, true I agree that they serve good sandwiches. Unfortunately that's where it stops. I prefer the LY meals.
As to the routing if they were to fly in a straight line they would have to fly over Libya and / or Sudan. Would be interesting to know the time saved by this routing.
It is unfortunate LY cannot fly on Saturday. But the religious comprise a large percentage of their traffic especially to New York.
Daviation From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 432 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 14421 times:
This was an interesting Trip Report. But I flew LY last year roundtrip (I submitted a trip report here), and I enjoyed every minute of it! Maybe I am just easy to please. But honestly, after you've flown many trips on American, US Airways, Delta, then El Al has great service in comparison. Really, I couldn't find a single thing to complain about. The service at the airports was fine, the flight crew was fine, the 777s were very nice, the seats were comfortable enough for a tall person like me. However, I do agree with you that El Al should not bow to the pressure of the Orthodox political parties who make unreasonable demands of a private corporation.
CityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 14330 times:
I very much enjoyed your report, especially the photos of the TAM interior; great to read of your positive experience, I wonder how they compare to the old Varig and Vasp?! I remember Varig being very much hit and miss ... some excellent staff, some not so great.
I don't think any of your opinions on the service you received were unreasonable - you obviously have an eye for detail which is no bad thing.
ELAL772 From Israel, joined Jun 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 14276 times:
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): F/A seated in her jump seat next to the door, is talking with her colleague which is seated at the opposite door! loudly!
Yes- that's annoying, but happens on all airlines.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): LY decided to charge USD 50 from any passenger who want the questioned honour to be allowed to sit in an exit row. of course, no one pays that, and those seats remain empty. but this is not
Stupid, rude and reminds me of the "GOOD SEATS FOR SALE" signs on charter flights.
BUT I'd pay an extra 50 bucks for a better seat on such a long flight.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): LY's inflight magazine, all full of the news of the new route. just one thing was missing there - a guide to this new place you're flying to, you know, GRU??
Okay, you have a point but don't get too petty.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): what LY fail to understand, and can easily learn from European airlines, is that senior cabin crews know how to give better and more professional service, unlike a bunch a 20-30 year olds that did not comprehend fully that they are here to give service, and not to get from TLV to their next vacation lay-over.
LY flights are not consistent service wise.
Some crews and other employees are great and some others aren't.
Some pursers are horrific but cannot be fired as they are tenure.
But it's true, LYshould send their crews as pax on LH,LX to learn how to give truly professional service.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): first, the crew do the drinks round. first and last, that is. no drinks (apart from water) will be offered again, throughout the flight, until breakfast time. and no, not even during dinner. you drank now? good, that's enough for you
Water runs do take place. The whole drink story on LY is terrible. on morning flights they don't offer any drink at all. You get water on your breakfast tray and then coffee or tea.
Bare in mind though that if you're on a flight with a good purser (like I was on an early morning flight to BCN in March) an hour or so before landing the crew went through the aisles with a full drink service.
What I don't understand is why don't they do the drink and lunch/dinner runs at the same time like other airlines so the passenger could enjoy his diet coke while eating his chicken or beef.
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): Now, about dinner - it's not unheard of that an airline will celebrate a new route with a special meal service. I didn't expect Brazilian steaks and Caipirinhas, but come on, the same old beef?? again??
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): I manage to sleep a bit before the purser announces we are approaching GRU and asks everyone experiencing a high fever, coughing, and other flu symptoms to notify the crew. I understand why people are cautious with the swine flu, but is the appropriate message to give the passengers is bluntly ask that "if you have it, confess now"?
Remember I wrote about horrific pursers with tenure, this was probably one of them.
Ilyag From Israel, joined Jan 2001, 110 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13903 times:
Interesting report, thanks for sharing!
It seems to me that you're biased against LY. Please keep politics aside - they made a business decision not to fly on Saturdays. If you don't like this decision, you can switch to another carrier - there is really nothing to complain about here.
It seems that they were trying to help the poor woman stuck next to a crying baby. Why would you expect LY to block entire row in Y for you while you paid for one seat? You must praise the lord for having an open seat next to you on LY flight and probably no complain why that's not entire row. The extra charge for exit row becomes industry standard - you don't pay for it, you cannot get it. That is their rule - either accept it or switch to someone else. In fact I find some emergency exit rows inferior to regular ones. From my past experience with LY, the crew was almost always nice and very professional. They do have some young attendants, but I have seem many flights with more senior attendants besides the purser. And I never had a problem with the younger stuff. Same for check in and gate agents. Seems to me that part of your complaints is bad lack while the other part is somewhat excessive expectations. I had much worse crews on LH and LX, not talking about American carriers. LY food in Y is usually above industry standard - it is not great, but what do you expect?
Sorry for being negative, but as I said I fond this report biased and your complaints mostly unjustified.
Cambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 617 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 13847 times:
Great trip report! It sounds like you had a poor experience on El Al, and it seems that many of our friends in the A.Net community cannot countenance any criticism of El Al.
Ok, so many of your points are not huge irritants, but combined they can make for a bad trip. Perhaps we should expect nothing when we get on a plane. But one thing we have in common on A.net is a love of aviation. For us, travelling is not about just getting from A to B, but also an emotional experience.
When I get on a plane and receive good, personalised service, there is no feeling like it. When I get on a plane and see only too clearly the shortcomings of many airlines, it is a depressing feeling.
So many of the things that LY got wrong are things that don't cost a lot of money to fix. I think that it is not unreasonable to expect up to date IFE on a new route, and to expect good service on a route that El Al is obviously trying to promote.
I often ask at check in how full the flight is, so I don't find that strange. I have always had a reply, but I can understand that that may be a sensitive issue on LY.
By contrast, your flight with TAM was a good experience, and having a motivated crew makes all the difference. Most airlines fail to be consistent in this area. It seems that TAM are a worthy entrant to Star.
Ilyag From Israel, joined Jan 2001, 110 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13783 times:
Quoting Cambrian (Reply 19): So many of the things that LY got wrong are things that don't cost a lot of money to fix. I think that it is not unreasonable to expect up to date IFE on a new route, and to expect good service on a route that El Al is obviously trying to promote.
I would disagree with that. IFE is very expensive to fix and LY is in the process of doing so. In these cases you always have a chance of getting stuck with the older IFE, which sucks but can happen with every airline. LY was actually among the first to offer IFE on their 744s back 1994. I agree that today it looks terribly old and should have been replaced by now.
Regarding the service - I also agree that lack of warmth and personal service can make the trip less enjoyable. On the other hand it seems to me that CastropRauxel had unrealistic expectation in the first place (such as requesting to block a row for himself, expensive wine or high quality Y meals) that no airline would be able to meet.
LY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 2 Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13768 times:
Quoting Ilyag (Reply 20): Regarding the service - I also agree that lack of warmth and personal service can make the trip less enjoyable. On the other hand it seems to me that CastropRauxel had unrealistic expectation in the first place (such as requesting to block a row for himself, expensive wine or high quality Y meals) that no airline would be able to meet.
I agree with Ilyag. Furthermore, CastropRauxel says that even before the flight, he had a bad image of LY. Then, the biased report.
LY is not the best airline around, but it is a far from being below average.
Further, you were lucky to get PTVs (even no AVOD) as some major airlines (IB, LH, AF...) don't even PTVs on all if their long haul a/c...I flew to MIA with AF (9.5 hours flight), and no PTVs on their 744 (main deck).
Cambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 617 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13717 times:
Ilyag, you are right- new IFE is not a cheap fix by any means. What I meant is that it is surprising not to assign newer aircraft to new routes that LY wish to promote.
With any new route, they are trying to secure the loyalty of passengers who would have flown on another airline- seems a good opportunity to pull out all the stops. Perhaps we are to blame for believing the razzmatazz with which all airlines start new routes.
I also agree that the meal looked ok for Economy, and we can't expect vintage wines down the back of the plane.
Perhaps the original poster was trying to convey his excitement at making the trip, which was rather deflated by average to indifferent onboard service.
CastropRauxel From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 466 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 13690 times:
Thanks guys for all your comments, they're much appreciated.
Now, having that said, let's cut to the chase: This is a trip report. I do not have to be nice or soft towards the airline I criticize. that's the beauty of writing an individual, objective TR. you can agree with it, not agree with it, or plain hate it. it's not written to please the readers or the airline, it is my own view of things and I've not started flying yesterday to be able to form an opinion about what I expect from the airline of my choice.
regarding LY, I never claimed that they were my favourite airline, on the contrary - throughout the TR I made sure to be honest and bluntly say "hey, I don't like flying LY and I very rarely do". I gave LY my money and another chance, thinking maybe something have changed - but clearly it didn't and I was only reminded why I would do anything to avoid them next time. A new, highly anticipated route should be the icing on their cake - and if a passenger is not happy, for whatever reason, then it's time for another look at how things are done. you know, I don't usually fly the private jet I don't own - I fly with the same commercial airlines most of us do, so I have what to compare this too. this is my peronal opinion, and if you don't like it.. well, that's democracy.
Quoting Kaitak (Reply 1): Mind you, I wouldn't expect any airline to tell me how many pax were on board a flight, and certainly not LY!
Why not? I ask that every time at the check in of any airline, do know the situation. I do not expect an exact figure, but I always get an answer by which I know if I should pick a window or an aisle and check my chances to sit more comfortably, especially on a very long flight. I hardly think that's a problem, even for LY.
Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 3): What is wrong with ELAL targeting "gay tourists"?
Nothing at all, don't get me wrong. I simply find it unbelievably hypocritical to avoid flying on saturday to please the orthodox jews, and on the other hand advertising to the gay community which causes those same orthodox jews to hurl. it's a very good business decision to target your desired customers on one hand, but lose so many others on the other. plain stupid. so either bend over and put a "kick me" sign on your back, or fight for your revenue like all other airlines do now. you can't eat the cake and leave it whole.
Quoting B767300ER (Reply 8): perhaps is not the AGE factor but the SERVICE factor
I think it's closely related. age usually means experience, and if service is not your strong side, at least with the age you know better. I don't think it's that strange to expect a better service from an older F/A, is it? there is a reason why airlines put their senior crews in premium classes.
Quoting WideBodyroga (Reply 9): Is there a reason for the 5-year rule? What is the logic behind this?
In one word: money. it's cheaper to dismiss an employee after 5 years and pay them X amount in compensations, than having to pay them so much more down the line (as you know, in this case 5+5 does not equal 10 but much more).
Quoting WideBodyroga (Reply 9): Finally how did LY compare with its competitors with regard to its prices for this route?
Not bad, but also not amazingly good. as with every new route, this caused an immediate drop in the fares from TLV to south America. AF and AZ, for example, both offered cheaper fares.
Quoting Flyprivate (Reply 10): -flight attendants speak to one another on all airlines and can def be annoying
I definitely do not expect people to seal their mouth - but please, this is not my first flight. I've seen F/As talking with each other, but definitely NOT like that. you really should have been there to experience that - they were literally shouting to each other from opposite doors while the A/C was taxiing. this, for me, shows an extreme disrespect to your customers. you can do it more discreetly in 5 minutes in the galley. for heaven's sake, you're gonna have 15 hours to talk now. is it really that necessary to do it now, and in such high volume? you're not at home!
Quoting Flyprivate (Reply 10): - flight attendent was very helpful to the lady seated next to a baby - u had bad luck
Quoting Ilyag (Reply 18): Why would you expect LY to block entire row in Y for you while you paid for one seat?
Very helpful can mean move her to the (maybe you missed this little detail) VACANT row just in front, the one that 15 minutes later was occupied by a passenger who decided to move himself there. in a plane that is 40% full, and most people have a 3-seater to themselves, it's not that unreasonable to hope to get the same. when you are about to fly for 15 hours, it is that much to at least hope to get as comfortable as possible? I know they don't owe me nothing but the seat I paid for - but when there is an available row anyway, it seems different. if it wasn't free, I wouldn't even mention it - but the fact the F/A decided to sit her next to me although very soon thereafter that row was occupied, was annoying. if you're gonna keep that "pay for the exit row" scheme, then do it for the entire flight - you either pay or you don't get that row. I don't understand the idea to keep it empty for the first 30 minutes, and then just look away when someone moves there. this is bad management and too bad you can't realize it.
Quoting Flyprivate (Reply 10): - scalpel as a knife- your complaining about using a METAL cutting untensil on an flight coming from Israel ? would u rather a Plastic knife?
How can I put it - YES I AM. surprisingly as it might seem, it is NOT a requirement of Israeli aviation security to avoid using metal knifes on flights. if you're gonna give your passengers a metal knife anyway, make it something one can actually smear with! this was a joke.
Quoting Flyprivate (Reply 10): - i never heard a check in agent tell a passenger how many people checked in - its unnecessary info.
Then we clearly spent different amounts of time at airports throughout our lives.
Quoting Flyprivate (Reply 10): -are you seriously complaining about the Lack of an inflight guide to Brazil?
Yes. I have never seen one airline which opens a new route and does not do a feature about it in their inflight magazine. never. if you don't advertise your new destination in your own magazine, where else?! again, this is not something that I couldn't live without - just comes to show how LY is not using it's open possibilities. again, bad management.
Quoting AsoRock (Reply 11): It really surprises me that being a Tel-Aviv resident with so much flying experience as you put it, cannot comprehend at once the reasoning behind the route: an overflight ban on Israeli-operated flights above most Arab states. Right?
Oh, jeez. I obviously did not expect the aircraft to paddle to the Atlantic - but isn't that a tad smarter to fly closer to the farther European coastline and shave off a few minutes? is it really necessary to get over mainland France to go through Gibraltar?!
Quoting AsoRock (Reply 11): Are you aware Swine Flu was declared a global pandemic recently? Did you even consider this is a formality enforced by the Brazilian authorities for all incoming flights?
Hmm let me think... oh yeah, JJ flew to Brazil as well and didn't have such an absurd call! and that is a Brazilian airline... but they were a bit less harsh to read out a list of sicknesses. that was plain poor taste. this announcement could have been more carefully written by my kid cousin.
Quoting AsoRock (Reply 11): Cheapo wine? Perhaps you may have wanted to fly First Class then. Economy class is not a first class winery and won't be in the foreseeable future.
Oh, how wrong. how extremely wrong. major European and Asian airlines carefully select their wines even in Y/CL. I remember one interview with the sommelier of a major Asian carrier who explained how he goes every year to France to pick the wines for Y/CL.
You keep forgetting that I did not bring those expectations from home - other airlines actually do that!
I have never seen in not happening. every other airline I've flown with was subtle enough to collect the garbage in a cart, not going around with an open bag and let passengers play garbage basketball!
Quoting Ilyag (Reply 18): they made a business decision not to fly on Saturdays. If you don't like this decision, you can switch to another carrier - there is really nothing to complain about here.
Fine by me. I don't have shares in the airline - for all I care they can fly 3 days a week instead of 6. this is definitely not a complain - it's LY who complain they are losing.
Quoting Ilyag (Reply 20): it seems to me that CastropRauxel had unrealistic expectation in the first place (such as requesting to block a row for himself, expensive wine or high quality Y meals) that no airline would be able to meet
Unrealistic = Not compatible with reality or fact.
I don't think it's unrealistic to get anything which that airline or other airlines do offer their passengers. obviously other airlines do that and I do not see any reason LY shouldn't.
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7177 posts, RR: 45 Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13599 times:
Quoting CastropRauxel (Thread starter): my first ever JJ flight. I was greeted by a beautiful A333 with a nice interiors, sparkling clean and looking brand new, comfy seats with good leg pitch and a footrest, and - with AVOD on a touch screen! yes, for this two and a half hours flight!
I do not believe JJ operates A330-300s. It must have been a -200.