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EL-AL At It's Best: TLV-MXP, FCO-TLV (+pics)  
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1301 posts, RR: 5
Posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 30955 times:

I have to admit that in spite of my user name, “EL-AL”, I was never an LY fan. LY’s service during the years was way below standard expected from national flag carrier, stories and jokes about LY were common in Israel till the 90s. The change started between 1996-99, under Yoal Peldasho term as LY’s CEO, he was the first to point out that the service is LY’s week point, and among other things that he did was to reduce the seats number on LY jets and to improve the airline’s food.
Still, the process takes time, and when I flew LY (both Europe and transatlantic) between 1998-2001 the service could improve. My LY flights on 2002-03 were already better, and except short hope to ZRH in 2007 I didn’t fly LY since 2003, so I had no idea what to expect for. Need to mention that the airline was privatized in 2004.

Background:
My family and I decided to make a trip to Italy, A wonderful country that we all like and willing to visit every time. Because we started at the north and finished in Rome, we landed in MXP and departed back home from FCO. Therefore, we had to choose LY or AZ; we choose LY not from patriotic reasons but due to more obvious reason - they were cheaper.

Booking:
Nothing to tell here, we booked the flight months in advance using our travel agent.

Pre-flight:
We woke up at 5:15, and got to the airport at around 6:00. Security questioning was quick and last no more then 30 seconds. Even tough the check in area was busy, the waiting took us no more then 10 minutes. No many surprises here, since we booked our seats in advance. I got for myself seat 53A, which is a window seat, to the left side, not over the wing - just the way I like it. My mother asked if it’s possible to move to exit row seat, and she was told that this seat cost extra $39. We didn’t take it of course.

Check in area:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2488/4001476535_e2a7488dec_o.jpg

Shakim Hall:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3528/4001487689_a3720fea17_o.jpg

My plane from Shakim hall: 4X-EKC, my first flight on it.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3116/4001487699_456afabba9_o.jpg

Flight panel in TLV (my flight is on the 4th row):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2554/4001487707_b84da79b05_o.jpg

Hand bag check and passport control was faster then usuall, so we had extra duty free time which I used for some plane spotting.

Arkia B757-300:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3472/4001487715_340b053d48_o.jpg

EL AL B747-400 heading to Moscow:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2504/4001496539_91eef73b3e_o.jpg

No lounges pics this time, on morning flights I rather sleep few more minutes and to get to the airport 90 minutes before takeoff, while on afternoon-evening flights (like my last flight to Bulgaria) I usually come a bit early to look around. This time, after the walking around the gates, It was already boarding time.

Flights leaving D wing, mostly LY flights:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2619/4001487719_8fe19696a1_o.jpg

Bording:
We boarded from gate D2 at Terminal 3. Boarding process itself was calm and fast, even tough the flight was 100% full.

Gate:


My seat:


Flight details:
Airline: EL AL Israel Airlines.
Flight: LY381
Airplane: Boeing B737-800 4X-EKC Beit Shean (Built 1999)
Routing: Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Israel to Milan Malpensa Italy.
Seat: 53A
Date: Friday, September 25th 2009.
Gates: D2 (Terminal 3) -> B3 (Terminal 1)
Runways: 12 -> 35L
Class: Economy.
SDT/SAT: 07:40/10:40

Actual Timing:
Pushback: 07:37
Taxi: 07:44
Wheels off: 07:54
Touchdown: 11:29 (10:29 local)
Full stop: 11:38
Airborn time: 3 hours 35 minutes.

Flight:
After boarding the first thing that I noticed was the generous legroom - I thought that the LY standard was 32”, but it was at least 34”.
Prior to pushback water were served and the Chief FA welcomed us on speaker. Pushback was right on time, and a safety video was on while we taxied to the runway.
After short Taxi we took off to the east from RWY 12, made 180 degrees turn to the right, and crossed the coast over Tel Aviv's southern suburbs (Reshon Lezion).

Taxi to runway, overview of Terminal 3:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3443/4001496553_d5f89a3f45_o.jpg

After turning, heading to the sea:


Few minutes afterwards the Captain introduced himself and explaned us about the flight. Live masseges were in Hebrew and English, while recorded messages were in Hebrew, English and Italian.

Wonderfull visability today, we could see the coast line of Sinai:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3523/4001496571_f24222ec93_o.jpg

Boarding pass:


Food:
Breakfast was served about 15 minutes after the seat belts sign was off. The choice was Omelet or Fruit salad with yogurt. I choose Omelet; the whole meal was very good, only the omelet was a bit to greasy for me (I made my omelets at home on Teflon with no oil at all, so maybe I’m not an example).

Water was served every 30 minutes more or less, and beverages with snakes were given about 15 minutes before descending. Can’t ask for more in less then 4 hours flight in Y class.

My meal:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2633/4001500281_0b2ed90844_o.jpg

Swine flew mania? Alcoholic peds were given with the meal:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3521/4001500343_967a8da480_o.jpg

Service:
Couldn’t be better. I was overwhelmed by the huge change in LY’s service, what used to be the airline’s weakest link. My young sister ordered children’s meal, which was very good (cereals and milk, chocolate milk, yellow cheese, cottage cheese, butter and jam) but had no omelet. Thus, my mother and sister shred one omelet. Not even 2 minutes afterwards, one FA came with an extra omelet and told us “I see that you both are sharing one omelet, I thought you may want another one”. This, when the flight was 100% full and without even asking.
Another example: When coffee and tea were served after the meal, my mother asked for low fat milk instead of regular cream. The FA brought us some milk from the back, and went on with the service. As she moved back to the galley she asked my mother “is the coffee allright”? And my mom replied yes, but a bit to strong. Maybe 3 minutes afterwards she showed up with a cup of cappuccino (I guess they have a machine in biz class) and gave it to my mother; FA: “I already put ‘sweet and low’ inside, I saw that’s what you did with your coffee”. Again, when the plane was 100% full and without even asking.

After landing, my mother went to the chief FA and told him the story and how happy she was with the flight. He was pleased to hear it of course, and wished us all nice vacation.

Entertainment:
The plane had LCD screens, and all passengers had headphones in the seat pocket (free of charge). First the movie Crazy night at the museum 2 with Ben Stiler was played (fun but pretty stupid, good for the children I assume) fallowed by Channel 2 news broadcast from last night (which many saw, there was a big speech of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the UN the day before) and afterwards an Israeli popular comedy with very funny episode (“Ramzor”).

Greek Island with nice shape:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3454/4001500353_bc7eef30e0_o.jpg

Over southern Greece:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3512/4001500361_e72e52a222_o.jpg

Cabin view from my seat:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3503/4001500371_a87254f19a_o.jpg

Leg room - very good (I'm 1.86 m'):
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3497/4001500375_4a6c5b824b_o.jpg

Descending began at 10:54; we landed on RWY 35L, taxied to gate B3 in Terminal 1 and disembarked. Landing was OK, not hard but not the smoothest I can remember.

Air breaks on during decending:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2669/4001503805_d208c31beb_o.jpg

Post flight:
A bit of a cultural shook I think. In Israel, your passport is been checked carefully when entering or leaving the country, while after landing in MXP I went to the policeman at the border control, who signed my passport without even looking, not passing it through any computer and while he talked non stop with his friend.

Heading to baggage claim:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2646/4001503817_4f8c249f05_o.jpg

Baggage claim hall:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2452/4001503819_a98e4458ee_o.jpg

Our luggage was out after about 5 minutes, and we went on for amazing vacation in Italy. Here are some pics:

Orta lake/Lago d'Orta:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3022/4001503825_7d009c75fb_o.jpg

Same place at night:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2670/4001503831_94783af07c_o.jpg

Como Lake/Lago di Como:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2660/4001503841_c421e79410_o.jpg

Bellagio:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2576/4002271838_7beae374f1_o.jpg

Como:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3437/4002271842_43ec433342_o.jpg

Sirmione:


Verona:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2451/4002271860_e27bb15fd8_o.jpg

Venice/Venezia:


Florence (Firenze):


Same city at night:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3481/4001516061_58e334c916_o.jpg

"David":


Pisa:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3460/4001510615_8a79473af7_o.jpg

Lucca:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3601/4001516065_0fa9cab826_o.jpg

San Giminano - Manhattan of the middle age:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2436/4001518885_1194230589_o.jpg

Same city from one of it's towers:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2567/4001516087_9b24f17210_o.jpg

Cortona:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2597/4001518893_847905446a_o.jpg

Rome (Roma):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2452/4001518911_603d21f19c_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3490/4001518917_b5976c1a8b_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3296/4001518945_8be1147d23_o.jpg

Vatican:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2596/4002286762_6a565bc633_o.jpg

oh Italia!
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2518/4002286784_742027526c_o.jpg

12 days, 14 cities, 1600km and 10489 cups of excellent Italian coffee later it was time to return home.

Pre-flight:
We woke up at 6:15 and got ourselves a taxi ride from our rented Rome apartment (near Piazza Navona) to De Vinci airport at 40 euro (which is cheaper then the price we had to pay for public transport: 11 euro for train ride plus 1.2 euro for the bus X 4 persons = 50 euro) with nice young driver; on the way he asked if we are flying domestic or international, we told him and he dropped us at the International Terminal of Fiumichino, Terminal 3.

The International Terminal:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2611/4002286792_10033e4d26_o.jpg

We walked around looking for our flight, on the flight board it was written “counter 523” with no other explanation. We looked for it, but the last check in counter on the terminal was 430. Then we walk to the entrance again to approach the information counter and only there we found out that our flight leaves from whole other Terminal – Terminal 5. We exit the Terminal, and managed to get into cramped completely full bus shuttle to Terminal 5.

The shuttle:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2596/4002288980_3ff0be64dc_o.jpg

After about 5 minutes ride we got there, I noticed that this Terminal serves only American and Israeli airlines: American, Continental, Delta, El Al, Northwest, United and US Airways (not Alitalia flights to the US and Israel). It is pretty small, and in this terminal you pass only security, check in and passport control, while jet boarding itself is been done at the usual international terminal (after a bus ride).

External part of the Termianl: (the police did not seems to care about me taking pictures)
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2645/4002288964_e75719df6e_o.jpg

Other side:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2519/4002288976_a8484e3e77_o.jpg

After entering, we passed the regular questioning by El Al security personal, which lasted about 2 minutes. In the Israeli airlines flying to Israel and on Ben Gurion Airport, passengers are been questioned and only those who look suspicious pass extra security checks, on other places, as I will find our in few minutes, everyone is treated as a potential terrorist, including 5 year old girls.

Security area: (funny, everyone afraid to take airport pics in Israel, while in FCO it was much more scary).
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2455/4002286802_eff20953da_o.jpg

After security questioning of El Al, we went to check in area, but we could get even near it due to a long-long line of American checking in for US flights. It was foolish, since the Israelis did not need to stand at this line. I went back to one of the El Al security guys, asking what can we do. He told me that there is nothing he can do because the Italians are responsible to the Terminal. I went back to the line, and saw him talking to one airport employee, and few minutes later the El Al passengers were allowed to go to the LY counters without waiting together with the Americans.

At the El Al check in itself there were no more then 20 people waiting. We waited for about 5 minutes, I got my usual seat (53A) and we checked our luggage, including our 32 kg suitcase (the total weight was OK, so no extra charge here).

My flight check in waiting line:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2638/4002286800_328c0256a7_o.jpg

Flight board (notice all are US/Israel flights):


The long check in lines for US flights:

Ameican:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2658/4002288986_a0454862da_o.jpg

Northwest:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/4002289000_557db18c6d_o.jpg

After check in, we moved to the Italian security check. Very long line, took me about 12-15 minutes to pass it.

The line:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2509/4002288996_e2167f15f6_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2476/4001531631_8f409798b1_o.jpg

When my turn came, I was asked to take my shows off - it is the first time someone asking me to do so since I flew out of LAX in 2002 (and I been to the US since). Well, if they want me to take off my stinky shows, which I practice and ran semi-marathon on – that’s their problem.

People waiting barefoot:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/4001531615_e1242ca9b3_o.jpg

After the bag screen, a guy asked me to come with him to the table and to open my hand bag. While I did he put his gloves on - that was a scariest part.  After putting all my stuff on the table and checking my passport again, he took out my deodorant, checked it from all over and even sprayed it in the air. He told me that I can’t take it to the plane, and he threw it to the garbage right away. Security risk for sure. In Tel Aviv this never happened to me (and I always fly with my deodorant). I flew with it from Bulgaria too, which is EU member.
Right after me, the same guy throw chocolate bar of American parents with 5 or 6 years old girl, the father attempts to convince him that this is the only thing that she will eat on the (long) flight did not help. Another security risk prevented for sure.

After this check, we went on to passport control, and like in MXP, a policeman signed my passport without even looking or passing it threw any scanner or computer, in a major contradict the strict security check.

After passport control, all passengers entered a hall and got on a bus to the regular international terminal.

The hall:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2457/4001531637_6a25dd2333_o.jpg

The bus to the regular terminal:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3449/4001531643_072a220a0b_o.jpg

For the first time I managed to see some airliners:

Alitalia B777:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/4001531647_63de91c0d5_o.jpg

United B777:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2450/4002300660_a8fd14f332_o.jpg

Alitalia B777 with Air One A330 at the back:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2513/4002300676_93bfd2bf29_o.jpg

At the Terminal - Cathay B744, Continental B764, US Airways A333 & Alitalia B763:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2543/4002300684_d77b3c260d_o.jpg

Neos B738 crossing our way:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2442/4002300708_a85f25f347_o.jpg

Qatar A330, Alitalia B777 X 2 and United B777 under Cathay B744 wing:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3428/4002300714_979c7f5eff_o.jpg

A bus came in no time, and we got to Terminal C, to it’s section of gates C20 to C33 which serves usually long hole flights from the jets I saw there. Then I noticed that I only got 20 minutes till boarding, meaning that since I got to the airport till I got the my gate passed no les then one hour and 20 minutes!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/4002310192_e6590ec4ac_o.jpg

The terminal:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3507/4002310116_0c10553efa_o.jpg

Pretty ugly to be honest. Those tubes on the roof are ugly like hell, the air condition was too weak and it was very busy.

Cathay Pacific B744:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2586/4002300724_6a974ab9db_o.jpg

US Airways A330:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3520/4002310168_2867160a19_o.jpg

My ride for today: Brand new Boeing B737-800, 4X-EKH named Yarden, build only 6 months ago:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2615/4002314740_1c9a6d62c9_o.jpg

I took the train that connects our section to the rest of the terminal, but I had no time to look around since my boarding already started. From some reason, when moving on the train from one part of the terminal to the other you need to pass another security check. Have no Idea why, because all passengers were already checked.

The train station:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2502/4002314680_efd7bda180_o.jpg

Inside the train:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3524/4002310130_26cf4c1589_o.jpg

Gate:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2628/4002310140_79f3278a06_o.jpg

Since our Boeing was on remote stand, we wanted to board as late as possible in order not to wait long time at the bus. We passed the gate, got down to the bus that was full. I thought that we would go to the plane within minutes, since the bus was full and we were almost the last persons boarding the plane.
Hell no: at 29c, on full bus with no air condition, we waited no less then 20 minutes (!!!) at the bus. Soaking wet, whenever a passenger or two entered the bus we hoped that they will be the last, but no. We just stood in the bus like idiots, waiting till the last passengers of the flight arrive. The bus was so full that my shows were half in the bus and half out of it. At one point a passenger shouted to the airport guy standing next to us something like “why don’t you bring another bus?” He turned around made himself as if he didn’t hear anything.

Absolute disgrace. Shame that after such a great vacation in which all Italians I met were warm and welcoming we left in such anger.

We finely got to the airplane at 10:10 (SDT: 10:05) I got some pics, then went to the rare stairs to the cabin.

The bus after disembarking:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3454/4002314770_a447d9bf3e_o.jpg

Registration:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2452/4001559447_55260ba384_o.jpg

New and clean tail, during boarding:


Here El Al service was at its best again: the FA saw that we were all hot, and she told me “hot day, isn’t it?” And gave me and my sister 2 cups of water without we even asked. For the first time ever, it truly felt like “home away from home”.

Flight Details:

Airline: EL AL Israel Airlines.
Flight: LY386
Airplane: Boeing B737-800 4X-EKH Yarden (Built 2009)
Routing: Rome De Vinci (Fiumicino) Italy to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Israel.
Seat: 53A
Date: Wednesday, October 7th 2009.
Gates: C21 (Terminal 5) -> B5 (Terminal 3)
Runways: 25 -> 30.
Class: Economy.
SDT/SAT: 10:05/13:30/

Actual Timing:
Pushback: 10:20
Taxi: 10:26
Wheels off: 10:35
Touchdown: 13:32
Full stop: 13:37
Airborn time: 2 hours 57 minutes.

We got Israeli newspapers after boarding and went to our seats; the plane was 100% full this time too. This time of the year is the high season in Israel due to the Jewish holydays taking place, so most flights are full. Good for us tough, because in Italy and rest of the world it’s off season, therefore it’s easy to find hotel rooms, less tourists on sites etc.

The chief FA introduced himself and the crew, and apologized for the delay saying that it was due to buses problem in the airport and passengers coming late to the Gate. As if we haven’t notice. We taxied to RWY 25 and took of to the west.

Terminal view after takeoff:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2454/4001559457_0a86902a00_o.jpg

Airport after takeoff:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3516/4001559463_0efd7ca938_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3475/4001559469_c0e64b3a97_o.jpg

Food: Same like last flight. I run out of batteries on my camera so I didn’t take a pic of the meal, not it was pretty much the same like last time.

Entertainment: LCD screens with free headphones in every seat, like last flight. First the movie Ice Age 3 was on (good to keep the kids busy I assume) fallowed by the Channel 2 news from last night followed by an episode of the Israeli version to “The cash cab”.

The day was clear with great views during the flight.

Napels (Napoli) area:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2597/4001564831_4244354baf_o.jpg

Militaly airfield over Greece:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3473/4001564835_3181e99f43_o.jpg

Patras and Rion-Antirion bridge in western Greece:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2571/4001564853_793954c36d_o.jpg

Patras Airport:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3505/4001564845_62cefcbde6_o.jpg

Nafpilo area:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2477/4001564865_a36e180ee0_o.jpg

Nafpilo:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2552/4001564871_4cc36daa01_o.jpg

Peloponnese:


Then come the big price - Athens:


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2443/4002338952_25b6fcf3c6_o.jpg

Aegean sea:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3471/4002338956_24c6654421_o.jpg

The Island of Rhodes:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2571/4002338966_795f5aca59_o.jpg

Cabin (100% full as you can see):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2498/4002338958_dc5c83ab1c_o.jpg

Old school boarding pass, haven't seen one since 2000!


Safety card and airline magazine (if any collectors are interested in the safety card please contact me):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2570/4001580401_93e7f9c5ce_o.jpg

Ad for El Al new route to Eilat:


Artice about LY's new Eilat route:


Legroom:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2502/4001580423_96f93a751d_o.jpg

Good enought for a.net?


Descending began at 13:10, the air breaks on:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2587/4001580431_fe8febeb28_o.jpg

Israeli beach line:


Tel Aviv Dov Hoz airport:


Northeast Tel Aviv and Raman Gan:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2598/4002348290_9067ab7007_o.jpg

Ramat Gan, Kiryat Ono, Givat Shmuel and Petach Tikva (All suberbs of Tel Aviv):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2597/4002348298_8e6fbf0834_o.jpg

Ramat Gan, Beni Brak and HWY 4:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3444/4002348300_493dee15d4_o.jpg

Ben Gurion Runways, notice FedEx A300 taking off from RWY 26:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/4002348306_8b7654cd73_o.jpg

Wonderfull overview of the runways and Terminal 3:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2554/4001588273_0d2135c6b4_o.jpg

Terminal 1, IAI and RWY 03-21


Turning to the west over the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv highway:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2429/4001588291_46c4fc4343_o.jpg

On the runway. It was the smoothest landing I remember, I could barely feel the gear touching the runway.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2475/4001588295_646122459e_o.jpg

After landing - El Al B747-400 (ELC):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2656/4001588299_340af06540_o.jpg

Biz class during disembarking:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2424/4001588305_5bb74e3b71_o.jpg

Heading to the baggage claim.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2662/4002356416_db967a57fb_o.jpg

This is it, I hope you guys enjoyed my second Trip report. Please take a look at my other Trip report: First Sun D'or Pax TR TLV-BOJ (new Link To Pics) (by EL-AL Sep 12 2009 in Trip Reports)

And as the El Al recorded massage said – shalom, and arrivederci!




"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6748 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 30499 times:

Hi Jonathan,

another very enjoyable report with great pictures.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
I got for myself seat 53A, which is a window seat, to the left side, not over the wing - just the way I like it.

53A on a 738?

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Not even 2 minutes afterwards, one FA came with an extra omelet and told us “I see that you both are sharing one omelet, I thought you may want another one”. This, when the flight was 100% full and without even asking.



Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Another example: When coffee and tea were served after the meal, my mother asked for low fat milk instead of regular cream. The FA brought us some milk from the back, and went on with the service. As she moved back to the galley she asked my mother “is the coffee allright”? And my mom replied yes, but a bit to strong. Maybe 3 minutes afterwards she showed up with a cup of cappuccino (I guess they have a machine in biz class) and gave it to my mother; FA: “I already put ‘sweet and low’ inside, I saw that’s what you did with your coffee”. Again, when the plane was 100% full and without even asking.

Amazing service!

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Leg room - very good (I'm 1.86 m'):

Indeed very generous.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
12 days, 14 cities, 1600km and 10489 cups of excellent Italian coffee later it was time to return home.

The coffee alone is a reason to visit Italy.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Right after me, the same guy throw chocolate bar of American parents with 5 or 6 years old girl, the father attempts to convince him that this is the only thing that she will eat on the (long) flight did not help. Another security risk prevented for sure.

Ridiculous, never heard anything like that.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Here El Al service was at its best again: the FA saw that we were all hot, and she told me “hot day, isn’t it?” And gave me and my sister 2 cups of water without we even asked. For the first time ever, it truly felt like “home away from home”.

Nice gesture.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineLYchemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1190 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 30441 times:

Great report. I always liked LY. And I also love Italy and the language is the most beautiful. Actually the coffee is not always so great. depends where one goes. A friend told me that the LY fares from Rome are expensive?

User currently offlineMxp From Italy, joined Aug 2003, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 30428 times:

HI Jonathan
nice TR. Thanx for sharing. Happy u like Italy and thanx for Italian Flag at the end. I would like to fly EL AL one day. Did u visit my home city Milan? I don't see any photo:.)
Alberto


User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2679 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 30222 times:

Very nice TR, thanks
LY738s are actually nice!



אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1669 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 30182 times:

Awesome TR, sure do appreciate the update on LY and of course-on la cita eterna herself. One can never go wrong with Italy.
Thanks for sharing.


User currently offlineDAL763ER From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 524 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 30090 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
53A on a 738?

I was wondering about that as well...seems they have a pretty weird way of numbering seats:

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/El_Al/El_Al_Boeing_737-800.php

Anyone know why?



Where aviation is not the side show, it's the main show!!!
User currently offlineRufusisgod From Ireland, joined Nov 2008, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 29800 times:

Can i ask what might seem a silly question. Why does LY have a row 53 on a B737?? and is the "C" seat a window??

It just seems strange to me.

Nice TR aswell.


User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 29648 times:

an excellent trip report. really enjoyed the pictures from Italy. Made me remember the time when i was in Bellagio, Como & Lecco. Truly picturesque cities.
Thanks a bunch for writing this report and sharing it with us...


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26913 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 29514 times:

Hi great report. I also saw row 53A and thought it must be a B747! ELAL do their seat numbers differently. Great report , amazing photos and a really good read.

Love the ''Baileys Crema'' Ice Cream in Italy, must tast amazing.

Nice to see a good LY report. I like their J class seats.

Thanks

OA260


User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 29374 times:

I love Israel and the state (as a non-practicing Catholic), but I find it very amusing when Israelis bitch about going through multiple screenings for flights to TLV. We had September 11, you guys had an onslaught from Palestinian groups since your inception as a state.

There is a reason why our flights are segregated, especially in Rome, of all places.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineHansHubers From Netherlands, joined Feb 2006, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 29374 times:

Very nice trip report, I really enjoyed it! Nice picture of 'Ponte Vecchio' by the way  Smile


100, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 733, 734, 735, 737, 738, 763, AT7, AR1, AR8, CR7, DH8, F70, M82
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 29374 times:



Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
and beverages with snakes were given about 15 minutes before descending.

This is the best part! How were the snakes?



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 29374 times:

Hi there,

I enjoyed your TR very much. It is very nice to read an insight review of LY.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
EL AL B747-400 heading to Moscow:

Wow, does LY a milk run to MOW?

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
I thought that the LY standard was 32”, but it was at least 34”.



Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Leg room - very good (I'm 1.86 m'):

Why bother paying more for emergency exit seats?  Smile

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
one FA came with an extra omelet and told us “I see that you both are sharing one omelet, I thought you may want another one”.



Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Here El Al service was at its best again: the FA saw that we were all hot, and she told me “hot day, isn’t it?” And gave me and my sister 2 cups of water without we even asked. For the first time ever, it truly felt like “home away from home”.

Wow, what a nice gesture. They truly made the difference.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
External part of the Termianl: (the police did not seems to care about me taking pictures)

Thanks for the information. I'll keep it in mind.

Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
Right after me, the same guy throw chocolate bar of American parents with 5 or 6 years old girl, the father attempts to convince him that this is the only thing that she will eat on the (long) flight did not help. Another security risk prevented for sure.

 Confused I don't get it.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineRJAF From Jordan, joined Jan 2007, 314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 28050 times:

Quite a thorough report and some fantastic pics. Thanks for sharing.

Was wondering about the name of the 737-800 on your way back from Fiumicino..Yarden is 'Jordan' in Hebrew isn't it? Would be nice to learn the story behind the naming (If Yarden is indeed Jordan, I'm sure they were reffering to the river?)

Anyway, great TR no doubt

Cheers



Chance favors the prepared mind
User currently offlineFocus From Israel, joined Feb 2001, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 27724 times:

Yonatan,

Great report, Toda.


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1301 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 27449 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
53A on a 738?



Quoting Rufusisgod (Reply 7):
Why does LY have a row 53 on a B737??



Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
I also saw row 53A and thought it must be a B747! ELAL do their seat numbers differently

I have no idea why, but around 2004 LY changed the row numbering on it's jets. For example, when I flew LY B752 in 2003 on the row with the first overwing exit row it was row 15, now its row 44. Another example: the first row on the plane was row 2, now it's row 10. When I flew Sun D'or (which is part of LY) last month, I got the last row on the 757 which was row 64.

Quoting Rufusisgod (Reply 7):
is the "C" seat a window??

No, A is a window seat, I didn't seat in the C seat even though it was my seat on the boarding pass because I changed seats with my sister. By the way, another thing I noticed is that the row is not A-B-C_aile_D-E-F but A-B-C_aile_H-J-K. Again, I have no Idea why they do so on a 737. It doesn't really matter though. You can see old maps on this website: http://elal.cafri-online.com/

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Amazing service!



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Nice gesture.



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
Wow, what a nice gesture. They truly made the difference.

Indeed, amazing service. As I said, I was very surprised because of my poor service experience under the government-owned El Al. Good caring service can surly do make the difference.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Indeed very generous.



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
Why bother paying more for emergency exit seats?

Both of you are right. It's very roomy for short ride to Europe, in CO transatlantic you get only 31" seat. About the exit row seats, I don't really think anyone pay for it, they just give it to LY gold "matmit" members (matmit is LY's frequent flayer club).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
Ridiculous, never heard anything like that.



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
I don't get it.

I don't get it eather. Not a bit of common sence there.

Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 10):
I love Israel and the state (as a non-practicing Catholic), but I find it very amusing when Israelis bitch about going through multiple screenings for flights to TLV. We had September 11, you guys had an onslaught from Palestinian groups since your inception as a state.

There is a reason why our flights are segregated, especially in Rome, of all places.

I'm an Israeli, I'm the last person you need to explain to about the importance of security. But what was done has nothing to do with security, it's just stupid. That guy sprayed my deodorant in the air, it smell like one - why he still took it away? Not to mention the poor parents after me.

Security should be done in a smart why. In Ben Gurion, the most secured airport in the world according to many experts, this will never happen. Why? Because in Israel we don't just follew the book, and throwing things away for innocent passengers, but working with our brain, and holding only those who look suspicus. And it's working - not a single plane who departed TLV has been hijacked or crashed from a terrorist action.

The last thing that was in De-Vinci was security. I could take as many pictures as I wanted, including policeman and security halls areas. Is this good security?

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 2):
I also love Italy and the language is the most beautiful. Actually the coffee is not always so great. depends where one goes

I was there for 13 days, and only had bad coffee once, at our 70-euro-a-night-hotel in Cortona on breakfast. All the rest was excellent coffee.

The Israeli taste in coffee is different then the american one. We like Italian style coffee; american coffee is not popular in Israel, that's why starbucks failed in Israel.

Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 2):
A friend told me that the LY fares from Rome are expensive?

Depends when. But in addition to LY and AZ, many other airlines work on that line: Arkia, Israir, Sun D'or, Blue Panorama, Windjet, NEOS, Westjet etc, so it's no problem to find cheap tickets.

Quoting Mxp (Reply 3):
Did u visit my home city Milan? I don't see any photo:.)

No, we went directly to the lakes. It would take us to much time to enter and exit Milano, and we had to be at a certain date in Venice, so we skipped Milan. MXP is already half way to the lakes, so it's easier.

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 12):
This is the best part! How were the snakes?

Corn-flower snaks that are common in Israel ("nishnushim"). Just snakes.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
Wow, does LY a milk run to MOW?

One of every 5 jews in Israel was born in the USSR, so there is always demand on that line. Transaero B747s are also common here.

Quoting RJAF (Reply 14):
Was wondering about the name of the 737-800 on your way back from Fiumicino..Yarden is 'Jordan' in Hebrew isn't it? Would be nice to learn the story behind the naming (If Yarden is indeed Jordan, I'm sure they were reffering to the river?)

Yes, Yarden means Jordan, and it does name after the river, just like the name of your country which came from Transjordan. All LY jets are named after cities, locations and zones in Israel, like the Jordan river.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
very enjoyable report with great pictures.



Quoting LYchemsa (Reply 2):
Great report



Quoting Mxp (Reply 3):
nice TR. Thanx for sharing



Quoting LY777 (Reply 4):
Very nice TR, thanks



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
Awesome TR



Quoting Rufusisgod (Reply 7):
Nice TR aswell.



Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 8):
an excellent trip report. really enjoyed the pictures from Italy



Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Hi great report



Quoting HansHubers (Reply 11):
Very nice trip report



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 13):
I enjoyed your TR very much. It is very nice to read an insight review of LY



Quoting RJAF (Reply 14):
great TR no doubt



Quoting Focus (Reply 15):
Great report, Toda.

Thank you all very much, your comments make all the work on this thing worth it. I truly appreciate it.

In Venice we slept next to Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE), so I went to take some pics:

The terminal from the outside:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2492/4001510547_e4b46dbb77_o.jpg

Flight bord:


Departure hall:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2470/4001510571_e8a85f6893_o.jpg

Arrival hall (not too busy as you can see):
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3423/4001510593_63c2313973_o.jpg

Alpi Eagles F100:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2434/4001510601_811f8a5a44_o.jpg



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1301 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 25970 times:



Quoting EL-AL (Thread starter):
EL AL B747-400 heading to Moscow:

Here is something I just noticed: this plane (4X-ELC) was photographed later on that day, in Moscow-DME:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Anton Bannikov




"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineMikebg From Israel, joined Jan 2005, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 25156 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):

Quote:
I also saw row 53A and thought it must be a B747! ELAL do their seat numbers differently

I have no idea why, but around 2004 LY changed the row numbering on it's jets. For example, when I flew LY B752 in 2003 on the row with the first overwing exit row it was row 15, now its row 44. Another example: the first row on the plane was row 2, now it's row 10. When I flew Sun D'or (which is part of LY) last month, I got the last row on the 757 which was row 64.

Quoting Rufusisgod (Reply 7):
is the "C" seat a window??

No, A is a window seat, I didn't seat in the C seat even though it was my seat on the boarding pass because I changed seats with my sister. By the way, another thing I noticed is that the row is not A-B-C_aile_D-E-F but A-B-C_aile_H-J-K. Again, I have no Idea why they do so on a 737. It doesn't really matter though. You can see old maps on this website: http://elal.cafri-online.com/

El AL changed their seat numbering a while ago, in order to minimise misunderstandings across their fleet.

First Class seats are from row 2
Business Class seats are from row 10 (and from row 72 upper deck)
Economy Class seats are from row 21


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 24745 times:



Quoting EL-AL (Reply 16):
Corn-flower snaks that are common in Israel ("nishnushim"). Just snakes.

Oh, snacks you mean, for sure?



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineDaviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 24327 times:

Wonderful trip report! I would love to visit Italy someday, especially since I am a lover of opera, it would be great fun to see the opera in Italy.

I travel every summer to Israel, and I have to say that I enjoy El Al's service very much. I have never had a complaint with them. The seat room is good, the food is fine, the attitude of the attendants is fine.

I wonder why El Al is beginning service to Eilat when you already have Arkia and Israir, especially from Sde Dov, which is so much easier than Ben Gurion.

As for security, yes, I once purchased Ahava cosmetics for my daughter. At Ben Gurion, they had no issue with the creams and bubble-baths. When I had to change planes in Zurich (on Swiss), the security took away all the cosmetics from my daughter. The guards didn't throw them away though; I'm sure they took them home to the wife or girlfriend. I hope they enjoyed the products.


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1301 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 23807 times:



Quoting Fabo (Reply 19):
Oh, snacks you mean, for sure?

We got a small bag from the same kind on the left side (can't believe I actually searched for a picture  dopey  )



Quoting Daviation (Reply 20):
Wonderful trip report!

Thx!

Quoting Daviation (Reply 20):
I wonder why El Al is beginning service to Eilat when you already have Arkia and Israir, especially from Sde Dov, which is so much easier than Ben Gurion.

2 reasons: political and practical. The political reason is that LY is trying to scare Arkia and Israir not to compete too hard on LY profitable European lines, like Paris or London, and not to operate regular flights (not charters) to those cities; LY tactic is if you try to hurt us on our profitable route, we will hurt you on your profitable line - Eilat, where 50% from IZ; 6H profits come from.

The practical reason is that there is truly is demand on for this line. Today, With 20 round trips flighs on weekdays and 30 round trip flights on weekend days, a flight ticket to Eilat is very expensive: 358 NIS with Arkia (3.7 NIS = $1 US), 360 NIS with Israir - that's not real competition, but duopoly. "Cheap" tickets, like the 06:40 morning flight or late evening flights are been sold at 284 NIS with arkia and 319 NIS with Israir. In spite of that - most flights are 100% full, in winter time too.

Many Eilat travelers, including myself, do not fly to Eilat because round trip flights is matter of 700 NIS, compare to 118 NIS by bus (or 68 NIS one way). If you own a car, you can drive there (that's what I did last time I was there, 3 weeks ago), it takes about 4-4.5 hours from Tel Aviv.

So there is definitely demand on that line, If LY do operate cheap flights on that line (European flights for 350km do not cost $100!) I promise you that the flight will always be full, and more tourists will come to Eilat. But for all opinions - this will be Israir's end.

About TLV/SDV, SDV airport is better only for those who live around it, while TLV is better for everyone else because it's easier to get: TLV is on the Tel Aviv - Jerusalem highway; there is better public transport there, people living in the North take a train to TLV then fly south, and residents of Jerusalem drive there.

Quoting Daviation (Reply 20):
As for security, yes, I once purchased Ahava cosmetics for my daughter. At Ben Gurion, they had no issue with the creams and bubble-baths. When I had to change planes in Zurich (on Swiss), the security took away all the cosmetics from my daughter. The guards didn't throw them away though; I'm sure they took them home to the wife or girlfriend. I hope they enjoyed the products.

One conclusion: the swiss can spot security risk better then the Israelis.  sarcastic 



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
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