**Update: 07/06/21 @ 14:43 UTC – Additional information provided by El Al, included in article.**
It’s been reported in Israeli media that children 12 years of age or younger will not be charged airfare when flying with their families on some El Al flights. With this promotion, it appears that the airline is hoping to get more Israeli’s back in the air and traveling again. So what flights will be available under this special offer?
“In preparation for the summer holidays and the Jewish High Holiday season, and in light of the opening of countries to tourism, EL AL Israel Airlines is launching Children fly for Free sale (only paying airport taxes) .” -El Al Statement
Free airfare, but fees are extra
News of the promotion comes exclusively from the Israeli media outlet Israel Hayom. The website notes that the airline is expected to announce the discount sometime today. As with many good deals, some clarification is required before getting too excited. Here’s what we know so far:
Free airfare only. Children 12 years old or younger will not be charged airfare. Therefore, kids won’t be able to completely fly for free. As you might know from looking at an e-Ticket or booking receipt, the airfare is just a small portion of the price of a ticket. Various airport fees must still be paid.
Not all flights. Apparently, this offer will not be available across El Al’s entire network of destinations. Israel Hayom notes that almost all European destinations are included. While Dubai, Seychelles, and Phuket are eligible, Greece and Cyprus are not.
UPDATE FROM EL AL:
The offer includes the following destinations: Phuket (Thailand), Seychelles,
Dubai, and a variety of destinations in Europe (excluding Greece and Cyprus) .
The sale is valid for Classic tickets that include a checked bag and pre-seating.
The sale period for tickets to Phuket, Seychelles and Dubai is June 6-10 for flights
departing from June 7 – October 23 (Phuket flights as of June 30).
The sale period for ticket sales to destinations in Europe is from June 7-17. The
destinations include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest,
Bucharest, Frankfurt, Geneva, Kiev, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Moscow, Milan,
Munich, Nice, Marseille, Paris, Prague, Rome, Sofia, Vienna, Zurich , Warsaw and
Outside of El Al’s restrictions, it’s also important to note that children would be subject to Israeli quarantine regulations upon returning to the country if they are arriving from a ‘red list’ country. That’s because the coronavirus vaccine is currently not offered to people younger than 12, thus requiring self-isolation.
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Potentially big savings
Despite the reported restrictions and exclusions, families have an opportunity to save big for their next family vacation. It’s highlighted that a flight to Thailand would cost $61 instead of $709, while a flight to Paris would cost a child $105 rather than the standard $534.
In 2018, the CS Monitor reported that Israeli families had an average of three children. Therefore, if we take “the average Israeli family” on a flight to Phuket, there would be savings of nearly $2,000. This would hopefully compensate for the children having to spend two weeks in quarantine.
Israel’s ‘return to normal’
New daily cases in Israel have dropped to impressively low levels in recent days. The country is now seeing as few as five to seven new COVID-19 infections per day, allowing it to further ease restrictions.
The most recent move saw the country retire its ‘Green Pass’ system, which granted vaccinated residents access to restaurants and events.
According to the New York Times, the only remaining pandemic restriction within Israel’s borders is the requirement to wear masks in closed public spaces.
What do you think of El Al’s special promotion? Is that something you would take advantage of if you could?