An El Al project to train commercial pilots without background or experience (photo: Yotam Ronen and Aviator College's YouTube, editing: Niv Maoz)
A few days ago we decided to go on vacation in Ireland and the choice was to fly there on a direct flight of El Al, which is going to open a route there this March, as published in Walla!
Since the plan is to fly in a few months and we are not sure if we will be able to take the vacation on the dates we want, we decided to make a reservation that can be canceled until the last minute and receive a full refund for the tickets.
El Al operates three types of pricing in tourist class on its planes, mainly on routes to Europe:
Lite, Classic and Flex
This is when the Lite
are the cheapest in the department and also with many limitations;
are more expensive and are also the most popular, and the
cards are the most expensive.
The El Al company did not invent these sub-departments and they were not invented because of the corona either, but a long time before.
This is as part of a process in which airlines, under the pretext that they act in the best interest of the customers, decided to increase their revenues and charge money for a trolley suitcase, for a large suitcase, for choosing a seat and, in some of them, for a meal.
If you browse the websites of the various airlines that operate routes from Tel Aviv to Europe, you will find that the three-class pricing system exists at El Al, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, ITA (the Italian airline), and the Portuguese TAP company (which, by the way, operates four pricing classes for tourists) , Virgin Atlantic, which also has four different fares, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Finnair and other companies.
The main argument of the airlines in inventing the different types of pricing was that there are many passengers who do not need a suitcase because they are flying for a short period of time.
There are passengers who have enough backpack and therefore do not need a trolley, while passengers who want to sit in a place with more space for their legs - will certainly agree to pay for what they previously received for free.
Data from the airlines show that this method significantly increased their revenues and did not actually lower the flight tickets for customers.
Almost all El Al airlines charge $50 for canceling a flight
The flex cards are the most expensive.
Plus tourist class at El Al (Photo: Sion Faraj)
Most European companies do not charge money for canceling a flexible card
The differences between the pricing departments in the different airlines are related to the number of hand bags that you can board the plane with, the number of bags that are allowed to be sent, the option to choose a seat free of charge on the more expensive ticket, as well as the option to make changes after purchasing the ticket, including changing dates, which is free in most companies but usually required In the price difference between the price of the ticket you purchased and the price of the ticket on the new date you choose.
Another difference is related to the refund you will receive if you decide to cancel the flight.
This is after the period of time allowed according to the Israeli Consumer Protection Law has already passed.
This week, as mentioned, we requested to order flight tickets to Dublin, Ireland, during Shavuot with El Al.
Since we are not sure that we will be able to make the flight on the date we chose, we decided to make a reservation with flexible pricing.
That is, to purchase the expensive tickets in the tourist section, this is based on the assumption that if we want to, or need to cancel the flight for any reason, we will receive a "full refund" for the tickets.
A quick check on El Al's website revealed that although for the purchase of tickets with flexible pricing (the expensive pricing), the company allows you to receive a refund, but it charges a $50 cancellation fee for each ticket.
That is, if you are a family of a couple and two children, the cancellation cost will be 200 dollars.
Wait, but isn't that what all companies do with these cards?
So it's not
A check on the websites of many of the scheduled airlines that fly from Israel to Europe such as Lufthansa, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Austrian, Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, ITA and Brussels Airlines revealed that they do not charge money for canceling the flight ticket The flexible in the tourist class.
On the other hand, a small number of regular airlines including El Al, Air Europa, Lott and Turkish do charge.
Brussels Airlines, by the way, has several prices for economy class, including flexible tickets with a €70 fee for cancellation and flexible tickets with no fee in case of cancellation, or in other words: there is a full refund for the ticket.
In the test, we did not consider the differences between the ticket prices of the different companies.
This is because those who know for sure that they will fly on a certain date, are likely to look for cheap tickets and not pay the price difference between lite, classic or flexible tickets.
This gap is sometimes expressed in hundreds of dollars per ticket.
But when you already book tickets for the next few months and maybe even for the holidays, it's hard to know if the dates we choose today will be suitable for us in a few months, so it's likely that we'll order flexible tickets, but it's also likely that we'll check if the "flexibility" includes a full refund for the price we paid.
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The three-class pricing system exists at El Al, but not only of course (Photo: Public Relations)
So here is the table of who gives what when purchasing a flexible card
Economy Flex carry-on/trolley bag, one suitcase, snack or light meal, extended seat selection, ticket change without payment of change fees (but payment for the difference between the ticket you purchased and the price of a ticket to the same destination on a different date, if any).
and receiving a refund in case of cancellation.
But in exchange for $50 per ticket.
Air France: Economy Flex 1 hand bag up to 12 kg, suitcase for delivery, seat selection, change of travel date without fee (but with payment for price differences if any and a full refund in case you decide to cancel the flight.
Economy Flex trolley up to a weight of 8 kg, delivery of a suitcase, the possibility to change a ticket free of charge but with a payment for the difference between the price of the ticket you have and the price of the new ticket and a full refund in case of cancellation. Flexible card with Swiss company. We had to cancel it for personal reasons. The cancellation was done in a telephone conversation with the company representative who is sitting abroad on Friday morning.
On Sunday, the credit card is credited with the full amount.
ITA (formerly Alitalia):
Economy Flex hand bag/trolley weighing up to 8 kg, delivery of one suitcase, seat selection, free change of travel date, both before the outbound flight and before the return flight. The company does not indicate whether it is necessary to pay the The price differences, but we assume so. And in addition, a full refund of the ticket price in case you decide to cancel. The refund also applies to the return flight if you have already left the country.
Top Air Portugal:
Economy Plus trolley suitcase as well as a small hand bag, two suitcases for delivery, preferred seat reservation, premium check-in, changes can be made and there is a full refund for the ticket.
Economy Flex trolley weighing up to 8 kg, delivery of a suitcase, the possibility of changing dates without a fee but with payment for price differences and also: a full refund of the ticket in case you decide to cancel.
Economy Flex hand bag weighing up to 8 kg, Delivery of a suitcase, change of dates with payment of the price difference if any and a full refund without commission.
carry-on bag weighing up to 12 kg, luggage delivery, possibility to reserve a seat before the flight, changing dates without a fee but with payment of the price difference, as well as canceling the flight with a full refund.
Economy Flex hand bag weighing up to 8 kg, delivery of a suitcase, the possibility of changing a ticket without a fee but with price differences, as well as a full refund for the ticket without a fee/penalty/handling fee or whatever you want to call it.
Virgin Atlantic: Economy Delight Flex suitcase Trolley, luggage delivery, seat with large legroom, possibility to change by paying differences, full refund of the ticket in case of cancellation.
With the Economy Flex ticket you can board the plane with a trolley weighing 8 kg and hand over a luggage.
Changes can be made to the card without a fee but with change gaps.
In the event that the card is canceled before departure, there is a full refund without commission.
And which regular airlines do charge a fee for canceling a flexible ticket in tourist class?
Al al 50 dollars
, we have already said,
LOT company 50 dollars
Air Europe 60 dollars
Also charges a fee for canceling a flight ticket.
This is around
El Al did not comment until the time of publication of the article.