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Re: Cleveland Master Thread
Very good.
Another decent pizza option in Cleveland...just what we needed :p

October 14, 2016, 03:22:33 PM
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Re: Oh uh - El Al #LY8 from JFK to Tel Aviv is diverting to Gander  My sister who was stranded in Athens shared some details on the extremely disappointing experience which is described below.

El Al straight up lied to passengers when they were in Canada saying they had not enough time to get to TLV before shabbos but they will be landing in London with ample time before shabbos and provide accommodations to all that needed. Non-observant jews or non-Jewish passengers will have option to be booked with a another carrier to get them to Israel Friday evening.

Most passengers were informed officially only once they were on the way that they are not going to London but rather ATH and they will have no issues getting to their accommodations before shabbos. Upon arrival, the 747 would continue on to TLV on shabbos and will take only crew since no “passengers” are allowed to fly on shabbos. They provided two flights Friday evening on another carrier for non-observant passengers to continue on to TLV on shabbos.

Now what actually happened was this...the only hotel near the airport in Athens had only a few rooms to spare and as many religious Jews crammed into them as possible (4-5 rooms available). Others who preferred to have hotel vs staying in airport for shabbos were left with taking a bus on shabbos to a further hotel since they basically landed minutes before it started. Many passengers opted to just take flight back on shabbos because once they arrived they realized they were in for a miserable experience. Others stayed in terminal. It was going around that the reason for switching to ATH vs London was that they figured a shabbos in London would mean all 400+ passengers would want to stay in a hotel and cost a lot more money. Going to ATH with the knowledge that it lacked accommodations and is not as interesting of a place to explore like London many of the passengers would opt just to continue to TLV on shabbos later in the evening, which is what happened. In addition, the cost of flying the passengers from ATH to TLV also saves a lot of money.


My thoughts on the matter since everyone else seems to have a take on this - I am saddened that fellow jews on here have harsh critiques of the religious passengers who took this flight. Although I understand some have a sudden necessity to share opinions on the matter you can’t know for certain every individual circumstances that brought them to taking this flight (medical, family emergency...)so not right to judge them or anyone for that matter. El-Al as a carrier knows the shabbos restriction it must oblige by and maybe it was naive to think that they would create a flight schedule with enough time that would accommodate circumstances like this one. Furthermore, once they knew they had an issue they did not act in good faith and mislead many of the passengers in regards to how they planned on handling the situation. I am sure every religious person stranded has learnt their lesson after this experience.

I don’t blame El-Al for making a business decision and limiting its financial loss given it’s just that - a business after all. That being said, they shouldn’t be blindly trusted in the future (nor should anyone be) to be your trusted “religious” sensitive airline of choice. Perception by many is that El-Al is trusted to put religious sensitivity as a priority similar to its unique security measures that sets it apart. Clearly this is a misguided mistake. Many passengers on board felt helpless in the matter and if the airline wanted they could have provided better alternative options to its passengers or at the very least communicated better with passengers on the flight.

June 16, 2018, 09:56:14 PM
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