How can I get to Israel?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by michael21, Apr 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Hey guys I want to surprise my wife with a trip to Israel next year with AA points. When I did a random search for the next 6 months, there was very very little availability...what other options do I have to get to Israel using AA points?


    Thanks!
     
  2. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    What cabin are you trying to get?
    I would fly AA TATL and use AB from there (they serve TLV according to this.)
    If you don't mind paying much more in YQ and you are flying J/F then I would recommend BA.
    (I recommend AA TATL as AB TATL isn't as good, BA/IB charge YQ.)
     

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  3. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Woah...lots of abbreviations...I'd like to fly business...what is TATL and AB?
     
  4. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    TATL=Transatlantic
    AB=Air Berlin IATA code, member of oneworld
     
  5. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Is AB business nice? where can I look up availability?
     
  6. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    kvstool.com
    It is OK I would say, but it could be better. At least they had lie flat (unlike JL 763.)
    Since AA publishes a MPM fare there, make sure to watch how many miles you travel.
    A oneworld award would also be a good option depending on your location.
    Where are you based btw?
     
  7. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    When you say search, do you mean you are searching on AA.com? If that's the case, you aren't seeing the full picture. AA doesn't fly to Tel Aviv, so you'd need to use a partner airline. Unfortunately, only one of AA's partner airlines that fly to TLV are available for search online, so you should call AA to discuss options.

    As AA_EXP09 mentions, Air Berlin (AB) is an AA partner that flies to Tel Aviv (TLV) from multiple German cities. Other AA partners that fly to Israel include:

    British Airways/BA which flies from London

    El Al/LY which flies from the US to Tel Aviv from Los Angeles and New York JFK

    Royal Jordanian/RJ which flies from Amman

    Iberia/IB from Madrid
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Where would you connect in Germany? Doesn't AA essentially have just one flight left to FRA? (from DFW) And AB doesn't fly from FRA to TLV, so that would mean another connection in Germany. Depending on where the OP is starting from, it might be easier to go via LHR.
     
  9. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    I would connect in BCN.
     
  10. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

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    And pay that dreaded extra fuel surcharge on British Airways/BA. Lots of options to TLV as mentioned above without using BA and paying extra. Unless cost isn't an issue, then BA is a nice airline to use, and LHR T5 was just named one of the best airports in Europe. :)
     
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  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Why not just connect in MAD to IB's direct flight to TLV? Avoid the double connection. IB has some additional YQ like BA now though as recently reported on Travelingbetter.com: LINK.
     
  12. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    For the reason you mentioned.
    And for a Spanish passport stamp.
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I looked at the AB flight schedule, and it gives me a headache. I think I'd rather fly AA to LHR :)
     
  14. DestinationDavid
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    The IB YQ is pretty small, I'd pay the fee to avoid a double connection. Not to mention if the OP is traveling with someone, I'm not sure "adding a passport stamp" is on the list of fun things to do on the way to a vacation. :)
     
  15. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I am located in Chicago...So is Iberia the best bet? Would I have to call AAto see how many miles I need and availability?
     
  16. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    Or CDG to avoid the LHR pax service charge.
     
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  17. DestinationDavid
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    Since the OP wants to go business, I might actually try for Etihad (EY) business class from the US to AUH and then connect to TLV. Avoids the YQ, great business class offering. Fare issues though?
     
  18. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    It does trigger some US taxes as will, keep that in mind.
     
  19. DestinationDavid
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    My honest opinion would be flying from Chicago to Abu Dhabi on Etihad, and then connecting to TLV. Etihad has a great business class product and pretty good availability, but not sure if it's viable with fares rules.

    It would cost you 135K AA miles per person to go roundtrip on an all partner award.
     
  20. DestinationDavid
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    Which are also fairly minor.
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Who's flying AUH-TLV? Maybe Royal Jordanian via Amman?

    Would the return (connecting in AUH) work if the OP got an Israel passport stamp?
     
  22. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    I use KVS for availability.
     
  23. DestinationDavid
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    Yes RJ, so using EY does require a double connection, but I've heard the J class might be worth it. :D

    As far as I know an Israeli stamp doesn't stop you from entering/transiting UAE.
     
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  24. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    Sending in my passport for the visa is another thing.
     
  25. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    Using any Middle Eastern carrier besides Royal Jordanian is out; none have published fares to Israel (duh) so can't be used on AA partner awards.

    Starting from Chicago it would be a no-brainer for me. Royal Jordanian to Amman, then the short RJ hop to Tel Aviv. Fabulous business class service, and generally good availability for redemption trips. Requires a phone call to AA, but the savings in time and hassle compared to British Airways or Iberia are well worth it.

    Using BA from London will expose the OP to some nasty fuel surcharges (TLV is longhaul from LHR) and using Iberia is problematic if you end up on one of the single-aisle planes they use for TLV. Those are set up 3-3 in the business class area, with the middle seat left empty, but it's a long way (6 hrs) from MAD to TLV without much in the way of legroom or seat width. IB also flies A340s with longhaul seats on some flights/days, so those would be preferable, but still IMO not as easy as AMM.

    Airberlin doesn't have business class on its Germany > Israel flights, so I wouldn't go there.

    Remember El Al is also an AA partner, but getting business class seats on LY is a labor of Hercules.
     

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