You can't fly ATL-Holy Land during the holidays.

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Dovster, Jun 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    Delta will not be flying non-stop ATL-TLV from Oct 29 until March 26. This means that for many of the holidays which Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Bahai might want to visit the Holy Land will require one or more connecting flights.

    These include:

    All Saints Day (Nov 1)
    Eid-al-Adha (Nov 6)
    Birth of the Baha'u'lla (Nov 12)
    Islamic New Year (Nov 26)
    Advent (Nov 27)
    Ashura (Dec 5)
    Hannuka (Dec 21-28)
    Christmas (Dec 25)
    Epiphany (Jan 6)
    Muhammad's birthday (Feb 4)
    Ash Wednesday (Feb 22)
    Purim (March 8)

    Yes, you can fly from ATL though JFK, Amsterdam, Rome or Paris, but no straight flights. This is especially annoying as JFK is a major PITA and connecting flights on KLM, FCO, and CDG mean that hand luggage will be restricted to 8 kilos and their Biz tickets are actually ordinary Economy seats with the middle seat left empty.

    I am thinking about flying to the States in Nov-Dec. I had considered flying TLV-ATL, spending several days there, and then going to New York for a week before continuing on for a week in Europe. Given this new reality, I suspect I will take Continental to EWR, fly JFK-FRA for a week, and then back to TLV (Lufthansa offers real Biz seats).
     
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  2. DeltaExpert
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    Do you have any insight as to why they have stopped this service? Has ATL-TLV always been seasonal or is this a first? At least we still have JFK-TLV though.
     
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  3. Dovster
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    This the first year that Delta has done this.

    There is, admittedly, a ten week period, starting early January and going through mid-March, when traffic to Israel is down. The weather here can be cold and rainy and the Christmas/Hannuka holidays are over but the Passover/Easter season has not yet begun.

    I have flown Biz Elite twice in February and had empty seats next to me both times.

    Still, this does not explain such an extended break. November generally has the best weather that Israel can offer (the searing heat of summer has ended and the rains of winter not yet started). December, of course, sees Christian tourists pouring in for Christmas (including a tremendous number from the Bible Belt, which is ATL territory) and quite a few for Hannuka (think of Florida retirees going to visit relatives).
     
  4. N670DN
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    TLV-JFK-ATL. Not a big deal, you can put up with 2 hours of JFK. I would do it.
     
  5. Dovster
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    TLV-JFK-ATL is an 18 hour itinerary, as opposed to a 13 hour direct flight. On top of that, DL has lie flat seats TLV-ATL but not TLV-JFK.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Assuming things are on time and immigration isn't a mess it is only 2 hours.

    And that's still about 110 minutes more than I'd like to spend in the DL terminals at JFK. That operation is desperate for a makeover (I know things are in the works) and it cannot come quickly enough.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    My vague impression is that ATL-TLV is somewhat of a leisure route and DL may have more profitable uses of the aircraft with flat beds currrently on this route. However, it is a big drop in capacity, especially during the holiday period that Dovster highlights. I wonder whether DL will further adjust by using a larger plane on JFK-TLV at least until January. However, recent events in the middle of the Pacific suggest that there aren't spare 747s around looking for good uses. DL wants to cut capacity for strategic reasons this winter.

    When I checked on TLV prices and schedules post-merger, ATL connections were clearly the best but also the most expensive by a lot. In the past, I've connected in AMS. This works well, but at some point KLM changed the schedule to make the connections with TATL flights involve long waits in AMS. I don't remember the options using AF through CDG because I try to avoid the horrid aircraft that have been used on MSP-CDG post-merger, but surely there's daily service CDG-TLV and I guess AZ through FCO or MXP must also be possible if one is willing to fly AZ.
     
  8. Dovster
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    AZ no longer flies MXP-TLV. It dumped that schedule (which is one I took 2 or 3 times each year) for political reasons -- it turned FCO into its only true international hub.

    The only legacy airline which still flies a direct route between Milan and Tel Aviv is El Al, which is another good reason for me not to continue with SkyTeam.
     
  9. Gargoyle
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    Connections at JFK from inbound TATL is always a crapshoot. Lots of cx and mx, lots of different things can cause delays or screw-ups.
     
  10. DLroads
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    I think DL did a strategic mistake here... many people got used to flying TLV-west coast through ATL (for better and for worse), and they are breaking this habit. I am not sure what Bean Counters dataset they've used to make this decision, but I guess the beancounters view consists of a 90 day cycle.

    Well...
     
  11. al613
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    Why you cannot stay in ATL for Muhammad's birthday? :)
     
  12. Sam
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    Have you considered US Airways TLV-PHL (A330-200) instead of Continental to EWR?

    Make a date with Lady Luck in Atlantic City, then take a train to New York.
     
  13. Dovster
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    I thought about that but Atlantic City in late November/early December gets very cold and not at all pleasant to walk around.

    (Incidentally, I don't think there is any train between the two cities.)
     
  14. Sam
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    Luck is a Lady one takes on a date to a casino, not to walk around with.
     
  15. Sam
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    Amtrak Acela Express PHL - NYC
    1hr 12min
    $90 Business seat (there is no coach class )
     
  16. Dovster
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    Philadelphia is not Atlantic City.
     
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  17. Sam
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    If you rent a car, it almost is.
     
  18. Gargoyle
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    Very true, Atlantic City has much better professional sports.
     
  19. matthewtravels
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    The wise one speaks. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


    There is now a train between NYC and Atlantic City, but it operates on weekends only.
    http://www.acestrain.com

    It still does not serve your purposes, however, as you'd be flying US to PHL. :p I'm sure if you wanted a torture session, you could hire a retired Moussad agent to do so in your own home and wouldn't require you flying 6,000 miles.
     
  20. LAXtraveler
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    I took the LAX-ATL-TLV route only once (and I did not enjoy it, because I think DL is garbage), but I have to say I specifically chose it over the JFK connection because JFK is not only a terrible place to connect in (not that ATL is much better), but also because the JFK a/c DL uses on the route are old and tired. It is a shame people on the west coast keep getting the short end of the stick when it comes to travel to TLV... we have only 1 choice for a nonstop and otherwise are forced to stop in NYC (JFK/EWR), PHL, or Europe. And don't get me wrong the European flag carriers are excellent relative to their US counterparts, but as mentioned above, they require LONG layovers (except for the CDG connection on AF there is a short one to be had). I guess I'll stick to LY for now (flying non-stop really does make a world of difference).
     
  21. N670DN
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    Complain to DL, not me!
    That is indeed true.
     
  22. ClipperDelta
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    The TLV-JFK arrives in the early morning (about 5am) and uses Terminal 4 (T4 is the only 24 hour FIS terminal at JFK), so customs/immigration is not bad at all (especially since DL is no longer operating AMM and CAI-JFK, both of which used to arrive the same time as TLV, so there really shouldn't be overcrowding from other arrivals). Also, connecting flights in the morning are usually on time, etc. And the TLV-JFK flight is usually early or on time as well, since the 747 sits in TLV for a good 11 hours after arriving from JFK.

    Well ATL-TLV has been operating at less than daliy for a while now (and with smaller equipment) than JFK-TLV (which has been a daily 747 for two years running now). Most of the key markets for TLV that connect through ATL are all do-able via JFK as well, and JFK obviously also has a significantly larger O&D market for TLV than ATL.

    Bottom line is that DL is reducing transatlantic capacity significantly this fall/winter and they have to assume that oil will remain at $100/barrel for the forseeable future. Lots of routes with weak winter traffic will be/have been axed (all of these could have been profitable at $80/barrel during the winter, but at $100+, they have no choice but to make them seasonal).
     
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  23. Gargoyle
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    I didn't realize that, I'm used to the late afternoon TATL arrivals that require connections to the Comair bus terminal, and that is almost always a mess.
     
  24. mtkeller
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    FCO-TLV is not a bad flight at all. I used it to get to/from Israel last month. The AZ narrowbodies I've flown on have had nice, new interiors and they give you a decent cold meal to snack on on the FCO-TLV flight. I guess if you've just come off a TATL and want a real J seat to TLV it's not a great option, but the flight's not too long.
     

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