American And El Al End Partnership November 1, 2014

One of American’s smaller airline partnerships has been with El Al, the largest airline in Israel. Through this partnership you could earn and redeem AAdvantage miles for travel on El Al, and vice versa. I know this was a really useful partnership for some, especially since American never flew to Israel.

It wasn’t possible to redeem American AAdvantage miles for first class travel on El Al, though you could redeem for business or economy. El Al was never great about releasing award space — it was at times virtually impossible to find business class award space — though the partnership was still better than nothing. And for that matter, even their brand new business class product doesn’t look very good.

El-Al-New-Business-Class
El Al’s new business class product

Well, it looks like the partnership between American and El Al will be ending as of November 1, 2014. So all travel on El Al must be ticketed by October 31, 2014 — travel on a subsequent date is fine, though.

El-Al

Why is the American/El Al partnership ending?

I tend to agree with Gary and think this was initiated by American. Now that they’re integrating with US Airways, they have a flight between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv. Given that El Al didn’t have all that many frequencies to the US, chances are that they weren’t getting much connecting feed from El Al, so the upside was limited. And with limited upside and your own flight to that country, there’s not a huge benefit to having a partnership. I’d bet a vast majority of the “volume” of the partnership was AAdvantage members redeeming miles on El Al.

Other ways to redeem miles on El Al

Keep in mind that El Al’s Matmid Club is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner, so that’s another way to redeem points for travel on El Al.

El-Al-Membership-Rewards

You can find their mileage calculator here. El Al’s rates are a bit higher than American’s, and they do impose (mild) fuel surcharges. For example, a roundtrip between New York and Tel Aviv in business class will run you 3,000 Matmid Points plus $355.42 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges (Membership Rewards points convert to Matmid Points at a 50:1 ratio, so that’s like 150,000 miles).

El-Al-Membership-Rewards-1

Between that and their lackluster onboard product, there are much more comfortable ways to get to Israel, in my opinion.

Comments

  1. That new business class seat looks like something you’d find in a mid-range dentist’s office. Good move for AA, considering that US flies their 332 with a fairly nice seat on that route.

  2. @Lucky,

    Don’t think this may have been at the behest of LY, now that AA dba US is competing with LY via flights from PHL?

  3. I don’t care about TLV flights, but for the huge Jewish population in NYC, expecting them to connect at PHL when there are tons of nonstops from JFK/EWR via UA/DL/LY is a sure way to lose their business

  4. Patricia has a good point. I’d think a lot of folks flying LY on the JFK-TLV non-stop would credit their miles to AA. Now that the partnership has ended, those people most likely would fly DL or UA instead.

  5. @ AJK — I suppose it could be, but El Al doesn’t have many partnerships, and I’m not sure what they gain by ending the partnership. Philadelphia and NYC are two very different markets.

  6. @ patricia — I don’t think American “expects” them to connect in Philadelphia, but there’s nothing in it for American if they’re simply crediting miles for people flying El Al between NYC and Tel Aviv. They’re not getting any connecting traffic out of it, so there’s not much upside for them.

  7. Jay,

    I am sure the information about first class travel and daily updates on the delivery of A380 to Qatar is much more relevant, as we all like to help financing fine organizations like the Hamas (the democratic regime of Gaza).

  8. @Jay this is a travel blog a political debate forum. And also if you want to avoid “the airline of a terrorist state” I would advise looking at Qatar airways- the airline of Qatar- which has funded much of the violence in the middle east. Also your notion that Israel compares to certain states like North Korea, for example, is laughable. If you wouldn’t mind, please send me some pictures from the North Korean gay pride parade. Then please send me pictures from some North Korean civil protests against the government. Also if you could, please post the number of people who have fled to North Korea in search of a better life, that would be great. Calling Israel a “terrorist state” proves just how ignorant you are.

  9. Some ppl like Al have no idea what the word terrorist means, apparently they think somehow terrorist state means repressive state… What gave you that idea? It could be repressive state, but saying a state is a terrorist state has no reference to its behaviour towards its citizens. How do civil liberties factor into that I have no clue how your brain functions, might want to get a better education.

  10. @Adam a bit of a drama queen? you seem to be leaving out Air Canada and the Asian airlines and probably most of the European ones

  11. Some people like Jay throw out the first word they find in a dictionary. So instead of using there brain for more than 2 and a half seconds, they instead get all their news from the Hamas twitter and then come up with obscene- meritless- conclusions that the Israeli government is engaged in state terrorism. It also quite telling that Jay did not respond to anyones point about Qatar. It also interesting how Jay assumes that we must be Jews if we are “running to the rescue of the Zionist state,” and through that- somehow seeks to discredit any of mine, or anyone else’s points, to use your own words Jay, “Yawns try that with someone else.”

  12. “What gave you that idea? It could be repressive state, but saying a state is a terrorist state has no reference to its behaviour towards its citizens. How do civil liberties factor into that I have no clue how your brain functions, might want to get a better education.”

    1. States that sponsor terrorism tend not to give their citizens many civil liberties- and once again we go back to assuming (see above)

    2. I did get an education. In that education I was taught the importance being a well informed citizen. During the course of your education-if you got one-, the only thing you were taught was to speak out of your ass. I’m guessing you probably didn’t do to well on research papers.

  13. @Jay- (follow up from September 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm comment at the end of point 2) Although I would hate to assume anything.

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