EL AL 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from London! A bit over a week ago I shared my thoughts on EL AL’s beautiful 787 business class based on my flight with them from Newark to Tel Aviv. The plane was brand new, the service excellent, and the food much better than I was expecting.

On the return I decided to fly EL AL’s 777 first class to London. In this post I wanted to share my initial thoughts, and soon I’ll have a full trip report.

EL AL’s 777 first class consists of a single row of fully flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. This is a woefully uncompetitive hard product, there’s no question about it. Heck, arguably EL AL’s 787 business class seat is better than their 777 first class seat, as they have direct aisle access from every seat on the 787. I knew that going in, though.

What I will say is that the first class seats were in good condition, fully flat, and comfortable. Three of the six first class seats were taken on this flight, so everyone had two seats to themselves. It’s my understanding that it’s pretty normal for only half of the first class seats to be full. Of course it’s not a guarantee, and I’m sure I’d have a much less favorable impression if I was seated next to a stranger.

Everything else about the EL AL first class experience was better than I was expecting, given that this was only a 4hr55min flight. There was a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit, slippers, and even a second kit with more Salvatore Ferragamo amenities.

There were also pajamas.

There were even Bose noise canceling headphones, which very few airlines offer — nice!

Even though this was a reasonably short daytime flight, they had proper mattress pads, and I found the bed to be quite comfortable, especially given that I had an empty seat next to me. I even slept for about two hours.

This dinner service on this flight was excellent. Service began with rose champagne and pralines, and then nuts and more drinks. For the meal I ordered the coconut scented soup with ginger and yellow curry to start — YUM!

Then I ordered the salad, which was the best salad I’ve been served on any airline. There were three different salad choices and additional opportunities to customize the salad, including adding chicken, salmon, etc.

For the main course I ordered salmon with spinach and green beans, served with a side of Vietnamese style sauce.

There were several sweet dessert options, and I asked the crew which was best. No one else in first class was eating, and they said “why don’t you try them all and let us know?” Even after the meal I couldn’t tell them which was best, as they were all phenomenal.

But the real highlight of the flight was the service. Working first class were two young and energetic ladies — Shanti and Nofar. They were incredibly professional, attentive, and friendly. On both of my flights the service is what stood out to me most about the EL AL experience.

I’ll have a much more detailed review soon, though suffice to say EL AL first class was significantly better than I was expecting. The seats are of course outdated and subpar (especially given that they fly this plane as far as Los Angeles), but the service, food, and amenities greatly exceeded my expectations.

All things considered, EL AL was so much better than I was expecting.

Comments

  1. Even more impressive is that i’m pretty sure all your desserts were dairy free (parve). I’ve always found those desserts to be gross – glad they exceeded your expectations.

  2. Actually looks pretty good!

    I was under the impression most airlines don’t offer Bose headphones in premium cabins as a lot tend to go missing and therefor makes the investment too costly.

    You’d think Bose would white label a nose canceling headphone for the airlines. Once people don’t know the brand they won’t care to jack them from the plane! (Pun intended…jack…headphone jack. I’ll show myself out now).

  3. Hmmm…. I think we’re seeing a pattern here. Everything you try for the first time (first two flights) is suberb / refreshing / I can’t believe it is not butter. Why would anyone choose El Al First over BA First on this route? Not fussed about points availability. Merely thinking about the soft and hard product. BA does a full fat long-haul on this route. And not sure how you are honestly going to promote wines from Israel in your infomercials.

  4. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t the exact same seat that Sichuan has on their China-LAX a330 which you just reviewed? Only, tweaked so that the hardware goes fully-flat on El Al instead of angled?

    Pretty sure South African has the same (full-flat-enabled) seats on their older planes, and Iberia did too until a couple of years ago. The key difference being that these airlines were all selling it as J not F.

  5. Lucky, another unique aspect of El Al premium cabins is the fact that you generally have a great chance of sitting in the vicinity of someone famous or a public figure – both American and Israeli.

    It’s such a small airline and the worldwide Jewish community isn’t the largest. You could very well find yourself sitting next to a kingmaker, politician, etc. Of course, this is more applicable to the U.S./London flights rather than the European/Asian ones.

    At any rate and as the saying goes: don’t judge a book by its cover!

  6. Interesting, in general El-AL considered in Israel as bad product with bad service. And it’s not because of outdated seats, more like “easy to hate”, maybe same like Americans with 3 legacy’s – always complaining?
    For example the Salad here or in your’s 787 the rich breakfast: Both are part of Israeli cuisine (rich fresh salads and big breakfasts).
    All in all the current Israeli market is led by *A with overflow of supply from TK, LH group & UA, which from points and status perspective makes the choice no brainier.

  7. @CR If Bose white labelled there headphones Lucky wouldn’t rate them highly cuz they don’t say Bose on them. How’s he supposed to make money of his referral links if he can’t refer us to Bose on Amazon?

  8. Yes, the first-class is outdated for long-haul, international flights but this is way better than Delta One on a 5/6-hour transcontinental flight in domestic first-class. I wouldn’t want to fly this from Toronto to Israel, but as a regional first-class product it’s fine. I would be curious to know how the 777 business-class service differs from the 777 first-class service. And what about the 747? Don’t they fly the 747, too?

  9. And — Don’t forget that you are SAFE flying them.
    They DO have the guts to profile prospective passengers.
    Not like the politically correct (thank you, Obama and Hellary) US airlines which extend the red carpet to undesirables / terrorists.

  10. What’s the point of jacking Bose headphones? They are made for inflight. you can’t use it in your home. Or can you?

    @Stuart go attend KKK meeting with your cousin/wife. They are missing you.

  11. As stated by @Debit, In my experience, airline-issued headphones have a special three prong jack, not usable anywhere off the airplane. So that really deters theft of these headphones.

  12. @YYZ guy: You really hit the mark on DL One transcon. I couldn’t sit up and cross my legs without bending a foot against the hard back of the seat in front.

    Is this the same seat as transatlantic/ pacific? If so, I’d give away my seat and get off the plane.
    I could barely take 6.5 hours of that shit

  13. Those look like the wireless Bose QC35 (you can see the bluetooth icon and there’s no visible wire). Were they wired or not? I doubt such an old configuration would have anything wireless.

  14. Ben
    Are you aware EVERYONE in ELAl Knew of you, and perhaps that changed your expierence? They literally advertised your 787 review on their social media raving about you .

  15. @Stuart Lee *standing ovation* completely agree. So happy they’re not in office.

    Cant wait for the whole Israel trip reports Lucky!!! Trip of the year!

  16. You better believe they knew you were coming and were briefed both times. Been on Elal many times and never had anything but the worst service imaginable (and that’s if the plane takes off at all)

  17. Lucky, one question:

    To me it seems that you always, (or a very disproportionate % of the time) choose salmon when it’s an option on as a main. Are you trying to compare the quality of the salmon across a bunch of airlines or are you just very fond of salmon? To me, as a Norwegian, this seems one of the most uninteresting dishes it’s possible to select in any scenario, as it’s an “everyday” food over here 🙂

  18. @schar

    Yes, let us rejoice at the current crop of idiots that have been elected instead…

    That food looks really good. For business class.

  19. I bet all Trump voters (KKK members, and Nazis and all other racists /white supremacists/ homophobes /rapists / child predators) would fly El Al. They would!!!!!!!1!!

  20. @Airways and Travels

    BA F loads on the 777’s are usually 70%+, from the many flights I’ve been on in CW on that route. And a BAEC Gold friend of mine who lives in TLV says he is upgraded complimentary to F quite often when flying to LHR. So my guess is a 10-20% of those F seats are op-ups.

    CW is almost always full on this route, especially the 8am ex-LHR flight to TLV.

    I’m on this flight on Sunday, and F only has 1 open seat right now. CW 7.

  21. El Al is a horrible airline. Planes are outdated, interiors are tired and it carries with it an undesired legacy being the national carrier representing Israeli military occupation of millions of Palestinians. As an Israeli, I try my best to avoid having any contact with the inferior and highly problematic El Al.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *