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.