Review of Arkia Israel Airlines flight Tel Aviv Eilat in Economy

Flight IZ1845
Class Economy
Seat 2a
Aircraft Boeing 757-300
Flight time 00:32
Take-off 22 Dec 18, 20:43
Arrival at 22 Dec 18, 21:15
IZ 14 reviews
pinipal
By 1019
Published on 24th December 2018
Hello everyone and welcome aboard my experience with Arkia -
flying this evening to Eilat for a short, laid back chill out.

Terminal 1 at TLV


As you know most of the flights from TLV airport departure from terminal 3 - the bigger, busiest one, taking care of all internationals.
But today we are focusing in terminal 1 - the second and smaller one, designated to handle all low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz, EasyJet etc.. as well as flights to Eilat.
Terminal 1 has been under a significant renovation in the past year, resulting in a retro design all over. Unfortunately, I have been unable to visit it because of flights to Eilat departure from the smaller section of this terminal which has not been rebranded. Let's see what's going on there!



I arrived terminal 1 exactly 1.5 hours before departure, enjoying my advantage of quick procedures due to an inbound flight.
And how quick it was - only 20 minutes long from entering the terminal until reaching the gate! Remarkable short timing considering the tight security here, anyone who flew to/from Israel could relate.

photo IMG-5369

I liked the way they painted the walls and the general indoor - a really nice gesture to beach and resort city Eilat, the sole destination of this part of terminal 1.. a bit old fashioned though, but I liked it.
Decent toilet, few soda and snack machines and one VERY pricy stall - 18 shekels for a small cappuccino!! (Roughly $5)
Not the busiest evening and there were plenty of empty spaces to sit on.



Boarding


Boarding started at 19:40, by gate shuttle.
Bonn soir 4X-BAU !



The Cabin



I’m so excited to fly on the 757-300 in 2018, having small talk with the head flight attendant who told me there were only 55 of this model in service around the globe, so we’re lucky indeed.
This beauty is the only B757 serving under Arkia's fleet.
We also talked about the new Arkia’s purchase of a321LR, now in service and first in the world.
Having pre-booked 3a, I immediately turned left as I entered the cabin.
boarding lasted impressively quick, we were 161 passengers out of a capacity of 265.

This 757-300 is entirely one 3-3 economy class, but sitting in front makes me feel somehow special as it mostly used for business in other planes.
So here we are at 2a after switching with a Madam carrying a little kid. He made a lot of noise but it’s a very short flight after all so I got my headphones on.
Check this out, an empty row! Why do I never get this on long haul?? And you can lift the armrest! a downside, Pretty old-fashioned cabin as well, but very comfortable, legroom is decent and enough for this short flight. I could stretch my legs far enough for a comfy nap, only if the cabin was quiet enough…
Notice this - the airplane illustration on the safety board has Arkia's new livery - despite the fact the actual aircraft we're boarding is still painted in the older one. I will relate to that in my conclusion.



Pre Flight



Let’s try to spot in this dark evening.
EL AL B747-4 on the right, Near him a Sund'Or (EL AL owned seasonal brand) B737-8,
MNG Cargo A330-600 on the left, (correct me in the comments if I'm wrong).
What else?
A pair of Wizz A320/1 (Too far to recognize, could you specify?) with their two different liveries,
Israir A320-200, and a single DHL B727.
And that shall conclude spotting for this evening:)



Takeoff at 20:39, I particularly enjoyed the magnificent noise of it’s Rolls-Royce, hoping it won’t be my last time aboard 757.
As soon as we took off god answered my prayers (even though I’m Jewish) and the annoying kid behind me calmed down. (but not for long)

20:45 flight crew started distributing water and light drinks, they were super nice. Maybe it’s the short flight lifting their mood, who knows?

Ooh la la, my in-flight magazine is all ripped! I wonder about the story behind it.

The annoying kid starting to freak out again - in my limited French I understood he got mad at his mama for not giving him chocolate.
But notice the small things making an air service good - the attendant whom I chatted with before, came back to my empty row for small talk,
perhaps in an effort to distract me from the noise behind. What a service! :)
21:00 cabin crew starts landing preparations, looks earlier than expected but in 5 minutes I feel we’re descending.
The cabin was hot, I can see why due to 16 Celsius outside but still - they could use a moderate chilling…
What more can I say about such of a short flight? it went pretty smoothly,
we were landing before I even noticed - halfway to the flight we already started descending.



A revoir 4X-BAU !

photo GOPR0326photo IMG-5408


Arriving At ETH Airport



Nothing too exciting about Eilat Airport - small, rural, inside the town. But I guess it has its magic.
There was absolutely nothing besides a small baggage hall, and the exit door leads you straight to the street.
Waiting for my luggage and leaving the hall took roughly 20 minutes.
I've noticed a bunch of ads promoting the new Ramon Airport currently under construction.
The place is so small I could see our 757 from the taxi window.


See more

Verdict

Arkia Israel Airlines

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.0

Tel Aviv - TLV

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Eilat - ETH

8.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Annoying kids aside, I’m really satisfied with Arkia. What a waste of comfy cabin for a 32min flight! I’d really like to enjoy this gorgeous 757 in long-haul flights - perhaps 5 hours (give or take) to Western Europe from TLV. A very pleasant crew, and with good competition to EL AL and Israir - Arkia seems to be a very nice airline to consider.
A noticeable efficiency as well - boarding, leaving the aircraft, arranging the up-head cabins (is that how it called?) - All went very quick and trouble free.

Fun fact: Do you know Arkia have already agreed to sell this particular aircraft to Condor Airlines? I wonder when delivery exactly takes place, and if Arkia is planning to paint it in their new livery before hence. Let me know in the comments below if you have any idea what's going on with this.

Please consider I give a rating according to a 32min flight - expectations are personally noticeably different from other flights. for instance, I don't bother not having any entertainment and catering at all, so there is no need to rate them negatively. I assume other passengers would expect to have some crackers :)

Related

3 Comments

  • Comment 481501 by
    Pilpintu 732 Comments

    Hi Pinipal!

    Wow! What great service for such a short flight!

    a really nice gesture to beach and resort city Eilat

    I loved that, too! I guess that themed decoration puts the passengers into vacationing mode before they board their plane!

    god answered my prayers (even though I’m Jewish)

    LOL. You must be one of the good ones! (Kidding)

    he got mad at his mama for not giving him chocolate

    Chocolate! Completely understandable and justifiable tantrum, then.

    in an effort to distract me from the noise behind. What a service!

    I couldn't agree more! What a service!

    Thank you very much for sharing this short but interesting flight! Two thumbs up for the crew. :)

  • Comment 481771 by
    sacha787 151 Comments

    Thanks for this very nice FR!
    It is nice to see big planes in Eilat.
    I remember that I flew to Eilat with an El Al 767-200 in 1992 :)

  • Comment 485327 by
    02022001 4352 Comments

    Pleased to hear that flights between tlv and Eilat have resumed. Thanks to share ;)

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