Review of El Al Israel Airlines flight Tel Aviv Berlin in Economy

Flight LY2373
Class Economy
Seat 42A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 03:56
Take-off 01 May 23, 17:52
Arrival at 01 May 23, 20:48
LY 39 reviews
Rixeel
By 1152
Published on 3rd May 2023

Hello and welcome to my first flight report, between TLV and BER. 


Ben Gurion Airport : Check-in Security and Boarding


I was warned by some friends before leaving and it was also written on my tour book : "arrive 3 hours at the airport before departure". Usually flying within Europe, this is way too much. But flying to and from Israel : THIS IS A MUST !! 

The departure of my flight was from Terminal 3 at TLV airport, which is the usual one for El Al flights. 
By reaching the departure area I was already surprised. There was a huge queue for the checkin. I waited about 45 minutes to reach the first security screening. This where they ask you about your trip and if you left your luggage unattended for some time and so on. 
After that I reached a second waiting line and waited there for about 30 minutes until a guy came and told me to cut the line and go to the business Check-In area, otherwise I would have to wait like 20 minutes more. No queue there, the girl at the counter was very nice and everything went very fast. So overall more than one hour to check my luggage in. Only one a bit more than hour left until boarding which was at 16:50. 

I went then to the security screening, there again a huge line. But quite well organized, they tell you directly to which line number you should go. And the wait there is again veeeery long. So after 30 minutes standing, a girl called for people flying to Berlin and some other destinations (with boarding soon). So here again they made me cut the line. For the security screening, everyone gets through one by one. Each passenger is assigned to a security worker who checks basically everything that you are doing. They also check <u style="font-weight: bold;">EACH pocket of your bag for explosives. This is why everything takes a while there. 

Passeport control is automatic there for Biometric passeports, it took me about 20 seconds to get to the other side. Finally I reached the main airport area with all the duty free shops and so on. I was actually quite surprised and found the airport very nice and that's where i took my first picture. 
 


photo img_8734-84700

I had only about 20 minutes to reach the gate. So took a short walk and then went directly to the gate D9 where the boarding was. 


BOADRING


It started on time as announced at 16:50. The process went without any problem, short wait in the jetbridge as usual before being welcomed by the cabin manager. 

Today's ride : B737-800 4X-EKB 24 years old according to flight radar. 


photo img_8740

To reach the economy section of the aircraft I obviously passed through the Business section and it looked quite nice. 2-2 seating with 3 rows. The seats looked like Premium Eco on long-haul flights but seemed to be quite confortable. Unfortunately no picture of it since all the seats where already occupied. 

The cabin feels quite old looking at the overhead bins and reading lights. But the seats seem to be quite new and are very confortable. Legroom is not huge but okay. Comparable to other flight companies of the same category I would say. Each seat is provided with a USB B and C power socket. It's located under the front and between the front seats and took me a little while to actually see it.   



PUSHback, taxi and take off


17:30 : Boarding completed as scheduled.  
Shortly after, pushback is started and at the same time the security video is shown on the overhead screens. Quite interesting the way it is done with this mentalist. 
I also noticed during taxi that the WIFI was already switched on, so you are already able to start a film before taking off. This is different than many other companies where the wifi is switched on only passing a certain altitude. Big plus to El Al here.  
After 15 minutes taxi we take off at 17:46 from Runway 26.  Unfortunately i won't be able to see Tel Aviv from above since I am seating on the wrong side of the aircraft.



IN flight


Half an hour after take of the cabin crew start with the onboard service. 
A (very) hot sandwich is served with a bottle of water, unfortunately no other choice for beverages was offered. From what I noticed, vegan and vegatarian options are available too.  The sandwich tasted very good and even crispy ! It's not that often anymore that you receive free meal/food/drinks on short/meduim haul flights. So I was quite happy about it. 
The sandwich comes with a small package turning into a traycloth an containing a napkin and a refreshing wipe. 

During the flight the overhead screens are down gain and showing over and over the same thing. No inflight data or whatever. Just some commercials. The only good thing about is that they also show how how to put a cabin luggage into the overhead lockers. This can be very usefull to some passengers…  

During the flight some passengers asked for a blanket and it was directly brought by the cabin crew without any requested payment. This became unusual too these days..  

1 hour after departure and after the service, the crew start with the duty free. Nothing too special here, the usual watches and products to be found while flying with other companies.  



After my sandwich i took some time to have a look at the inflight entertainment. Mades some screenshots of the films offered there. 
I had also a look at the inflight magazines. 

In the seat pocket the usual trash bag is to be found + an enveloppe offering you the opportunity to empty your pockets and donate whatever currency you might still have after your holiday. A nice offer here if you still have some coins and wish to donate them.  



Nothing really much happening during the remaining 2,5 hours at cruising altitude. Just a 10 minutes period where we passed through some turbulences and the pilot switched the seat belt sign on. 

Shortly before starting the descent the cabin crew went through the cabin again and offered some little snacks / chocolate and turn on this cold blue lighting. 

 
 


photo img_8796

Descent, landing and arrival


The weather in Berlin is somehow cloudy so we experience some turbulences during the descent. 
 
After 4 hours flight we land on time at 20:54 german time. Short taxi to reach our parking stand and the deboarding starts shortly after. We reach the passport control which is completely empty so it goes very fast. After that i had to walk to the other side of the terminal to pick up my luggage. Waiting time about 5-10 minutes here. Nothing special to be reported.  



That's all for my first report ! Thanks for reading me :)


photo img_8740
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Verdict

El Al Israel Airlines

8.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering8.5

Tel Aviv - TLV

7.8/10
Efficiency1.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Berlin - BER

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

Conclusion

Despite the very long waiting times at TLV airport and the exhausting security screening, the flight was very nice. Confortable seat, nice cabin crew and very enjoyable to have a free sandwich with water.

Related

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 627487 by
    Pilpintu TEAM 997 Comments
    Hello and welcome to my first flight report

    Welcome aboard, Rixeel!!

    Each passenger is assigned to a security worker who checks basically everything that you are doing.

    I had to read this line twice! I'm so sorry you guys have to go through all these stressing security measures.

    The cabin feels quite old looking

    Actually, I can't remember a flight report showing a modern El Al cabin right now. There was even this old El Al 747 with a very ugly nickname that was a reference to how old and dirty it was! On the other hand, older seats are usually softer! :D

    a blanket and it was directly brought by the cabin crew without any requested payment

    I'm impressed! Anyway, the onboard meal could be improved, I think. It's almost 4 hours in the air!

    That's all for my first report !

    A great one, to say the truth! very detailed and entertaining. Thank you very much for sharing!
  • Comment 627488 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6738 Comments
    Hello and thanks for sharing your first report here with us! Very nice review with good detail and photos. It's also nice to see a report on El Al as there aren't many in general. The cabin looks rather fresh--I think they were redone a few years ago. And it's nice that they have streaming IFE, which most carriers from Israel to Europe who fly narrowbodies do not.

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more reviews.

    Welcome to Flight-Report!
  • Comment 627913 by
    Dor BRONZE 113 Comments
    It's nice to see someone writing about Elal!
    I hoped to fly on their 737-800 with the new cabin (like 4X-EKB), I ordered a flight from TLV to PRG and Elal replaced the 737-800 with Tus A320...
    I flew on 4X-EKA (I'm pretty sure that the cabins were the same in the past) and I can surely say that you had an aircraft with the new cabin.
    It also seems that Elal upgraded the overhead screens to something similar (or identical) to the overhead screens in their newer 737-800 (like 4X-EKS) or the 737-900.
    The business product should be good for this European route, especially when you consider that Elal is the only carrier that provides such service on the routes to Germany.

    BTW, I was surprised to see that you flew from Terminal 3, since LY2XXX flights are previously UP (was LCC subsidiary of Elal) and usually they fly from terminal 1.

    If you wish, you can view my profile, I wrote about my previous experience with Elal, on their 744, 763, 738 and 739, as well as on UP 738 and Sun'dor 752.

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