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Israel

Which Airlines Fly to Israel?

A Boeing 777-200 from Israeli airliner E

Well, hello there, brave mama or papa! You are planning to take the long flight to Israel with your kids. Depending on where you are coming from, that could be more than 11 hours on a plane with your little bundles of joy.

So, what’s the best way to fly to Israel? Let’s get started!

Is it better to fly direct, or with a stopover?

There’s no right answer for this one. For many, the idea of having a stopover is just a no-go — two flights in close proximity to each other are just too rough, especially with multiple children, or if you’re traveling with a baby or toddler.

However, if traveling direct isn’t financially feasible, or if you feel like your kids can’t handle the long flight, you may want to travel with a connection. Some parents deliberately chose to split the flight into two trips and spend a day or two in a European location.

If you decided to have your connecting flight on the same day, always make sure there’s ample time for you to make your connection — especially with kids. Give yourself at a couple of hours between flights if possible. Missing your connection is the WORST. Try to find a nice balance: a connection that doesn’t make your flight too long, but that also doesn’t mean you are running through an airport with your brood in order to not miss a flight. (Also, be warned: Many European airports bus travelers between the gate and the airplane, which means you can’t necessarily expect to just walk off the plane when you land. Allow extra time!)

Flying direct with El Al

The Israeli airline is the number-one option for those who want a nonstop flight, with direct flights from New York, Miami, LA and Boston (as well as from Toronto, for you lovely Canadians). Other attractive options the airline offers is the ability to book a bassinet ahead of time, which can truly be a lifesaver if you’re bringing a baby on board. El Al is very kid friendly, as it is very used to families traveling in and out of Israel.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Just like with most airlines, any child under 2 can fly on a parents lap (one child per parent), and they charge 10% of the ticket price. You may bring a stroller and a car seat with you, though you must check one of them at the gate.
  • You can order kids’ meals in advance for your flight (as well as Glatt Kosher and vegetarian meals, if you need them) but you should bring a lot of extra snacks.
  • Not all El Al plans have WiFi, charger plugs, or VOD players, so plan accordingly.
  • During holidays, El Al sometimes offers complimentary kids activity kits.

Other airlines that fly direct from the U.S. to Israel

Delta:

Delta flies directly to Israel from New York.

Just like with most airlines, any child under 2 can fly on a parents lap (one child per parent) for 10% of the ticket price. You may bring a stroller and a car seat with you. You can gate check your stroller.

United

United has direct flights to Israel from New York, Newark and San Fransisco.

Just like with most airlines, any child under 2 can fly on a parents lap (one child per parent) for 10% of the ticket price. You may bring a stroller and a car seat with you. You can gate check your stroller.

Image via JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

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