It has been many years since I last flew on an El Al flight, and although I have heard horror stories, my flight is fine. Well, a slight delay due to a faulty toilet in Business Class. Other than that, all is fine. In fact I am surprised at how quickly I pass through all the checks pre-boarding. Literally 25 minutes from entering the airport to the gate (although I bypass the gate to enter the Dan lounge).
I am sitting in seat 23C, an aisle seat in a 3 x 3 configuration on this Boeing 737-900 aircraft bound for Amsterdam. I am annoyed at first when I notice there are no AV screens on the seat in front but soon realize there is an inflight wifi system that streams movies etc via your device. But apparently you need to download the El Al app before you board which I didn’t. Luckily the passenger sitting next to me allows me to tether to his local wifi and I quickly download the app. Phew!
The wait to take-off takes much longer than anticipated and as a result the flight attendants bring drinks and nuts around whilst we wait. Passengers are starting to slowly voice their dissatisfaction. I receive my requested Diet Coke and savory biscuit
Finally the flight takes off about an hour after the scheduled time, followed by another drink service and then the meal service, which is a pre-ordered ‘strictly Kosher’ meal. Considering all El Al meals are Kosher I am not sure how much more ‘Kosher’ my meal is but according to the passenger sitting next to me, it depends on which Rabbinical authority blesses the food. Anyway it is delicious and also the very first time I have had spaghetti onboard an airline. It is served with chicken, salad, a bread roll, and Hummus.
Another first on this flight – free wifi – so I spend quite a bit of time updating my Facebook feed, checking emails, and chatting on Messenger. And of course flip through the online entertainment but end up watching my own programs on my iPad.
The service provided by the El Al flight attendants is top notch. They are very friendly and happy to oblige when I ask for a glass (or two) of wine.
Better than expected, but the hour-late take-off due to toilet failure, and waiting to get to a gate after landing for 15 mins with screeching kids in the cabin is annoying.