For Matthew’s Meal of the Week this week, I recall my first — and to date only — flight on EL AL, the national airline of Israel.
EL AL often get a bad rap, and for good reason. Not only is its premium cabin product outdated, it is also obscenely expensive. The redemption rates for award flights on EL AL in business or first class are pathetically high. And EL AL doesn’t care.
I admit, I sort of respect that. But, what you receive on EL AL is an authentic Israeli experience. Cabin crews are Israel-based, food is Kosher, and the airline suspends operations over Sabbath each week.
The only reason I wound up on EL AL was due to a mechanical delay on my SWISS first class flight from New York to Zurich, forcing a missed connection on a SWISS flight to Tel Aviv. Due to the last-minute booking, the only two remaining business class seats together were in the bulkhead.
There were no menus distributed and after a beverage service with mixed nuts, the main meals were distributed via cart, all on a single tray. The choices were lamb, fish or chicken and I had fish, a wonderfully spiced halibut.
The herb-encrusted piece of fish was the highlight of the meal, but all of it was tasty. I appreciated Mediterranean food out of Zurich and found the warm pita and hummus particularly delicious. The eggplant starter and chocolate cake for dessert were both acceptable. Even the fresh cherry tomatoes were a welcome addition.
In all honesty, I doubt I will ever get on an EL AL flight again because of the poor value flying in business or first class represents. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of my first EL AL fight and note that at least out of Zurich, the food did not disappoint (probably double-catered in TLV).
You can read the entire trip report here. (Flight date: July 2009).
> Read More: Zurich to Tel Aviv in EL AL Business Class