Flights to Israel - international flight tickets and hacker fares

Israel is open to international tourism

Visitors from all around the world can now enter Israel, regardless of their vaccination status. Foreign travelers are not required to quarantine, or present evidence of a negative Covid test result. However, health insurance with coverage for Covid treatment is necessary for the duration of the trip.

Most flights to Isreal have been resumed. Transiting via Israeli airports in order to travel on to other destinations is not currently permitted.

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Arriving in Israel

  • If you are flying to Israel from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airports — Ben Gurion Airport TLV in Tel Aviv. It is a relatively small airport that handles 16 million passengers a year (around 20% of London's Heathrow International Airport's travel traffic). Baggage collection and passport control are in Terminal 3 - the main terminal which handles most international flights. The airport train station is located on level S. These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Israel. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • If you are flying to Israel from abroad, you will most likely land at its biggest international airport — Ben Gurion Airport TLV in Tel Aviv. It is a relatively small airport that handles 16 million passengers a year (around 20% of London's Heathrow International Airport's travel traffic). Baggage collection and passport control are in Terminal 3 - the main terminal which handles most international flights. The airport train station is located on level S.
  • Once in Israel, take advantage of frequent flights between the major cities via local carriers such as El Al Israel Airlines, Arkia, Israir, and Ayit Aviation. To check flight schedules/prices and to book the tickets, visit their official websites — OTAs and metasearch engines often don’t have access to the flight repository of smaller domestic airlines.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Israel can be easily reached with regional low-cost airlines by the likes of AirBaltic, Air Europa, Corendon Air, EasyJet, FlyDubai, Pegasus Airlines, RyanAir, SunExpress, TransAvia, Vueling, and Wizz Air. These budget carriers (AKA no-frills airlines) offer flights at lower prices compared to major full-service airlines, but may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment systems.
Best airports to fly into Israel: Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv, Haifa Airport (HFA) in Haifa, Ramon Airport in Eilat
Airports of Israel (click the map to open Google Maps view) Israel has 3 main commercial airports – Ben Gurion Airport TLV in Tel Aviv, Haifa Airport HFA in Haifa, and Ramon Airport ETM in Eilat. As in any country, airports with the largest volume of flights are located near major cities – about 10 to 20 kilometers from the city center – with public transport and airport shuttle service available. These are hubs for major Israeli airlines, with large passenger terminals, first class lounges, shops, and restaurants.
Things to know before flying to Israel
Edit
Airlines flying to IsraelAegan Airlines, Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Baltic, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, Air India, Air Moldova, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, ANA, American Airlines, Azimuth Airlines, Blue Air, Blue Bird Airways, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Cathay Pacific, Corendon Air, Croatia Airlines, Cyprus Airways, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, EasyJet, EgyptAir, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Flexflight, Fly One, FlyDubai, Georgian Airways, Gulf Air, Hisky, Iberia, Indigo, Israir, ITA Airways, JetBlue, Kemya Airways, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Neos, Norwegian Air, Pegasus Airlines, Qantas, Red Wings, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, RyanAir, S7 Airlines, Smartwings, SunExpress, SWISS, Tap Air Portugal, Tarom, Thai Airways, TransAvia France, Turkish Airlines, TUS Airways, Ukraine International Airlines, United Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia, Vueling, Wizz Air
Airlines of IsraelEl Al Israel Airlines, Arkia, Israir, Ayit Aviation
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €100 – €250 (from Europe)
✈ $450 – $700 (from USA)
ATC price✈ 40% — 80% off regular price
Main airports in IsraelBen Gurion Airport (TLV) — Tel Aviv
Haifa Airport (HFA) — Haifa
Ramon Airport (ETM) — Eilat
Herzliya Airport — Herzliya
Rosh Pina Airport (RPN) — Rosh Pinna

Tips, tricks & hacks
for flying to Israel

Duty-free rules

Israel is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items without incurring customs duty. As of November 2022, alcoholic beverages for personal consumption – such as wine or spirits – cannot exceed 1 liter (spirits) and 2 liters (wine) per person, and you can carry only 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products. You are also allowed to bring gifts or goods for personal use up to the total value of US$ 2000 per person.

Anything above those limits must be declared at the airport.

Tight security checks at Ben Gurion Airport

Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv is considered to be one of the safest airports in the world. It is also infamous amongst travelers for being seriously heavy with security. The internet is full of horror stories of intrusive luggage checks, innocent travelers being detained for hours, and forced to miss flights. However, it is important to understand that Israel has had a lot of issues in the past, and there is a history of tension in the region.

The truth is, with thousands of passengers coming in and out of the country every day, the airport employs a whole range of screening techniques (including an advanced luggage screening machine known as HBS) to make sure that they check everyone without causing delays and too much hassle. In practice for the majority of passengers, the airport security experience will be absolutely not that different from any other airport.

As there’s no way to avoid tight airport security checks, make sure you arrive at the airport at least three hours before departure.

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Flights to Israel fromUnited States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Israel. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Israel, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. There are multiple options for direct flights from United States to Israel. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, EL AL Israel Airlines, JetBlue, Lufthansa, and United Airlines offer non-stop flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Prices start at $500 one-way for 11-14 hours long flight.

    If you are departing from Canada, Air Canada flies direct to Tel Aviv from Toronto (flight time: 10 hours 30 min).
  • Flights to Israel with one or more stops depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • For long-haul flights, the type of aircraft you choose can make a huge difference to your overall comfort on board – especially if you’re flying economy. The best aircraft have comfier seats with more legroom, WiFi, superior entertainment systems, and a better passenger experience in every cabin in general. When booking a flight to Israel, look for the airlines that use wide-body planes designed for long-haul flights, such as Airbus A350 (best choice), A380, A320neo, or Boeing 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner.
  • Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines are among the best airlines that operate flights from the US and Canada to Israel. They are leading full-service carriers offering high-quality service, good flight comfort, and a generous baggage allowance.

Israel from US & Canada
plane ticket prices

Real-time economy class airfares to Israel from the US and Canada. The best deals on plane tickets for flights departing over the next few months are shown.

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Tips, tricks & hacks
(continued)

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, and others.

When it comes to Twitter, there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add "@airline_handle", for example: @EL_AL_AIRLINES" if contacting Israeli national carrier EL AL Airlines). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at Israeli airports

It is always a good idea to bring some cash with you to Israel. The official currency of Israel is the New Israel Shekel or shekel for short (usually abbreviated “NIS”), subdivided into 100 agorot.

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Israeli airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and bring a significant proportion of your spending money in cash. You may also try to exchange some money for the Israeli shekel at one of the plentiful ATMs located at the airports, and all over the country. Virtually all of them accept foreign Visa and MasterCards.

Next tips

How to book a stopover flight to Israel

Direct flights to Israel can be expensive. So if you’re looking at a long-haul trip with at least one connection, rather than simply transiting an airport, why not take this opportunity to plan a longer stopover? A stopover is a prolonged layover — more than 24 hours — and it won’t only break up your long journey but will also become a legitimate part of your vacation. If you’re prone to severe jet lag, a one or two-day stopover would help minimize its adverse effects.

When booking flights, many airlines allow you to include a free stopover en route to your final destination in Israel. Those flights are usually cheaper than non-stop (direct) flights, and you can often choose your stopover at no additional cost — just by looking for multi-city flights with longer layovers.

Finding the optimal stopovers is not always an easy task. A better option might be subscribing to the Air Traveler Club newsletter – among their weekly offers to Asia Pacific, you can often find discounted flights to Israel with a convenient stopover in one of Asia’s top cities. The newsletter is completely free.

Some airlines openly advertise stopovers and offer significant discounts and travel perks for passengers to break up their trips: free luxury hotel stays, complimentary domestic flights, or exclusive rates for activities. Start checking for stopover deals to Israel with government-owned airlines (as they are looking to attract tourists to give the country economic benefits) — such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. Almost every airline’s website has multi-city search functionality, which is often hidden inside the one-way/return/multi-city switch.

Bonus tip: try to find out where the airline hub is, as you can almost always find a convenient stopover at the hub.

Best stopovers to Israel

A well-chosen stopover will not only turn one vacation into many but also save you several hundred dollars in airfare. The available stopovers to Israel will depend on your initial destination (Europe, North America, Asia, etc) and the airline you are flying with. For most airlines, the best free stopover offer will be at their main hub. Here are some of the best stopovers on the way to Israel:

Flights to Israel from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Israel — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights from Europe to Israel are just 2-5 hours long. Most large European hubs have a nonstop connection to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport - including Amsterdam, Athens, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich. You can fly non-stop from Europe to Israel with popular low-cost airlines such as EasyJet, Pegasus Airlines, RyanAir and Wizz Air.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Israel include Aegan Airlines, Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Iberia, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Israel from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Use European low-cost airlines such as RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to fly to the hub, then save hundreds of euros by taking a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination.

    We recommend checking prices for flights to Israel from these European airport hubs: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.
  • Sign up for Air Traveler Club newsletter to start receiving our exceptional, hand-picked deals on flights from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands (and from Europe in general) to Israel. The minimum savings are 40% and often reach 80% (!) compared to regular prices.

European airports with the cheapest flights to Israel

The lowest prices for flights to Israel from the major airports in Europe — from UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and others. Here are the airports/dates with the cheapest air tickets available for booking right now:

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Find the best economy seats

Contrary to the popular view, not all economy seats on a plane are created equal. Some seats have slight advantages over others. It all depends on the aircraft, so we recommend visiting the SeatGuru website, where you will see a detailed seat map after entering your flight number. Hover over individual seats to compare quality and check other travelers’ reviews.

Lost baggage prevention

Avoid lost luggage nightmares by removing old tags on your suitcases. Tags are printed with a barcode for identification and tracking, so the old tags can confuse baggage handlers and the conveyor belt scanners. They are one of the reasons so many bags miss their flight or get misrouted.

Airlines of Israel

Israel’s national flag carrier is EL AL Israel Airlines operating from its base in Ben Gurion Airport. “El Al” comes from a Hebrew word that mean‎s “upwards” or “to the skies”. EL AL offers the largest choice of non-stop and indirect flights to Israel from more than 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. El Al is considered one of the world’s safest airlines – thanks to stringent security procedures, a plainclothed security guard on board every flight, and aircraft equipped with missile defense systems.

The three other Israeli airlines are Arkia, IsrAir, and Ayit Aviation. These smaller carriers are mostly focusing on short-haul routes, offering flights at lower prices in comparison to full-service EL AL. However, because they manage affordable tickets by cutting down on their operation costs, they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight refreshments, meals, or onboard entertainment. In most cases, their tickets are fixed and non-refundable in case of no show-up or cancellation.

Flights to Israel from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with most Asian countries, including Israel. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australia/New Zealand to Asia are operated by large regional carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Vistara, etc.
  • In terms of cost-savings, we recommend flying from Australia and New Zealand to a major Asian hub and then booking a flight to your final destination in Israel with a regional budget airline. Among the low-cost airlines that fly into Israel are AirBaltic, Air Europa, Corendon Air, EasyJet, FlyDubai, Pegasus Airlines, RyanAir, SunExpress, TransAvia, Vueling, and Wizz Air.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Israel. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia. However, El Al Israel Airlines plans to launch a direct flight route between Melbourne and Tel Aviv sometime in 2023.
  • Even economy flights from Australia and New Zealand to Israel can be expensive in times of rising fuel costs and declining competition on some routes. Planning ahead is key here, and if anything can help lower the cost of flying, it is the Air Traveler Club. This weekly newsletter includes a section of hand-picked “super deals” – air tickets that often costs less than 50% of the normal price – for flights from Australasia to Asia (including Israel). You can sign up here, the newsletter is free.

Prices of flights to Israel from Australia and New Zealand

Real-time economy class airfares from major airports in Australasia — from Brisbane BNE, Sydney SYD, and Melbourne MEL in Australia to Israel, and from Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, and Christchurch CHC in New Zealand to Israel.

Here are the top three offers for one-way flights departing over the next few months:

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Hidden-city ticketing hack

Hidden-city ticketing is a less-known money-saving tactic where you buy a plane ticket with a layover, with the intention to get off at the layover rather than the final destination. For example, a flight from London to Dubai might be €350, but a similar flight from London to New Delhi with a layover in Dubai might be only €200. Choosing the latter and ending the trip in Dubai would save you €150.

It seems counterintuitive that a fare from A to C via B could possibly be cheaper than a simple fare on a shorter route from A to B. However, airlines use dynamic, computer-driven price models calculated with little human intervention, and such deals happen quite often.

Booking a hidden city ticket isn’t as easy as booking a standard itinerary. There are some things to be aware of: (1) don't check baggage — bring only hand luggage that can fit under the seat or an overhead compartment; a large checked bag will end up in the final destination C; (2) don't use it for return flights — airlines often void any subsequent tickets if any segment of the first ticket is missed; (3) Do not overuse this tactic with the same airline — hidden-city ticketing is legal but airlines don't like it and may try to punish you; (4) Don't associate your frequent flyer account — the airline might invalidate any miles you've accrued with them.

How to find hidden-city tickets? The easiest way is to use Skiplagged website, which was designed for unearthing hidden-city deals.

Get cheaper business class by bidding on airline upgrades

A growing number of airlines are auctioning upgrades to their business class seats. Once you book your economy ticket, you can offer to pay a bit more in an attempt to get a premium seat. 2-3 days before your flight, an airline will send you an email with a link to their website where you can place a "blind" bid. There's usually a minimum bid amount. If you win the auction, you’ll be informed, and your seat will be upgraded.

How to choose the right bid amount? Just check the airline website for the regular cost of a business class seat, then subtract what you paid for the economy fare. Place your bid for around 10% to 30% of that price. The alternative strategy is to bid slightly above the competition. If, for example, the minimum bid is $500, try to bid $550-$600, as most people will offer the baseline amount required.

The more available business class seats the airline has on your flight, the lower bid can be successfully used. Check the airline's daily schedule for your destination - if there is more than one flight on this route (more available seats), you can safely bid close to the minimum required amount.

Among the airlines that allow bidding for seat upgrades are: Air Canada (AC Bid), Air New Zealand (OneUp™), Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways (Bula Bid), Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Australia (UpgradeMe).

Flights to Israel from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Israel look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Israel will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • If you fly frequently to or within Asia, make sure you subscribe to the free Air Traveler Club newsletter. It’s the largest source of heavily discounted flight tickets to Asian destinations.

Asian airports with the cheapest flights to Israel

The lowest prices for flights to Israel from the largest airports in Asia — from Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Ngurah Rai (Denpasar - Bali, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

Here are the airports/dates with the cheapest air tickets available for booking right now:

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Tight airport connection?

Always check the airport terminals if you have a connecting flight with a different airline or separate point-to-point tickets. Make sure you have enough time to transfer between these terminals so you don’t miss your next flight.

If your airport connection is tight (1-hour layover or less), pick a set near the front of the plane. It can shave 5–10 minutes off your deplaning time, especially on larger planes. Some airlines place their "hot seats" there and charge extra fees, but it still may be worth it.

When flying domestically, try not to book the last flight out of your connecting airport. In case of a cancellation, the airline will put you on its next flight, but it will require an overnight stay and arrival a day later.

Best times to contact airline’s call center

Call center wait times may be frustratingly long. And only a handful of airlines offer a call-back service. To decrease lengthy periods on hold, try to call the airline during off-peak times in the middle of the week – Tuesday to Thursday. Savvy travelers suggest that the best time to call is early in the morning: from 4 am to 7 am (call center time zone) for 24/7 hotlines or right after the call center opens. Also, late hours on weekends can increase the chance for your call to be answered promptly.

Air Traveler Club.How to book a superdeal to Israel?

Every superdeal you receive from Air Traveler Club includes a link you can use to book a flight. It always directs you to the website that offers the lowest price. Sometimes it’s an airline website; in other cases, Google Flights or a similar flight booking platform.

This video explains how to use Google Flights to book a plane ticket.

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