New York – Travelers Hit Pay Dirt On EL AL Thanks To Pricing Mistake


    A screen shot shows ELAl fare on Aug 6 2012.New York – El Al tickets have been the hottest commodity of the day as round trip tickets between New York and Tel Aviv have been selling for prices in the $350 range for travel between October 28th and March 19th, 2013.

    A post that ran this morning on Dan’s Deals, which advertises sales, discounts and free items, listed the hotter than hot airfares available from JFK to Tel Aviv with a stopover, bookable through Orbitz or El Al for $336.80, including taxes and fees.

    According to Sheryl Stein, Media Director at El Al, the incredibly low prices were due to a pricing error that was introduced by a third party who posts the fares for the airline.

    “When any airline files fares, they get filed to an outside company who posts the fares,” Stein told VIN News. “We filed our fares and the outside company neglected to add in the fuel surcharges. The mistake was theirs, not ours.”

    Stein, who didn’t learn of the pricing error until someone called her this afternoon, says she has no idea how many tickets were sold at the rock bottom fares or the legalities involved in a case like this, so whether or not El Al will honor the tickets is still unknown.

    “This is a little tricky because there is a third party involved,” explained Stein. “This is all new ground for us and we will know more specifics tomorrow.”

    Dan’s Deals was down for much of the day today as the server was inundated by tens of thousands of people who tried accessing the link for the low priced tickets.

    “It is the lowest fare I have ever seen to Israel,” said Eleff whose site routinely posts low fares, sometimes caused by internal glitches.

    According to Eleff, Department of Transportation regulations prohibit airlines from cancelling or adding to the cost of a ticket once it has been booked.

    Word of the airfare, which also included full frequent flyer miles, spread rapidly via social media with Facebook fares and tweets touting the exceptionally low fares which were also found on other sites including, Expedia and Kayak. While many were unable to obtain the promised fares, others had success.

    “I booked twenty six tickets,” 27 year old Avram Zamist of Teaneck told VIN News. Zamist booked tickets for family and friends to be used during three different times during the winter.

    Manhattan singer/songwriter Eli Schwebel reported that he had no difficulty at all booking his $353 tickets for Purim 2013.

    “I am really excited to be going back and I shared that deal with all of my friends,” said Schwebel.

    For Jewish music personality Yitzy Spinner, a White Plains resident, the rates were a pleasant surprise.

    “My wife and I were talking recently about taking a trip and then this popped up,” explained Spinner who admitted to being thrilled to pay $839 for a pair of tickets. “We found a flight on Expedia with a twelve hour layover in Paris so we’ll have a nice full day there on our way to Israel.”

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    11 years ago

    This is wrong and they should not have to honor it. Its a real mekach tauis.

    11 years ago

    If buyers by mistake agreed and clicked on paying say $2500 for the tickets, would elal complain? It goes both ways

    11 years ago

    El Al said they will not honor it and will cancel these tickets

    11 years ago

    Why is it if the bank credits your account by mistake with money that does NOT belong in your account they can withdraw it as soon they realized their mistake . and why do airlines have to honor a true mistake.? The govt. will debit your account as soon they realized they over paid you and why do airlines have to eat a mistake.?

    yaakov doe
    yaakov doe(@yaakov-doe)
    11 years ago

    I was fortunate enough to book seats as were many of my friends and neighbors. Seats were available from 11:15 am until just after 1pm.

    11 years ago

     charedi man they are honoring it so i dont know where you get ur info

    11 years ago

    All I know is that El Al charged my credit card already. Pretty quick if it was a mistake.

    11 years ago

    thanks to Dans Deals alot of people were able to book it.

    11 years ago

    According to El Al has just tweeted that all tickets will be honored! He also writes that The Jewish Week reports than an El Al spokeswomen has confirmed that these tickets will be honored!

    11 years ago

    Shame on anyone who bought these tickets knowing that it was a pricing error. It might be legal but it is certainly not yoshor, and leaving out “dina d’malchusa dina” (I wonder how carefully you apply that to the preparation of your income tax returns) – possibly not even halachically binding (see hilchos ona’ah, for starters).

    And anyone who claims there was no way to tell that this was a pricing error is at best a dimwit (a 3-second search on Google would make it obvious that El Al was not advertising such a sale), and at worst a liar.

    Torah-true Jews do not engage in such behaviors. And with El Al, no less – there is absolutely no excuse. Visiting EY by taking advantage of a pricing error is a classic mitzvah haba’ah ba’aveirah.

    11 years ago

    El-Al will honor the tickets as per a phone call to them and a tweet.

    “An outside company posted incorrect fares on travel websites, so all tickets sold will indeed be honored”

    11 years ago

    El Al is a Jewish company so I’m not sure how yidden will take advantage of their mistake

    11 years ago

    Second time today is in the news 🙂

    11 years ago

    It sickens me to see that so many people feel this is kosher. When we are so makpid on mehudar hechsherim how can it be that we have our values so wrong and are willing to take advantage of what we all know is an error and is a loss price for an airline that is in any event running at a loss.

    Doesn’t our religion teach us “What is hated by you, don’t do to others?”

    Sick sick sick. See what one of the Rishonim writes – the Smag – that behavior like this prevents moshiach from coming, and why.

    11 years ago

    Airlines, just like banks and credit card companies, constantly are looking for ways to raise revenue by price gouging and sticking it to the customer, and there is nothing we can do about it. Overweight fees, Seat fees, luggage fees, change fees, etc.
    EL AL now allows only 1 bag of $50 lbs. per passenger in coach!

    On Sukkos, they were charging $2200 dollars per person. Why? because they can. Price gouging at its finest. They are a big company, and they are big boys. Once in a while, the consumer beats the company. Dina d’malchusa Dina: I wont cry for EL AL

    11 years ago

    If EL AL goes out of business because it is forced to fly all of these GREEDY Individuals, it will be a shame.

    11 years ago

    Judging by the comments from these posters, it would seem that there is more than a grain of truth by the wide view of Jews and money. After the Siyum Hashas of this week, YIdden have learned NOTHING, RL

    11 years ago

    EL AL has made it clear that they will NOT be paying for this mistake rather the third party who made the mistake will have to take on the loss. EL AL is not taking any loss other then probably having to go through the headache of finding a new agency to post their deals on these sites. Its also in the torah that one should be honest. If they make a mistake they are owning up to it. Yes this is too good to be true but there are some promotional tactics companies come up with just to get people to come to their site. Companies do this with a very minimal amount of product/tickets as a lost leader.

    11 years ago

    I know people who bought the tickets to Hong Kong on Dan’s Deals for $40 round trip, first class including getting skymiles. Guess who didn’t go????

    11 years ago

    Today, I am EMBARRASSED by and FOR these so called Frum Yidden who have such a warped sense of right and wrong. Hashem, how low some of your children have sunk! El Al has every right not to honor these tickets.

    11 years ago

    I bought 2 tickets and I’m glad what I got for that price ! I hope i will enjoy it.

    11 years ago

    It would be nice if people and especialy frum yidden should cancel their tickets!! It would be a Kiddush Hashem!! The problem is that they will charge $225 Canceling fee, lol

    11 years ago

    Call me foolish, but I was really afraid to buy these tickets as my son felt that the reason they were so cheap was that with the impending threat of war in the 4th quarter, EL AL was trying to preserve their future cash flow. Since I have children there I thought, “what right do I have to be fearful” so I booked them.

    11 years ago

    im gonna assume everyone who missed out on cheap tickets are the ones bashing all the innocent people who happened to get lucky. People buying these tickets didnt know there was forsure a glitch. Personally i saw a cheap deal and i jumped on it, as any smart person would. We bought the tickets fair and square there’s no reason to call us horrible names. And El Al has agreed to honor the tickets, as they understand that this is part of business.

    11 years ago

    I can’t undersatand the weirdo’s that are sayin g we shouldn’t gain from this pricing mistake. First of all ElAl will surely get their money back from the third party who made the mistake, probably a non jewish conmpany- so no worries. Secondly, the airlines charge completely arbritariry prices. Why the hell does a last minute ticket cost up to 10 times the amount of a ticket booked in advance? Does it cost the airlines more? No! It is ludicris that they get away with charging ANY price they want to take advantage of desperate travelers. This is small long overdue sweet justice for the people. Also, don’t negate the tons of free advertising ELAL received. BTW I booked 6 tickets- and I’m lovin it!

    11 years ago

    Is that screenshot from DansDeals? It looks like BT-store.

    11 years ago

    Serves tehm right, This is HK”B’s work. He is angry that they want to fly on shabbos

    11 years ago

    What it all boils down to is this. Those people who bought the cheap tickets are ecstatic about the price.

    Those who could not get the deal are screaming that’s it’s not להלכה and should be returned.

    11 years ago

    Are you kiding me! There are laws in the country to protect businesses and that is how we run. Do you ever not use a coupon because it is nice to pay full price to give the jewish person the business?
    I am sure you all shop in wal-mart- hey what about giving the jewish person the business. All of a sudden now anyone who wish they would have bought the ticket and couldn’t now they are all saying Ich bin a tzadik du bist a rashah.
    The laws in the country are for businesses and consumers alike. As previously mentioned going to israel pesach really costs $1900? I don’t think so, its business and the same way they are sticking to the laws which entitles them to raise prices as demand increases, anyone who bought a ticket can justifiably keep it.
    Also, why are so many people paskinin for everyone else here online what yashrus is? Pay your taxes and get a life.

    11 years ago

    You may feel good taking advantage of a large business
    BUT the people who use those tickets are taking advantage of all of us!!!

    How do you think ElAL will make up the loss??

    Just try to buy a ticket next year and don’t be surprised that prices shot up

    Someone has to pay for a mistake and it won’t be ELAL

    11 years ago

    For all those who think there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of a pricing error, read the Ha’amek Davar’s introduction to Sefer Bereishis.

    11 years ago

    I just cancelled my tickets. It felt its the right thing to do. Please stop the bashing.