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SHOCKING: El-Al Airlines Causes Chillul Shabbos With Last Minute Departure Time Change

YWN was shocked to hear that El-AL, Israel’s national airline, has decided to switch the departure time of a flight on Motzei Shabbos, and will undoubtedly result in Chillul Shabbos and inconvenience Shomer Shabbos travelers.

A reader has informed us that departure for his scheduled flight for this coming Motzei Shabbos, LY-026 from Newark, NJ to Tel Aviv, has been switched from 11:30 PM and is now at 9:30 PM. Shabbos in Newark, NJ on July 1 ends approximately 9:22 PM.

The irate traveler adds that he booked this flight on May 5, and was only contacted about the change in departure time this afternoon.

When he asked for an explanation, he was transferred to El-Al’s American customer service department. A representative there was very sympathetic, but told him there was nothing she could say other then that the decision had been made in Israel and could only try to accommodate him by booking a different flight. No apologies or explanations were given.

This situation is causing a tremendous inconvenience to hundreds of Shomer Shabbos travelers who must now change their travel plans. Additionally, this situation will undoubtedly be causing direct Chillul Shabbos by non-Shomer Shabbos Jewish travelers, who will now be forced to travel to the airport on Shabbos.

As if this weren’t enough, a look at El-Al’s website shows there is ANOTHER flight scheduled to depart at 9:30 PM on Motzei Shabbos; flight LY-014 from JFK to Tel Aviv. While it is unknown if that flight’s departure is the same as originally scheduled, the early departure time will nonetheless lead to Chillul Shabbos by the non-Shomer Shabbos travelers R”L.

As YWN reported in 2007, the Chareidi community around the world boycotted El Al after the airline was Michallel Shabbos. Gedolim around the world signed a Kol Koreh and thousands cancelled their tickets. The boycott was lifted after the promised never to fly on Shabbos again.

This screenshot shows the originally scheduled departure time for Flight LY-026 at 11:30 PM on Motzie Shabbos July 1
This screenshot from El-Al’s website shows the current scheduled departure times for Flights LY-026 & LY-014 at 9:30 PM on Motzie Shabbos July 1

(Nat Golden – YWN)

6 Responses

  1. why is this so “SHOCKING”? El Al, which is really only a synonym for the state of israel, is mechallel Shabbos all the time. look what’s going on with retail stores and buses on Shabbos in Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. try to boycott them again and you can be sure that they will swear on a “stack of bibles” that they won’t ever be mechallel Shabbos again. but that’s only done to get our business back. now, maybe us Yidden will learn never to trust them again!

  2. Even taking a flight that leaves 2 hours after Shabbos is halachically problematic. There are undoubtedly Jews preparing the plane for its flight as well as Israeli security people and El Al staff. These people are mechalel Shabbos for the passengers. How can any frum traveler take such a flight?

  3. No Surpruses over here.. LY 318 leaves LHR on Motzei Shabbos even in the summer at 10.30pm and shabbos goes out at 10pm.. i once asked ELAL about it they said oh that particular week shabbos went out at 10 so they could fly T 10.30.


  5. Hell will cool down before they’ll stop being Mechalel Shabbos,
    in any case, service is rotten, very un-obliging, not forthcoming,
    Try Lufthansa, British Airways, you’ll be treated like a king even in economy class, never mind First class, it’s worth the connection,,,,

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