El Al to Launch Mehadrin Flights


elal.jpgEl Al is taking a step towards attracting chareidi travelers and hopes to launch its first mehadrin flight in Nissan. A mehadrin flight would be staffed by male cabin personnel, would not air movies and take other measures towards accommodating the religious sensibilities of chareidi travelers.

Rabbonim affiliated with the Vaad L’maan Shabbos during recent months have met with El Al Chairman Chaim Romano towards closing the deal, a process that has been ongoing for some two years. It is especially important to rabbonim during the month of Nissan for example, when many bochrim and seminary students are flying to N. America and then back to yeshiva. Other special accommodations would permit bringing boxes of matzah on board instead of passengers being compelled to check them in with luggage. The move is due to many complaints received that matzos for Pessach, which are quite expensive, generally do not emerge from the baggage compartment whole. All the food on such a flight would be glatt.

As the new service moves closer to becoming a reality, El Al representatives will meet with chareidi travel agents to explain the new service in detail. It is estimated that some 20,000 chareidi yeshiva bochrim will travel back and forth during Nissan. The El Al management explained to the Vaad that the airline is going to work to accommodate this sector, adding those who have already purchased regular tickets in advance will be permitted to make an exchange for a chareidi flight.

El Al is also considering possibly allocating a section on board regular flights from Eretz Yisrael towards the end of Adar as well as the same accommodation at the end of Nissan from North America to Israel. This would accommodate the many yeshiva and seminary students making their way from Israel to N. America and back to yeshiva after the yomtov. This they explain would compel most flights to adhere to the needs of chareidi travelers during the peak season travel period.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. it’s amazing that they are accomodating the frum oilum
    after a bochur learns for a zman in e”y everything he was koine inthat zman could be lost just from a plane ride back from all the pritzus on the flight.
    thanks ELAL and thanks to the rabbanim who took care

  2. Maybe the chareidim should stop imposing their chumras onto other people. According to Halacha there is no problem having a female staff. And if they don’t want to watch a movie, then don’t watch it. Btw I am from the yeshiva world. But this is just ridiculous.

  3. Once we are doing Mehadrin I hope that the flight will be about things that are ACTUALLY important too. How about NO Lashon Harah while on the flight? How about not waking people up while you’d like to daven vasikin? Real Bein adam lachavero! Maybe use your time to think of a shidduch or two for friends??? Somehow that sounds more Mehadrin to me than getting your matzos on board & forcing everyone else not to see a movie. (It’s not like the old days anymore. If u don’t want a movie, you just don’t turn it on. It’s not being shown on a screen!!) So, I’d like to propose a REAL Mehadrin flight…not the stuff of fluff & show! Anyone for it??

  4. And in the spirit of the upcoming Pesach season, I say Dayenu! Enough already! Would this mean that the all male cabin personnel would be attending to the female passengers as well, or would we have separate flights? I am not ready to be locked in a harem to avoid offending the eyes of an innocent yeshiva bochur. How about teaching our young people how to live in the real world, with both men and (gasp)women, without freaking out?

  5. will movies be on the mehadrin flights?
    Maybe they can put shiurim…?
    There are so many
    or at least things with Torah values for kids…

    one step closer to the Geula and a zechus for the הצלחה in the war.

  6. I don’t understand the “all male stewards” part, are there no females allowed on this flight? If there are females on the flight why is a male steward ok? (I know there is a difference but still a male steward among a bunch of seminary girls???)
    I haven’t been on El Al in a while but I’ve been on other domestic flights where the “movie” screen is a private screen for each seat which each passenger may choose to or not to watch not like the old times when a large screen displayed questionable scenes for the entire cabin.
    Since Mehadrin food is available on all El Al flights, I really don’t see the great benefits of this special accommodation. As far as any other special needs of the chareidim, I think El Al being the national airline of Israel should always accommodate the needs of chareidi passengers.
    Just know that if an irreligious female ends up on this flight & makes herself “comfortable” you can guarantee a chilul hashem will occur by self righteous people who will “make sure” she learns hilchos tznius the hard way.

  7. jewatheart I understand how you’re feeling they’re taking away your videos! It was your opportunity to watch videos and to look at pritzusdige ladies. otherwise i can’t imagine what bothers you with this wonderful arrangement. I wish when i learnt in jerusalem they would do this.

  8. 15 thanks for your comment I agree
    gemara says that when there is pritzus there will be a magaifah that will kill good and bad
    anyone heard of cancer???!!?
    5, 7, 8, etc. I didn’t see where it says that all the flights will be mehaderin. if you don’t apreciate the fact that elal is working to help peaple who don’t enjoy having to be with pritzus, just go on a different flight!!!!!!!

  9. You CAN “NOT” sit on a plane while they show a movie and NOT look! or rather “see”

    Why should I (or my innocent kids) be forced to see complete dirt when I pay so much for the flight? Is this called freedom?

    I want to have the choice of enjoying the flight. Not to be distracted with garbage!

    BTW if you watch the passengers on ANY flight during the movie, you will notice that MOST people just sleep and don’t even watch it… (especially the people who are used to movies…) Now they want to sleep.

  10. ElAl is moving to segrgation and discrimination.

    Flights for Jewish Frum only, aka Yeshivish.

    Next we will have a YU type flight, remember YU is like a Yeshivah, but not.

    Then, a lakewood type flight to EWR and a Mir type to JFK, and so on.

    Same for the gals, BJJ Type and Machon.

    On a another note, perhaps the security agents and the check in personnel should be only males for males / females for females, next lets ask passport control/borfer protection……..

  11. #16, #14 – Pritzus? If the stewardess at elal are what you call pritzus, maybe you should control your woman like the Arabs. Cover them from head to toe. A tzadik is a person who is faced with a dilemma, do I watch the movie on the plane or not. And the Tzadik doesn’t. A tzadik doesn’t go around the world trying to control the world like the Taliban. STOP IMPOSING CHUMRAS ON TO PEOPLE.

  12. Will women and girls be moved to the back of the plane or upstairs? Will there be a mecheeeetza?

    Will ElAl provide a special Mehadrin airport so that the chareidim should not have to board the plane in the tachana-merkazit-Ben-Gurion Airport or LGA which is worse than the plane itself like the mehadrin buses in Jerusalem which depart from the chareidi neighborhood?

  13. My question is: Why do “thousands” of bochrim, sem girls and kollel families HAVE to come home for Yom Tov? Considering the financial strain many families are under, this only adds to it.

    My in-laws gave my wife 1 round-trip ticket to Israel–that’s it. Stay as long as you want, but you can only come back once. She stayed for 2 years straight.

  14. As it is, El Al costs substantially more than other airlines. Presumably a premium service will cost even more. Thus the question will be asked is whether non-rich frum people should choose between learning in Eretz Yisrael or visiting family (affordable using less expensive services)
    or giving up flights to Israel rather than fly on the non-Mehadrin service. This feature is something like a glatt kosher Pesach hotel, or a glatt kosher $100K simcha. It’s great for those with money, but what about the rest of them.

    It would be better to work for more affordable flights, rather than luxury flights.

  15. Of course, husbands and wives would not be allowed to sit together in a mehadrin section or on a mehadrin flight. Is this really a bid to let guys travel without the annoyances of babies and little kids?

  16. #5-the gemarra says when their is darka achrina even if one is nizhar he is a rasha.point of fact is they are creating a darka achrita hopefully without secular israeli newspaper and maybe will have hasc concerts on the movie screen and shiurim in loshon hara for thos ewho want
    shmirath enayim is a male concept not female,does not mean that there is no dinim of hirhur for females,if you dont understand the difference ask your parents to explain it,chazal were very clear on the issue
    if the flight is mehadrin then they at el al will mak esure that their will be some basic gidrey tznius.
    i think they will allow women with a sheitel on board,there are not enough women with tichels only
    part of the flight is minyanim,those who dont need to daven because they are so healthy and wealthy and lif eis so good to them that they really dont need the ribbono shel olam to bother them with davening and mitzvoth,can fly elal regular flights.
    why cant you be tolerant of the many benay torah who prefer a kosher atmosphere?

  17. jewatheart, zeit b’simcha, daasbaalhabayis

    You all either did not read the article fully or are just looking for an excuse (albeit not a good one) to hock your ideas to the world. They are making a flight available for those who are interested! If you are not, don’t take it! Should goyim or secular people be offended by the availability of kosher food? No one is forcing this flight down your throat. They are just making it available to you! As for the subject of dealing with bigger issues such as Lashon Hara, I never understood why dealing with one issue necessarily lessens the importance of the other issue. No one is stopping you from dealing with Lashon Hara just because they are offering a Mehadrin Flight. All these arguments are totally rediculous!

    “dont we have bigger issues to tackle than fighting elal on what type of stewardesses they have on the plane”
    Who’s fighting elal?

  18. Separate seating for men and women makes sense. If a short bus ride, or a two hour concert requires separate seating, shouldn’t an eleven hour flight also require separate seating?

  19. What have we become? just by reading these comments it shows us that we dont need the goyim to hate us. We do a great job of hating ourselves. All this does is have yidden hate each other and bad mouth each other. and of course give us another topic to talk about at the shabbos table. rabbonim have flown for years and i have never heard them make any comments about flights other then begging klal yisroel not to make a chilul hashem. please, if you cannot control yourself for the 10 hr flight then perhaps you should live in a cave. next thing you know people will want sepearte check in lines? separate luggage carosels? maybe we should have separate ELAL phone operaters. press 1 for male and 2 for female.

  20. For years El Al has been running many such flights for Breslovers going to Uman for Rosh Hashannah, all male crews, no movies etc. If there’s enough demand, why not.

    BTW, Rav Wosner, shlita, has poskened that one is required to daven sitting down on planes so as not to inconvenience others. Check with your LOR if you understand otherwise.

    I presume that there will be separate sections for men and women traveling separately, and don’t see any reason why there shouldn’t be a section for families who want to travel together.

  21. There is nothing wrong with providing a special service to those who request it and are willing to pay for it. To each his own.

    But to ycs1613, if one plane flight destroys an entire zman of heilige learning, you should look for a better yeshiva.

  22. #25 wrote the following:

    part of the flight is minyanim,those who dont need to daven because they are so healthy and wealthy and lif eis so good to them that they really dont need the ribbono shel olam to bother them with davening and mitzvoth,can fly elal regular flights.

    I wouldn’t get involved in this non starter of a conversation, but this comment smacks of complete ignorance, being healthy and wealthy means you don’t daven? On the contrary perhaps because they daven Hashem grants them health and Parnassah which they use in the right way, hopefully supporting emmedigge Bnei Torah unlike yourself who from your comments appear to be Koffui Tov. If for any reason I misunderstood your comments, perhaps you can enlighten me and and all the other readers of YWN.

  23. Do not get your hopes up. Everyone is forgetting that such segregated flights violate American civil rights laws, and thus any segregated flights can be denied landing rights and also not be permitted to operate from any U.S. airport.

  24. #34-i was unable to comprehend your kofey tov point.i support kollelim not vice versa,so to whom am i kofuy tova.
    my point was the zilzul of davening.being an individual with chronic cancer,i need to daven and i need it every day.i am well aware that every day may be my last day.although i always got up for the minyan and asked to be awoken,i find it unexcusable how healthy individuals will sleep through davening not only with a minyan but davening shacharith after chatzoth.
    unfortunately due to my illness when i fly,i usually am unable to daven with the minyan as i need rest.i have flown well over 200 flights and am relating my feelings.please address the kofuy tov point,that is the last thing i want to do.
    as far as minyanim in general.my position is just like an airline provides movies for thos ewho want they should provide the possibility of davening.as i fly buisness or first for the past decade we frequently have minyamin there and the fa’s are very helpful except with el-al.pan am and twa z”l and yebaidel l’chaim british continental swiss air have all been of great assistance setting aside area and time for davening.we need tefilloth.es chataiy ani mazkir hayom-when i was healthy i did not realize how much i needed it.when was the last time you cried in davening,hashem please prevent me from getting any infectious or viral illness.we cancer patients deal with that daily,we are not tzadikim but reality makes you more aware of the importance of tefilla.likewise when business is going well most people dont find it of utmost importance to daven for parnassah daily,now when all of a sudden wealth is evaporating and how the mighty have fallen,tefillah become simportant.i still remember the real estate downturn in 1990,there was areal hisorirous in tefillah.the pasuk says v’ram levavecha,that is the way of the yetzer harah.and that is all i meant by my comment.my apoligies if you got offended and if you are part of the wealthy and healthy who still davens three times with devotion for continued health and wealth(not just saying refanu for everyone else-it is easier to daven for someone else as you are asking hashem for yenim,so not only are you not a schnorrer,you are a tzaddikk as you are asking for yenim person,but hashem wants us to be like an ani haomed bapesach)i would be honored and very humbled to be in your presence.

  25. I think that all children under the age of 10 should be seated in men’s section and be under their jurisdiction. That way women will not have to interact with male stewards vis a vis running after children/requesting things/bumping into them for bathroom visits.

  26. it is dangerous to stand up and daaven during liftoff and touch down.
    It is annoying for the airline staff to have to ask people repeatedly to sit down.
    It is difficult to be an airline waiter.
    but at least you wont open up a big mouth with chutzpah to a guy who most likely served in the IDF!
    You aren’t THAT stupid!!

    Will there be a babysitting area with arts & crafts supplies?

    I hope they have special sections where the men can sit and play with their kids while their wife who didn’t sleep for a week can finally rest.

  27. thank u number 26

    it would seem that a frummer flight doesnt inconvenience everyone

    and what happened to no candy now

    get over it we have special standards

    goto bahamas dont complain that people want to be more g-dly

  28. I hope there’s a mashgiach on board to make sure the Matzoh crumbs don’t fall into my soup because I don’t “brok” and don’t want to chas v’sholom be nichshal and eat chometz on Pesach.

    Also, whose hashgacha is being used on the meat and chicken? I would only want CRC to the exclusion of anything else. My friend, however, will only eat from the Crown Heights hashgacha, so I hope there will be a choice; not to mention the seperate ovens.

  29. to ycs1613
    If flying back to the us after learning in Yeshiva can cause a nefila, it’s better to stay in Eretz Hakodesh, Eretz Yisrael rather than going to galut. Maybe flights to Eretz Yisrael should be mehadrin and flights to galut not …
    Some food (mehadrin min hamedrin, badatz …) for thought.

  30. Misterzee,

    I cannot and hope never to stand in your shoes, and may the RSO grant you a speedy Refuah Shleima Bimehera. I do happen to agree with your assesment that ElAl unfortunately does not have a good track record vis a vis accomodating reasonable Charedim requests, although davening beminyan on a plane en masse might not always be such a good idea, kavannah might not be at its optimum level, aside from the numerous Chillul Hashem that inevitably occur, which sadly and often is “Yatzah Secharoi Behefsedoi”. Other airlines, perhaps for PR reasons and not wanting to be labled in any shape or form, (which ElAl need not worry about) are often more flexible with granting these requests, irrelevant of what class you are travelling and also have far smaller numbers than those travelling with ElAl, are far more agreeable to a minyan in the Galley in the back when they are not busy during mealtime etc.
    What I do take issue with, and pardon me for being blunt is how you painted with a broad brush, rather unfairly all those who are BH blessed with Good Health and Parnassah, (and IY”H you too will soon be among the former,) that they have no need and do not go to a Minyan and can fly regular not mehadrin. Many of those with the berachah of Wealth are tho ones holding out the Mosdos during our current crisis, and yes many of them pour out their hearts to the RSO to be able to assist others and be fitting conduits of the Hashpa’ah Gashmi to the right places. Perhaps I assumed wrongly that you are/were a beneficiary of these machzikey Torah, and to make such an irresponsible comment without clarifying, does indeed smack of Kefias Tova. I for one would not want to be labled this way as a Tomech Torah, and I am sure that there are others in my boat who feel the same. And yes, es tzarah hi le Yaakov, and we should be davening with more kavannah, and no, it should not take the bad times to “wake us up” to the constant Chessed of the RSO, but even in the good times we should constantly thank Hashem for Health and Wealth, but it does not change the facts that countless Wealthy and healthy people try scheduling their flights so as not to miss zemanei tefilah, even travelling at awkward times to achieve this goal when in fact they could easily travel at convenient times, and make up any sort of excuse of Onuss, or Oisek bemitzvah of Parnassa. So to make flippant remarks and make an unnecessary kitrug at this time is dissapointing.
    Again wishing you a speedy Refuah Shlaimah Besoch Kol Sha’ar Cholei Yisrael.

  31. #30 – Are you sure you’ve quoted HRHG R’ Wosner correctly? I have davened with him on a flight from Canada to E.Y. and he davened with a minyan near a kitchen galley.

  32. 1)Does this mean that men come in from the front and ladies from the back????????????
    2)will they actually start annoncing something like “we will iy”h be landing in artzeinu hakdoisha close to z’man rabeinu taam??????????
    3)Is the food gonna be yeshivishe style??????????????

  33. #44-we are on the same page,i am guilty of cyncism.the previous evening people were getting restless that the chazan took an extra 2-3 minutes for shmonei esrei and were klapping on the tables,and saying nu-nu-nu so i was still upset about that.likewise on motzai shabbos no tehillim was said for the matzav,and i live here in eretz yisroel.are we so removed and so senseless to the tens of thousands risking their lives?besides all the soldiers on duty,my personal physician is in azza,why they tak esuch a skilled person is beyond me,but all of a sudden you know the people and that should not make a difference,yidden are b’tzara and we all should be in this together.while i may not b eworthy of delivering the mussar scmooz,is that kitrug ?maybe,i dont know,i will attempt to be choosier with my words.as far as movies-i was on an elal flight when they showed a movie with such pritzus,hashem yerachem.i had my young children with me an dthere is no excuse for them being subjected to the filth on scene,i need not elobarate but it is connected with the first mitzvah in the torah.i believe we dont have a need to educate 5 year olds about this.at that point,being seated in the bulk head row,i stood up an dblocked the scene with a blanket.wow,pandeium arrived.it started with chilonim screaming this sint meah shearim,the mizrachi people shrinking into their seats as i made a chillul hashem,until a very obviously not frum lady stood up and said”i am on this flight with my children,i am not religious,and i do not want them watching such filth”i told th efa’s to radio ahead to jfk to hav ethe police waiting to arrest me,but my children will not be seeing this movie,regardless(i preempted th eusual threat whenever someone gets out of hand they threaten with arrest,i told them kol hakovod,go arrest me and make a real pr issue for elal)this was in 1990 so i do not remember the outcome,i think the pilot came to talk to me and they did actually stop the movie,and i spent much time with the antagonists on board explaining that this has nothing to do with coerced religion.there was no sign on entry to plane that it was for adults only.here elal is saying loudly and clearly,these are mehadrin flights,anyone who boards it,should expect a certain code of behavior which may includ emany screaming babies

  34. #45
    I am a middle aged women who flew to Eretz Yisroel and back last year. My 17year old son accompanied me on this flight. Well, let me tell you, I still vividly remember some scenes form the film. I dont what is it rated, it had long scenes of things I never knew; neither as a teenager nor a young woman. How long can you keep your eyes glued to a book? How long can you sit with your eyes shut? What would you suggest as an alternative while sitting in a rediculously narrow seat with nowhere to turn.
    Oh by the way, tragic to say, I do not doubt that this film was a MAJOR eye opener for my son. Hashem Yirachem.

    I for one, will use this alternative flight, even if it cost more. Although I am of very limited means, there are times when cheap is expensive and vica versa. Just as we would not consider buyng treif meat because of the price nor would we send our children to public school because its free; the price of watching three moderately obsence movies in the space of 11 hours is far more expensive for our neshamos as well, as and more so, for our children.

    There is no question that a whole zman worth of learning can we wiped out after being subjected to –in your face–obscenity.

  35. 45, some PG movies, especially the PG 13’s are as bad or worse than R movies. It’s a chaval that a G rating is practically a kiss of death, so some PG movies are fairly mild besides whatever the minimum was required to give it the PG, but we live in a very different world now. (And keep me far away from that minimum.)

  36. #5 cant u respect other ppl.’s religous levels.. they worked hard to get there why should they have the nisayon in their face when they can just not have it there..