Reader Question: El Al Flight Cancellation & Rerouting – Compensation?


A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email regarding an issue with El Al (Israel’s flag carrier).

Reader Question El Al Flight Cancelation

Remember that you can always email me, sent a message via Facebook or use Twitter. I’ll try to cover Reader Questions here several times a week.

Here’s the email from the reader:

My sister and her daughter were supposed to be on LY387 on Friday Oct 2, from Tel-Aviv to Milan. After first announcing a 1hr delay, the flight eventually got canceled. El Al claimed it was a technical issue with the aircraft, but many people suspect they did it because there weren’t enough passengers.

They were put on a flight to Rome instead, and then had to wait several hours for a flight from Rome to Milan. They finally reached Milan five (5) hours later than originally planned (midnight instead of a reasonable 7pm).

Since the flight didn’t originate in the EU on a non EU airline, does the 261/2004 rule still apply? If so what are they entitled to? If not what would be considered a fair compensation?

The EC 261/2004 compensation scheme applies to community carriers’ flights (EU + Switzerland, Norway + Iceland ) to/from Europe and all flights FROM European Union + Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

It does NOT apply flights to Europe that are not operated by community carriers.

There is, however, similar Israeli Aviation Services Law (here’s copy of the United PDF of the rules):

Download (PDF, 88KB)

And here’s one from British Airways:

Download (PDF, 40KB)

Surprisingly, the similar document is missing from El Al’s website. There is a link to it, but the PDF has gone missing in both English and Hebrew.

After quick glance, my interpretation is that the airline owes each passenger 625 ILS ($159 using the current foreign exchange rates).


My hunch is that El Al will claim extraordinary circumstances (mechanical) that is not clearly defined on this Israeli law. Good luck collecting from El Al.

Are there any LoyaltyLobby readers that have experience of getting El Al to pay up under this Israeli law?