Since I live in Israel, unfortunately I've been flying with El Al more than once. Hope that this was my third and last time.
I was stuck in my window seat blocked by obese person that I was not comfortable, nor was he, to get up every time I needed sth. A I needed water and waited. Unbelievably, for almost four hours (4 hours!!!) not a single crew member has even passed by! Four hours! Eventually, I had to take my medicine and went to get the water myself. Since there was no water (nor crew) on a spot closest to my seat, I went in the back of the plane to find five stewardesses chatting loudly, having a muffin, apparently not hearing my "excuse me, ms...." Israelis are famous for their awful service and you will get it in most of the restaurants in the country, but El Al never fails show me the new low. Their staff on the ground is often friendly (if you're Jewish or travel with one) but the crew of every single El Al's flight I ever took was rude, uninterested, trying to make their own time past faster (by grouping in the back or with spending time with Israeli passengers for too long, talking too loud and in front of everybody giving them special treats.
When it comes to snacks the only thing we were given was the worlds smallest crackers just after boarding. Like I said, we haven't seen the crew ever since. The pasta tasted funny, they said they were not able to switch the meal so I got quite hungry on this long flight, until the very average breakfast arrived. Again, no snacks, no crew.
This flight was operated with the newest plane they have so the entertainment was really good on this flight. That came as a surprise cause their screens often don't work even on long flight and then they give out ipads which, unless you are not an Israeli, may take even an hour.
Another suprise, but positive one this time, came when it comes to security. Don't know how it happened that on the ground, before check-in interrogation, was led by an Israeli and a local officer. The presence of a Hong Kong airport local security, made the whole process so much more pleasant, efficient and comfortable. This really made a huge difference for me, because on multiple occasions me and my bags were searched thoroughly once even inappropriately.
(Inappropriate being: 4 male officers separately searching 2 of my bags at the same time on the two different tables enabling me to follow what exactly they are doing. One of them even took one of the plastic bags from my suitcase and disappeared somewhere for 5 minutes! Wtf?! He could have showed in my bag whatever he wanted and say it's mine :( It was the weirdest/scariest thing that happened to me on airport security. After that all male officers for some reason had to have my bra going from hand to hand not checking anything smiling. I felt humiliated, powerless and angry. Even asked them if they treat the Israeli passengers the same. They answered although it was a rhetorical question. All this happened last summer in Bucharest, before the flight to Tel Aviv.)- because of this and similar humiliating experiences I had or witnessed with El Al, I 'd like to mention once again, how important and wonderful would it be if more airports would treat El Al as Hong Kong does, as what they really are- guest in the other nation's country.
I can not emphasize enough how much you should avoid El Al.
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