Qantas unlocks business, first class reward flights on El Al

By Chris Chamberlin, August 21 2017

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can now use their Qantas Points to book business class and first class reward flights with El Al Israel Airlines.

Previously, Qantas Points could only be used to book El Al economy flights, and while the airline doesn’t fly to Australia, it does run non-stop flights from both Hong Kong and Bangkok to Tel Aviv: Israel’s financial hub and the country’s second-largest city.

That allows Aussie travellers to pair a Qantas or Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong – or a Qantas or Emirates flight to Bangkok – with an onward El Al journey, although El Al flights can also be booked independently.

From Bangkok to Tel Aviv, you’d need 95,000 Qantas Points for first class or 65,000 Qantas Points for business class with El Al, one way, while economy rewards continue to be offered at 35,000 Qantas Points. These can all be booked the Qantas website:

Out of Hong Kong, you’d need a higher 78,000 Qantas Points for El Al business class, while economy remains at 42,000 Qantas Points (both one way). El Al’s flight schedules show Boeing 787s rostered onto many of its Hong Kong flights, which don’t offer first class.

The amounts payable in addition the points required are also quite low, with flights from Thailand attracting TH฿885 (A$33.55) in taxes and fees per passenger across all cabins, while on flights from Hong Kong, the charge is HKD$377 (A$60.80) in business class and HKD$357 (A$57.60) in economy.

On connecting journeys from Australia, the number of Qantas Points required – and the cash amounts payable on the side – vary based on the route, airline and distance flown.

El Al also serves Beijing from its Tel Aviv hub, with a broader network of flights between Israel and Europe, South Africa and The Americas.

As El Al has only a small number of airline partnerships and isn’t a member of a global alliance, very few frequent flyer programs allow their members to book El Al flights using points: especially in business class and first class.

Eligible Qantas Frequent Flyer members also now receive access to El Al lounges in Tel Aviv, and to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, when flying with El Al.

ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Joe

Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 365

You'd have to be pretty hard up using EL AL anywhere other than to Israel. The super strict security measures and service on board render it unappealing otherwise. That said it's another option up QFFF sleeves!

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

It's variable, I've had very good experiences in EL AL Business class, and poor experiences too.

gevoysoy

gevoysoy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 5

Having frequently traveled between SYD and TLV for years, I concur with Joe above.

They are convenient in terms of direct connections to Israel (or one stop from Oz), but the quality of their hard product (regardless of class) is not what you'd expect from any Aussie, Asian, European or (God help us) even a US-based one.

That said, food is generally very good, and staff are more often than not friendly, albeit not always available to help when you want them!

All that said, it's good to have these premium award flight options for QFF members.

For anyone born in a Muslim-majority country (or with an Islamic name), be prepared for some serious questioning about your identity, work, and why you're traveling to Israel. There were some large, deadly attacks on Israeli airline targets in previous decades, and this has hardened El Al's security attitude. Be prepared.

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

If you get the 767 on the Bangkok to Tel Aviv route it's not pretty. I try to go via Hong Kong when I can. 777 is better.

Dredgy

Dredgy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 115

While it is indeed an option, and its always nice to have options, it would be my last option.

Cathay and Korean - among others (Hainan maybe) - allow one stop flights to Israel from Australia and offer much better experiences. 

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

Cathay one stop? Since when?

Nburgess31

Nburgess31

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 May 2017

Total posts 10

I wonder how does Lounge access work if flying from Bangkok to Tel Aviv if flying Business or as QF Gold or Platinum member? 

ChrisCh

ChrisCh

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2925

El Al is not a Oneworld member or a Qantas alliance partner (in the way that Emirates is), so lounge access is as per El Al policies regardless of how the ticket is booked.

In Bangkok, El Al uses the 'CIP Lounge' near gate G2, while in Hong Kong, it's the Plaza Premium Lounge near gate 40.

El Al provides lounge access to the following guests (Qantas Gold/Platinum status is irrelevant here):

  • EL AL First, Platinum and Business Class passengers
  • Top Platinum, Platinum and Gold Matmid Frequent Flyer Club members
  • EL AL passengers who are King David Club members

TravellikeaCEO Banned

TravellikeaCEO Banned

22 Aug 2017

Total posts 2

The airline in its entirety is a joke.

I would rather take a local bus!

Spy

Spy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 9

This is great news! My wife and I travel to Israel twice a year on El Al Business class via Bangkok. It's fine, and we actually prefer the security of the additional safety measures.

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