Travelers to Go Bonkers Over Sneaky El Al Charge for Second Piece of Luggage


elalEl Al has announcing changes and “improvements” to their baggage policy. For those who always fly business class or are a gold, platinum or top flyer, then there actually are improvements. For all other flyers, a sneaky little change inserted in the El Al baggage chart will have travelers going bonkers.

Economy class tickets booked to or from North America from November 1 and on will be permitted only one suitcase of 23 kg (50 lbs), even for silver frequent flyers. Until now, two pieces of luggage were allowed. Thus, El Al has cut their baggage allowance in half under the very innocuous heading of “changes and improvements.”

As a result, a second piece of luggage will cost a traveler $70 in each direction. Thus, for most normal flyers who need two pieces of luggage in at least one direction, El Al is effectively raising all economy class ticket prices to or from North America by $70, and for those who need two pieces of luggage in both directions, the price is being raised by an astounding $140. A third piece of luggage will cost $240 each way.

To protest this charge, send an email to El Al at

{Yair Israel}


  1. Except that continental has implemented this. DElta is the only one that allows to pieces but will most probably follow the others. Just to know that if there is enough protest El Al will not change their policy.

  2. and if you are an elite member on star alliance which is easier to achieve than on elal you get two free bags!!
    i guess i wont be traveling on elal any more

  3. This is standard for the airline industry.

    In the 90s there was cheap fuel and many new airlines launched. These economic forces drove prices towards VERY low profits. When the economy hit in 2000-2001 airlines were left in a very bad position. This is why we have seen so much consolidation in the airline space over the past couple of years.

    Adjusting for inflation, airline ticket prices (until very recently) were often a bit cheaper than in the 80s. The industry has long needed to correct, and this is what we are seeing.

    Almost every airline is cutting back somewhere. This is the new economics reality. ElAl has held off far longer than most US based carriers in adopting this pricing model. We should THANK ElAl for holding off as long as they did.

    Travel is a luxury.

  4. Stop the hyperbole, it makes the article sound ridiculous. The change is not sneaky, everyone knows about it. It is not “astounding” to pay an extra $140 for two extra suitcases. It’s $140. If you don’t want to pay it, take less luggage or stay home.

  5. El Al is unique that it caters to the Jewish people who travel back and forth many times to Israel and usually the typical person takes two bags as they have family and friends in E.Y. El Al also is the Jewish Airline of the Jewish nation, and should do what is right for its citizens and fellow Jews worldwide. But Israel is more global today (probably moreso than other countries, r’l)and is jumping on the bandwagon like other airlines. Making more money is just another plus for them! This will also cause the usual flyers to E.Y. to cut down on their traveling to Israel as often as they used to. Prices are expensive enough today.

  6. I am pretty sure that if you fly Continental and have a Continental “One Pass” Mastercard then you get the second bag free. Please check with Continental to verify…

  7. Re: #14

    Bzzzzt! Wrong answer. Only if you have the OnePass Presidential Plus card (which costs $450 a year) do you get two bags. The regular OnePass Plus card only gives you one bag, which doesn’t help when flying to Israel, since you get one bag already anyway.

  8. #11: It WAS sneaky because of the way they posted it – see the original link, which was labeled “Changes and Improvements in Baggage Policy” and decide for yourself:

    By the way, there are still a few airlines out there that do allow 2 suitcases, but unfortunately they don’t fly direct to Tel Aviv – two that I know about for sure are KLM and Al Italia, and both have very good deals for winter tickets at the moment. Just something to keep in mind…