Flying El Al Too Pricy, So Peres Flies Air Canada

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peresIt was a rare gaffe by El Al.

Israel’s highly respected national airline has been forced to apologize for trying to charge Israel President Shimon Peres almost $5,000 to bring an oxygen tank aboard the plane for his official visit to Canada, which began Sunday.

The Canadian Press reported that according to protocol, an oxygen tank and other medical equipment has to be available whenever an Israeli president or prime minister flies abroad.

But El Al insisted it would have to charge extra, according to Israeli news reports.

The president’s representatives apparently balked at the $4,700 extra charge for the oxygen tank. Air Canada not only charged a “significantly lower” fare to fly Peres to Canada, but allowed in-cabin storage of the oxygen tank at no extra charge, according to the Times of Israel, which cited a report by Israel’s Channel 2 News.

El Al spokeswoman Anat Friedman said Sunday the airline sent Peres an apology, but by then he had rebooked his trip on Air Canada.

Israeli officials confirmed the account and said Peres, 88, wanted to put the matter behind him.

The irony probably wasn’t lost on Canadians used to being nickelled and dimed by Air Canada for the privilege of choosing a seat and for added baggage.

Peres, who as foreign minister shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, began the official part of his five-day visit Monday with a visit to Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, where he planted a tree on the grounds.

Peres praised Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government for their staunch support of Israel,The Canadian Press reported.

{Daily Brew/ Newscenter}


  1. is this the first time he flew on a commercial airline? what did he do previously? who did he fly? did they charge him then? very weird

  2. #1
    The only thing weird is El Al. It seems they don’t want passengers. Try flying with them and you’ll see for yourself.

  3. “is this the first time he flew on a commercial airline? what did he do previously? who did he fly? did they charge him then? very weird”

    1. No
    2. He flew with El Al
    3. Air Canada
    4. The regular price for the number of seats occupied by the President and his entourage.


  4. “5. Comment from Alte – Bucher
    Time May 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    He didnt fly Saudi airways?”

    Please, alte-bucher, you are embarrassing us, and yourself, with such naarishkeit. Believe it or not, this website has a circulation far beyond you and me.

    It wasn’t clever and it’s definitely not even remotely funny.


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