Back in December (2005) we wrote about the improvement on El Al flights. Well, it seems we are a minority on that issue. Since that article, we have received a whole bunch of private emails filled with vituperative complaints about El Al.
Recently, Israir was granted official carrier status. The following comes from the J Post web site on Jan. 17th.
“A major decision in Israeli aviation was passed on Monday afternoon by the minister of tourism, Avraham Hirschson, which opens the doors for the low budget airline Israir to complete with Israel”s national carrier El Al over the profitable Tel Aviv-New York route.
Hirshson”s decision to grant Israir official carrier status comes at the end of a long, drawn out battle between the two carriers.
The permission was granted for a period of two years after which a decision regarding a possible extension will be made.
An Israir spokesman welcomed the decision and said it would create 4,000 new jobs in the aviation and tourism industries. He also pointed out that the improved status would lead to a significant upgrade in the service.
“Minister Hirschson has contributed in a huge way to the development of the Israeli market and its industry. He was attentive to the needs of the population, which expressed its overwhelming support of this policy,” the spokesman added.
In response, El Al”s chairman of the board, Prof. Yisrael Borovitch, accused Hirschson of “callously violating the government”s explicit commitments towards El Al, its employees and its share holders.”
Within just a few hours of publication, the article had engendered 15 “talkback” comments. Not a single one of them was complimentary to El Al.
What is it about El Al that makes people so angry?? It can”t just be the nasty crew members who still manage to make their presence felt on every flight. Could it be the threat of thrombophlebitis from the crammed seats? Could it be the long, boring breaks between movies?
Maybe it is the astronomical fees that El Al charges. Maybe it is the fact that even though you reserve a seat ahead of time, by the time you get to the airport your seat has been changed and no one cares. El Al has the attitude of a company with a monopoly. And now that the monopoly is apparently over, all El Al can do is hurl accusations.
Competition is good. Maybe now El Al will stop being so arrogant. Maybe they will have to become competitve in their prices. Maybe the old nasty crew members will finally be retired. Maybe the level of service on El Al flights will have to increase. Maybe a great miracle will happen and El Al will drop a few seats so that we all can be more comfortable.
Ever walk down the aisle on El Al when people are all sleeping? Lots of people extend into the asile as they lean over in their seats.
We have noticed that crew members will slam into every single one of them and never once stop to say, “sorry.” It does not cost money to be gracious. Maybe El Al will now learn that important lesson.
El Al screamed that they could not bear the yoke of the Gov”t wearing down on them, so they privatized. Now they are screaming that the Gov”t has to protect them from competition. Hey guys, you can”t have it both ways. It used to be you could. Now you can”t. Consumers will surely win.