El Al to Charge Extra Fee for Airport No-shows

Israeli airline to fine customers who fail to provide advance warning that they will not make flights.

El Al will begin charging customers fines for failing to show up for flights, the airline announced earlier this week.

Israel's largest airline informed travel agents on Monday that it will charge a special “no-show” fee for all customers who do not arrive for their scheduled flights. The no-show fee for flights to Greek destinations will be $120 and for the rest of Europe will stand at $170. For flights to North America, Asia and Africa travelers will be charged no-show fines of $240.

Similar no-show fees are charged by other airlines, but they usually do not levy extra charges on more expensive business-class customers.

The fines only apply to customers who fail to provide advance notice that they will not make a flight. Those who call the airline in advance to cancel their ticket will only be charged cancellation fees, not the new fine.

Airlines are quite familiar with travelers who fail to show up for flights. Even today, most airlines only charge undeclared no-show customers the cancellation fees for their tickets and then seek to fill the empty seats with standby customers waiting at the airport.

In another move set to improve El Al's financial position, the airline's management announced yesterday that it had reached an agreement with workers’ representatives for an early retirement plan for employees.

A letter was sent to employees asking those interested in early retirement to sign up for the plan. The exact conditions offered to early retirees will be announced after the company has detailed figures regarding the number of employees interested in the program, but it will include improved pension benefits.

David Bachar