Flying to Israel? Book on Monday, Fly on Saturday

Hopper, a startup that analyzes flight data, searched just under five million flight fares to come up with its conclusions.

A Turkish Airlines plane parked at London's Heathrow airport.
A Turkish Airlines plane parked at London's Heathrow airport.Credit: Bloomberg

For Americans wanting to fly cheaply to Israel, the best advice is to book on a Monday, fly on a Saturday and stop over in Kiev or Moscow on the way, according to Hopper, a Boston-based startup that analyzes flight data.

By conducting just under five million flight searches between March 30 and April 27 and analyzing the results, Hopper determined that that the cheapest round-trip flights to Israel from New York-JFK are selling for about $924. The searches were for a trip between April 27 and Sept. 30, 2014 with a Saturday night stay.

The most popular airlines with stopovers are Ukraine International Airlines, Transaero Airlines (Russia), Turkish Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Aeroflot Russian Airlines. Over the next six months, the cheapest fares on those carriers were in the $517-$795 range.

El Al, Delta and United fly to Israel directly, with the cheapest direct flights over the next six months being in the $962-$1,012 range. The analysis did not include flights to Israel from Newark.

Booking on a Monday can save you up to $12, and flying on Saturdays can save you up to $138.

If you find flying into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport too expensive, you can always expand your search to nearby airports, like Queen Alia International in Amman. It’s less than two hours from Jerusalem by car. Of course, that doesn’t include the extra cost, time or hassle of the overland border crossing at the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank.

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