Passengers: Israir Not Ready for Prime Time

Israir is proud of the fact that its flights from Tel Aviv to the U.S. have been upgraded from charter to regular flights. The airline has even come out with a big advertising campaign to convince us that there is no difference between its flights and that of its Israeli competitor to New York (El Al).

But sometimes it turns out that an advertising campaign is not the same as reality. TheMarker learned yesterday that Israir had canceled a flight scheduled for last Saturday night from Tel Aviv to New York.

Passengers complained that they received notification of the cancellation only 48 hours before the scheduled take-off. According to these passengers, they were offered an earlier, alternate flight, meaning that they were forced to fly within 12 hours of the time they were informed of the cancellation of the original flight. Otherwise they would have had to take a later flight.

"That is not how a serious regular airline acts," complained a couple of passengers scheduled for the flight, and who asked not to be identified by name.

The couple was forced to take the earlier flight. "We were lucky that we flew to New York and did not need connecting flights. But what about all the other poor passengers who had to continue on to other destinations and suddenly had their flight canceled?"

Israir operates a single plane, a Boeing 767, on its regular New York run. As a result, not only can it not operate a daily flight, but it is likely to have problems meeting a regular schedule.

Israir responded: "Israir did not cancel any flights. As a result of a technical problem in one of our planes, the flight that was scheduled to take-off at 24:30 on Sunday morning was postponed to Monday at 17:00 in the evening. The passengers were notified on Thursday afternoon. The few passengers who had a problem with the delay, were offered a flight on an earlier Israir flight on Friday at 6:00 am. Israir tries to keep to its planned schedule, even if sometimes in aviation there are problems which cause delays, such as in this case."