El Al Israel Airlines is the largest and most popular airline in Israel, offering service to more than 50 destinations. If you’re thinking about booking a flight with El Al Israel Airlines in the near future, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to their baggage policies and fees. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid racking up unnecessary fees—and being well informed on the airline’s policies before your trip is one of the best ways to do that.
El Al Israel Airlines has pretty standard baggage policies like United Airlines baggage fees, so you probably won’t run into any surprises. Most fares, for example, include at least one checked bag. However, specific allowances can vary based on the fare you book and the route you’ll be taking.
El Al Israel Airlines Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Knowing how many bags you can check for free as part of your fare and how many bags you’ll be able to carry-on is a must as you prepare for your trip. Fortunately, El Al Israel Airlines has relatively straight-forward baggage policies, fees, and allowances for both checked and carry-on bags.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
The most important thing to remember when it comes to checked baggage policies with El Al Israel Airlines is that the number of checked bags included with your ticket will depend on the specific type of fare you book. For most routes, a “Light” fare will not include any checked baggage, so you’ll need to pay for each individual bag you wish to check. “Economy” fares, on the other hand, include one checked bag weighing up to 50 pounds.
Both “Premium” and “Business” fares include two bags with a greater weight allowance of up to 70 pounds each. In First Class, passengers will enjoy up to three checked bags at 70 pounds each.
It’s also important to note that some routes offer greater baggage allowances for “Economy” fares. Specifically, routes to and from South Africa and East Africa allow for up to two bags at 50 pounds each instead of the standard one bag.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
When flying with El Al Israel Airlines, all passengers are entitled to one free personal item. This should be a small item that will easily fit underneath the seat in front of you during take-off and landing, such as a purse or laptop bag. Specific dimensions of a personal carry-on item should not exceed 11.8″ x 15″ x 7″.
Allowances for standard carry-ons will vary based on your fare booked. “Economy” fares are permitted one free standard carry-on item weighing up to 17.6 pounds, whereas “Economy Flex” fares are permitted two carry-ons weighing no more than 26.5 pounds combined.
For “Business” fare passengers, two standard carry-on items are permitted with a total combined weight of no more than 44 pounds. That total weight limit increases to 53 pounds for First Class fares.
Regardless of fare, standard carry-on bags may not measure greater than 45 linear inches. This includes any handles, wheels, or other accessories on the bag itself. If any of your carry-on bags exceed posted weight or size limits, you may be asked to check your bags and pay applicable fees before boarding.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’ll be traveling with a lap infant (one who does not require his or her own seat), you may bring a stroller to the gate and it can be checked at no additional charge. However, El Al Israel Airlines does not permit any additional baggage (such as diaper bags) for lap infants, so if you plan on bringing one, it will have to count as one of your carry-on items.
Charges For Additional Bags and Overweight Luggage
El Al Israel Airlines, like all airlines, has strict size and weight allowances for both checked and carry-on baggage. Specific weight allowances for checked bags can vary by fare, but range anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds. If you have an overweight bag, additional fees will vary depending on when you pay. For example, if you pay for your overweight bag with three or more hours before your flight’s departure, you’ll pay $95 for an overweight checked bag. If you wait to pay until less than three hours before your flight, you can expect to pay $110.
For oversized bags (those measuring more than 62 linear inches for checked bags), your fees will also vary depending on when you pay. For oversized bags paid for three or more hours before a flight’s schedule departure, you can expect to pay $185. That fee increases to $200, however, if you wait until three or fewer hours until departure.
If you have both an oversized and overweight bag, you will be assessed both fees by El Al Israel Airlines.
Need to purchase additional baggage beyond what’s included with your fare? Costs can vary depending on your route. For most flights to/from Europe, you can expect to pay $70 per additional bag, slightly less than what you would pay to renew passport. Extra bags for flights to/from Africa can range from $140 to $150. For all other routes, fees will vary depending on when you book and pay, so check with a customer service representative for additional information.
Saving On El Al Israel Airlines Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Save money on your next trip with El Al Israel Airlines with these tips.
Seek Credit Card Reimbursement (If Eligible)
Certain credit cards may offer reimbursement for eligible baggage fees, including some cards by Capital One. If you have a travel rewards card, check with your credit card company to see if they offer baggage fee reimbursement as a perk. If so, you can pay for your baggage fees using your credit card and then apply for an account credit after your trip. Keep in mind that most credit cards that offer this perk will only reimburse for standard baggage fees (not overweight/oversized or excess baggage fees).
Become a Frequent Flyer
If you fly often with El Al Israel Airlines, check out their Matmid Frequent Flyer program, which permits additional checked baggage for most routes. Your specific allowances and perks will vary depending on your membership tier, but in most cases, you will be allowed one additional checked bag per flight.
Select a Fare With Included Checked Baggage
Most fares on El Al Israel Airlines include at least one free checked bag, so book accordingly. If you know you’ll need to check baggage and want to avoid fees, you may want to avoid booking a “Light” fare, as these are the only ones that do not include any checked baggage.
Limit Luggage to Your Carry-Ons
El Al Israel Airlines offers pretty generous carry-on allowances, so if you’re taking a shorter trip or don’t have a lot to pack, you may be able to limit your luggage to your carry-ons instead of checking any bags. This can also save you time on your trip since you’ll be able to avoid waiting at the baggage carousel after your flight.
Pay For Your Baggage in Advance
If you know you’ll need to check additional bags beyond what your fare includes, be sure to pay for this baggage at least three hours before your flight. Otherwise, you’ll incur additional fees.
El Al Israel Airlines Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about baggage policies on El Al Israel Airlines.
How can I avoid overweight and oversized baggage fees with El Al Israel Airlines?
The best wait to avoid these fees is to measure and weigh your bags before you even leave for the airport. A luggage scale can be used to accurately determine the weight of your bags. If you have an overweight bag, you can then unpack or move some items over to your carry-on to avoid additional costs. When measuring your bag, make sure to include wheels and handles as part of your measurements for accuracy as well.
How can I pre-pay for my baggage?
If you purchase your ticket online, you have the option to pay for your baggage at the time of your booking. After you’ve booked, you can still log into your online account and pay for baggage in the days leading up to your flight.
How much will I pay for an additional checked bag?
Charges for additional checked bags will vary based on route, but you can generally expect to pay between $70 and $150 for each checked bag beyond your allowance. For many routes, it’s cheaper to pay for additional bags at least three hours before your flight’s scheduled departure, so keep this in mind if you’re looking to minimize baggage fees with El Al Israel Airlines.
What if I’m traveling with special equipment?
If you’ll be traveling with special equipment on your flight, such as sports equipment or musical instruments, there are some specific policies and costs you’ll want to be aware of. Check out the airline’s website or contact them directly for information specific to your special gear.