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Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

Silver Spring...
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Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

All,

My wife and I are planning a trip to Israel late June or early July. Currently, the best price that I can find to Israel from the east coast (looking at DC, Philly, and NY) is about $1600 per person. We are considering going on a tour (have spoken to Shalomjourneys and a couple others), and they state that they can secure us a good price for our tickets, since they deal directly with the airlines. Do people have experience with getting tickets via tour/travel agents, or do most people find the cheapest fare going through orbitz, expedia, etc. Thank you very much for any help!

Cosmo

Edited: 10 February 2010, 17:04
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Boston, MA
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1. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

I usually take a look at www.kayak.com for a quick comparison of prices and companies and then order directly through the air carrier website.

In the past Iberya, Turkish Airlines and Aerosvit airlines offered good prices to TLV from NYC. As well, prices tend to be lower for departures prior to June 20th and then go up.

Travel agents did offer better prices than I was able to find on my own on few occasions, but it was mostly related to discount on kids ticket that kayak and other websites do not transfer to the customers.

Florida
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2. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

Try also sidestep.com and kayak.com, maybe you find something for less than that, I know that US Airways has direct flights to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia and I think that is less than $1,600 - check their website.

Good luck.

Maryland
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3. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

Before purchasing the tour company's flights, please find out whether these are consolidator tickets. You can have all kinds of problems with consolidator tickets, so you are better off making an informed decision about whether this type of ticket is worth the savings.

Silver Spring...
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4. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

What exactly is a consolidator ticket?

Thanks for everyone's help so far. I was actually looking into the USAir tickets from PHL to TLV, and they are a bit more then $1600 each. That still is my first option if I don't find a better price though.

Can't really leave any earlier to take advantage of non-peak season fares. My wife is a teacher, and we need to wait until the school year is out. And with these snow storms on the east coast, she'll have to work a few more days.

Thanks,

Cosmo

USA
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5. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

Since I gather you live in Maryland, you might try Sabra Tours in Pikesville (or Reisterstown?). They sometimes have low fares to Israel.

troy mi
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6. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

my favorite independant site is ITA - see link

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch

start there and will offer up all the possible fares regardless of airline

once you start to narrow it down, go to that airlines site to book. Agree with other poster about using a European-based carrier that serves Tel Aviv and an east coast USA city - e.g., Iberia, Czech, Turkish, Air France, Alitalia.

Added benefit is you can do a free layover in their hub city for several days either going or coming - Our favorite was Turkish Airlines from JFK with 4 days to explore Istanbul (and to help with jet lag on the way over)

troy mi
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935 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

my favorite independant site is ITA - see link

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch

start there and will offer up all the possible fares regardless of airline

once you start to narrow it down, go to that airlines site to book. Agree with other poster about using a European-based carrier that serves Tel Aviv and an east coast USA city - e.g., Iberia, Czech, Turkish, Air France, Alitalia.

Added benefit is you can do a free layover in their hub city for several days either going or coming - Our favorite was Turkish Airlines from JFK with 4 days to explore Istanbul (and to help with jet lag on the way over)

Jerusalem, Israel
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for Jerusalem
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8. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

If you use the ITA site, just know that it is a good starting place for finding all the flight options (except low cost carriers), but the prices can be way off base. There are also flight combinations that are not listed.

For example, I've been looking for cheap round trip tickets for a family of 4 from Tel Aviv to Singapore in the summer. It costs about $6000 on the El Al site. On the ITA site, it say that ElAl tickets are more than $4000 per ticket !!! I also found tickets to Singapore via ElAl and AirEgypt (layover in Cairo) that were cheaper than all the options on the ITA site, but those flights weren't listed.

Edited: 11 February 2010, 06:34
Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

So is this ITA thing worth signing up for, then?

USA
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10. Re: Flights to Israel via Travel agants or the Internet...

ITA is a great tool, and you dont have to sign up. You can just click and use it. As someone pointed out, though, not every fare ITA shows can actually be purchased -- though with some persistence & creativity most can be.