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Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Houston, Texas
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Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

We will be visiting Israel next June. After our visit, we will be going to Rome to begin travel around Europe. For our family, I will be purchasing 5 one-way tickets from Tel Aviv to Rome. The one-way fare on El Al is about $655 USD per person. The round-trip fare is about $550 per person. Are these fares typical? Any ideas on when and what tickets I should purchase? Thanks.

Boston, MA
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1. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Believe it or not, it is typical to have round-trip fare lower than one-way ticket. It is really hard to predict what is going to be the price for next June. It depends on oil prices, economy state and exchange rate, just to name a few factors.

For November, El-Al round trip tickets sell for about $400, you can get Israir for about $300, but departure and arrival times of Israir are very inconvenient.

Another option is to look for a package deal flight+hotel, that may cost the same or even less than a single ticket.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Thanks, I did not know about Israir. I went to their website and it is telling me there are no flights between Tel Aviv and Rome. The only 2 airlines I can see that fly nonstop are El Al and Airitalia. When you say book a package, do you mean book it through a site like El Al or Israir? Can I get better hotel rates than if I booked directly with the hotel?

Boston, MA
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3. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

I can see flights from Tel-Aviv to Rome for November on Israir website, but it is possible that prices for June are not available yet.

Another company that may offer flights to Rome is Meridiana:

http://www.meridiana.it/en/index.aspx

NYC/Israel
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4. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

You might come out cheaper if you do one ticket. ie. Houston to ? to Tlv to Rome and then where ever in Europe you are ending back to the US. Even if it is more than one airline--it may be less expensive if it is booked as one huge circle.

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Flight + hotel packages will be available few month prior to the departure date through most travel agents. In many cases the price of the package is comparable to the price of the ticket alone.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Thanks so much. I just purchased our tickets on Continental departing Houston to Tel Aviv via NY in June. We are coming back from London to Houston. The roundtrip price was $988 which I thought was pretty good. The price dropped from $1797 for 2 days and is now back up to $1979. Besides Airitalia and El Al, all the other routes were with BA through London, Air France through Paris, etc which takes 9-12 hours instead of a direct flight of 3 hours and 45 minutes. So I think we will buy our tickets with El Al or one of the other airlines you suggested. We would rather fly direct since we are arriving in Rome and then getting the bus or train to Siena. Do you think that Meridiana and Israir are as good as El Al? I hear so many positive comments about El Al especially about the security.

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7. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

El Al might not offer specials for June yet, but that was indeed the typical fare pre price decreases. Had you not purchased your tickets I would have told youi to purchase a continuous string US-TLV-ROM-LON-US which might have worked out cheaper, although you did get a good deal on the retuirn price Usually, El Al, Israir, Alitalia, maybe Arkia and Eurofly fly to Rome, but you have to wait a bit to see. A month prior is a bit too much - around March /April packages should already be around.

Do not take the bus to Siena - it's a very long three hours due to traffic. Consider making a stop in Florence or else take a fast train to Florence and the SITA bus from there, unless you manage to find a direct bus to Siena from the airport which would save you time even with the traffic. .

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

Was supposed to be "few months", sorry for the typo. I would definitely not wait one month until the flight to buy 5 tickets. As Anon said, somewhere close to Passover packages should be around.

IMO, I don't see much difference between El Al and Israir. Both are Israeli companies with similar lever of security. As of now, Israir is a little cheaper, but they have evening departures so you arrive in Rome late at night.

BTW, the price you got from Continental sounds like a very reasonable one.

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

I have been checking the Israir website and they are selling tickets to Rome through March. For 5 one-way tickets the price is 899 Euros which is very reasonable. So I think I will keep checking with them and El Al and buy the first reasonable tickets that become available.

We are going to Siena for 3 nights then to Florence for 4 nights before heading to Venice for 2 nights. I have been reading on TA that the train is slower than the bus and it lets you off far from the city center. The bus will take us right to the center of Siena. We will probably end-up spending the night in Rome because we will arrive in the evening. We visited Rome recently but would not mind spending the night there.

Anyway, we can't wait to visit Israel. It has been 15 year since my husband and I have been there, and a first-time visit for our children!

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10. Re: Question about El Al flight-Tel Aviv to Rome

If you read on TA, you probably read my posts as well. All the posts saying the train is slower than the bus are not absolute, but refer to the SITA bus from Florence to Siena compared to the regional train from Florence to Siena. If you are looking to travel from Rome to Siena, it's a different kettle of fish (there are specific posts about that too, by the way) - you should take the fast train to Florence and the SITA bus. People who took the Sena bus from Rome were exceedingly unhappy about it.