Flight Info & Extensions

The following page contains general information about the flights, instructions on how to extend your tickets, and instructions on how to purchase traveler's health insurance after the end of the group trip (if you are extending).

 


 

I. Extending Your Plane Ticket Home

In majority of cases, any participants who want to extend their tickets have the option to remain in Israel beyond the program. At Israel Free Spirit, we take pride in providing incredible options to all those who are looking to extend their stay in Israel after their Birthright program or you can choose to extend on your own.  Please know that once the Taglit-Birthright Israel program has concluded that you will no longer be under our supervision or responsibility of Taglit-Birthright Israel. Also, if you do choose to extend your stay, keep in mind that you must participate in the entire 10-day Taglit-Birthright Israel trip...right until we return to Ben Gurion Airport on the final day. There is no leaving the group early under any circumstances.

Flight extension rules vary according to the airline your trip is using. In all cases, we highly recommend that you extend your stay prior to leaving North America since all seats are subject to availability, contract specifications, and the specific classes of service by the airlines. The longer you wait, you will find that seats are not readily available for many dates. Although some airlines permit the extension to be made in Israel, it can be time consuming, seats are limited especially when tourism season is high.

Extensions prior to departure for ALL airlines are handled through Gil Travel. Extend your stay in Israel with Gil Travel's Israel Trip Flight.

Gil Travel must receive your application at least 15 business days prior to departure.

Please note when considering extensions that most airlines fly on Friday nights and Saturdays. We suggest you indicate in your extension notes if you do not wish to fly on Shabbat.

It is the participants' responisbility to contact the airline if they are not flying on the original or new extended return date. Participants who are no-show to the airline risk having their return ticket "NULL AND VOIDED." The return flight ticket will be cancelled; it will be your responsibility and expense to return home, your deposit will be forfeited.

Please read each airline caption to understand the restrictions and cost for extensions: 

EL AL Israel Airline (subject to change):

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extensions prior to departure are minimum $165.00 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service. If the original class is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is difference in airfare plus $90.
  • Once in Israel, extension/change is $50.00 service fee plus difference in airfare subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If higher class/code fare in economy is available, the fee is $50.00 plus the difference between the published airfares in economy.
  • Once in Israel contact EL AL directly for all changes. Call center open 24/7 in Tel Aviv 03-977-1111.

 

Air Canada:

 

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure $390.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. Change of return date is only permitted based on same class of service. 
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $300.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service.
  • Once in Israel contact Air Canada directly: In Tel Aviv 03-607-2111 Sunday thru Thursday 830AM-5PM and/or  by email completing extension form and emailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
     

Brussels Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 90 days
  • Extension fee prior to departure $165.00 subject to seat availability in same class fare of service.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return $75.00 subject to the seat availability in the same class of service. If the original class is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is difference in airfare plus $75.
  • Once in Israel contact Brussel Airlines directly for all changes either: By phone: 1-700-703-292. Hours of operation: Sun-Thu 10AM-1PM. By email completing extension form and emailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Delta Airline:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extensions prior to departure is $240.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. Changes prior to departure based on same class code/fare of service ONLY. 
  • Once in Israel extension/change is $150.00 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service. If original class/code fare is not available and a higher airfare is available, the fee is $150.00 plus the difference in to the next class that is available, price range between $50-$270. 
  • Change is based upon availability at the time requested
  • Once in Israel contact Delta directly for all changes. In Tel Aviv 03 513 8000 Ext 3. Hours of operation Sunday thru Thursday 9AM – 5PM

Turkish Airlines:

  • Maximum Stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure is $290.00 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service. If the original class is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is difference in airfare plus $290.00
  • Change of return once in Israel $250.00 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service. If the original class is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is difference in airfare plus $250.00
  • CLAL Aviation is the handling agent for Turkish Airlines.
  • Once in Israel: CLAL Aviation 03-521-4222 Sun- Thu 0930-1730
  • DO NOT call Turkish Airlines, they cannot assist
     

Swiss Air:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure is $240.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service ONLY.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $240.00 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service. If original class/code fare is not available, higher airfare is available the fee will be advised upon request. 
  • Limited extensions per group
  • Once in Israel extension request form is required to be sent to Signal Tours:
  • Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) using the extension form. Phone: 04-868-3122;  Hours of Operation Sunday thru Thursday 9AM-5PM OR
  • Call Gil Travel 03-763-6176 during USA business hours Monday thru Friday 9AM-5PM EST or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • DO NOT contact Swiss Air in USA or Israel for any changes, they cannot assist.

 

United Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to departure minimum $290.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If original class is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is $290 plus the difference in airfare.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $200.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If original class/code fare is not available and a higher airfare is available, the fee is $200 plus the difference in to the next class.
  • Limited extensions per group
  • Once in Israel contact United Airlines directly for all changes: In Tel Aviv 03-511-6777. Hours of operation Sunday thru Thursday 8:30AM – 5PM. 

 

Austrian Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure $140.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. Change of return date is only permitted based on same class of service. 
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $150.00 subject to seat availability in the same class of service.
  • Limited extensions per group
  • Once in Israel contact Austrian directly: In Tel Aviv 80-937-1937 Sunday thru Thursday 9AM-5PM 

II. General Flight Info

The Taglit-Birthright Israel program makes use of multiple airlines. Most of the flights are direct from the gateway city. For luggage restrictions please check with your individual airline.

Getting to the Airport
Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the departure airport. You are required to arrive at the departure airport at least four hours before your flight to Israel is scheduled to depart. You will be met at the airline check-in area by an Israel Free Spirit representative who will present you with your plane ticket and who will give you instructions on how to proceed through the security screening and check-in processes. When you arrive to the airline check-in area, simply locate the Israel Free Spirit staff member.  For the return flight, if you are scheduling a domestic connection, plan for at least three hours between flights to allow for passage through customs/baggage claim, etc.

General Flight Rules

  • Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the gateway airport

  • You must depart for Israel with the group from the scheduled gateway airport

  • You can not meet the group in Israel...even if you are already in Europe or Israel at the time

  • If you stay in Israel for longer than the airline allows, you will be responsible for your return flight

  • If you fail to extend your ticket until after the group flight departs Israel, your ticket will be void

  • It's impossible to get frequent flier miles for your ticket given the nature of the ticket fare rules

Sorry if any of these limitations are bad news for you. Please take our word that it is impossible to get around them!

Special Meal Request and Seating Info
All seating requests must be made at the airport on the day of departure. Special seat requests can NOT be made in advance. If you have a special meal request, we will submit the request on your behalf to the airline according to any instruction you submit as part of your application.

III. Extending Your Health Insurance In Israel

If you decide to extend your stay in Israel, we strongly recommend that you pay to extend the health insurance policy made available to you (health insurance extention accommodations will be provided to you through our field staff in Israel). The policy includes full coverage for treatment and medication. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, or out-of-pocket expenses. There is also no paperwork to submit in Israel or back home. In other words, it is the convenient and cautious thing to do in the event that you sprain an ankle, or catch a stomach bug.

The cost of extending the health insurance policy is $2.50-3.00/day. The coverage period is calculated starting from the day after your Taglit-Birthright Israel trip ends to the day you leave Israel.


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