You’re gonna love it, so why not easily extend your flight to spend more time in Israel after the trip?!

Can I extend my flight and stay in Israel after my trip is over?

Birthright Israel participants may extend their stay if they wish. Keep in mind that if you are not planning to return with your group on the same flight, you must make your changes before the conclusion of the trip and before the group return date. If you would like to travel to another country during your extension, you are responsible for finding out the COVID guidelines for exiting and reentering Israel. If  you are found positive for Covid-19 within your extension period, you will be responsible for your own quarantine arrangements.

How can you extend?

Extensions are processed through Gil Travel’s extension form at least 10 business days prior to departure. If its within 10 business days of your trip then you’ll have to wait once you’re in Israel in order to extend and contact the airline directly. The price of the extension depends on the airline (view the prices here). 

Note: 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.

What can you do during your extension?

You can either visit family and friends, hang out at the beach, or extend on one of our free & subsidized options here.

Can you extend your trip and visit another country during the extension?  

Yes, you can! If you would like to travel to another country during your extension, you are responsible for finding out the COVID guidelines for exiting and reentering Israel from the country you are traveling to. If  you are found positive for Covid-19 within your extension period, you will be responsible for your own quarantine arrangements.

Can you extend your health insurance and cell phone plan?

Sure, we strongly recommend that you extend the health insurance policy and the phone plan. The field staff in Israel can help you do both. The cost of extending the health insurance policy is $4.50/day and the cost of extending your phone depends on the plan. The coverage period is calculated starting from the day after your Birthright Israel trip ends to the day you leave Israel.

Is it possible to cancel the return ticket?

If you want to cancel your return ticket completely or you’re staying in Israel for longer than the airline allows,  you must email info@israelfreespirit.com at least 15 business days prior to departure. Once in Israel, you should contact the airline directly at least 2 days prior to the scheduled return date to cancel the return ticket. It will be your responsibility and expense to return home. If you do not contact Israel Free Spirit or the airline about cancelling the return ticket, your deposit will be forfeited.

Extension Fees & Guidelines For Each Airline

The airline for your trip is indicated on the Travel section of your application. 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 $90 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 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 plus the difference between the published airfares in economy.

Once in Israel contact EL AL directly for all changes. Call center open Sunday – Thursday 8:00AM – 5:00PM IL time.

1. Dial in Whatsapp EL AL phone number: 03-9771111

2. The first message in the APP must only be the Birthright Israel code, just the numbers and nothing else: 15686

3. Type the FIRST NAME ONLY-After typing the first name, it will then ask to type the LAST NAME

4. Type the LAST NAME ONLY

5. message from EL AL will read as:

Dear Birthright participant,

Thank you for contacting the EL AL Service Center. Our next agent will text you once available and assist you to the best of his/her ability. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy your Birthright trip here in Israel.

American Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure $190 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 $100 subject to seat availability in the same class of service.
  • Limited extensions per group
  • Once in Israel, contact American Airlines directly 24 hrs/day: 0207-660-2300 or 0844-369-9899 in United Kingdom. All cell phone charges apply to caller.

Austrian Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months
  • Extension prior to departure $50 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 subject to seat availability in the same class of service.
  • Limited extensions per group
  • Once in Israel, contact Austrian Airlines directly: In Tel Aviv 03-905-8049 Sunday – Thursday 9AM-5PM

Air Canada:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to departure $300 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, subject to the higher airfare.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $300 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. Requests once in Israel must be received more than one business day before booked departure flight date out of Israel.
  • Once in Israel contact Air Canada directly more than one (1) business day before departure. Exception: changes for departures scheduled for Sunday from Israel must be completed by Thursday before: In Tel Aviv 03-607-2111 Sunday – Thursday 8:30AM-5PM

Lufthansa:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to departure $50 subject to seat availability in the same class/code fare of service.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $150 subject to seat availability in the same class of service.
  • Limited extensions per group.
  • Change is based upon availability at the time requested.
  • Once in Israel contact Lufthansa directly: In Tel Aviv 03-905-8049 Sunday – Thursday 9AM-5PM

Brussels Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to departure $50 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 $140.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $150 subject to 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 $150.
  • Limited extensions per group.
  • Once in Israel contact Brussels directly: Email tlv.groups@dlh.de . In the email please include:
    • PNR Code
    • Ticket Number
    • The requested change
    • Mobile phone number to reach the customer
  • Or call in Israel 03-5135629 Sunday – Thursday 10AM-1PM. All payments via credit card only. Change of return date must be made more than 5 business days before group’s return date.

LOT Polish Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to 10 days before departure, no charge in the same class of service. If original class/code fare is not available and a higher airfare is available this would be the difference plus agent fee. Within 10 days of departure the fee plus USD 50.00 plus the agent handling fee, plus the possible additional cost in airfare will be charged.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $50 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If original class/code fare is not available and a higher airfare is available, fee is $50 plus the difference in airfare.
  • Limited extensions per group.
  • Once in Israel contact LOT Polish Airlines by filling out this extension form and then send the completed form to lot@open-sky.co.il.

Delta Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Prior to departure there is no fee from the airline provided the return date is in the same class of service, agent handling fee applies. If the return is not available in the same class code/fare the fee will be the difference in airfare plus the agent handling fee.
  • Once in Israel extension/change of return is $150 subject to seat availability in the same class of service. If original class/code fare is not available and a higher airfare is available, subject to the higher airfare.
  • Change is based upon availability at the time requested.
  • Once in Israel contact Delta directly: 03-5138000 extension 3. Sunday – Thursday 9AM-5PM

United Airlines:

  • Maximum stay is 3 months.
  • Extension prior to departure is the fee plus $300.00 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 $300, plus agent handling fee, plus the difference in airfare.
  • Change of return once in Israel is $300.00 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 $300.00 plus the difference to the next class code/fare.
  • Change is based upon availability at the time requested.
  • Once in Israel contact United Airlines: 1 809 344363 in BUE. Phone connection only works from Israel based phone. Toll-free call from an Israel phone number and from Israel.

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