Sand and Sun in Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel.

Many of our tour participants think only of desert sands when they think of Israel. A trip to Israel shatters so many misconceptions …

Touchpoint Israel has published a nice article highlighting “8 Beautiful Beaches to Visit in Israel this Summer.”

A day at the beach is one of the highlights of summer for children and their parents. With 140 beaches boasting plenty of sand for digging, calm surf, warm water temperatures, and strong breezes for kite-flying, Israel is perfect for a sunny family day at the shore.

Read more … click here.

If you want to buy a shofar …

Blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanah 2016. Photo: open source Wikimedia Commons.

Blowing the shofar on Rosh HaShanah 2016. Photo: open source Wikimedia Commons.

Many of our participants want to buy a shofar (ram’s horn) as a souvenir of their visit to Israel. Whether you intend to actually blow the shofar or simply display it in your home/office, this article “4 Shofar types: How to choose the perfect shofar?” may help you make a better decision on what to purchase.

 

 

More and more visitors to Israel

The number of visitors to Israel is growing significantly. In 2009, some 9 million passengers passed through the airports. In 2018, Israel Katz, the minister of transport estimates the number will be about 20 million passengers. These numbers indicate the growth of both tourism and business relations.

To help ease the pressure such growth causes, several airport projects are under way or recently completed. First, the original terminal at Ben Gurion, dubbed Terminal 1, has been renovated and inaugurated for use by budget airlines. Terminal 1 is currently slated for 33 outbound flights per day. In addition to this upgrade at Ben Gurion, an additional wing is opening in Terminal 3. The new wing will add 17,000 square meters and 8 gates.

Perhaps bigger news is that two new airports are planned for Eilat and somewhere in the north. Of course the new airport in Eilat will replace the current airport, while the projected airport in the north will be completely new.

 

5 must-visit places in Israel

Hananya Naftali has produced a YouTube video with his 5 suggested must-sees in Israel.

New: Basic Economy Restrictions

Just when you thought airlines had done everything they could to make flying as torturous as possible, they have thought of something else … Basic Economy. One of the new efforts to “provide more options for passengers” that many airlines have embraced is a new category of economy, which they identify as “Basic Economy.” It has even less flair than Economy. “Is that possible?” you might be wondering. In a word, YES. And, unfortunately, many group contracts are issued for Basic Economy.

Apparently too many passengers have protested that they had no idea of the latest restrictions that are found in Basic Economy, so airlines are requiring travel agents to tell their clients about Basic Economy. (Don’t say, you haven’t been warned.)

United Airlines
1. No seat selection: Seats are assigned by United at check-in and families and groups traveling together are not guaranteed to sit together.

2. No full-sized carry-on bag: A passenger may travel with only one personal item that fits under the seat in front of him or her.

3. No changes and no refunds: Ticket changes and refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy.

4. No upgrades and certain MileagePlus® member benefits are not available: MileagePlus® members, including Premier® members, will not receive Premier qualifying credit or lifetime miles; paid, earned, complimentary or mileage upgrades; or Economy Plus® seating benefits.

Delta Airlines
1. No Seat Assignments until after check in.

2. Passengers traveling together including families may not sit together.

3. No Refunds or Exchanges.

4. Last Zone boarding.

5. No paid or complementary upgrades.

6. No preferred seats including with medallion status

American Airlines
1. Only 1 carry on item that fits under the seat in front of you; you will have no access to overhead bins.

2. Seats assigned at check-in.

3. Fees to choose a specific seat.

4. Not eligible for upgrades.

5. No flight changes or refunds.

6. Board in last group.