Neil Evans flies El Al LY0082 from Bangkok to Tel Aviv.

The plane:

An old Boeing 747-400 jumbo.

Class: Economy.

Check-in experience: Perhaps not surprisingly, every passenger is personally interviewed. There were five checks before entry on to the aircraft. Our luggage was locked when it was put on the conveyor at Auckland airport, but had been opened by the time it arrived at Tel Aviv. Having this degree of security gives an assurance of safety.


On time? Left about an hour late. We made up time despite the route having to follow the sea after flying over India. The route was over the Red Sea rather than across Saudi Arabia.

My seat: 37G on the aisle.

Fellow passengers: A mix of Israelis returning from holiday in Thailand and tourists like us. There was also a group of about 30 students from Cambodia. There were a few spare seats, so not at capacity.

Service: Staff were not very friendly but efficient, and mostly got the job done. Food was basic. Chicken, rice and salad for dinner. Somehow our trays were forgotten and I had to ask for them to be removed. My wife's tray table was faulty.

Entertainment: Dated and limited choice. Instructions were not clear for a non-technical person. On the return flight, when the inflight entertainment would not work, I was given free use of an iPad.

Toilets: Kept clean and tidy.

Airport experience: Ben Gurion is a tidy, modern airport and no security issues on arrival, so it was a quick exit.

Would I fly again? Yes. Other options looked like they would take more indirect or longer routes. I was informed that the aircraft had anti-missile defences but this seems to be hearsay and unconfirmed. If true, it would be a definite bonus.