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El Al will retrofit its aging Boeing 777s with new cabins

Feb. 03, 2022
4 min read
El Al will retrofit its aging Boeing 777s with new cabins
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El Al is working hard to rebrand itself as the airline of choice when flying to Israel.

The latest move comes as the country's flag carrier begins to retrofit its Boeing 777 fleet with new cabins, as confirmed to TPG by Amit Sagi, the airline's chief marketing and digital officer.

El Al has six Boeing 777-200ERs in its fleet, three of which it started flying over 20 years ago. Now, the planes are getting a new lease of life, as they undergo a nose-to-tail refresh.

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In business class, the airline will strip out the 35 outdated angle-flat pods that were arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. The airline will also remove the six-seat first-class cabin, as it installs a new business-class product that's significantly more comfortable and private than the old first class ever was.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The airline confirmed that the new Boeing 777 business class will be outfitted in a 1-2-1 configuration, but it stopped short of providing details of the seats' manufacturer. The airline told TPG that the new cabin will "have the same look and feel" as biz on El Al's Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

All of El Al's 787s are outfitted with the industry-leading Recaro CL6710 seats in business class, which are similar to the customized Polaris pods you’ll find across United’s long-haul fleet.

Business class on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Perhaps El Al will choose one of the new business-class products with sliding doors, which would make it one of the top cabins in the sky.

The 777s will also get a new cabin: premium economy. Previously, there wasn't a product available between business and coach on these jets.

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Premium economy on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Finally, El Al's coach cabin, which the airline brands as "tourist" class, will also get new seats. A large section of extra-legroom economy seats will be available for a modest upcharge, the airline told TPG.

Along with the new seats, the carrier will be adding ViaSat satellite-based Wi-Fi during the retrofit process. Long-haul business-class passengers will enjoy complimentary internet access as part of their ticket.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

All cabins will enjoy upgraded inflight entertainment systems as well.

The airline promised to reveal more details about the retrofit, along with the cabin configuration and photos in the coming months. For now, the airline is only retrofitting two of its 777s, and they'll be flying during the summer schedule barring any delays, the carrier confirmed to TPG.

The refreshed planes will initially serve European and Asian markets, though the airline isn't going to be assigning them to specific routes at the outset. Instead, they'll be deployed based on passenger loads and other factors.

El Al still hasn't determined the fate of its four other 777s, but there's good news: the airline is promising to only fly the newly retrofitted birds going forward. The other four will remain parked until they either get the retrofit or are retired.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While we'll need to wait for more details, El Al's long-haul product is poised to become one of the best for nonstop service to Israel.

The 777 retrofits join the company's new fleet of Dreamliners that are already crisscrossing the globe from the carrier's Tel Aviv hub.

All 15 of the Dreamliners feature modernized cabins, with lie-flat biz pods, premium economy recliners and comfortable coach seats.

If you associate El Al with outdated cabins and a subpar inflight experience, it’s time to give the airline another try. The retrofitted 777s, along with the latest Dreamliners, will be waiting for you.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees