El Al likes to tell its customers it’s their home in the sky — but that home is a bit too expensive for President Shimon Peres.
Channel 2 reported Wednesday night that Peres, rather than flying with the national carrier, is set to travel overseas with Air Canada. The reason: El Al’s too expensive.
Travel regulations for public officials require the 88-year-old’s personal paramedic to bring an oxygen tank on board flights. When El Al quoted a $4,700 charge for the oxygen tank, the president’s representatives balked. Then, they found a better deal.
Air Canada offered a significantly lower price for the president’s travel, as well as no charge for in-cabin storage for the oxygen tank.
Channel 2 added that El Al officials, including company CEO Eliezer Shkedi, called the President’s Residence trying to rectify the situation — even offering not to charge for the oxygen tank — but they were rebuffed because tickets for Air Canada flights had already been purchased.
The Israeli airline generally has higher prices than its competitors, but offers a strictly kosher menu, tight Israeli security and an in-cabin Israeli atmosphere including a staff that’s understanding of infants and prayer services located at the back of the plane.