JTA — Book on a Monday. Fly on Saturday. And stop over in Kiev or Moscow on the way.
If you want to get to Israel cheaply from the US, these are some of the key pieces advice from Boston-based Hopper, a start-up that analyzes flight data.
Based on a recent analysis of 4,938,256 round-trip airfares from flight searches made between March 30 and April 27 for trips between April 27 and Sept. 30, 2014 that include a Saturday night stay, Hopper determined that the cheapest round-trip flights to Israel from New York-JFK are selling for about $924.
The most popular airlines with stops are Ukraine International Airlines, Transaero Airlines (Russia), Turkish Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and Aeroflot Russian Airlines. Over the next six months, the cheapest fares on those carriers were in the $517-$795 range. Bear in mind that Ukraine and Russia are practically at war these days, so caveat emptor.
El Al, Delta and United fly to Israel directly. (The analysis did not include flights to Israel from Newark.) The cheapest direct flights over the next six months are in the $962-$1,012 range.
Booking on a Monday can save you up to $12, and flying on Saturdays can save you up to $138.
If you find flying into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport too expensive, you can always expand your search to nearby airports, like Queen Alia International in Amman. It’s less than two hours from Jerusalem by car.
Of course, that doesn’t include the extra cost, time or hassle of the overland border crossing at the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank.