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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flying El Al During Time of War, I Have....

Over twenty years ago, in the middle of the Gulf War my husband and I were scheduled to fly to England for the weekend. He had been invited to be guest speaker at a Shabbat in Bournemouth by Herut, England, and the invitation was prestigious enough for me to be part of the deal.

Shiloh wasn't targeted during that war, and our older kids were pretty old, National Service and high school, so there was no way I'd give up that fully paid weekend vacation. At the airport "passport control" the clerk gave me a funny look and said:
"Did you leave your children?"
I  thought she was about to call the police and have me arrested for child abuse.

That was a very strange and pathetic one-sided war. Iraq launched missiles at Israel, and we hid in "safe rooms." I taped the windows of the master bedroom and the kids slept with us, when necessary. Nothing landed even close enough to be counted, and many neighbors hosted friends and family who were in real danger.

El Al was the only airline flying in and out of Israel. So, that's what we took, and I think that Herut, England would have booked us on El Al even if there hadn't been a war going on.

It wasn't a routine flight. As the plane began ascending, we suddenly felt it jerking right. Yes, you guessed it. The pilot, as most El Al pilots are, was experienced in taking evasive action, though I doubt that his training was on large passenger planes. He did it correctly, or I wouldn't be alive to tell the story.


Miriam said...

Batya, during the Gulf war our oldest grandson was born. I came to Israel via EL AL the only airline flying. The plane was only 1/2 full and the service on that flight was like royalty.

Only Fly ELAL when you visit Israel..it is the right thing to do!

Batya Medad said...

There are other advantages to El Al, such as that there are more flights to more places, and the prices are competitive with other airlines.