The Best Routes and Miles to Get to Israel

The Best Routes and Miles to Get to Israel

There are many ways to get to the Holy Land using miles. Just about all of the major airlines fly there, with the exception of American Airlines. But you can still use your AAdvantage miles to fly to Israel on merger partner US Airways or one of American’s alliance partners.

If you want a direct flight though, the best way to do the research is find out which carriers fly directly, then figure out which alliance or partnerships those airlines belong to so you can figure out which miles to use.

These airlines fly directly to Israel from the United States:

  • Delta from New York
  • EL AL from New York, Newark and Los Angeles
  • United from Newark
  • US Airways from Philadelphia

EL AL is not a oneworld member, but it is an American Airlines partner. You can book EL AL with AAdvantage miles, but you will have to call the airline. The cost is 90,000 miles per roundtrip. You can also book a US Airways flight with AAdvantage or US Airways Dividend Miles at a cost of 90,000 miles as well.

United can be booked for 85,000 United MileagePlus miles. And you can book Delta using 85,000 SkyMiles if you can find availability.

The Shrine of the Book in Givat Ram
The Shrine of the Book in Givat Ram

But the best bargain for a flight to Israel is British Airways Avios. A flight from Philadelphia will only cost you 60,000 miles. Direct flights are harder to get—mostly because everyone wants them—but there are so many partners who fly to Israel that you will be fine if you have some flexibility on dates.

Oneworld

Use AAdvantage miles or BA Avios when flying these oneworld partners to avoid huge fuel surcharges:

  • Air Berlin via Berlin, Düsseldorf, or Munich
  • British Airlines via London
  • Finnair via Helsinki
  • Iberia via Madrid (modest surcharges)
  • Niki via Vienna
  • Royal Jordanian via Amman
  • US Airways from Philadelphia

Star Alliance

Use United MileagePlus miles when flying to Israel on these Star partners:

Praying at Wailing Wall
Praying at Wailing Wall

  • Aegan via Athens
  • Air Canada from Toronto
  • Austrian Airlines via Vienna
  • Brussels Airlines via Brussels
  • Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa
  • LOT via Warsaw
  • Lufthansa via Berlin or Frankfurt, Munich
  • SAS via Copenhagen or Stockholm (seasonal)
  • Swiss via Zurich
  • Turkish via Istanbul
  • United from Newark

SkyTeam:

 Use Delta SkyMiles when flying these members:

  • Aeroflot via Moscow, Saint Petersburg or Rostov-on-Don
  • Air France via Paris, Marseille or Nice
  • Alitalia via Rome
  • Croatia Airlines via Dubrovink or Zagreb (seasonal)
  • Czech Airlines via Prague
  • Delta from New York
  • KLM via Amsterdam
  • Korean Air via Seoul

Tel Aviv Beach
Tel Aviv Beach

There are a few more tricks to get to Israel. You could use 80,000 Alaska Airlines miles to fly on KLM or Delta. Or the same amount of Hawaiian Airline miles to fly on Delta. But avoid British Airlines. It’s not a good value, even for their London-Tel Aviv leg. Not only will you pay fuel surcharges (albeit smaller than what you would when crossing the Atlantic), but you will also get hit with the very high Heathrow Airport taxes.

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