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Dec 19, 2016

passengers upset they landed so close to Shabbos

People are upset with El Al Airlines that a flight scheduled to land on Friday afternoon 2 hours before Shabbos experienced technical problems causing delays and ended up landing shortly before Shabbos, leaving them not enough time to get home before sunset forcing them to walk part of the way.

There are some specific details, but they really are not all that important.

Airlines and everything surrounding them get delayed. Weather problems, technical faults, traffic jams on runways, passport control, baggage, people who wan to switch seats and a myriad of other problems that crop up...

DO NOT travel with an itinerary that has you land so close to Shabbos! The daylight hours of days are short right now and a flight landing at 2:30pm is very close to Shabbos!

DO NOT blame El Al for your poor planning. You know Shabbos is coming and if you cared enough about it you would schedule a flight that either landed earlier or only travel after Shabbos.

El Al should be responsible in this case just like any airline is in any delay and give a voucher or whatever to make up for the trouble of the delay, but as far as Shabbos is concerned - it is the fault and responsibility of each person who booked himself or herself a ticket on a flight scheduled to land so close to Shabbos.

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  1. The Halacha is pretty clear -- don't travel on Fridays. A story such as this is precisely the reason for the Halacha.

  2. or be prepared to stay shabbat in the airport, as someone I know did.
    BTW you might consider whether someone making a living which sometimes requires taking risks is worthy of some compassion rather than "if you cared enough" (we each can look into our own hearts to see if there are trade offs we need to make)
    Joel Rich

  3. I am surprised that there is no hotel in or within walking distance to the airport, which is common in many airports throughout the world. This would help with problem of planes landing to close to Shabbat or people needing to catch a flight immediately after shabbat, and it is not always possible to take a different flight (e.g., flying in at short notice for a funeral, or a connecting flight that was delayed and the airline rebooked you on a Friday flight).

    The edge of Kfar Chabad is less than 1km from terminal 3, although there is no access to Kfar Chabad from that side of the airport, an obvious solution would be for someone to build a small guest house or hotel at the edge of Kfar Chabad, and make arrangements with the airport for a security gate to be added there, maybe only open it for a transportation to and from the hotel. If necessary guests could walk their if a flight is delayed and lands after Shabbat starts.


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