Flying to Tel Aviv, Israel and returning to NY from Ammon, Jordan:recommended route

We are in the process of looking at flights for the Israel/Jordan trip for next year. We can leave/return from NY or DC, but getting back from Ammon seems to be the problem with very long layovers. For those who have been on this trip, do you have any air recommendations?


  • We are also going on the October 2018 tour. We are leaving from Florida and flying Air Canada. Flying Lufthansa on the return (partner airlines). Also long layovers. We are flying business class which we always do on long trips with long layovers, and they had the best prices at the time we booked. Don't know what the route would be from NY/DC area, but worth checking out. Virginia Travelers gave you good advice on booking early. Flights out of Amman do get filled up.
  • We are also traveling to Isreal with Tauck in October and it sounds like we may be on the same trip. The air travel was the most time consuming part of the booking process in order to meet our needs. We live in Central PA. and can travel to DC, NY etc in a few hours. We found the New York area airports to have the most options. What may be helpful is what I learned about flight inventories. For example American co-shares with El Al and British airways but neither have access to the full inventory of both airlines. Tauck has been wonderful through all the booking process but they have a set inventory given to them by the airlines. We chose booking directly British Airways for the convenience, shorter layovers and exquisite customer service during the booking process. There are minimal layovers when going through London and business class seems perfect for a long flight. I have never flown British Airways but am told they are a nice airline.

    I hope this helps.
  • edited May 2018
    Re Heathrow and British Airways......always allow at least a 3 hour layover time when going through Heathrow, especially flying to Israel because of extra security.
    Once again, as I have mentioned before, Tauck will book any flights you want, you do not have to choose from the limited flights they suggest. We also live in PA.
  • Virginia Travelers - In my experience the Lufthansa biz class middle seat thing is only on the leg within Europe. They have more roomy lay flat seats for the transatlantic flights. However, on the flights I've looked into, it's always the old-style 2 side by side seats, rather than the nicer cubicle style.

    Marks Family - I have my first British Air flight coming up in July, for the Tauck Scandinavia trip. I'm flying biz and I was shocked when I found out they charge a hefty fee for seat reservations. I've never had to pay to reserve a biz class seat with any other airline.
    P.S. it's IsrAEl

  • We have never found it worth spending the money on business class flights to Europe because the flights are so short, are usually what is called ‘overnight’ but really you arrive around 3am US east coast time so it is hard to get much sleep. Traveling further, then definitely worth it. We think it is more important and cost effective to arrive a few days early and pay much less money than business class flight prices for extra nights in an hotel.
  • I'm in the western US, so it's a longer flight for me. For example, my BA flight leaves Denver 7:30 PM and arrives Heathrow 11:30 AM, local times, for a 9 hour flight duration. The return flight is just under 10 hours.

    Funny story - several years ago, after I booked the Tauck AUS/NZ trip, I was on the phone with one of my kids saying how I wasn't looking forward to the flight, being so long. She said, "Why don't you fly business?" She works for a large, multinational company and flies for meetings every now and then, so has biz class experience. I said, "That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing your inheritance for my comfort." Ever since then, I fly biz class for all international flights, with no regrets.
  • edited May 2018
    BKMD wrote:
    Ever since then, I fly biz class for all international flights, with no regrets.

    We flew coach in 2013 on our first Tauck Tour to England, Scotland, and Wales- that was the longest flight we have done since my military days. Then we decided to try Business Class the next year on the Ultimate Alps. Despite the outrageous cost, we were hooked. There are so many big and little advantages (at least on Delta)- extra/free baggage (which we don't need on Tauck tours), SkyPriority check-in line, free use of Sky lounges (not a small benefit!), priority boarding, extra room at the great lay-flat seats, better cabin service and food, we love the 1-2-1 seating and choose the center section seats so both of us have aisle access, special booking number and rebooking desk at US airports, etc.etc. and others I can't remember at the moment. Sure we could take an extra trip every year or two with the money saved if we flew coach, but we don't usually take more than one or two per year anyway. As long as the money holds out we will continue to fly Business Class. I can't wait to try Delta's new Business Class cubicles now starting to appear on their new A350's and soon to appear on their 777's.
  • With apologies to Manycruises for changing the original subject.
    Re business class perks.....we travel too much to be able to afford business class every time and it is probably why we consider a flight across the Atlantic to Western Europe as short. If you stick to the one airline or within the air miles partner program you can enjoy priority boarding, more bags and so on. Also, if you have an American Express Platinum card you can go in the American Express lounges for free and there are more being opened... we recently used the AMEX lounges at both Philadelphia and Heathrow on economy class tickets and will do the same when we go on a trip to England and Scotland in August. You can get discount on business class tickets and great hotel deals with AMEX, you can get an allowance of $100 towards being a member of Global entry too. My husband has the Platinum and my Gold card is linked to it, so I get the same perks when we travel together. A few years ago you could even get vouchers for up to $1000 off Tauck vacations by accruing Amex miles and we had quite a few Tauck trips with that but they no longer do it.
  • We are on the October 16th tour and will be returning to JFK via Royal Jordanian. Non stop
  • Hi BKMD...Let us know what you think about British Airways. And thanks for the proof bad. I know it is Israel and can't wait to see it for the first time.
  • We too are traveling in October. Taking Lufthansa Biz class Roundtrip JFK through Frankfurt. It is inconvenient leaving from Ammon. Our flight departs at 3 a.m. Lufthansa does have a nice lounge in Frankfurt. I took this airline in 2016 when I visited Israel on another tour. The airplane seats were very comfortable and good service.
  • Marks Family - I'll report back on the BA flight next month, after the trip. And please post your experience on the Israel/Jordan trip. I'm considering it for 2019.
  • Took this wonderful tour in May/June of this year; loved it! But.... the British Air flights were awful Layover was not the worst part; broken seats, no comp. Do NOT recommend.
  • Hi BKMD...Let us know what you think about British Airways. And thanks for the proof bad. I know it is Israel and can't wait to see it for the first time.
    Hi again Marks Family. Hope you find this thread. I apologize for the delayed response, but I forgot all about it. I stumbled back across it, as I'm now looking into the Israel/Jordan trip for next year (can't believe Oct 2019 is already all booked!)

    Anyway, re British Air, I was a bit disappointed. The planes were 747s and looked like it's been a long time since they refurbished/upgraded the interior. On my way to Europe, my headphone jack didn't work (seat 63A upstairs). With some jiggling, I could get some audio, but it wouldn't hold. The video screen, which I didn't use until the return trip (slept most of the way eastbound across the pond) is ancient, grainy and washed out. Must have been the 40 year old original screen! They claim the headphones are noise cancelling, but they aren't. No brand name visible. Every other airline I've taken used Bose. And the headphone jack is proprietary, so I couldn't plug my noise cancelling ear buds into it. Food eastbound was mediocre. I had salmon that was very dry. Food westbound was much better.

    In summary, if there are multiple choices for biz class at about the same price, I'd choose another airline, until such time (or route) that it's not a 747.
  • edited September 2018
    Check this link for thorough review (w/lots of photos) of BA's 747. Here is another one. As one reviewer said, "There are a number of airlines with excellent business class seats, unfortunately BA is not one of them." Another said, "Who designed this seat, and why?!?!"
  • Alan - FYI, both your links in the above post go to the same place. That reviewer said exactly what I did above, though I was much briefer :-)

    Only site I reviewed before booking was, and read through the individual reviews. A bit more research will be done in the future! Thanks for pointing this out.
  • BKMD wrote:
    Alan - FYI, both your links in the above post go to the same place.

    Fixed. Another reason to avoid BA is you have a better chance avoiding Heathrow. : )
  • If you are a “One World” flyer it is difficult to avoid BA in Europe. We hate BA, and we hate Heathrow, and we really hate Terminal 5. Our next trip is Costa Rica and Panama, for which we have business/first on AA, and then we go business/first on AA to Lisbon in July, but are returning on BA from Barcelona. Their idea of business class within Europe is really just coach seats with the middle seat blocked. LHR to SFO is a 380 business class, but it has the weird seating where you have to step over the person next to you. Abolutely idiotic.
  • To all who weighed in and BKMD Thanks. We are stuck as the trip is soon and our flights and arrangements are set. We will have to tough it out this time and look to other airlines in the future.
  • To all who weighed in and BKMD Thanks. We are stuck as the trip is soon and our flights and arrangements are set. We will have to tough it out this time and look to other airlines in the future.
    Hope it all goes well for you.

    I booked this trip for a little over a year from now. If you have any words of wisdom from your experience, please post it. Enjoy your trip!
  • I note all of the emails about flights. We are on the March/April trip, departing from San Francisco and returning from Amman (one stop each way). While Tauck gave us excellent business class rates, the most economic by far was via American Express ($3000 each, RT). Charlie Thornton
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