Delta, El Al launch strategic partnership with frequent flyer perks and more

Delta Air Lines and El Al Israel Airlines are officially partners.

The two carriers announced in June the start of a so-called strategic partnership, and now, nearly six months later, the airlines have unveiled the full suite of perks and codeshares that flyers can expect.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, the two airlines will kick off a codeshare agreement on all flights between the U.S. and Israel. This means you’ll be able to purchase El Al flights to Israel via Delta and vice versa.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

You’ll also be able to combine an El Al long-haul flight with a domestic Delta ticket to destinations beyond El Al’s U.S. gateways. If you book one of these connections, you’ll receive your boarding pass for the entire trip and have your bags checked all the way through to your final destination.

Delta SkyMiles members will be able to earn miles for all eligible El Al flights, but the earning charts aren’t live yet.

El Al’s Matmid frequent flyers can also earn miles and elite qualifying credit for Delta flights, with the full details available on this dedicated website.

The same is true for mileage redemptions: Matmid members will be able to make one-way and round-trip mileage redemptions on Delta flights with a distance-based award chart shown below.

el al award chartel al award chart

Unfortunately, for most U.S.-based travelers, accruing Matmid points is quite hard — the program doesn’t have a credit card transfer partner anymore — so these redemptions might not offer much utility.

Daily Newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts

That said, Delta SkyMiles members will also have access to booking El Al awards; however, since the airline doesn’t publish award charts (and award flights haven’t been loaded to the Delta website yet), there’s no telling how high the pricing might be.

Finally, elite members of both programs will also receive a slew of perks depending on their status. Though the details vary based on the elite tier, most mid- to top-tier elites of both airlines will have reciprocal lounge access when flying on eligible flights, free preferred seat selection, extra checked baggage allowances, priority airport handling and more.

You’ll be able to input your SkyMiles or Matmid number when booking with Delta or El Al.

Perhaps most interestingly, El Al wrote in a regulatory filing that it has enlisted Delta’s help in joining the SkyTeam airline alliance, of which Delta is a founding member. El Al’s SkyTeam application is probably still years away, though.

“Working closely with EL AL will further strengthen Delta’s connection to Israel by offering more customers unrivaled access to destinations across the U.S. Enhanced partnerships are integral to our long-term strategy to better connect Delta customers around the world,” Matteo Curcio, Delta’s senior vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.


While the launch of the partnership is overshadowed by the ongoing war in Israel, the tie-up between two rivals on routes between the U.S. and Israel might’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Though Delta recently suspended flights to Tel Aviv through March 29, 2024, the airline has spent the past few years building up its presence in Israel.

For Delta, this includes a new route from Boston to Tel Aviv, along with the resumption of service from Atlanta to Tel Aviv. The carrier also flies daily service from New York to Israel, a route that’s been operated consistently since 2008, Cirium schedules show.

El Al goes head-to-head with Delta on routes to Boston and New York, but the two airlines will instead codeshare in these markets in the future. Furthermore, as the flag carrier of Israel, the airline also connects Tel Aviv with other destinations in the U.S. that are unserved by other airlines, including Los Angeles and Miami.

Combined, Delta and El Al will become the market leader for flights to Israel — a move that’s likely to irk American Airlines and United Airlines.

How to get in: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Newark is United’s main international gateway on the East Coast, and it’s home to two daily flights to Israel operated by the airline (before the war).

Aside from its Newark connectivity, United has made a big play for the market between the U.S. and Israel, starting service from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in recent years.

Meanwhile, American reentered the Israel market in May 2021 with flights from New York.

Before the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) flight launched, American hadn’t flown to Tel Aviv since January 2016, when it had flights from Philadelphia. In addition to the JFK service, the airline was planning to connect Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Miami International Airport (MIA) with Israel.

The latter route launched in June 2021 but was cut earlier this year. And American never moved forward to launching the DFW flight, canceling it in May 2022 before it even launched.

While the new partnership might be good for Delta flyers, it does spell the end of El Al’s existing tie-ups with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.

El Al will cease partnering with American on March 30, 2024, and will cut ties with Alaska Airlines on June 30, 2024.

Related reading:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *