Friday, 24 June 2011

Who Needs Lourdes?

Of the twenty people who arrived in wheelchairs to board a recent flight to Tel Aviv, 19 could miraculously walk again once on board the aircraft.

Fly El Al and we will make you Walk might not be quite the right slogan for an airline but I trust their advertising people to find a suitable alternative.


  1. I had read the "other people" (which I found quite provocative - as usual!!) and bias which I liked very much.
    Lourdes - I don't know: having met a few people who went there (many of them are able to walk, but not well enough) and who considered it as a real blessing .... so I wouldn't dare to "unterstell" them to be acting...

  2. Try flying with an 80 year old – as I often do. The walk from the terminal to the plane or the plane to the terminal is far too long and a wheel chair is pretty much essential. The fact that they can totter around without a wheel chair for short distances is not a reason to prevent them having wheelchairs. I suspect that this is not just an El Al thing.

  3. "I suspect that this is not just an El Al thing."
    The thing is that trashing ELAL is so fun

  4. Did you ever experience the difference between walking some 20 meters in an aircraft to your seat and covering the long distance from the check-in counter to the departure gate, be it at Frankfurt, Heathrow or Ben Gurion Airport?

    I think that El Al cannot serve as substitute for Lourdes, wheelchairs or baptisms in the Jordan river.

  5. there is this old joke about a group of handicapped people who went to Lourdes. They all entered the lake in the hope to regain their walking abilities. The ones who wobbled in on their hands and knees all were able to walk afterwards. Those who rolled in with their wheelchairs all had new wheels on the wheelchairs afterwards!

  6. I believe at Frankfurt Airport the distance from the El Al checkin-counter to the gate is measured in kilometres, several of them. It is said this is for security reasons, presumably to tire terrorists out before they reach the plane. For the elderly at any rate it is not always a negligible distance, even when they are not disabled.

    Perhaps, if they were all made to go to Lourdes before checking into and boarding an El Al flight, they would all be able to hop and jump to the gate like kangaroohs.
    Until such wholesome visits become mandatory however, wheelchairs, a tiny bit of understanding and - possibly - a tentative look at our own furure will have to suffice.