El Al Airlines announced on Wednesday that it would begin direct flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco later this year, according to Reuters. Flying three times per week, the airline will compete with United for passengers shuttling between Silicon Valley and Israel for business in the high-tech sector.
The irony of this migraine of an airline becoming the connector between two of the biggest tech capitals in the world is certainly fun. But there’s also an opportunity here–an opportunity for disruption, if you will.
El Al needs to shake things up, no doubt about it. The past year came with delays caused by mixed gender seating, a 30% drop in Q3 profits, and, of course, its ignominious title as the world’s least dependable airline.
So what can they do? Here, for your consideration, are a few quick fixes that Silicon Valley might be able to offer.
VR headsets makes it seem like you’re only sitting among your own gender!: This is foolproof. Rather than fret that your seat partner is a Michaela rather than a Michael, pop on an Oculus Rift, and voilà! Nothing but men as far as the eye can see.
Google Hangout video-chats when it’s time for Ma’ariv: The sun is down, and you know what time it is, baby: To supplicate before your Lord. Rather than clog up the aisles with you and your nine closest friends, why not get the gang together online?
An app that lets you know when the bathrooms are open: This is brilliant and should be on every plane, but I digress. Rather than crane your neck to check and see if the sign has turned green, this creates a fun race to the stall whenever that push notification comes through.
In-flight JSwipe: If you’re going on Birthright, this gives you a decisive head start over your fellow travelers.
Suffice it to say, between this news and the discrimination lawsuit filed against Delta by former Jewish and Israeli flight attendants, it’s a big week for Jews and air travel.