Extend your stay in Israel with Gil Travel

STEP 2 – Frequently Asked Questions

Step 1 Terms & Conditions
Step 2 FAQs – You are here
Step 3 Application form > Step 4 Payment form

EXTENSION REQUESTS ARE NOT HANDLED OVER THE PHONE. Once the request is submitted, it is processed via email ONLY. Please check your SPAM FOLDERS REGULARLY.

Due to the nature and volume of the extension process, Phone support is not available and voicemails will not be returned.

In order to receive your extension confirmation prior to your Birthright trip departure, requests must be received at least 7-10 business days prior to US departure (depending on airline). Applying later than that date, may result in receiving your confirmation only AFTER you arrive in Israel.

** IMPORTANT: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the departure date from North America.

Before proceeding and before contacting us, please scroll down for answers to most common questions. Once you understand the process, you may click below to submit your extension application.

Once you understand the process, you may click below to submit your extension application.


IF YOU ARE NOT STAFF, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE.  PLEASE GO TO YOUR BIRTHRIGHT APP TO SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I call you?

Please understand that we are helping literally thousands of participants.  Honestly, you will receive the quickest service if you look below.  The answer to your inquiry is most likely already here.

If you still need to contact us, that is fine, but it will take longer than finding your answer below.  We usually reply the same day, but it may take a day or two, depending on the volume of inquiries.

Contact us here only if you can not find the answer below.

What are the General Terms and Conditions of Birthright Israel flight extensions?

You can find them here.

Please be aware that the dates you provide to us, means any flights from 12:00AM to 11:59PM on the provided date. If you have any time restrictions please be sure to note it in the ADDITIONAL COMMENTS field on the form.

How much will it cost me to extend my trip?

The cost to change your return flight home is determined by each airline. To see the cost for your airline please click here: https://forms.giltravel.com/br/extension_cost.aspx. Please note all extensions fees are NON-REFUNDABLE, and any changes to a confirmed extension are subject to additional fees.

Please note that you will NOT be charged if we do not secure a date that you choose.  When submitting your request we will only put a pre-authorization on your card, but not an actual charge.  It will only be charged once your request is confirmed.  If there is no flight available on your requested dates then the pre-authorization will be released (this may take a few days or longer, depending on your bank).  You will not pay if you are not extended.

Once you submit the extension request form, you agree to let us confirm your return flight on the return date you provided for the quoted fee of your airline (see above link). We will THEN charge your card immediately when the airline notifies us.

We will only email you if the quoted fee is NOT available and a higher fee is offered by the airline, or if there is no flight availability on the provided date. We will then contact you via email first to ensure the new price or date is acceptable to you. We will not charge you more than the original agreed fee without emailing you first and getting your reply.

Please be sure to check your spam folders.  If you don’t see our emails, we will not call you to follow up.

How can I pay for my extension?

You can pay with credit cards only when application is submitted. Airline frequent flyer miles are NOT accepted.

Why do I need to pay to extend my trip?

Prices of Birthright ticket extensions are determined by the specific airline that you are flying with and by Taglit Birthright Israel.  Gil Travel does not determine prices and has no ability to change them.

Each airline has a base cost that you can find here, and if there are no seats available at the base class ticket (which occasionally does happen during peak travel times), the airline may offer a higher cost seat.  We will NOT book you on that seat before notifying you via email and getting your approval.

You will never be charged if you do not receive a fare that you approved.

What is the maximum number of days I can stay in Israel?

Please see the terms and conditions for your specific carrier’s maximum stay restrictions on the extension request page. Gil Travel cannot make any exceptions to extend your flight longer than the maximum stay allowed by the airline.

I have submitted my extension request form. Is my flight automatically confirmed?

Your flight is NOT confirmed until you have received an email confirmation from a Gil Travel representative with new flight information.  Please CHECK REGULARLY YOUR SPAM/ JUNK mail folders to ensure you have not missed our emails.

Can I return to a different city in North America?

It depends on your airline. Please click here to check the Terms and Conditions for your airline.

Please note, that for extension purposes, JFK, LGA and EWR are all considered NY, and they may be interchangeable on your extension confirmation.

If your airline permits this change, then you can request it on the Extension request form.  On the form just include your requested airport change in the COMMENTS section of the form. The cost of the change is the same as the cost of an extension.

Once I submit my extension request form, will I be asked to confirm the return flight?

No, once you submit the extension request form, you agree to let us confirm your return flight on the return date you provided for quoted fee of your airline (See details here).

Please be aware that the dates you provide to us, means any flights from 12:00AM to 11:59PM on the provided date. If you have any time restrictions please be sure to note it in the ADDITIONAL COMMENTS field on the form.

Once you submit the extension request form, you agree to let us confirm your return flight on the return date you provided for the quoted fee of your airline (see above link). We will THEN charge your card immediately when the airline notifies us.

We will only email you if the quoted fee is NOT available and a higher fee is offered by the airline, or if there is no flight availability on the provided date. We will then contact you via email first to ensure the new price or date is acceptable to you. We will not charge you more than the original agreed fee without emailing you first and getting your reply.

Please be sure to check your spam folders.  If you don’t see our emails, we will not call you to follow up.

Once I submit the extension request form, how long will it take to hear from Gil Travel?

Once we receive your extension request form, we will try to confirm your request within ten business days.  Please note that this is only an estimate.  If there are significant airline backlogs, or shortage of seats, it may take longer.  Note that by submitting an application, you are NOT guaranteed an extension.  We will do our best to secure your extension. It is strongly recommended not to book other elements of your trip based on expected extension, until you are actually confirmed.  Gil Travel is not responsible for lost expenses due to other bookings made based on assumption that extension will be granted.

Can I extend while I am in Israel?

Yes, but please note that there is no guarantee of availability, especially during peak travel time. So it is always recommended to extend in advance of your trip to ensure your plans are set and guaranteed.

Keep in mind that if you are not planning to return with your group flight you must make your changes before the group return date.

To extend after you arrive in Israel, please click here.

How do I ensure my friend and I have the same flight on the return?

You will need to fill out the “Travel With” field of the extension request form with the name (or names) of those with whom you wish to extend. They must do likewise. We will make every effort to confirm your request and book you with your travel partner(s).

When I enter my name into the extension request form, I am not recognized by the system. What do I do?

Ensure that you are entering your name, email address, etc. exactly as you have submitted on the Birthright Israel Application.  If you are still having issues, please check with your Trip Organizer and try again later, once they have confirmed or corrected your records on their side.

Can I upgrade my seat to business class?

Upgrades are not permitted.

Can I depart the US/Canada earlier than the scheduled group departure?

No. You will have to depart with your group.

Can I change my extension a second time if my plans change?

Once you have booked an extension, subsequent changes will be subject to an additional extension fee. We will try to complete second changes within ten (10) business days, but it may take longer.  The same terms and timelines as stated above for initial changes still apply.  All changes are subject to availability. Please go back to your Birthright App and submit a NEW request.

Your original extension fee is NON-REFUNDABLE once booked.

Can I book hotel reservations or a domestic flight (USA) before my extension request is confirmed?

No. We recommend that you wait until the airline confirms your request and you receive an emailed confirmation of your new travel itinerary prior to purchasing your hotel and/or domestic travel as extension requests are not guaranteed.

Can I cancel one or more portions of my return flight if I AM returning back with my group?

If you are returning on the original group flight, you may cancel only the final portion(s). In other words, you must leave Israel with your group, but you may cancel the final leg(s) of that flight.

If you want to cancel the last segment(s) of your return flight, you need to submit the “Extension Request Form” even if you are not extending and are returning with the group. In the process, you will be asked to select a date for Extension Date Choices. Although you are not extending, it does require you to fill this part in so please just write the next date after your group leaves Israel. What you enter into Comments is the most important part. Under “Additional Comments” please write: I would like to return with the group, but I would like to CANCEL THE FINAL PORTION(S) OF MY FLIGHT FROM XXX to XXX.

Finish filling out the rest of the form and once we process the cancellation, we will email you. It is a minimum of $150 to cancel the flight (subject to the airline’s approval), however if the cost will exceed $150 we will contact you via email before we process the request. Please note that you will be required to pre-authorize your credit card for the amount indicated under the terms and conditions for an extension on your particular airline, but you will not be charged more than $150 without your prior authorization.

Can I stop in Europe on the way home to the US/Canada?

If you have a stopover as part of your Birthright return flight. you may request to extend your time in that country with some restrictions based on each airline’s rules.  If you wish to request a stopover, please submit the extension form.

Do I need to have a confirmed flight home or can it be an open ticket?

You must have a confirmed return flight. Open returns are not allowed.

How do I request a special meal?

You can request a meal with your Trip Organizer.

I see a flight available online, but I was told there was no availability or the price is higher than the base rate. Why?

Birthright Israel group tickets are subject to specific terms and conditions. They are NOT the same as publicly offered tickets.  There may be cases where a flight is available to the public that does not meet the requirements to be offered as part of the Birthright Israel program. In some cases, the same class of service as the group fare may not be available for the requested extension, and the airline may offer a higher fare to confirm the requested return flight. We always do everything possible to accommodate each request, and will provide you with the best options available.

I would like to cancel (forfeit) my return flight home (or part of my flight home). What do I need to do?

Please read below carefully to find the correct procedure for your specific travel situation.

Group Staff Members Only
Before your trip starts: please notify your Trip Organizer – NOT Gil Travel.
Once you are in Israel: please send us a message here  requesting your return flight to be canceled.

 

Birthright Participants
Before your trip starts:

You may cancel your return ticket by notifying your Trip Organizer – NOT Gil Travel. You are then responsible for purchasing your own return ticket.(Note that this is only if you did NOT make an extension! If you DID make an extension with Gil Travel and ARE using that flight, then there is no further action needed. As long as you received your email confirmation from us, then you’re good to go!).

Once you are in Israel:
You may cancel your return flight up to four hours before your planned departure from Israel by clicking the “CANCEL MY RETURN FLIGHT” button on the Birthright Israel Participant App. You are then responsible for purchasing your own return ticket.
(Note that this is only if you did NOT make an extension! If you DID make an extension with Gil Travel and ARE using that flight, then there is no further action needed. As long as you received your email confirmation from us, then you’re good to go!).

What is my group’s flight itinerary?

You need to contact your Trip Organizer for this information.

What should I do in case of an emergency that affects my return flight while I am in Israel?

For last minute changes to your flight please submit the corresponding form:

– For change of date (extension) please click here

– To cancel your return flight please click here

Please do not contact the airline directly, as they will not have the ability to assist with these special Birthright tickets. 

Note that if it is too close to your departure date, and a change was not possible to be made and you missed your departing flight, you will need to make your own arrangements to return home.  This may require you purchasing a new one-way ticket at your own expense.

For any other emergencies, such as returning home before your trip ends, please reach out to your Trip Organizer or group leader.