Extend your stay in Israel with Gil Travel


NOTE: EXTENSION REQUESTS ARE NOT HANDLED OVER THE PHONE. Once the request is submitted, it is processed via EMAIL ONLY.

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

Extension requests must be received (Depending on Air Carrier) at least 7-10 business days prior to US/Canada departure (not including weekends and holidays) .

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

** Since Covid regulations are changing often, please check the Israeli Ministry of Health’s requirements and your airline’s policies regarding their current requirements of testing or other requirements.

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

You can find them here.

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

Before departure from North America:

If you are making your own return flight plans (or staying in Israel after your trip), meaning you do not want to use the return portion of your Birthright paid ticket home – and you are NOT extending to another date – then you MUST notify your Trip Organizer – not Gil Travel. This means you are forfeiting your return ticket. Your Trip Organizer will make the needed adjustments.

Again, this is only if you are not extending.

However, if you have extended 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 your good to go!

If you DID extend and received your confirmation, but now would like to forfeit that extension flight, then likewise, you MUST notify your Trip Organizer – not Gil Travel. This means you are forfeiting your return ticket. Your Trip Organizer will make the needed adjustments.

Once you are in Israel:

You must notify your airline in Israel that you are not using your return flight.  Click here for your airline’s contact info in Israel. (If you don’t show up for your flight, and do not notify them, you may lose your Taglit Birthright deposit).

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What is my group’s flight itinerary?

You need to contact your Trip Organizer for this information.

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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: Please note all extensions fees are NONREFUNDABLE, 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 we consider flights from 12:00AM to 11:59PM on the provided date. You will only be asked to re-confirm a return flight 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

No. You will have to depart with your group.

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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.

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

No, stopovers are not permitted.

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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.

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How do I cancel the domestic flight if I AM returning back with my group?

If you want to cancel the domestic segment 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 MY RETURN DOMESTIC 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 $90 to cancel the flight (subject to the airline’s approval), however if the cost will exceed $90 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 $90 without your prior authorization.

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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 email the same agent who sent you your first confirmation to request a change.

If you wish to change your extension once you arrive in Israel:

For ELAL participants – You may directly email the agent who booked your original extension.

For all other airlines – you need to contact the airline’s office in Israel. They can inform you about availability and fees, and you would pay any fees to the airline directly. Please note these would be NEW fees, not included in the previously paid amount for your original extension. Click here for contact info for your airline.

Your original extension fee is NON-REFUNDABLE once booked.

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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 for instructions for your particular airline.

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

You need to contact the airline’s office in Israel directly and ask for their assistance. They may ask for your confirmation number, or PNR (you can find the code in the confirmation email you have received regarding your extended flight or from your group leader).

Please check here for your specific airline phone number or contact.

Please note: Other branch offices and call centers of the airline cannot assist with Birthright Israel tickets.  In other words, do NOT call the general “800” number or other customer service numbers for your airline.

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Can I upgrade my seat to business class?

Upgrades are not permitted.

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How do I request a special meal?

You can request a meal with your Trip Organizer.

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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.

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Did we answer your questions?

Contact us for all unanswered questions.

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