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A Trip to Israel, 10 Years and 70 Pints of Blood in the Making

The distance between Tel Aviv to New York City round trip is approximately 11,100 miles, as the crow flies. A free ticket on El Al will set you back 1,400 frequent flyer points. So how long would it take to earn a flight by accruing frequent flyer points in increments of 20? Well, blood donors in Israel are about to find out.

A recently announced Magen David Adom initiative will grant Israeli blood donors 20 El Al frequent flyer points every time they donate a pint of blood. The gimmick is aimed at boosting blood donation heading into August and September, when a shortage is expected.

But at 20 points a pint, it would take approximately 70 pints of blood (more than seven times what a normal body holds) to make the trip. And as most donation agencies require a 56 day waiting period between donations, it would take approximately 10.7 years to bleed oneself from Tel Aviv to New York. That is, if you are willing to fly on the fifth Tuesday of the second month at 1:27 a.m. in exchange for your frequent flyer points.

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