Like any other caring parent, Rivkah wanted to make sure that when she and her baby fly abroad she would be able to calm him down if he becomes anxious or scared during the flight, without interrupting the other passengers.
However, unlike other parents, in Rivkah's case the baby was actually her beloved dog, Or, whom she refused to have flown with the cargo, as is usually done with pets.
Several weeks ago Rivka (60) contacted El Al airline with an unusual request: She wanted to have her boxer fly with her from Paris to Israel business class.
The airline officials were surprised, but decided to try and assist. "We have never encountered such a request before," said one El Al official. "But after the lady explained her special relationship with her dog and expressed her willingness to pay extra in order to fly with him, we agreed."
It is estimated that Rivkah paid $32,000 to guarantee that she and Or get the business class all to themselves.
In order to allow for the canine's private flight, El Al had to remove several seats to make room for Or's cage. Rivkah also hired a veterinarian to accompany them.
Rivkah asked not to discuss her payment to El Al, because for "her baby," as she referred to the dog, any price would have been worth it. "He is my child, not a dog. And he deserves the best," she said.
Arie Egozi, Eran Navon and Eitan Glickman contributed to the report