You may want to bookmark this!
Last month, I wrote a blog titled 5 Airlines That Offer Stopovers In Amazing Cities (For Free), and it has proven to be one of the most popular blogs I have ever written.
I wanted to write a followup article because if you’ve ever had a connecting flight with a long layover, you are aware that some airports are not an exciting place to hangout. In some circumstances, it can be a downright nightmare. But what if you could turn that dull layover into an exciting stopover and enjoy 2 destinations?
Well, there is some good news, you can! Even better news…some airlines even encourage it and will even pick up the hotel tab too.
Just for clarity, here are the definitions:
- LAYOVER: A layover refers to a connection point between cities, sometimes as short as 30 minutes or as long as 23 hours.
- STOPOVER: A stopover refers to staying longer than 24 hours in any given city.
So, here’s a list of 5 airlines that encourage the 2-for-1…
PROGRAM: Air Canada Stopover Program
Have a connection of 6+ hours? Air Canada offers a unique option to spend a night (or more) in Montréal, Toronto, or Vancouver at no additional airfare cost, and many Air Canada tickets include a complimentary night’s stay at a nice hotel.
Many passengers overlook the fact that Air Canada stopover program also allows you to route through one city on the way out, and a different city on the return, allowing you to see two top Canadian destinations in one trip!
Pro-Tip: Vancouver is one of the most underrated cities in the world! 😉
PROGRAM: Oman Stopover
Oman should definitely be near the top of your bucket…just sayin’! I just recently returned from my trip to Oman and with breathtaking beaches, mountains, sweeping deserts, forts, castles, in conjunction with Omani hospitality, it’s hard to go wrong with this pick.
Oman Air, Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and participating resorts and hotels make a stopover so easy with 1 Free Night in Oman when you book your 2 or 3 night stopover.
Caveat #1: The list of hotels on this webpage change frequently so I would keep an eye on it as you may be able to capture the elusive stay at Al Bustan Palace (READ MY REVIEW HERE).
Caveat #2: If you’ve been following my journey, you may remember my experience at immigration. Don’t let that scare you off. I had a great time and I’m planning a return trip.
PROGRAM: ETIHAD Stopover
Regardless to the cabin you’re flying in, Etihad offers some worthy stopover options. If you’re flying economy, you’ll get a discount on your first night stay – and if you choose to stay two nights, the second night is on the house!
For those fortunate enough to fly business class, you’ll receive a free night stay in a 5-star hotel, and first class passengers can enjoy two free nights. Shelling out for The Residence will not only get you an apartment in the sky but will also get you two free nights at the Luxurious Emirates Palace in the Khaleej Suite. #Ballinnnn’!!
Trust me, you’ll want more than one 1 day to explore to explore Abu Dhabi. Fortunately, you can book a 2-for-1 stopover package and stay up to four days when you fly with Etihad Airways.
The program is super easy to use. I recommend checking the checking the availability of the participating hotels, then booking a multi-city flight via Abu Dhabi. After your flight is booked, tell Etihad which hotel you’d like to stay at for free and they’ll do the rest for you.
Pro-tip: Dubai (also known as Du-bae 😍) is a 1.5 hour drive down the road and there are a plethora of options for getting there.
PROGRAM: Stopover Hola Madrid!
What better way to get acquainted with Spain that saying “Hola, Madrid” with Iberia’s stopover program. You can now stopover in Madrid for up to six nights with no additional airfare cost.
Even better, Iberia has negotiated discounts up to 40% with Melia hotels, and offers a public transport card that allows you to discover Madrid free for two days.
Pro-tip: Spain has so much to offer! If you have time on your hands, check out Barcelona, Andalusia, San Sebastian, etc. You won’t be disappointed!
PROGRAM: Ethiopian Stopover
If you’re facing an Addis Ababa connection of 8 hours or more, Ethiopian wants you to enjoy it no matter what cabin you’re flying in. For passengers with connections between 8-24 hours, the airline will sort out a complimentary hotel and transportation service to get you there.
Pro-Tip: It’s not widely known or publicized, but the airline Ethiopian Airlines also gives you vouchers for dinner and breakfast at the hotel.
PROGRAM: Singapore Airlines Stopover
If you’re flying through Singapore on Singapore Airlines, you should most definitely check out their holiday package. Starting from SGD$41 (~$30USD), you can get incredible value from these stopover offers, which include a nights hotel stay, complimentary hotel transfer, two free meals, and access to many of the wonderful attractions Singapore has to offer.
Pro-Tip: Just do this..PERIOD!!
All of a sudden, sitting by the pool during an extremely long layover (or stopover) doesn’t sound so bad does it?
Were you aware that some airlines offered stopover programs? So who is inspired to take advantage of these airline stopover programs?