Last Updated on March 10, 2020
Being able to travel and explore the different countries and cultures in the world is an immense privilege. But we all know that it also has its boring and even exasperating side.
After all, there is a long and annoying boarding process at every airport, and depending on the trip, you might have to spend quite some time encased in a cramped seat at 35 thousand feet.
It all gets worse when you are booking your trip and you can’t seem to find a flight ticket that takes you directly to your destination. That is where the connecting flights come in, and so do the tedious and tiresome stopovers.
Depending on the duration of the stopover, you may even have to stay overnight in the connecting city. This means that you have to make an additional hotel reservation and spend extra money. Or do you?
These are some of the airlines that provide free accommodation (or extremely cheap) during your stopover.
1. Air Canada
Air Canada passengers with a stopover of more than 6 hours between flights are entitled to one free hotel room in a nice place if their stopover is in one of the following airports: Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver.
The best part is that you can route your return flight through a different city and have the opportunity to know two Canadian cities in one trip. For example, if your first connection flight is at the Toronto airport, you can route your connection flight on your way back to Vancouver.
The Canadian airline company has a dedicated page on its website with all the information you need about the Air Canada Stopover program. Click here to know if you are eligible for a free hotel stay.
2. Emirates Airlines
Travelers who frequently fly with Emirates Airlines are certainly accustomed to stopovers in Dubai. But for the people traveling with this company for the first time, the following is worth knowing.
If you have to wait at the Dubai airport for an extended period of time until your connection flight arrives, you might be entitled to one night in a five-star hotel for free.
Meals and transportation included – that’s what we call a completely free stopover! No wonder Emirates has such a high reputation.
Economy passengers need to have a stopover between 8 and 24 hours upon arrival at the airport while business Class and first-class passengers only need 6 to 24 hours. To get free accommodation you need to pre-book it up to a full day before the flights’ departure. Click here for more information.
3. Air China
Air China is also among the airlines that offer free hotel stays. The company gives away one night in a hotel room for passengers that arrive before 1 a.m. and have the connection flight the next morning. This offer is available for stopovers at the following airports: Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Tianjin.
It doesn’t matter if you are traveling in economy class or first class, you are also entitled to free transportation to the hotel and back to the airport. That shuttle service is available 24 hours a day, so you don’t have to hurry about a thing.
4. Singapore Airlines
Unlike the other companies on the list, Singapore Airlines doesn’t offer free accommodation or transportation for passengers who have to stopover. However, the company did something very creative: stopover holiday packages.
This program allows you to book a hotel room for cheap prices, including SIA hop-on bus rides and access to several tourist attractions and famous locations in Singapore. That is a great way to make the most out of your stopover time.
5. Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways offers a free hotel room for passengers who have to wait between 8 and 24 hours at the Doha airport for their connecting flight. It might also be worth saving all the transportation and restaurant bills because depending on your situation, the company might reimburse you.
However, passengers who are going to or coming from Kuwait or Muscat may not be entitled to those offers. Visit the official website here for more information.
6. Etihad Airlines
Etihad Airlines offers up to two nights in luxury hotels for passengers who have to wait for their connecting flights at Abu Dhabi airport.
But only for those traveling in business class, first-class, or residence. Residence tickets give you access to the most premium and exclusive seats Etihad has to offer.
If you have bought one of those, the airline will offer you a Khaleej Suite at Emirates Palace free of charge. You will spend the night at Abu Dhabi in the most luxurious way possible.
7. Ethiopian Airlines
No one wants to get stuck in the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia overnight waiting for a connecting flight. If it happens to you and you are traveling with Ethiopian Airlines, walk to their help desk at the airport and ask for a hotel room.
The company offers both the hotel room and the transfer service to all its passengers who have to wait for over 8 hours (and up to 24 hours) for their connecting flight. For additional information, please check the company’s official website.
8. Gulf Air
If you have an 8-hour plus stopover at the Bahrain airport and you are flying with Gulf Air, make sure you check if you are entitled to a free hotel room.
There are a few specific conditions, so visit this website to check all the information available. Alternatively, you can also go through the Gulf Air desk at the airport or call their center.
9. TAP Portugal
You can add or prolong your stopover in either Porto or Lisbon airports if you are flying with TAP Portugal. The Portuguese airline doesn’t charge you an additional airfare if you decide to have a stopover up to five nights. This is a great opportunity to explore these amazing Portuguese cities.
If you have a stopover at the airport of Xiamen and Fuzhou, chances are you are traveling on XiamenAir.
This Chinese airline offers free accommodation and airport-hotel transportation for stopovers longer than 6 hours and up to 24 hours. However, not every passenger is entitled to these offers, so check the airline’s desk at the airport to see if you qualify for it.