If you’re in a rush to get somewhere, you will likely want to take the most direct flight option in your budget. However, if you have the time and the thirst for adventure, then don’t write off flights with long layovers. Take the opportunity to turn a layover into a side trip. Many airlines encourage this by giving you stops for no additional fee and some even offer hotel rooms at a great discount or even for free. Here are ten airlines with stopover perks (some conditions apply):
Air Canada offers free stopovers with any itinerary that includes a connection time of more than six hours between consecutive flights. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are all major Air Canada hubs, and all are worth visiting. Depending on your fare class, you can also take advantage of a heavily discounted – or free – hotel night.
Air China provides a free hotel night and breakfast for passengers transiting overnight through Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
Emirates encourages travelers to stopover in their home city of Dubai with exclusive rates and access to hotspots across the city. Anyone booking their Dubai Stopover package will also enjoy their VIP arrival and departure services plus access to lounges, to ensure a stress-free holiday from start to finish.
Etihad encourages economy class passengers transiting through Abu Dhabi to stay for two nights: the first night at a special rate and the second night for free, as well as a range of 2-for-1 activities. For those traveling in business class, the first night is free. Anyone lucky enough to travel in first class can avail of a complimentary two-night stay and those flying – in the even better than first class – The Residence, can enjoy two nights at the superb Emirates Palace hotel.
Ethiopian Airlines will facilitate hotel accommodation for passengers in Addis Ababa with connecting flights more than eight hours but less than 24 hours – a great opportunity for those interested in a taste of this complex city.
Icelandair makes it easy for anyone traveling transatlantic on one of their flights to discover Iceland with a stopover of 1-7 days at no additional airfare. One could use that time to discover Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, it’s culture and supernatural wonders.
Swissair is helping travelers experience two places for the price of one with a free stopover as well as free train, bus and boat travel throughout the country, half off Swiss mountain trains and a free Swiss coupon pass with 100 exclusive 2-for-1 offers. A great deal for this notoriously expensive yet outstandingly beautiful country.
TAP Portugal invites passengers to stay for up to five days in Lisbon or Porto for no extra stopover fee. They also offer exclusive experiences, hotel discounts and other offers as well as a Portugal Stopover app to show you the best of Portuguese history and culture.
Turkish Airlines wants the best part of their passengers’ journey to be a stopover in Istanbul. If your itinerary qualifies, you can see the legendary views of the Bosphorus, enjoy a rich variety of shopping, taste delicious Turkish food and even stay in some of the city’s best hotels free of charge.
Singapore Airlines offers three different stopover packages, with discounted stays at a selection of hotels as well as complimentary admission to over 20 Singapore attractions and a dining deal worth 500 Singapore dollars (around $370 USD)
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