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Old Aug 12, 10, 1:28 am   #31
  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
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I'll be flying via CAI on an MS J class ticket and will have two long layovers there (21 hrs and 15 hrs). As far as I understand from the thread here EgyptAir provides its passengers who have a long layover with free hotel accomodation.
I have just called MS here in Germany and asked them about this option. The man on the phone told me that they had no such option and that it was the passenger's "fault" to voluntarily book a flight connection with such a long layover.
What should I do now? Book a hotel and pay for it or just wait until I get to CAI and hope that they will offer me a free hotel accomodation there?
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Old Aug 13, 10, 9:10 am   #32
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Wait until you get there. The Egypt Air office here in London did not know about the offer of free hotel accommodation either nor did the call centre in the UK. Egypt Air in Egypt assured me in writing that a hotel would be offered - their address is
stationcallcenter(at)egyptair(dot)com
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Old Aug 17, 10, 3:22 pm   #33
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorguh View Post
Wait until you get there. The Egypt Air office here in London did not know about the offer of free hotel accommodation either nor did the call centre in the UK. Egypt Air in Egypt assured me in writing that a hotel would be offered - their address is
stationcallcenter(at)egyptair(dot)com
Using jorguh's email address I asked about a stopover which arrives in Cairo via Turkish Air and departs via EgyptAir. The response was a little cryptic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by stationcallcenter(at)egyptair(dot)com
Thank you for contacting Egypt air and our station call center team. We will be glade if we can help you. Regarding to your inquiry, we can advise you that, if your transit time is more than 6 hours, you will have the right on hotel accommodation or touristic tour in Egypt as you like , that will be done after:

- Checking your ticket status if it free, offer or separate tickets , at the transit area at the airport by Egypt air agents to decide if you have that right for hotel accommodation according to your ticket. also they will check all your travel documents for the next destination.

- Approval from security authorities at the airport , to give you a permission for leaving the transit area.
So...if I "have that right for hotel accommodation according to [my] ticket" I guess I'll be golden. If I do not have that right, I'm not sure what to do.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 12:02 pm   #34
  
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Is your luggage going to be checked through to your final destination if you have an overnight stopover in Cairo or will you have to take it out on arrival and recheck it the following day for the second leg of the trip?
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Old Sep 11, 10, 7:18 pm   #35
  
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Some new information (well, it was news to me - I may have misread something):

If you arrive in Cairo on EgyptAir or on an EgyptAir ticket (i.e. issued by MS on MS cardstock, even if your inbound segment was on another partner/codeshare airline) you are entitled to a tour or hotel room. If you arrive on, let's say, Turkish Air on a US Airways award, you'll be invited to speak with the Karnak Tour agent about what they may be able to arrange for you, at your expense.
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Old Sep 20, 10, 3:53 am   #36
  
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Here's how the layover program works

I've recently done a 10-hour layover in Cairo and took advantage of EgyptAir's service. I'll summarize how it works.
Once you arrive in the Cairo airport, if you have at least a 6-hour layover, EgyptAir is willing to give you a hotel room at the nearby Iberotel that likely includes a meal at the hotel depending on the time of the day. You will need to find the EgyptAir desk near the "Domestic Departures" sign. In my case, I spoke with them at about 5.45 AM. I had to leave a copy of my ticket and my passport with them for about an hour and 15 minutes before they prepared the hotel voucher that would entitle me to free use. This arrangement involves leaving your passport at the airport with these EgyptAir employees so that you will not need a transit visa or a regular travelers' visa to enter the country (all of this is not explained beforehand by the employees there, they assume you know everything).
Once everyone's vouchers are ready, an employee escorts you out of the airport (a police officer checks to see that your passport photo matches your appearance, and then the passport stays with the EgyptAir employees). Outside the airport, a van takes you to Iberotel along with other passengers.
Once at the Iberotel (around 7.20 AM in this case), you wait at least half an hour for them to give you your room. You get a breakfast and lunch voucher if you have time to take both of these meals at the hotel before your next flight. After your breakfast, you check into your room. AFter that, you are free to enjoy the hotel's facilities, or arrange a tour with Karnak Travel who has an office inside the hotel. An interesting note is that you can also directly arrange your tour with Karnak Travel before exiting the Cairo Airport, but that will probably mean foregoing the free hotel room at the Iberotel (there is not enough time for both EgyptAir to prepare your hotel voucher while Karnak Travel separately prepares your paperwork to enter the country without a visa, you'd need to choose one of thse options at the airport. If you have only a 5-hour layover, you may opt to deal with Karnak Travel directly at the airport to arrange a Pyramid tour). The time needed for a Pyramid-area tour is about 4 hours from starting point to coming back to the airport. There are longer tours on offer (combining Pyramids with the National Museum would be at least 6 hours) so you can choose these based on how much spare time you have.

In my case, Karnak Travel's office at the Iberotel arranged a guide and a car which I shared with a family who did the same tour. I have to say that as this was the month of Ramadan (fasting period) working hours were more limited, so I waited until their office opened at 9.30 AM to ask about their options. By 10.10 AM, we were off to the Pyramids and the nearby Sphinx (cost: 35 USD per person), but there was not too much time to see the details or talk about the region's history with the guide. It's more of a photo-taking tour than an in-depth tour of the area. In any case, because Karnak Travel is a subsidiary of EgyptAir, you can expect to be treated very well by the guide and your driver.

The tour guide is instructed to bring you back to the airport 2.5 hours before your flight, so make sure you have enough time to do the 4 hour tour polus the 2.5 hours safety margin before your next flight before you join this tour. If your time is short, you may ask the taxi desk at the Iberotel who can take you to the Pyramids and bring you back more rapidly. This way, you do not have to spend an hour at the end of your tour at the Cleopatra perfumery (selling natural perfumes) listening to their sales pitch and being expected to buy one of their 25-Euros per 2.5 ounce bottle of fragrances (still, this was fun).

At the end of the tour, you can asked to be dropped off directly at the airport without returning to the hotel (in case you checked out before leaving for the tour). You will be asked to pay a 2 USD supplement for this service. Once you are back at the airport, ask about the nearby EgyptAir service desk, where your passport and your new boarding pass for the next flight will be waiting for you. Your baggage will have been placed on your next flight in the meantime. There will be a small Arabic-language stamp in your passport at the end of the tour.

Overall, the whole thing was a bit stressful because no one from EgyptAir explained anything throughout the process, but Karnak Travel was helpful enough to sort out the Pyramids visit.
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Old Sep 20, 10, 8:19 am   #37
  
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If you arrive at 6am and fly out at 11am.. can you do the pyramids? Or is that just to short. (Hire a cab to drive over there and then straight back?)
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Old Sep 21, 10, 6:11 pm   #38
  
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@capdail2006, thanks alot for the clear and detailed information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meneer Guggenheimer View Post
If you arrive at 6am and fly out at 11am.. can you do the pyramids? Or is that just to short. (Hire a cab to drive over there and then straight back?)
capdail2006 said in his post, make sure you have enough time to do the 4 hour tour polus the 2.5 hours safety margin before your next flight.

So the answer to your question would be no.
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Old Sep 22, 10, 4:31 am   #39
  
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Originally Posted by FlyingPharaoh View Post
@capdail2006, thanks alot for the clear and detailed information.



capdail2006 said in his post, make sure you have enough time to do the 4 hour tour polus the 2.5 hours safety margin before your next flight.

So the answer to your question would be no.
Thanks for the answer but I just want to show my kids the pyramids. So no tour just a straight taxi trip to the pyramids and back. How long will that take on Saturday morning? From Airport to Pyramids and Back.
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Old Sep 23, 10, 5:31 pm   #40
  
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Well lets look at it this way:

6:00 am - arrive
7:00 am - Clear customs, pick up luggage etc, and be outside the airport (it wont necessarily take an hour, but this hypothetically speaking).
8:00 am - Arrive at Pyramids

You'll probably be able to spend half an hour though, you have to be back for check-in 2 hours before your flight right?

8:30 am - leave pyramids
9:00 - 9:30 am - arrive at airport.

It may be done, but very risky. If only you had one more hour!
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Old Sep 24, 10, 10:42 am   #41
  
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Hello ! First time posting here...

Sorry if I jump in this post...but I would like to ask something about stopovers in Cairo Airport... I'm trying to decide whether to buy an Egyptair flight from Italy to Nairobi...problem here is that we have a 2 hours stopover between flights...and I'm wondering if 2 hours would be enough to change planes within the airport... (terminal 3)

Do you have any suggestions ?
Thanks !
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Old Sep 24, 10, 12:23 pm   #42
  
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That sounds about right... unless you are unlucky and they have a long delay for departure. Usually they are within an hour or so of the scheduled time and you won't have to change terminals. I'd probably go for it.
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Old Sep 24, 10, 10:01 pm   #43
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsoft View Post
Hello ! First time posting here...

Sorry if I jump in this post...but I would like to ask something about stopovers in Cairo Airport... I'm trying to decide whether to buy an Egyptair flight from Italy to Nairobi...problem here is that we have a 2 hours stopover between flights...and I'm wondering if 2 hours would be enough to change planes within the airport... (terminal 3)

Do you have any suggestions ?
Thanks !
2 hours is more than enough time, have a nice flight
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Old Sep 25, 10, 12:11 am   #44
  
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Tour or hotel?

I've read this thread in its entirety, but still am a bit confused whether layover passengers are given a CHOICE of tour or hotel.

capdail2006 - Will Egyptair automatically offer you a room whereby you'll have to pay for your own tour, or will they let you choose to take up the tour in lieu of a room?

I'm going to have a 7 hour layover, and since all *A gold have use of the lounge anyway, a free tour will be more appealing for me than being stuck in a hotel room. Hence wondering...
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Old Sep 28, 10, 3:40 am   #45
  
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Answer to Meneer Guggenheimer: Just to see the Pyramids, you would be able to make it during your 5 hour layover (if your initial flight into Cairo is on time). If you do not deal with either EgyptAir or Karnak Travel to enter the country during your layover, you will be expected to sort out your own entry formalities. If traffic in the city is in your favor, you would probably have some time to spend near the pyramids, as FlyingPharaoh suggested.

Answer to carrotjuice: When you arrive you have the option of contacting either EgyptAir about the free hotel room, or Karnak Travel about the tour options on offer. You would pay for Karnak Travel's services. So EgyptAir is not the one giving you an option of a free hotel room versus a Pyramids tour, you choose which one you will deal with. In your 7 hour layover, you could comfortably do the Pyramids tour for 3-4 hours, or spend time at the free Iberhotel tour, or combine these two options like I did by contacting Karnak Travel officers after checking into the Iberhotel. If you take this last option, I suggest you check out of the hotel room before departing for the Pyramids tour, and ask to be dropped off directly at the airport at the end of the tour.
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