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Old Jan 6, 10, 8:44 am   #1
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Cairo stopover programme on Egypt Air?

I have 2 long stopovers in Cairo on a J ticket on MS to/from Kuala Lumpur and have heard that Egypt Air provides either hotel accommodation or a tour for passengers with long layovers. Does anyone have any experience ith that, i.e. what's offered, where to book etc? Thanks!
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Old Jan 9, 10, 2:48 am   #2
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Contact MS in KUL for this.
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Old Jan 10, 10, 6:49 am   #3
  
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You should be able to find out about the transit tours here, but the web site seems to be under contruction at the moment. You can contact their Cairo office at 02-2575-0600. You can join their tours without purchasing entry visa. I think you can find out more info in the flight magazine to Cairo.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 7:26 am   #4
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorguh View Post
I have 2 long stopovers in Cairo on a J ticket on MS to/from Kuala Lumpur and have heard that Egypt Air provides either hotel accommodation or a tour for passengers with long layovers. Does anyone have any experience ith that, i.e. what's offered, where to book etc? Thanks!
you get it offered upon arrival to transit in CAI (at least that's how it worked 2 years ago). The tour is nothing to write home about, but definitely preferable to 6+ hours at the airport.
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Old Feb 22, 10, 8:35 am   #5
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To answer my own question:
Arrived at Cairo from Athens in afternoon, was told that tours only operate in the morning but i was offered a free hotel room instead, which apparently is standard for anyone with 6hrs. + in transit.
Procedure is not exactly straight forward: I was sent from International Transfers (where I went to pick up my boarding pass for my connecting flight to KL, which wasn't issued in Athens) to Domestic Transfers where hotel accommodation is organised. had to hand in my passport & flight itinerary and wait for transit visa to be issued. This took about an hour (lots of paperwork for them, all hand written), we were then escorted through immigration and customs to the hotel shuttle bus. The hotel was the Iberotel (ex. Moevenpick) near the airport, dinner was included. Pick-up from the hotel is about 2.5 hrs. before flight departure, passport and connecting boarding pass has to be picked up from EgyptAir Customer services, next to the domestic departures security. There's only one window with one employee, can be a bit of a zoo as of course no-one queues up.
Same procedure on the return flight, hotel was the Fairmont in Heliopolis which really is part of Fairmont Hotels, though it certainly doesn't look it, quite basic. Breakfast and lunch was included this time.
All in all a very good service, even though the waiting times can be quite long due to excessive admin, but it really does beat sitting at the airport for any lenght of time as the constant announcements (even in the lounges) can really get to you...
Business on the A330 really is OK, apparently the A340s and B777s are a lot worse, though the airline expects new planes to be delivered this year.
Hope this helps any potential EgyptAir flyers!
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Old Feb 22, 10, 10:16 am   #6
  
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Do you know if this is available for Y passengers as well?
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Old Feb 22, 10, 12:01 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
Do you know if this is available for Y passengers as well?
Yes, i assume so, there were quite a few people waiting - so i am pretty sure it's for everyone as long as there's a minimum of 6 hrs. between flights. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 22, 10, 3:18 pm   #8
  
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FYI, please check that your nationality is eligible for this program. The Government of Egypt has recently been circulating a list of nationalities (primarily African states but some CIS states also) whose citizens are blacklisted from obtaining transit visas on arrival in Cairo and must remain airside at the airport - including pax in C/F class.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 3:19 am   #9
  
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
FYI, please check that your nationality is eligible for this program. The Government of Egypt has recently been circulating a list of nationalities (primarily African states but some CIS states also) whose citizens are blacklisted from obtaining transit visas on arrival in Cairo and must remain airside at the airport - including pax in C/F class.
when we made the transit tour, we got no visa. We had been whisked past the immigration without our passports/boarding passes, these stayed at the airport with MS staff, who also led us to bypass the departure passport check after we had returned from the tour.
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Old Mar 9, 10, 12:49 am   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskey_sk View Post
when we made the transit tour, we got no visa. We had been whisked past the immigration without our passports/boarding passes, these stayed at the airport with MS staff, who also led us to bypass the departure passport check after we had returned from the tour.
The inflight magazine does say no visa is required, whether that means it is not required prior to arriving at the tour desk or not at all is not clear.

Last edited by uanj; Mar 9, 10 at 12:50 am Reason: sp
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Old Apr 12, 10, 6:53 am   #11
  
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Hello jorguh,
You mentioned arriving in Cairo in the afternoon and not taking the tour during your transit wait (after being offered the hotel instead). I called Egypt Air in Cairo today because I will be in a similar situation, arriving around 4.30 Pm Cairo with a 9 hour layover before heading to KUL. I asked if there is a different tour offered in the afternoon hours. The employee in charge told me over the phone that there is an evening tour with a sound & light show over the pyramids. He said to ask for it upon arrival at Karnak Tours who handle the transit group tour. Were you aware of this, or saw anyone taking it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorguh View Post
To answer my own question:
Arrived at Cairo from Athens in afternoon, was told that tours only operate in the morning but i was offered a free hotel room instead, which apparently is standard for anyone with 6hrs. + in transit.
Procedure is not exactly straight forward: I was sent from International Transfers (where I went to pick up my boarding pass for my connecting flight to KL, which wasn't issued in Athens) to Domestic Transfers where hotel accommodation is organised. had to hand in my passport & flight itinerary and wait for transit visa to be issued. This took about an hour (lots of paperwork for them, all hand written), we were then escorted through immigration and customs to the hotel shuttle bus. The hotel was the Iberotel (ex. Moevenpick) near the airport, dinner was included. Pick-up from the hotel is about 2.5 hrs. before flight departure, passport and connecting boarding pass has to be picked up from EgyptAir Customer services, next to the domestic departures security. There's only one window with one employee, can be a bit of a zoo as of course no-one queues up.
Same procedure on the return flight, hotel was the Fairmont in Heliopolis which really is part of Fairmont Hotels, though it certainly doesn't look it, quite basic. Breakfast and lunch was included this time.
All in all a very good service, even though the waiting times can be quite long due to excessive admin, but it really does beat sitting at the airport for any lenght of time as the constant announcements (even in the lounges) can really get to you...
Business on the A330 really is OK, apparently the A340s and B777s are a lot worse, though the airline expects new planes to be delivered this year.
Hope this helps any potential EgyptAir flyers!
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Old Apr 12, 10, 10:05 am   #12
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No, all I was told is that there are no tours in the afternoon. I wasn't particularly interested in taking a tour, so I didn't ask further questions - I was much happier with the offer of a hotel.
If this tour does exist it would be well worth taking!
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Old May 5, 10, 12:34 am   #13
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskey_sk View Post
when we made the transit tour, we got no visa. We had been whisked past the immigration without our passports/boarding passes, these stayed at the airport with MS staff, who also led us to bypass the departure passport check after we had returned from the tour.
Just wondering where they took you on the tour. Pyramids and Sphinx or was it sites around the airport area?

Thanks.
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Old May 5, 10, 1:30 am   #14
  
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Are this transit tour also offered to award ticket holders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
You should be able to find out about the transit tours here, but the web site seems to be under contruction at the moment. You can contact their Cairo office at 02-2575-0600. You can join their tours without purchasing entry visa. I think you can find out more info in the flight magazine to Cairo.
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Old May 13, 10, 11:02 pm   #15
  
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Originally Posted by canuck_traveler View Post
Just wondering where they took you on the tour. Pyramids and Sphinx or was it sites around the airport area?

Thanks.
To answer my own question.

My flight arrived at 6am and I went to the Transfer Counter to ask about the free tour for a long layover and was told that the free tour is no longer offered. If you wish to pay for a tour, it is 55 USD and consists of the Pyramids and the Sphinx and lasts about 3 hours. The tour is organized by Karnak Tours.

The counter agent did offer me free hotel accommodations because of the long layover.
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