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Long connection/stopover at ADD / Addis Ababa: lodging and airline courtesy?

Long connection/stopover at ADD / Addis Ababa: lodging and airline courtesy?

Old Oct 28, 15, 8:07 am
  #1  
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Long connection/stopover at ADD / Addis Ababa: lodging and airline courtesy?

Hi all. Sorry if I've missed something in my searching...

I've just been looking at some rather attractive fares on ET FCO-ADD-ICN. These would be a great Star Alliance mileage run for me as well as I've always wanted to visit S.Korea.

The only downside is that the connections in ADD are 16hrs one way and 18hrs the other. Now, on the ET website it states the following:

"For passengers whose connecting flight is over 8 and up to 24 hours, interline desk will facilitate hotel accommodation provided that such passengers have transit /entry visa. For those nationals/ citizens who are eligible for transit visa on arrival, interline desk will facilitate such transit visa. The airline provides a bus service for transfer to/from hotel layover transit passengers."

It doesn't mention any cost associated with this. A free transit hotel seems too good to be true in this day and age. Am I missing something? If this IS available, does anybody know what the hotel is like (not that I would care tbh) and how far it is from the airport?

What about the lounges at ADD (for a Star Alliance Gold)? Any good? Or is it worth leaving the airport to see some of the city (if I can stay awake). Any other comments or tips about spending 2 x 16hr at ADD? For info, both layovers are daylight - from early morning until late evening.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
"For passengers whose connecting flight is over 8 and up to 24 hours, interline desk will facilitate hotel accommodation provided that such passengers have transit /entry visa. For those nationals/ citizens who are eligible for transit visa on arrival, interline desk will facilitate such transit visa. The airline provides a bus service for transfer to/from hotel layover transit passengers."

It doesn't mention any cost associated with this. A free transit hotel seems too good to be true in this day and age. Am I missing something? If this IS available, does anybody know what the hotel is like (not that I would care tbh) and how far it is from the airport?

What about the lounges at ADD (for a Star Alliance Gold)? Any good? Or is it worth leaving the airport to see some of the city (if I can stay awake). Any other comments or tips about spending 2 x 16hr at ADD? For info, both layovers are daylight - from early morning until late evening.

Thanks in advance.
I am flying through ADD next week with a 5hr layover on the outbound then 21 hour layover on the return. For the return, I am expecting the transit hotel because after all it says so on the website. Reports on the internet indicate the same. This isn't too "foriegn" (pun lol) of a thing, TK does this through IST and it's my understanding EK EY and QR do as well.

this seems to be the most detailed report on the ET lounge, it seems to be good enough and i'd be happy to spend an hour there before my flight to food+booze up
http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.c...e-addis-ababa/

but hopefully you're expecting to spend your long layovers in ADD exploring that city, right?

transit hotels:
http://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowUse...dis_Ababa.html
http://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowUse...dis_Ababa.html
http://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowUse...dis_Ababa.html
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Old Oct 29, 15, 6:31 am
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there is a long thread in the 'other african and me airlines' forum about this already - basically yes they do.

Hotels vary, as a *G you have a reasonable chance of getting the Hilton.

The lounge referenced by phbl is for ET Cloud 9 (J) pax only - *G in economy get to go the the other lounge, which is always rammed, smaller, dodgy wifi, worse toilets. It's fine for a coffee for 60-90 minutes, but you'd go mad if you tried sitting there for 12 hours. The transit desk at the airport (jump the enormous queue with one wave of your *G card) will give you a free transit visa - just get out and explore.
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Old Oct 30, 15, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
Hotels vary, as a *G you have a reasonable chance of getting the Hilton.
As a *G you have a better chance than a non-*G of getting the Hilton, but that chance is slim to begin with.

ET has a room block at Hilton which is used for Cloud Nine passengers. Only if there is an excess of rooms in that block would it be used for Economy pax. It doesn't hurt to ask for the Hilton as a *G in Economy, but my success rate has been zero, contrasting to perfect record getting the Hilton when in Cloud Nine. You'll more likely get the Nexus or Harmony as a *G in Econ.
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Old Oct 31, 15, 1:28 am
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Thanks everyone. It all sounds positive. I did have a transit hotel once, with Royal Jordanian in Amman but that was maybe 12 years ago. I really didn't think it happened anymore. I really wouldn't care what the hotel was like (within reason) as it's just somewhere to rest for a few hours and shower before seeing some of the city. If it were TOO nice I might be tempted to skip Addis completely and that would be a shame.
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Old Oct 31, 15, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
If it were TOO nice I might be tempted to skip Addis completely and that would be a shame.
No danger of that.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 10:45 am
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I transited Addis twice on ET last month, both times overnight stops of about 12-16 hours.

Flight #1 - Economy class, flying Djibouti-Addis-Bujumbura. While boarding the flight, they handed me a voucher for a hotel. From the tripadvisor reviews, it wasn't a particularly good hotel. I had already booked a different hotel. On arrival at Addis, I walked up to the immigration desk and asked for a transit visa, they told me to go up to the ET service desk upstairs, where I joined a short line and they handed me a red piece of paper that said transit visa. I brought that downstairs and they stamped me in with a free transit visa. Then I just went to the hotel I had already booked.

Flight #2 - Goma-Addis-Bamako, business class award ticket booked with United miles. I had already booked an advance rate (non-refundable) night at the Hilton. They didn't give me the voucher on check in. I went up to the desk, joined the line (shorter line for business class) they gave me a vouched for the Hilton. I asked for the red transit visa slip, they said I didn't need it, the voucher was enough. Went down to immigration, they stamped me in.

There's a little Hilton desk inside arrivals at the airport, I think if you give your name there they will put you on the shuttle, it looked a little chaotic though and I didn't feel like waiting for the shuttle so I just jumped in a taxi for 300 bir ($10). The voucher included free dinner and breakfast at the Hilton buffet, which I took advantage of. Actually, as a Diamond member I would have gotten the breakfast anyway. Took the free Hilton shuttle back to the airport the next morning, it runs hourly.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
The lounge referenced by phbl is for ET Cloud 9 (J) pax only - *G in economy get to go the the other lounge, which is always rammed, smaller, dodgy wifi, worse toilets. It's fine for a coffee for 60-90 minutes, but you'd go mad if you tried sitting there for 12 hours. The transit desk at the airport (jump the enormous queue with one wave of your *G card) will give you a free transit visa - just get out and explore.
thanks i didn't realize why the lounge i'm in right now (the *g one) was so different than the J one i posted earlier. but yes Stewie Mac this is confirmed. i was wondering why that lounge i mentioned was so much nicer (and brighter) than the one i'm in now.

the *g lounge is very basic and probably the worst *g lounge ever but honestly it's not the worst place in the world. catering is acceptable, people watching is awesome, free booze, staff are super friendly but yeah it's tight and people jockey for spots. but it's africa and free food + free booze is the win.

but for heavens sake if i could enter ethiopia without having to pay for a visa i would have.
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Old Nov 7, 15, 7:56 am
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Thanks again everybody for the very useful info.

I was going to ask the cost of visa's but I thought I'd just look it up myself. For info:

30 day tourist visa on arrival: 50 USD
12hr transit visa 18 GBP (27 USD)
24hr transit visa 29 GBP (42 USD)

On a side note, I just noticed that several countries (including South Africa where I was considering going also) require that if I transit Ethiopia and my transit is longer than 12hrs, I would have to have Yellow Fever inoculations as Ethiopia is a county of particular risk! Just something else to consider.

Last edited by Knobbgb; Nov 7, 15 at 8:03 am
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Old Nov 7, 15, 8:36 pm
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Just to clarify, my transit visas were free when transiting from ET flight to ET flight.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 4:46 am
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just returned from a et roundtrip, decent enough airline even though it's main screen entertainment, wine+beer only, and crappy catering. but service was great and seats were comfortable.

booked bkkcpt via add with a 18 hour layover

at the gate in bkk, they gave me a chit for the hotel and meals

in add, i went to the interline desk with said chit

i asked if they could put me in the hilton

they lol'd

gave me a free transit visa card

cleared imm

went to a holding area just short of customs exit

guy comes by and walks you to the hotel booth outside customs (next time just go the hotel booth directly, the hotel was listed on the chit i got in bkk)

my hotel was the friendship international hotel. decent enough breakfast lunch and dinner. clean rooms, fresh linen, nice place.

addis ababa is a beautiful city too. i really really liked it.
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Old Feb 17, 16, 8:10 am
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If I have a 25-hour transfer, flying in cloud nine, what are the chances of me getting a free hotel and a free transit visa?
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Old Nov 3, 16, 7:26 am
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Im flying JNB-ADD-CAI award J in January. The JNB-ADD leg is ET J and ADD-CAI is MS J, with MS flight number (I don’t think ET fly to CAI?). I have a 21 hour stopover and I am *A Gold. I understand I would normally be eligible for the free hotel during my transit, however would I still qualify given my connecting flight is on MS rather than ET?
Would they at least give me a free transit visa?
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Old Nov 5, 16, 10:33 am
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Both MS and ET fly ADD-CAI. I can't answer your question re: hotel, but the only way to get a visa is if they give you a hotel. I would ask the check-in staff at JNB and again the transfer desk in ADD.
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Old Jul 1, 17, 6:08 am
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Based on our awful experience today, I would not count on a free hotel room. We arrived on at 4:30am on a very delayed ET flight. There were 2 guys working the transfer desk which was mobbed and they both told us to go upstairs because they were leaving soon. So we go upstairs to call our travel agent and wait at an empty ET transfer desk. Nobody shows up here for at least an hour though thankfully our Travel agent got us rebooked. We go to the Cloud9 lounge where a nice front desk agent prints our BPs (for some reason this took 20m but at least we are in the lounge). However the lounge could not book hotels so We then return to the ET hotel desk (there is only one in small space downstairs) which is mobbed with at least 50 people and 1 staffer. When we revisited an hour later (maybe 8am) most of the same people were still waiting (many with printed vouchers) and tempers were flaring. At this point we just gave up and decided it was easier to spend 7 hours in the lounge where I am writing this post.

So in sum even if you have a voucher (we didn't) in advance you will still be waiting a looong time for your room..
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