12+ hr layover AUH

Old Sep 8, 21, 7:49 am
  #16  
 
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Of course! Tomorrow I can envision this ending in like 5 possible scenarios which is absolutely crazy:

1. Cairo airport checks me in and Abu Dhabi admits me across the border. I spend my planned night in a hotel there and fly to NYC the next morning
2. Cairo airport checks me in but Abu Dhabi does not admit me. I make a hotel booking for Dubai and taxi there and back, and enter that way
3. Cairo airport checks me in but Abu Dhabi does not admit me, I end up spending 17 hours in the business class lounge which is open 24/7 'cause like... what are they gonna do at that point, deport me back to the USA on my scheduled flight the next day?
4. Cairo airport denies me boarding because of the 12+ hour layover time, BUT they agree to switch me to their later flight that day, which would give me a layover of only 11 hours which would be permissible. I spend 11 hours in the business class lounge.
5. Cairo airport denies me boarding and demands an absurd fare hike to switch to the second flight that day. I give up and book an alternate flight nome :'(

^ I can do nothing but shake my head at how this is the current state of travel in our half-vaxxed, half-tested world...

Finally, thank goodness for Flyertalk and you fine people! If I didn't have this community, I would've not seen the notice on Etihad's website about the 12+ hour layover time, showed up and (maybe) been denied boarding in Cairo and not known what to do. So thank you all that I can even consider all of these options in advance!
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Old Sep 8, 21, 8:00 pm
  #17  
 
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My quick update so far:

I submitted my "Verified to Fly" documents for my booking, the documents for the USA only were requested, not Abu Dhabi where I (maybe) stop over.

I also completed online check-in, however I am told I must receive my boarding pass at the airport. So we'll see how that goes tomorrow...
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Old Sep 11, 21, 7:24 pm
  #18  
 
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I ended up traveling through in Scenario 1! I was issued my boarding passes for Abu Dhabi and onwards to NYC, and was only asked to present my COVID test within 48 hours of the first flight, and 72 hours of the second flight in printed form with the QR code available. UAE admitted me with automatic gates, then at the PCR testing station they asked to see my CDC Vaccine card and QR code given to me by ICA and I was free to enter and spend the night at the hotel that I'd booked.

No mention was made about the 12-hour layover rule when checking in at Cairo airport or entering the UAE.

If the check in agent in Cairo had brought up the layover rule, I would have:
- Knowing Scenario 3 is out, try Scenario 1 and argue my eligibility to enter Abu Dhabi and my hotel reservation for that night
- If they refuse to say I could be admitted to Abu Dhabi (though I believe I can), I would have suggested Scenario 2 and made an overnight hotel booking for Dubai on the spot if they said that would allow me to fly.
- If they refuse that at well, I would proceed to Scenario 4 and request the later flight that would fit the layover period. I would have planned to argue for this option basically until someone intervened to escort me away
- At that point I would ask them to refund, change, or cancel the ticket and made an alternate booking and been extremely upset... thankfully it did not come to that!

I'm glad I didn't end up in Scenario 3, I visited the Etihad business class lounge the next morning and it's a far cry from say the Emirates one in Dubai, nowhere really comfortable to sleep and I think I would've lost my mind a bit if I'd had to spend 16 hours there...
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Old Sep 15, 21, 3:01 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by 18wheeler_vanrekt View Post
I ended up traveling through in Scenario 1! I was issued my boarding passes for Abu Dhabi and onwards to NYC, and was only asked to present my COVID test within 48 hours of the first flight, and 72 hours of the second flight in printed form with the QR code available. UAE admitted me with automatic gates, then at the PCR testing station they asked to see my CDC Vaccine card and QR code given to me by ICA and I was free to enter and spend the night at the hotel that I'd booked.

No mention was made about the 12-hour layover rule when checking in at Cairo airport or entering the UAE.

If the check in agent in Cairo had brought up the layover rule, I would have:
- Knowing Scenario 3 is out, try Scenario 1 and argue my eligibility to enter Abu Dhabi and my hotel reservation for that night
- If they refuse to say I could be admitted to Abu Dhabi (though I believe I can), I would have suggested Scenario 2 and made an overnight hotel booking for Dubai on the spot if they said that would allow me to fly.
- If they refuse that at well, I would proceed to Scenario 4 and request the later flight that would fit the layover period. I would have planned to argue for this option basically until someone intervened to escort me away
- At that point I would ask them to refund, change, or cancel the ticket and made an alternate booking and been extremely upset... thankfully it did not come to that!

I'm glad I didn't end up in Scenario 3, I visited the Etihad business class lounge the next morning and it's a far cry from say the Emirates one in Dubai, nowhere really comfortable to sleep and I think I would've lost my mind a bit if I'd had to spend 16 hours there...

Yup those seats look so comfortable until you sit down for five mins, for me at 6'5" they're awful
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Old Oct 31, 21, 12:24 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by 18wheeler_vanrekt View Post
I ended up traveling through in Scenario 1! I was issued my boarding passes for Abu Dhabi and onwards to NYC, and was only asked to present my COVID test within 48 hours of the first flight, and 72 hours of the second flight in printed form with the QR code available. UAE admitted me with automatic gates, then at the PCR testing station they asked to see my CDC Vaccine card and QR code given to me by ICA and I was free to enter and spend the night at the hotel that I'd booked.

No mention was made about the 12-hour layover rule when checking in at Cairo airport or entering the UAE.

If the check in agent in Cairo had brought up the layover rule, I would have:
- Knowing Scenario 3 is out, try Scenario 1 and argue my eligibility to enter Abu Dhabi and my hotel reservation for that night
- If they refuse to say I could be admitted to Abu Dhabi (though I believe I can), I would have suggested Scenario 2 and made an overnight hotel booking for Dubai on the spot if they said that would allow me to fly.
- If they refuse that at well, I would proceed to Scenario 4 and request the later flight that would fit the layover period. I would have planned to argue for this option basically until someone intervened to escort me away
- At that point I would ask them to refund, change, or cancel the ticket and made an alternate booking and been extremely upset... thankfully it did not come to that!

I'm glad I didn't end up in Scenario 3, I visited the Etihad business class lounge the next morning and it's a far cry from say the Emirates one in Dubai, nowhere really comfortable to sleep and I think I would've lost my mind a bit if I'd had to spend 16 hours there...
Hi, thanks so much for providing this info! I'm looking to fly with Etihad in December but all of the flights have 12+hrs transit in Abu Dhabi.
Were you able to enter the city during your layover? Or did you just stay at the airside hotel?

thanks!
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Old Nov 2, 21, 6:00 pm
  #21  
 
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Yes, I was able to enter Abu Dhabi in early September, just a week after they reopened to all vaccinated visitors.

I did have difficulty getting their ICA and Al Hosn apps to work with a non-UAE number, and vaccination verified through those apps is said to be required for indoor dining, etc... anywhere. In parts of Europe they take the paper US vaccine cards (or a photo of them) as proof, but Abu Dhabi may be more strict about this, I'm not sure. (My hotel did say they couldn't allow me into the breakfast room, although they gave me room service proactively).

You are guaranteed to be able to take Taxi/Uber to your lodging, and to check into the lodging. Everything else may be limited to participation in the apps.
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Old Jan 11, 22, 8:31 am
  #22  
 
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Sorry to bring this old tread to life... as a part of big journey I am looking at 17 hrs transit in AUH. I am bit confused and not sure if things have changed... Is this allowed at the moment?
Arriving from BCN, going to CMB.

If it makes any difference it is the only possible connection between BCN and CMB
lehovec is offline  
Old Jan 11, 22, 11:03 am
  #23  
 
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It should be. I flew JFK => AUH => Cairo return two weeks ago, with a 15 hour "transit" in Abu Dhabi including an overnight hotel stay.

Paperwork was checked at JFK to confirm that I could enter Cairo only. No mention made of the 12+ hour layover.

My COVID test was within 48 hrs of the first flight so I was able to enter Abu Dhabi. Staff at the arrivals lounge asked why I didn't stay airside until they saw my long layover time

If you enter Abu Dhabi, you will get a COVID PCR test that takes 2-4 hours to come back. No idea what happens to you if it's positive (which is a consideration, given high cases in EU)

Best of luck!
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Old Jan 11, 22, 5:33 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by lehovec View Post
Sorry to bring this old tread to life... as a part of big journey I am looking at 17 hrs transit in AUH. I am bit confused and not sure if things have changed... Is this allowed at the moment?
Arriving from BCN, going to CMB.

If it makes any difference it is the only possible connection between BCN and CMB
I was in a similar situation for our JFK-AUH-LHE flights: the way there had an 18-hour layover and the way back had 12+ hours. I originally dealt with this by extending the 18-hour layover into a 42-hour layover and qualifying for 2 free stopover night hotel. We've never been to AUH so this'll give us a whole day to explore. For the way back, I made a reservation at the airside hotel on Booking.com (only place I can find it) for $240 for a 2-bed room. Note that the hotel had a 12 hour max overnight stay, meaning if you check in at 8pm, they want you out by 8am.

Anyway, I was able to change the return flights layover to just 5 hours, perfectly fine for a lounge stay and going through US pre-clearance.

Now as far as the policies go, EtihadHelp on Twitter told me that 12+ hour layovers need hotel reservation, although they didn't say airside or landside. However, I did notice that yesterday there was updated language on Etihad.com that said that if a layover available to be booked, then it is allowed within their policy. So you may wanna check today if the same itinerary is bookable.
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Old Jan 11, 22, 10:42 pm
  #25  
 
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Just a warning that if your PCR at AUH is positive, and you are a non-resident of AD, you will be taken to a government quarantine facility for 10 days (and until you produce 2 consecutive negative tests). Hotel stays are not an option any more. Something to consider......
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Old Jan 11, 22, 11:08 pm
  #26  
 
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^ Just to tag on to that, whereas Dubai insists that you carry enough health insurance to cover such a hospital stay (or gov quarantine facility), Abu Dhabi does not. So you may want to plan to purchase your own health insurance if you choose this route and think there's a high enough chance of a positive COVID test on arrival that you may need it. UAE medical costs can be exorbitant for foreigners I have heard!
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Old Jan 12, 22, 1:33 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by 18wheeler_vanrekt View Post
^ Just to tag on to that, whereas Dubai insists that you carry enough health insurance to cover such a hospital stay (or gov quarantine facility), Abu Dhabi does not. So you may want to plan to purchase your own health insurance if you choose this route and think there's a high enough chance of a positive COVID test on arrival that you may need it. UAE medical costs can be exorbitant for foreigners I have heard!
Hmmm, but doesn't Etihad include an AXA health insurance coverage in all their tickets now?
COVID-19 global wellness insurance cover - Etihad Airways
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Old Jan 12, 22, 3:08 pm
  #28  
 
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Oh yea... I forgot about that (since I never had to use it)
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Old Jan 13, 22, 6:55 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by lehovec View Post
Sorry to bring this old tread to life... as a part of big journey I am looking at 17 hrs transit in AUH. I am bit confused and not sure if things have changed... Is this allowed at the moment?
Arriving from BCN, going to CMB.

If it makes any difference it is the only possible connection between BCN and CMB
This is the currrent situation according to Timatic. Last updated 12th January 2022.


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Old Jan 13, 22, 9:38 pm
  #30  
 
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^ They didn't enforce that the two times I've gone through (September and December 2021) with 15-hour layovers. Wasn't mentioned at check in, or immigration at AUH. Not sure what they'd say if you tried to stay airside as I didn't try that, but I doubt they'd block you at that point... what else are they gonna do once you're in AUH besides let you get to your final destination?
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