Old Nov 20, 2023, 1:08 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: B747-437B
INFO AND FAQ ABOUT ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES' STPC (STopover Paid by Carrier) PROGRAM

If you have a connection between two Ethiopian Airlines international flights at Addis Ababa International Airport (ADD) scheduled for between 08:00 to 23:59 hours in length on a single ticket, you are eligible for the complimentary STPC (STopover Paid by Carrier) package.


Eligible passengers should get a voucher for hotel, visa, meals and transport when you check-in for your first Ethiopian Airlines flight. On arrival in Addis Ababa, proceed DIRECTLY to immigration who will process your transit entry on the basis of the voucher. As soon as you exit the customs area, there is an Ethiopian Airlines Transport Desk on the left hand side. Present your voucher there for a rubber stamp and they will advise you the details of your hotel shuttle. There is a waiting area with a handful of seats (and free WiFi) while you wait. The voucher covers everything, including all meals appropriate to the time of day.

FAQ

Qsn : How long does my layover need to be to take advantage of this program?
Ans : Your layover needs to be between 08:00 to 23:59 hours in length. A layover of 07:59 or less (or 24:00 and longer) is not eligible.

Qsn : My layover is during the daytime and not overnight. Am I still eligible?
Ans : YES. As long as your layover is between 08:00 to 23:59 hours in length, you are eligible.

Qsn : Which hotel will I be assigned to?
Ans : In almost all cases Business Class passengers will be assigned to the 5-star Ethiopian Skylight Hotel located in Bole. As of May 2023, the extension to the Skylight Hotel is also open so a vast majority of Economy Class passengers will also be assigned there.


https://www.ethiopianskylighthotel.com

Qsn. Do I need to book in advance?
Ans : No, you just show up at check-in for your first flight and you will receive the voucher.

Qsn : I did not receive my voucher at check-in. What should I do?
Ans : If you did not receive your voucher at check-in, you will most likely receive it at the boarding gate. If you still do not receive it for some reason, you can collect it at the "Transfer and Layover Office" in Addis Ababa which is located on the left (west) side of the transit security area.

Qsn. Do I get to choose my hotel?
Ans : No, your hotel will be assigned to you. In almost all cases Business Class passengers will be assigned to the 5-star Ethiopian Skylight Hotel. As of May 2023, the extension to the Skylight Hotel is also open so a vast majority of Economy Class passengers will also be assigned there.

Qsn. Do I need to buy my own food?
Ans : No, your voucher includes complimentary meals at the hotel appropriate to the time of day.

Qsn. How do I get to the hotel?
Ans : Your voucher includes complimentary transfers from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. The Ethiopian Airlines Transport Desk located just after Customs will direct you to the appropriate pickup point for the shuttle bus.

Qsn. Can I skip the shuttle bus and take a taxi instead?
Ans : Sure, but you need to get your voucher stamped by the Ethiopian Airlines Transport Desk located just after Customs. The hotel requires a stamped voucher in order to allow your check-in.

Qsn. I prefer to stay at the Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa - will Ethiopian Airlines reimburse my expenses there?
Ans : NO. You have to use the complimentary hotel provided by Ethiopian Airlines. They will not refund any expenses incurred elsewhere.

Qsn. I read and hear a lot of negative things about the security situation in Ethiopia. Is it safe to leave the airport?
Ans : Each person has their own risk appetite and needs to conduct their own security assessment. However, hundreds if not thousands of visitors in transit enter Ethiopia every day and do not fall victim to insecurity issues in the provided hotels. The wider city of Addis Ababa has the same security and crime issues that plague any big city, and tourists will stand out as prospective targets for pickpockets, etc..


Qsn. Can I request the In-Terminal hotel instead of a hotel in town?
Ans : The In-Terminal Hotel in Addis Ababa is also operated by Ethiopian Skylight Hotel. Anecdotally, if you receive a voucher for "SKYLIGHT", you may be able to choose to use it at either the airside in-terminal hotel, or the landside hotel which is around 300m from Terminal 1 and 1km from Terminal 2. Officially however, you should be using the landside hotel (which is a 5-star property and much nicer).

Qsn. Can I use the transit visa only and then go to my own hotel or take a city tour?
Ans : In practice, this is possible. Once you exit customs, simply exit the building rather than going to the Ethiopian Airlines Transport Desk for the shuttle bus to the provided hotel.

Qsn. Do they have free Wifi?
Ans : Yes, all hotels that Ethiopian Airlines uses for this program provide free Wifi. However, speeds may vary significantly and there are often Government imposed blocks of certain websites, apps and functionalities. You can purchase a local SIM card at the Safaricom or EthioTel desks located right next to the Ethiopian Airlines Transport Desk after customs. The SIM card costs 30 Birr (approx. $0.50) and you can purchase a data package of your choosing depending on your requirements.


Qsn : Can I leave the hotel and go sightseeing during my layover?
Ans : There should be nothing that stops you from doing this. However, if you are a military age male fitting a specific ethnic profile, you may experience some pushback from hotel security (UPDATED 2023). There have been situations where transit passengers who might not otherwise qualify for a visa have left hotels and joined up as mercenary soldiers with anti-government forces, so they want to ensure that doesn't happen. Some hotels may require you to leave your passport with them as a "deposit".

Qsn : I have a firearm in my checked luggage. Can I access it during my transit stop in Addis Ababa?
Ans : NO. Local regulations do not permit you to access your firearms while in transit in Addis Ababa. Hotels will conduct X-ray screening of all luggage and require guests to pass through metal detector screening to ensure no weapons are carried.


Qsn. Does my passport get stamped?
Ans : NO, in most cases, your passport will not be stamped. However, your photograph and/or fingerprints will be collected at immigration. In some cases however, your passport may be stamped.

Qsn. I am in transit to South Africa and I am concerned that using this program will trigger a requirement for Yellow Fever vaccination. What should I do?
Ans : If you enter Ethiopia, even in transit, you may be required to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination upon arrival in South Africa.


Qsn. How long does it take to deal with all the formalities?
Ans : If you have all your paperwork already in order (viz. onward boarding pass and transit voucher) you can be out of the building within 15 minutes of touchdown. Very rarely does it take longer than 30 minutes.

Qsn : There is a shorter connection available to my destination. Am I still eligible for this program?
Ans. YES. If you are on a paid ticket and there is a shorter connection available, your fare already includes a surcharge of $70 to cover this program. If you are on an award ticket, no surcharge is applicable and you will receive the vouchers anyway.

Qsn : There is a shorter connection available to my destination. Customer service says I am not eligible, but this FAQ says I am. Who is right?
Ans : This FAQ is based on hundreds of passenger experiences over the course of multiple years. There is no single data point where a passenger has been denied this program due to a "shorter connection" being available. There is an official policy, and then there is the reality on the ground.

Qsn : I am on an award ticket. Am I still eligible for this program?
Ans : YES. As long as both inbound and outbound flights are on the same ticket and operated by Ethiopian Airlines, you are eligible.


Qsn : I am on a partner issued ticket (revenue or award). Am I still eligible for this program?
Ans : YES. As long as both inbound and outbound flights are on the same ticket and operated by Ethiopian Airlines, you are eligible. Both revenue and award tickets issued by partners are eligible.

Qsn : I am arriving on Turkish Airlines and departing on Ethiopian. Am I eligible?
Ans : NO. Both inbound and outbound flights must be operated by Ethiopian Airlines to be eligible.


Qsn : I am arriving on Ethiopian Airlines and departing on Egyptair. Am I eligible?
Ans : NO. Both inbound and outbound flights must be operated by Ethiopian Airlines to be eligible.

Qsn : I am traveling on separate tickets but both flights are on Ethiopian Airlines. Am I eligible?
Ans : NO. Both inbound and outbound flights must be on the same ticket and operated by Ethiopian Airlines to be eligible.

Qsn : I am arriving on a domestic Ethiopian Airlines flight and departing the next morning on an international flight. Am I eligible?
Ans : This program specifically applies only to international flights. If either your arrival or departure flights is domestic, you need to check the specific fare rules for details about eligibility.

Qsn : I am not eligible for the complimentary package as I am on separate tickets. Can I pay extra and purchase this anyway?
Ans : YES. You can usually purchase this package for between $70-135 depending on hotel availability from the "Transfer and Layover Office" at Addis Ababa

Qsn : My country is not eligible for visa-on-arrival in Ethiopia. Am I eligible?
Ans : YES. Citizens of all countries traveling on national passports are eligible for this program. Ethiopian Airlines arranges your transit visas, which is a separate program from the Tourist Visa On Arrival program.

Qsn : I am an Ethiopian citizen traveling on a refugee travel document issued by a foreign country. Am I eligible?
Ans : NO. Your refugee travel document will, in most cases, not be eligible for entry into Ethiopia in such a situation. Please confirm with your local Ethiopian Embassy.







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Ethiopian Airlines (ADD layover)

Old Mar 20, 2023, 8:56 am
  #196  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by dogcanyon
Can you describe the "shake down" scenario? (Who will ask for the bribe, what the "premise" will be and how to refuse but still be allowed to take our flight)
Transiting through Lagos is like dealing with a dog. If you let them sense your fear, things can go downhill quickly.

The main mistake people make at Lagos is following the signs to arrivals instead of heading directly to their next gate - if you go down the "staircase of no return" you are screwed. Once immigration and the other agencies have their hands on you, they will detain you for hours for not having a visa rather than simply let you go back upstairs. Whatever happens, avoid going to immigration. Ask the staff meeting the flight to guide you to transit and don't accept "everyone must go to immigration" as an answer because that is not true. Be confident and just keep saying "TRANSIT".
B747-437B is offline  
Old Mar 20, 2023, 5:03 pm
  #197  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 2,157
Originally Posted by B747-437B
Transiting through Lagos is like dealing with a dog. If you let them sense your fear, things can go downhill quickly.

The main mistake people make at Lagos is following the signs to arrivals instead of heading directly to their next gate - if you go down the "staircase of no return" you are screwed. Once immigration and the other agencies have their hands on you, they will detain you for hours for not having a visa rather than simply let you go back upstairs. Whatever happens, avoid going to immigration. Ask the staff meeting the flight to guide you to transit and don't accept "everyone must go to immigration" as an answer because that is not true. Be confident and just keep saying "TRANSIT".
Thank you so much for the warning. I really appreciate it.
dogcanyon is offline  
Old Mar 24, 2023, 1:48 am
  #198  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: PEK
Programs: A3*G, UA Gold EY Silver
Posts: 9,012
Originally Posted by dogcanyon
Can you describe the "shake down" scenario? (Who will ask for the bribe, what the "premise" will be and how to refuse but still be allowed to take our flight)
"Do you have anything for me today?"
"Do you have a soda for me today?"
and other variations.

Multiple persistent 'no' answers will work.
Palal is offline  
Old Apr 1, 2023, 11:32 am
  #199  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: GRU, ZRH, LUG
Programs: LX SEN
Posts: 147
Good day to all ET experts. I tried to find a definitive answer in this thread and online but with little success.

I will be soon flying DXB-ADD-GRU in business (and am also *G if it matters), with a 13 hours overnight connection in ADD. I understand there is now also an in-airport transit hotel, but I'd like to get out of the airport and the "normal" Skylight hotel seems like a very good solution. Am I able to choose whether to stay at the in-airport our external Skylight or it is all a matter of luck where a passager gets sent to? Any experience with the in-airport hotel?

Thanks a lot for any help.
LUGlodo is offline  
Old Apr 2, 2023, 5:33 am
  #200  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by LUGlodo
I will be soon flying DXB-ADD-GRU in business (and am also *G if it matters), with a 13 hours overnight connection in ADD. I understand there is now also an in-airport transit hotel, but I'd like to get out of the airport and the "normal" Skylight hotel seems like a very good solution. Am I able to choose whether to stay at the in-airport our external Skylight or it is all a matter of luck where a passager gets sent to?
Most recent data points are that you just get a voucher saying "SKYLIGHT" and you can choose whether you go to the in-terminal or landside hotel subject to availability.
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B747-437B is offline  
Old Apr 6, 2023, 5:27 am
  #201  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BAEC Gold, EK Skywards (enhanced Blue !), Oman Air Sindbad Gold
Posts: 6,434
Originally Posted by LUGlodo
………………………………………….

I will be soon flying DXB-ADD-GRU in business (and am also *G if it matters), with a 13 hours overnight connection in ADD. I understand there is now also an in-airport transit hotel, but I'd like to get out of the airport and the "normal" Skylight hotel seems like a very good solution. Am I able to choose whether to stay at the in-airport our external Skylight or it is all a matter of luck where a passager gets sent to? Any experience with the in-airport hotel?

Thanks a lot for any help.
I had a layover of similar length (albeit daytime rather than o/night) between ET flights last month and would definitely encourage you to leave the airport and see a little of the very interesting city of Addis A. (which you won’t be able to do if you end up at the in-terminal hotel)

Felt fortunate in being allocated a very high quality, very spacious, room within the brand new wing of the Skylight, together with vouchers for three meals ………. all compliments of ET. I didn’t actually make use of all the vouchers but where I did, the hotel restaurant food was outstanding, and all staff I encountered were very anxious to please. Shuttle bus provided to & from the hotel. I grabbed a few hours sleep in the morning (immediately after landing) but spent the rest of the day in & around town before my (late evening) onward connection to ICN

Big thanks again to B747-437B for truly excellent advice / guidance / tips (both on forum itself and via PM) ahead of my own trip - all of which made for a smooth passage in & out of ADD
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subject2load is offline  
Old Apr 14, 2023, 11:45 am
  #202  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NYC/EWR
Programs: ShebaMiles
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by Jetboi
Thanks! Friendly tip for delayed visa; they have an expat hotline where you can call and get things fixed immediately. Worked for me once even if I'm not an expat.

So since the layover package includes transit visa, I don't think they should waste money buying eVisas (both ways). For everyone else, I would always recommend having visa before travel - anywhere.

Maybe this isn't the right place to discuss it, but I will book a guide and car from a close family friend. For day 1, I thought just breakfast at Kategna Bole, then head for Merkato, lunch, old palace (special tour in unity), a drink stop at Hilton and then maybe Yod Abyssinia in the afternoon. They have 16 hrs from landing to takeoff, but I guess this translates to maybe 12 hours with entry, security etc. Not sure they will have time for more than two tings and meals+drinks. I gave them some eskesta videos, so Yod Abyssinia in the afternoon is unavoidable at this stage. For day 2 (return) - keeping it open for now.
I'm not sure I'd recommend Merkato for "beginners". It can definitely be a bit touch and go especially if they look as if they've just come off the plane (which they will have). I would bear in mind there is plenty to eat in Unity Parkóincluding a Kategna! Only problem is that I think the show at Yod Abyssinia starts at 8. But I like it!
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Parterre is offline  
Old Apr 23, 2023, 6:50 pm
  #203  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
Hi everyone, we're planning to book a business class award ticket with ET and the itinerary will require 16hrs of layover at ADD and have a few questions:

1. Can you stay in the lounge for the full 16hrs?
2. I read that you will require a Visa and proof of yellow fever vaccination (at destination country - China) if you're transiting for over 12hrs, is that correct?

Thanks!
Noob1ee is offline  
Old Apr 24, 2023, 2:56 am
  #204  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by Noob1ee
Hi everyone, we're planning to book a business class award ticket with ET and the itinerary will require 16hrs of layover at ADD and have a few questions:
1. Can you stay in the lounge for the full 16hrs?
2. I read that you will require a Visa and proof of yellow fever vaccination (at destination country - China) if you're transiting for over 12hrs, is that correct?
You can probably stay in the lounge for the full 16 hours if you want, but I can't imagine why you would want to do that since they provide you with a complimentary hotel room, etc...

The visa (and hotel, meals, transfers) will be provided for you free of charge if you are on an itinerary that requires transit >8 hours.
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Old Apr 24, 2023, 7:12 pm
  #205  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by B747-437B
You can probably stay in the lounge for the full 16 hours if you want, but I can't imagine why you would want to do that since they provide you with a complimentary hotel room, etc...

The visa (and hotel, meals, transfers) will be provided for you free of charge if you are on an itinerary that requires transit >8 hours.
Thanks for the info! The redemption is for my parents who do not converse well in English, so I wasn't sure if they would be able to get around with their limited english skills.
Noob1ee is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2023, 3:33 pm
  #206  
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 8
On ET Website there was a change recently describing the stop over programm. Visa only included when person is eligle for Visa on Arrival, which right now is only issued to African Union member states. Hotel package is still provided though. Seems for foreigners of western countries visa is not provided by ET anymore.

Unfortunately I have no permit yet to provide the link - it's on ET website though under Services - Stop Over.
Safado007 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 2023, 3:45 pm
  #207  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,716
Originally Posted by Safado007
On ET Website there was a change recently describing the stop over programm. Visa only included when person is eligle for Visa on Arrival, which right now is only issued to African Union member states. Hotel package is still provided though. Seems for foreigners of western countries visa is not provided by ET anymore.
.
This is not a change. That exact wording has been there since this version of the website was launched in early 2020. Every nationality is eligible for transit visa on arrival at present (previously some Eritrean and Somali refugees were not). This is distinctly different than the visitor visa on arrival which is restricted to specific nationalities.
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Old May 1, 2023, 8:00 pm
  #208  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: FCO
Programs: UA 1K, ITA Executive
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by B747-437B
Ah yes, that explains it indeed. Presumably on ET641 - they incentivise that flight bigtime! If you look at the fare rules for many markets from Mumbai, there are specific discounts for flying on 641. I've always been given either Radisson Blu or Skylight when departing Mumbai on that flight.
Was debating between an 18 hour layover coming from BLR, or a 10 hour layover coming from BOM or DEL.... with the chance of the skylight in economy, I'll take BOM. *G in Y if makes a difference.
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Old May 12, 2023, 10:16 pm
  #209  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: los angeles, calif.
Programs: Alaska Airlines Gold MVP
Posts: 7,175
I need to get from Rome to Dubai and have time on my hand so thinking of doing via ADD to explore the city for a day.

Currently looking at taking a red eye from Rome and spending a day and night and taking morning flight next day from Dubai.

if I were to instead take a redeye from ADD that same day I arrive, itís my understanding I donít qualify for the free transfer hotel because thereís an earlier flight from Dubai that I could connect to. Is that correct? If I donít qualify for a free hotel can I pay for it through Ethiopian?

Also since I have an American passport I donít qualify for visa on arrival and must apply ahead of time? But also given what I read about lines, seems like money well spent?

thanks Iím advance!
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Old May 13, 2023, 7:59 am
  #210  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,716
You will get the STPC package even if you pick the later flight. The difference is that you will have a $75 surcharge built into your fare at time of ticketing should you not pick the first available flight if one is available. So in the case of FCO-ADD-DXB if you pick ET 727 connecting to ET 602, the fare will be $X, but if you pick ET 727 connecting to ET 600 or ET 612 then your fare will be $X + 75 and you will get the STPC voucher.

If you are using an award ticket (including a partner award), the surcharge won't be charged and you'll get the voucher anyway.

If your stopover is 24h00m or longer then you will not be eligible for the free stopover package at all and you will need to book your hotel, visa, etc.. a la carte.

If you intend to use the STPC package (8h00m to 23h59m) then you do not need a visa regardless of your nationality. If you intend to stay longer than 24h you will need to apply for the eVisa in advance.



Originally Posted by MAH4546
I need to get from Rome to Dubai and have time on my hand so thinking of doing via ADD to explore the city for a day.

Currently looking at taking a red eye from Rome and spending a day and night and taking morning flight next day from Dubai.

if I were to instead take a redeye from ADD that same day I arrive, itís my understanding I donít qualify for the free transfer hotel because thereís an earlier flight from Dubai that I could connect to. Is that correct? If I donít qualify for a free hotel can I pay for it through Ethiopian?

Also since I have an American passport I donít qualify for visa on arrival and must apply ahead of time? But also given what I read about lines, seems like money well spent?

thanks Iím advance!
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B747-437B is offline  

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