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 Dec 6, 2023, 8:24 am
  #271  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by AlanInDC
Question: The Skylight hotel for the STPC is the hotel just outside of the airport grounds on Bole Road? No problem to walk to/from the hotel and the airport, with a rollaboard?
It is doable, but keep in mind that you will have to navigate multiple security roadblocks, two traffic roundabouts and a freeway underpass in the short distance between airport and hotel. Personally, I'd just wait for the shuttle bus which runs every 15 minutes.

If you do walk though, you need to use the entrance into the hotel complex from lower Ring Road (ie. to the west of Airport Road) - the gate on Airport Road is strictly for exit only as they do not have the full security screening in place there (although they have let me use it as a pedestrian, but not with any sort of luggage - not even a small backpack).
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Old Dec 6, 2023, 11:17 am
  #272  
 
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Sounds like just wait for the shuttle. Thanks.
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Old Dec 10, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #273  
 
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Another question for B747-437B (and this has been a very helpful thread!): We (wife and I) will have a 12 hour night layover in ADD on our way to SEZ (arrive 21:10 leave 09:30), flying ET business. We would prefer to stay in the in-terminal Skylight hotel. However I read on TA that some of the rooms face the terminal concourse and are noisy, you hear announcements starting at 5 AM and such. Which rooms are on the quiet side (and hope that the reception can accommodate?) Thanks!
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Old Dec 11, 2023, 8:24 am
  #274  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
Another question for B747-437B (and this has been a very helpful thread!): We (wife and I) will have a 12 hour night layover in ADD on our way to SEZ (arrive 21:10 leave 09:30), flying ET business. We would prefer to stay in the in-terminal Skylight hotel. However I read on TA that some of the rooms face the terminal concourse and are noisy, you hear announcements starting at 5 AM and such. Which rooms are on the quiet side (and hope that the reception can accommodate?) Thanks!
No clue. I haven't stayed in the In-Terminal hotel myself yet - I prefer going to the main Skylight across the street which is much nicer.
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Old Dec 11, 2023, 9:40 am
  #275  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
No clue. I haven't stayed in the In-Terminal hotel myself yet - I prefer going to the main Skylight across the street which is much nicer.
Thanks! How long does it take these days to get the transit visa and get to the main Skylight hotel? I imagine from what I read here that for a 9 PM arrival and early departure the next day that doing the main Skyline will be very rushed/a lot of time spent waiting in lines/having to get up early to be back at the airport and make it through security.
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Old Dec 11, 2023, 11:47 am
  #276  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
Thanks! How long does it take these days to get the transit visa and get to the main Skylight hotel? I imagine from what I read here that for a 9 PM arrival and early departure the next day that doing the main Skyline will be very rushed/a lot of time spent waiting in lines/having to get up early to be back at the airport and make it through security.
Not at all. As a Business Class / Star Gold passenger you get to use the "Gold Track" lines (which are pretty much always empty). I am usually at the shuttle bus area within 15 mins of exiting the aircraft. On the return, on my worst day, its no more than 30 mins from lobby to lounge. They usually schedule you for the shuttle bus 2 hours prior to departure time (but you are free to leave earlier/later if you really want to). Just make sure you always follow the Gold Track signage inside the terminal building (and ask someone if you can't find it) and Addis airport is a total breeze.
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Old Dec 12, 2023, 12:04 pm
  #277  
 
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Can one request which of the Skylight hotels you get assigned to or is it just matter of luck/timing? Also, several reports on TA that the check-in at the off-terminal Skylight takes a long time. Just trying to figure out which option will be less stressful and allow for the most sleep (and maybe a bit of a relaxing late evening with dinner and some drinks after getting there).

Last edited by Panache; Dec 12, 2023 at 2:12 pm
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Old Dec 12, 2023, 2:07 pm
  #278  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
Can one request which of the Skylight hotels you get assigned to or is it just matter of luck/timing?
The voucher just says "Skylight". It is supposed to be used at the landside hotel, but anecdotally they are happy to accept it at the in-terminal hotel subject to space.

Within the main Skylight Hotel, they usually assign A/B wings first but if there is a convention there then they hold those rooms and put the passengers into C/D/E wings instead. The rooms are pretty much the same, except that C/D/E are newer and a longer walk from reception.
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Old Dec 12, 2023, 2:24 pm
  #279  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
Also, several reports on TA that the check-in at the off-terminal Skylight takes a long time.
There is no check-in at the Skylight if you are on an STPC voucher. You just hand over the voucher and your passport and they give you a key in return together with your meal vouchers.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 7:58 am
  #280  
 
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So to do the overnight transit at the landside Skylight, head to baggage claim/immigration after deplaning and not connecting flights, correct? I remember ADD was very crowded and a bit confusing when we went through there 2 years ago and being sleep deprived did not help.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 9:15 am
  #281  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
So to do the overnight transit at the landside Skylight, head to baggage claim/immigration after deplaning and not connecting flights, correct? I remember ADD was very crowded and a bit confusing when we went through there 2 years ago and being sleep deprived did not help.
Go directly to immigration. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Use the Gold Track priority lane (ask the staff if you can't see it) and you will be through in 30 seconds flat. Then go through Customs (they will X-ray your carry-on bags) and declare if you have more than $10k in cash with you. The transport desk will be right in front of the X-ray machine and you get your voucher rubber stamped there. They will then ask you to take a seat or head out directly to the shuttle area, depending on if a shuttle is already there loading. It usually takes me around 15 minutes from exiting aircraft to the shuttle bus and I'm in my room by 30-40 mins after exiting the aircraft. Easy as pie.
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Old Dec 16, 2023, 4:51 pm
  #282  
 
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So wife and I just checked in at IAD, flying business class on Ethiopian IAD-ADD-SEZ with 12 hr layover in ADD and checkin desk would not give us hotel vouchers because we have tickets booked on points (ANA) (agent and manager said it is a "Class I" (printed on boarding pass)). From what I gather from this thread, this is not correct and all tickets are eligible for hotel voucher. The agent said I can talk to the office in ADD. What are the right words to say to get the hotel approved and not spend the night on the chair? Is it at the interline office? Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 11:55 am
  #283  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
So wife and I just checked in at IAD, flying business class on Ethiopian IAD-ADD-SEZ with 12 hr layover in ADD and checkin desk would not give us hotel vouchers because we have tickets booked on points (ANA) (agent and manager said it is a "Class I" (printed on boarding pass)). From what I gather from this thread, this is not correct and all tickets are eligible for hotel voucher. The agent said I can talk to the office in ADD. What are the right words to say to get the hotel approved and not spend the night on the chair? Is it at the interline office? Thanks in advance.
Just go to the office and say that you didn't get your voucher at checkin. That's all. They will print it for you.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 2:24 pm
  #284  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
Just go to the office and say that you didn't get your voucher at checkin. That's all. They will print it for you.
That worked! Had to wait in line for 30 min with a lot of people pushing and shoving, as is common in these countries. It seemed several late flights this evening. Thanks again !
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 6:47 am
  #285  
 
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Originally Posted by Panache
That worked! Had to wait in line for 30 min with a lot of people pushing and shoving, as is common in these countries. It seemed several late flights this evening. Thanks again !
Hey maybe I was on the same flight as Panache -- I was on IAD-ADD on December 16, Saturday morning, in business class. Yes at IAD they didn't seem to know about any voucher. It was easy enough to get at ADD at the layover/transfer desk but it was a long wait -- maybe 45 min or even an hour. Immigration took a long time, only because some guy had visa problems and that slowed down the line. The Skylight Hotel is quite nice and I used the fitness center which is state of the art and I was the only user. The lunch was quite disappointing, but fortunately I just stayed 5 minutes and went back to the airport early and had lunch in the business lounge.
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