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 May 10, 2018, 9:51 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
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Posts: 5,145
Originally Posted by B747-437B
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Yes, no differentiation between awards or revenue tickets (including partner awards).
I was looking at an award itinerary for travelling from the US to JNB. I was thinking of doing EWR-ADD-JNB (ET509 or ET513) and waiting for the A350 flight (ET809) to JNB. So even if I select this booking and there are seats on the earlier ADD-JNB flight (ET859), I will get the free layover?

That is impressive!
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Old May 10, 2018, 10:01 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
I was looking at an award itinerary for travelling from the US to JNB. I was thinking of doing EWR-ADD-JNB (ET509 or ET513) and waiting for the A350 flight (ET809) to JNB. So even if I select this booking and there are seats on the earlier ADD-JNB flight (ET859), I will get the free layover?
Yes. Revenue tickets would be levied a surcharge as part of the fare at time of booking if they opted for the forced overnight, but with award tickets it is complimentary.
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Old May 10, 2018, 10:03 am
  #18  
 
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Will I have any choice over the hotel (travelling in J)? Or will it be whoever they are working with at that time?
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Old May 10, 2018, 10:24 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
Will I have any choice over the hotel (travelling in J)? Or will it be whoever they are working with at that time?
Travelling in J you will get either the Hilton or the Radisson Blue. Believe it depends on what they have openings for at the time.
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Old May 14, 2018, 11:43 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by b_magee
Travelling in J you will get either the Hilton or the Radisson Blue. Believe it depends on what they have openings for at the time.
Actually I was given the Capital Hotel in Business class when my flight was delayed and I had to miss my connection and spend the night in ADD. This was 3 days ago I don't think Capital is as nice as Hilton/Radisson for sure. It was ok but not great
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Old May 15, 2018, 1:51 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by MarPages
Actually I was given the Capital Hotel in Business class when my flight was delayed and I had to miss my connection and spend the night in ADD. This was 3 days ago I don't think Capital is as nice as Hilton/Radisson for sure. It was ok but not great
Misconnections may sometimes get put elsewhere if the room blocks at Hilton/Radisson run out with the scheduled STPC pax. Only seen that happen once before, but it does happen occasionally.
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Old May 22, 2018, 4:55 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
Misconnections may sometimes get put elsewhere if the room blocks at Hilton/Radisson run out with the scheduled STPC pax. Only seen that happen once before, but it does happen occasionally.
Fair to say that one should opt for Radisson if the option is presented? The Hilton is in desperate need of upgrades.
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Old May 22, 2018, 11:46 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by ETStar
Fair to say that one should opt for Radisson if the option is presented? The Hilton is in desperate need of upgrades.
Honestly, I don't have a preference between the two. The Radisson is newer for sure, but I find the food at the Hilton better. For a short transit, both are perfectly acceptable.
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Old Jun 6, 2018, 10:06 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 568
Originally Posted by cheltzel
I was looking at an award itinerary for travelling from the US to JNB. I was thinking of doing EWR-ADD-JNB (ET509 or ET513) and waiting for the A350 flight (ET809) to JNB. So even if I select this booking and there are seats on the earlier ADD-JNB flight (ET859), I will get the free layover?
I have not (yet) flown on Ethiopian, but I have heard that to qualify for the free layover accommodations, you must be booked on the next available flight out. I would double check that you still qualify if you voluntarily take a later flight.
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Old Jul 11, 2018, 8:01 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 258
Originally Posted by B747-437B
If you have an ET to ET connection scheduled for between 08:00 to 23:59 hours in length, you are eligible for the complimentary STPC package. 07:59 or less (or 24:00 and longer) is not eligible.

You should get a voucher for the hotel, visa, meals and transport when you checkin at Newark, but if for whatever reason you don't then just collect one at the Transit desk in Addis. Once you have the voucher, proceed DIRECTLY to immigration who will process your transit entry on the basis of the voucher. Collect baggage (if tagged to Addis) and clear customs. Before exiting the doors leaving the customs area, there is a ET Hotels 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 number of seats (and extremely slow free WiFi) while you wait. The voucher covers everything, including all meals appropriate to the time of day.

Business Class gets sent to the Hilton Addis and Economy Class gets sent to a wide range of other local hotels. Hilton runs its own shuttles on demand, but the ET Hotels team will show you where to go (the Hilton desk just outside customs) to get collected.

NOTE : You will not be automatically entitled to the transit visa if you hold an Eritrean passport or a refugee document showing your nationality as Eritrean or Somali. If either of these conditions apply to you, you will need to obtain a transit visa in advance.
Hey, just wondering, have you personally been able to receive the transit hotel voucher in Newark? I have received some conflicting information and want to try to avoid the transit desk in ADD if at all possible.

Does it matter if we are traveling in business class? Is there a special desk if we do need to get the vouchers in ADD?
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Old Jul 12, 2018, 2:23 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Dpetryszyn
Hey, just wondering, have you personally been able to receive the transit hotel voucher in Newark? I have received some conflicting information and want to try to avoid the transit desk in ADD if at all possible. Does it matter if we are traveling in business class? Is there a special desk if we do need to get the vouchers in ADD?
Not in Newark personally, but in about a dozen other stations all over the world so the procedure is unlikely to be different for Newark in particular. They should have the voucher ready for you already at checkin - if not, just ask for it and they will track it down.

If you need to get the vouchers in Addis, the "Interline Desk" (thats what the staff call it, but the sign says "TRANSFER") is located at the top of the escalators leading down to arrival. You can't miss it. There is a separate line for Cloud Nine/Star Gold passengers but the desk is a bit of a free-for-all.
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Old Jul 12, 2018, 6:56 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Great. Thanks for the helpful info.
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Old Jul 12, 2018, 8:03 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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In about 2 weeks, I will be taking ET511 from ORD-ADD with a connection onwards from ADD on ET809 at 0840. There's only 1 hour to spare between flights.

Looking at recent flight records, ET511 has been late regularly, which would make me mis-connect.

The easiest thing for them to do is place me on the next ET flight (ET849) at 1530. I am ticketed in J.

Might they send me elsewhere and have me connect with South African onwards to JNB? Or pony up for a visa/day room at a hotel?

Should this scenario play out (I hope not, as I would really wish to experience the A359), what accommodations might I get from ET?

Thanks for any thoughts or predictions!

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Old Jul 12, 2018, 9:33 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,693
Originally Posted by TTC192Rocket
In about 2 weeks, I will be taking ET511 from ORD-ADD with a connection onwards from ADD on ET809 at 0840. There's only 1 hour to spare between flights.

Looking at recent flight records, ET511 has been late regularly, which would make me mis-connect.

The easiest thing for them to do is place me on the next ET flight (ET849) at 1530. I am ticketed in J.

Might they send me elsewhere and have me connect with South African onwards to JNB? Or pony up for a visa/day room at a hotel?

Should this scenario play out (I hope not, as I would really wish to experience the A359), what accommodations might I get from ET?
​​​​​​
If you misconnect onto ET 809, they will offer you ET 849 instead with a day room at the Hilton most likely. That is actually the best alternative flight unless you want to take a chance connecting via NBO on KQ/SA, or via DAR on SA. Any of the other connecting options will likely also be missed if the delay causes you to miss ET 809. Given a choice, I'd just take a nap and have a nice lunch at the Hilton and then take the nonstop later. It only makes about 2 hours difference in arrival time at Joburg. ET is usually very flexible with reasonable flight options for rebooking in case of misconnect. If you come up with something else logical, they will rebook you on it without too much fuss.

I wouldn't worry too much about this unless you are over an hour late departing from Chicago. ET809 is one of the flights with huge numbers of tight connections, so they will always have multiple buses on hand to transfer passengers directly between aircraft if needed. Look for the guy shouting "Johannesburg? Cape Town? Accra? etc.." as you disembark and follow him to the next plane - most likely bypassing the terminal entirely.
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Old Jul 12, 2018, 10:07 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Right - I had forgotten that there may be numerous other fellow connecting passengers on any given flight.

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'll keep it all saved on the phone.

Originally Posted by B747-437B
If you misconnect onto ET 809, they will offer you ET 849 instead with a day room at the Hilton most likely. That is actually the best alternative flight unless you want to take a chance connecting via NBO on KQ/SA, or via DAR on SA. Any of the other connecting options will likely also be missed if the delay causes you to miss ET 809. Given a choice, I'd just take a nap and have a nice lunch at the Hilton and then take the nonstop later. It only makes about 2 hours difference in arrival time at Joburg. ET is usually very flexible with reasonable flight options for rebooking in case of misconnect. If you come up with something else logical, they will rebook you on it without too much fuss.

I wouldn't worry too much about this unless you are over an hour late departing from Chicago. ET809 is one of the flights with huge numbers of tight connections, so they will always have multiple buses on hand to transfer passengers directly between aircraft if needed. Look for the guy shouting "Johannesburg? Cape Town? Accra? etc.." as you disembark and follow him to the next plane - most likely bypassing the terminal entirely.
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