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 Jan 10, 2024, 12:59 pm
  #301  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Programs: Eurobonus
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by Majestic2524
Good Evening Everyone.
I have read this entire forum of all the messages, and have found a wealth of information, which has already saved me buying an Ethiopian Visa in advance prior to departing Canada, but I have a few questions and wonder if someone will be able to share their stopover experience.
It is important to also thank B747-437B for his wonderful and informative FAQ at the beginning of the forum. I have already printed a copy of it to take with me and review while I am away, as I will be leaving Canada on Jan.27.
I will be travelling on Feb.21, 2024 Dep: SIN 0200 Arr: ADD 0610 on ET639 in Business Class on an Aeroplan reward ticket and then connecting on ET 552 Dep: ADD 2300 to Toronto in Business Class, and thanks to this forum, I understand I will get the visa and hotel and meal vouchers upon checkin in Singapore, but if this doesn't happen for some reason to ask the transfer desk upon arrival in ADD.
My questions are as follows.
1. To do a tour of ADD, and see the best sights, is it better to book a tour in advance and if so, can anyone recommend a specific tour company that they utilized?
2. Or is it better to book a taxi for the day to take me around to the sights worth seeing in ADD? If this is a better option than a tour, can anyone make a recommendation for booking a taxi/car company for the day?
3. What are the best must see or recommended sights/places to visit in ADD for the day?
4. Approximately what time should I plan on leaving the hotel to return back to the airport for my departing flight to Canada, is 3.5 hours more than enough time? and do I need to just go through security and head to the lounge since I should already have my connecting boarding pass for my flight to Toronto, or do I need to check in with the Ethiopian counter staff at all?
Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge and information.
Kind Regards,
Potato Tomato, but you either hire a guide (I can hitch you up with a very good company, just send me a PM) or download Ride and get around a little yourself. If you want to go to Merkato, I strongly advise using a guide as they typically make sure there's no pocket lifting going on. The guided tour will take you to all the touristy stuff and you get to see the city a little from the car.

My personal recommendation for self-guiding:

Eat breakfast at Ketegna in Bole, it's maybe 10 minutes walk from the airport
Take a Ride to Unity Park and pay for the guided tour that takes you into the palace.
Take a Ride to Tiglachin monument / Churchill Avenue, enjoy the monument and area. There's a nice souvenir shop district over at the intersection with Nigeria Street. There's a decent cafe for coffee and lunch almost right across the monument on Churchill.
Go to Hilton, buy a daypass and enjoy some hours in the hot spring pool. Absolutely bring sunscreen or you're a lobster within 30 minutes.
B747-437B and Majestic2524 like this.
Jetboi is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2024, 10:17 pm
  #302  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 3
Hello Jerboi,
Thank you for the response, and I have sent you a private message for the name of the company in ADD.
Appreciate it.
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Old Jan 13, 2024, 10:20 pm
  #303  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
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Hello B747-437B,
Appreciate your response and the extra information. As usual, your detailed information is extremely helpful. While I am away, I will re-read this forum and try to glean any additional helpful ideas I can.
Thank you!
Majestic2524 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 2024, 1:23 pm
  #304  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by B747-437B
So here's a big red flag and hopefully an isolated incident.

I was overnight in Addis yesterday and got assigned to Skylight as usual. No major changes other than that ADD restaurant was closed for a special Christmas event (it was Ethiopian Christmas) so the transit passenger buffet was moved to the nightclub downstairs. No problems unless you are mobility challenged as the nightclub is accessible via steps.

The problem occurred at checkout where they had laid out a bunch of tables in the conference center and were requiring all guests to open their baggage for a search "in case you have stolen anything from the room". I flat out refused and after some veiled threats from them about "you will miss your flight maybe", they eventually summoned a manager who instructed someone to go check my room for anything missing and they radioed down a few minutes later that the tissue box, spare toilet paper and whatever else they thought I might have swiped was still in situ.

That said, at least a dozen people were caught with something they shouldn't have had in their bags while I was waiting. This ranged from duvet/comforters to towels to toilet paper rolls to the actual branded in-room telephone. They were not discriminating by race or travel class or nationality - everyone checking out of the hotel was being searched.

Just a flag to anyone staying at Skylight that they should be aware this might happen, and that you can refuse to consent to the search (to their credit they did not attempt to touch my bags after I said a clear NO) and a manager will arrange for your room to be checked for missing items instead.
This was also the case when we went through there a month ago. I thought this was standard practice that all guests are staying for "free" and no CC is requested on checkin as guarantee. In the public areas of the hotel, you hear in multiple languages repeat announcements that stolen room items will be charged to the passenger ticket and reported to authorities. Having grown up in Latin America, I can see the 3rd world mentality taking over in some passengers who think since they paid $xxx for the ticket and get a free hotel night, that they can feel entitled to take a towel as a souvenir.
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 3:45 am
  #305  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: UK
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Originally Posted by Panache
This was also the case when we went through there a month ago. I thought this was standard practice that all guests are staying for "free" and no CC is requested on checkin as guarantee. In the public areas of the hotel, you hear in multiple languages repeat announcements that stolen room items will be charged to the passenger ticket and reported to authorities. Having grown up in Latin America, I can see the 3rd world mentality taking over in some passengers who think since they paid $xxx for the ticket and get a free hotel night, that they can feel entitled to take a towel as a souvenir.
agree standard practice happened to me on December 8th, no real problem with just hand luggage but did mean I had to wait for next shuttle. Quite frankly I fail to understand why some should get upset at this
amnicoll is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2024, 3:50 am
  #306  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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One observation. When I checked in at Manchester they insisted on digital check,in and would not issue paper boarding cards ( no,idea why). This meant on arrival at Addis I had to waste an hour getting hold of one as you need it to enter the country as immigration stamp the card not the passport. Be warned
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Old Jan 22, 2024, 5:27 pm
  #307  
 
Join Date: Aug 2023
Programs: United Gold
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
One observation. When I checked in at Manchester they insisted on digital check,in and would not issue paper boarding cards ( no,idea why). This meant on arrival at Addis I had to waste an hour getting hold of one as you need it to enter the country as immigration stamp the card not the passport. Be warned
Did you need it for transit security?

We are planning on using mobile wallet for our boarding passes out of ORD, but are only staying at the in-terminal hotel (no customs)
j_pp is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2024, 5:45 pm
  #308  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by j_pp
Did you need it for transit security?

We are planning on using mobile wallet for our boarding passes out of ORD, but are only staying at the in-terminal hotel (no customs)
I needed it at immigration as was staying at the Skylight hotel outside the airport so can not answer
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 8:59 am
  #309  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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I apologized in advance and it is not a question about complimentary hotel stay for a short transit but I couldn't find a relevant info anywhere else but here is my inquiry!

We will be traveling from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, making a stop in ADD for a couple of days before our final flight to NYC on Ethiopian Airlines. The flight includes a one-hour stop in Lome, Togo, for refueling before continuing to Newark in the USA. I'm aware that we don't need Yellow Fever Vaccines when coming from VFA, Zimbabwe, into ADD/Ethiopia. However, I'm uncertain about the requirement in Lome. It's important to note that we won't be leaving the plane during the short transit in Togo, where we may stay on the plane or possibly be let out for a brief period. Do we need Yellow Fever Vaccines for this specific flight? We are party of 5 (with 3 kids under the age of 10) and taking a yellow fever vaccine in the US is both cost prohibitive and not easy to find. I can change the routing and travel via EU and back into US.
TIA
ali7204 is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2024, 12:50 pm
  #310  
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by ali7204
Do we need Yellow Fever Vaccines for this specific flight?
No. Though if I had to do it over again and had a couple days in Addis, I'd gotten my Yellow Fever vaccine there. It's useful to not have to worry about it for future travels, and from what I read, it's much cheaper than in the USA.
mavere is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2024, 1:42 pm
  #311  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by j_pp
Did you need it for transit security?
Transit security doesnt check any paperwork..
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2024, 1:44 pm
  #312  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
I had to waste an hour getting hold of one as you need it to enter the country as immigration stamp the card not the passport. Be warned
Immigration will stamp the passport rather than (scribble illegibly on) the boarding pass if you have a moble boarding pass. Done it several times myself (although I prefer not to waste space in the passport this way). Some immigration officers don't know how to do it though, but a supervisor can sort it out ASAP.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 7:15 pm
  #313  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
Immigration will stamp the passport rather than (scribble illegibly on) the boarding pass if you have a moble boarding pass. Done it several times myself (although I prefer not to waste space in the passport this way). Some immigration officers don't know how to do it though, but a supervisor can sort it out ASAP.
I was turned away and told to get paper boarding card
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Old Jan 24, 2024, 1:17 am
  #314  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
I was turned away and told to get paper boarding card
Just bad luck I guess. If you had tried another counter you would probably have been fine.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jan 25, 2024, 6:01 pm
  #315  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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a year ago I was on Ethiopian Airlines from ADD to IAD (Dulles) with the stop in Lome. We had to disembark and take all of our stuff with us. We were held in a section of the gate area in the Lome terminal, which did not have a/c and it was over 90 F. To use a restroom, you would have to leave the security area and so you would be rescreened to get back. Overall, it was an unpleasant experience. I was in business class.

a month ago i flew from ADD to IAD via a Rome stop on Ethiopian. We stayed on the plane.
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