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 14, 2024, 6:47 am
  #331  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR
I expect the flight from CPH/VIE to arrive at a remote stand and pax to be bussed to the terminal. From there it is quite easy to enter the terminal, proceed upstairs, through security checks to the the gate (CPT flights depart from a gate AFAIK quite close to where you emerge as a transit pax). So I'm not too concerned about this connection. Besides it appears from flightradar24 that most often ET725 from CPH/VIE arrives early.
As predicted ET725 fra CPH/VIE arrived at a remote stand. On the tarmac ground staff gathered and picked up pax to CPT (I think we were around 20 pax) and took us on a separate bus directly to the CPT aircraft; we boarded through the outside staircase. Very efficient and never set a foot in the terminal.
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 5:37 am
  #332  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I will have a long layover in Addis (16hrs+) on NRT-ADD-CPH-ADD-NRT ticket, both ways.

I'm wondering if booking class in economy makes any difference in the transit hotel provided.

Specifically, I plan to book promotional "O" Class which is non-refundable, but for a slight fare difference I could purchase "T" Class which is refundable.

I'm hoping to score Skylight Hotel, so if the fare class does make any difference I'm willing to upgrade to the semi-flexible fare.

I have Star Gold status.

Has anyone travelled in promotional fare and still provided Skylight Hotel?
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Old Mar 26, 2024, 2:28 pm
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by sushimaru
Has anyone travelled in promotional fare and still provided Skylight Hotel?
Fare class doesn't make a difference to the hotel assignment, only class of service.

I have received Skylight on the cheapest of cheap "O" class bookings.

There is no guarantee of getting Skylight when in Economy Class though, although it is more likely than not.
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Old Mar 31, 2024, 9:16 pm
  #334  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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may be off topic, but does anyone have experience on whether Tanzania and Zanzibar requires the yellow fever vaccine for 12-14 layovers' in Addas ? (arrive from EWR and US passport)

The TZ US embassy sites indicate only > 24 hours -
https://www.us.tzembassy.go.tz/services/immunization

the CDC page says > 12 hours -
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destina.../none/tanzania
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Old Apr 1, 2024, 1:00 pm
  #335  
 
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Originally Posted by RichWNJ
may be off topic, but does anyone have experience on whether Tanzania and Zanzibar requires the yellow fever vaccine for 12-14 layovers' in Addas ? (arrive from EWR and US passport)
In my multiple experiences at DAR over the years, they check every single passenger coming off the Addis Ababa flight and if you argue that you are just connecting them make you wait and sort it out one-on-one once the rest of the passengers are past. Which means you then spend an hour in line at immigration. Best to just have the paperwork handy.
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Old Apr 1, 2024, 10:54 pm
  #336  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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I put this in the Africa ADD forum, but no response.

Getting closer to trip. Flight details have changed. Transfer time from VFA-ADD to ADD-ORD flight is now 1 hour. What should we expect with the short layover and flying to the USA? Assume there are additional checks at ADD before flying to USA and will not be brought straight from one plane to the other if needed. 2 people flying business and 2 people flying economy. Also assume different paths for business vs economy. Trying to figure out how rushed we will be to make the flight to ORD. from what I've seen in Youtube videos, green carpet is for economy and red carpet is for business. Is that correct?

Also, I have seen there is a Cloud Nine gate for business at A12. Is this available for USA flights as well?

Thank you
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Old Apr 2, 2024, 12:21 am
  #337  
 
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Originally Posted by btscott
I put this in the Africa ADD forum, but no response.

Getting closer to trip. Flight details have changed. Transfer time from VFA-ADD to ADD-ORD flight is now 1 hour. What should we expect with the short layover and flying to the USA? Assume there are additional checks at ADD before flying to USA and will not be brought straight from one plane to the other if needed. 2 people flying business and 2 people flying economy. Also assume different paths for business vs economy. Trying to figure out how rushed we will be to make the flight to ORD. from what I've seen in Youtube videos, green carpet is for economy and red carpet is for business. Is that correct?

Also, I have seen there is a Cloud Nine gate for business at A12. Is this available for USA flights as well?

Thank you
One hour should be possible (even if I'm not sure it's within the MCR for an I/I connection to the US).

Security check after (probably bus) arrival, Gold track for business pax, regular for economy. Up to the gates, additional security check before the gates where US flights (and some others) depart. The Cloud Nine business class gate A12 is for bus departures only.

Walk fast, and don't stop for drinks/shopping etc.
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Old Apr 10, 2024, 8:00 am
  #338  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
My recent layover experience

Just did yyz to bom on Ethiopian Airlines with a long layover each way.

My experience.

Got the hotel voucher in line during both check ins.

Upon arrival, took the hotel voucher to immigration and after their very lax immigration procedures, was directed to the hotel transfer waiting area to board the shuttle to Skylight Hotel.

​​​​​​Arrived at Skylight l, checked in, got room keys and meal vouchers.

Tried the buffet breakfast, unbelievable. Usually I can eat anything, but this was not acceptable or eatable.

I was traveling with my wife and two kids, so going out in the city for some grub was out of the question, due to safety advisories issued by Canada and the wife saying no way. Lol

So, instead tried their in house restaurants for lunch and dinner, 100 times better then the free grub offered by the airline.

During checkout, was asked to open luggage, not an issue for me after seeing the pile of towels, blanket, even TV remotes caught by security from other passengers.

Shuttle bus was scheduled for two hours before departure, but we boarded three hours prior and glad we did, both ways the lines for security were long and not very organized.

Skylight is no where near a 5 star hotel, more like 3, maybe in Ethiopians rate their hotel differently.

Will I travel with Ethiopian airlines again, yes if the price is right, I paid $1315 cad, others were $2000+

ADD airport is dirty and very expensive, a meal at Burger King is $25 USD, security is a pain, even more dreadful for flights to Canada.

On board service is amazing, food is ok, condition of aircrafts are below average.

sthakur
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Old Apr 11, 2024, 11:29 pm
  #339  
 
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I recently had a roughly 7 hr layover at ADD that did not qualify for the free layover program, but nonetheless my wife and I had a very comfortable layover.

We paid about $80 USD for 6 hrs a room at the layover hotel and were extremely impressed. Very clean. Comfortable, good AC, and very comfortable for a 6 hr stay.

we spent about an hr in the lounge eating before our flight to JNB and found the food to be good and at that time (about 2pm on a Thursday), we were quite literally 2 of 5 people in the entire lounge which was a nice bonus.

Our seats from ORD were the old angled flat and are just terrible seats in 2024, but for the ease of redemption, we weren’t complaining. I would never had paid to fly those seats though - not until you’re guaranteed a newer 2-2-2 or 1-2-1 config.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 9:25 am
  #340  
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
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Question about JFK-ADD-JRO stopover

Flying in J on ET JFK-ADD-JRO with 12 hr stopover at ADD. From what I see both legs must be international flights to quality for free transit hotel. Looking for some clarity on if our trip would qualify or what our options are with the 12 hr layover?
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 10:02 am
  #341  
 
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I recently had a layover experience where my flight from VFA got delayed, pushing our arrival to 10 pm instead of the scheduled 9 pm. Upon check-in, we received hotel vouchers, but they were for a different hotel. When inquiring about Skylight, I was informed that nothing could be done at VFA. Fortunately, immigration and visa formalities were smooth, and we were directed to the waiting area. Travelling with my spouse and three kids (aged 5, 9, and 12), we were eventually informed that we would be taken to Skylight. Despite the late hour, we boarded the shuttle shortly before 11 pm, which was a relief considering the kids' tiredness.

Upon reaching Skylight, it seemed pleasant from the outside, but inside, it was one of the most disorganized places I've encountered, and I've been to some less-than-ideal spots in my lifetime! We were informed that the rooms weren't ready yet but could enjoy a free dinner while waiting. However, with our early 8 am flight to EWR, we emphasized the urgency of getting the room. Eventually, after some insistence, a gentleman provided us with two room vouchers, acknowledging the challenge of arranging rooms with several people waiting. We were grateful, tipped him as expected, and finally settled into our rooms by 12:15 am. Though the rooms were spacious, amenities were minimal, with just one towel per room. Nevertheless, we weren't here for a vacation, so the kids and I headed straight to bed while my wife briefly checked out the meal offerings downstairs and came back within 5 minutes (including waiting for elevators going up and down).

The next morning, we were up by 5:30 am and out of the room by 5:50 am. Based on our previous night's experience, my wife suggested skipping the buffet breakfast, and we agreed. The shuttle promptly took us back to the airport in under 10 minutes. Despite the intimidating security lines, they moved swiftly, and we completed everything, including immigration, by 7:15 am.

In summary, the experience was okay. Don't expect the standards of a Hyatt Regency in Lubbock, TX (which sets a low bar). ET airlines provided free visas and decent overnight accommodations. However, if I were on a day transit, I'd opt for proper meals and sightseeing rather than staying at Skylight.

Edit to add: Also be mind full of wake up calls. Ours started ringing at 4:45 am and then every 15 minutes till I put the receiver down.
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Last edited by ali7204; Apr 15, 2024 at 10:29 am
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 1:32 pm
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by jweiss0916
Flying in J on ET JFK-ADD-JRO with 12 hr stopover at ADD. From what I see both legs must be international flights to quality for free transit hotel. Looking for some clarity on if our trip would qualify or what our options are with the 12 hr layover?
Not sure what is unclear here? Layover is >8 hrs and both legs are international flights.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 1:59 pm
  #343  
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
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Oh wow I am an idiot and was thinking ADD-JRO was grouped as domestic somehow. Ignore me. Thanks for clarifying 🫣
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 4:45 pm
  #344  
 
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Originally Posted by jweiss0916
Oh wow I am an idiot and was thinking ADD-JRO was grouped as domestic somehow. Ignore me. Thanks for clarifying 🫣
No, Tanzania is still international although with Ethiopia set to accede into the East African Community soon, that may be coming marginally closer to an otherwise distant reality.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 12:44 pm
  #345  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Hello,
will ET offer the comp hotel to business class passengers if the connecting time is over 24 hours, considering there are flights from both LHR/LGW.
And the heathrow flight has a much shorter connecting time. Info here and elsewhere seems to show max connecting time of 24 hours.

My preferred route would be LGW-ADD-MNL .
Many thanks.
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