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 Apr 17, 2024, 2:34 pm
  #346  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by Narongsuk
will ET offer the comp hotel to business class passengers if the connecting time is over 24 hours
No.
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 12:58 am
  #347  
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Looking at getting the better half an ET J ticket from JNB to CGK. Best price is a layover of 18 hours. Have told her that ET will put her up in a hotel for that time. Would she have the choice of staying in the airside hotel or does it have to be the landslide hotel? Her preference would be to stay airside.

Thanks
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 3:57 am
  #348  
 
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Originally Posted by Saltire74
Looking at getting the better half an ET J ticket from JNB to CGK. Best price is a layover of 18 hours. Have told her that ET will put her up in a hotel for that time. Would she have the choice of staying in the airside hotel or does it have to be the landslide hotel? Her preference would be to stay airside.
The voucher just says "Skylight" and anecdotally you can use it at either hotel subject to space availability.

The airside hotel is very limited for 18 hours though. I wouldn't wish that on anyone given the option for a 5-star hotel across the street exists.
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 10:05 am
  #349  
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Thank you B747-437B
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Old Apr 18, 2024, 5:53 pm
  #350  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
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.
I think even within the existing EAC it is still international. At least it was when I flew EBB NBO late last year. My Kenyan colleague went through immigration like the rest of us. She did say in theory she could use her national ID but would never risk it.

I doubt the likes of Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia would ever want truly open borders within the community. Too much mutual mistrust, internal security issues and all round paranoia.
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Old Apr 19, 2024, 12:46 am
  #351  
 
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Originally Posted by IntrepidAfrican2
I think even within the existing EAC it is still international.
It is, but they do have the common EATV between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya so far. Baby steps.
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Old Apr 19, 2024, 1:22 am
  #352  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
It is, but they do have the common EATV between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya so far. Baby steps.
Baby steps indeed. Fascinating part of the world, these East African frenemies.
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 1:11 pm
  #353  
 
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Many thanks to B747-437B and othersfor the very detailed and helpful information in this thread. One thing I didn't see noted is that if you are flying Business or are *G, there is a separate check-in location at Skylight in the building with the C/D/E tower. The shuttle dropped me off at the other building and there wasn't any signage, so you may want to ask someone if you see a queue.
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 8:16 pm
  #354  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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I believe I'm in the green per the FAQ, but would like to enlist the help of the wonderful Flyertalk community...

I'm flying BKK-ADD-NBO with a ~17h daytime layover in ADD from 6:30am to 11:15pm. There certainly are earlier ADD-NBO departures (but no award space) – per the rules, no transit hotel provided. If this is unlikely to clear, I'll probably have to book an alternative itinerary because the visa alone looks to be 82USD... For what it's worth, I plan to check in at the hotel and rest but plan to book a day tour or something to see the city a bit.

I'm also flying JRO-ADD-VFA with an overnight layover in ADD from 5:55pm to 8:30am the next morning. This one I believe qualifies for sure because there are no earlier possible departures for ADD-VFA.
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Old Apr 23, 2024, 2:09 am
  #355  
 
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Originally Posted by tajee165
I'm flying BKK-ADD-NBO with a ~17h daytime layover in ADD from 6:30am to 11:15pm. There certainly are earlier ADD-NBO departures (but no award space) per the rules, no transit hotel provided. If this is unlikely to clear, I'll probably have to book an alternative itinerary because the visa alone looks to be 82USD... For what it's worth, I plan to check in at the hotel and rest but plan to book a day tour or something to see the city a bit. I'm also flying JRO-ADD-VFA with an overnight layover in ADD from 5:55pm to 8:30am the next morning. This one I believe qualifies for sure because there are no earlier possible departures for ADD-VFA.
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.

You will receive the voucher for both layovers. Nothing to worry about.
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Old May 15, 2024, 2:25 pm
  #356  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by Narongsuk
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.
They didn't for my TNR-ADD-LGW (even though it was the shortest connection available when I booked, 30 hours IIRC), I had to pay $82 for my eVisa and then my hotel (stayed at Hilton for $130).
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Old May 16, 2024, 5:45 am
  #357  
 
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Originally Posted by flashware
They didn't for my TNR-ADD-LGW (even though it was the shortest connection available when I booked, 30 hours IIRC), I had to pay $82 for my eVisa and then my hotel (stayed at Hilton for $130).
They only provide a complementary visa and hotel on stops of between 8 and 24 hours so no you would not have qualified
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Old May 17, 2024, 12:36 pm
  #358  
 
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
They only provide a complementary visa and hotel on stops of between 8 and 24 hours so no you would not have qualified
Yes, was just confirming for the other person who asked. I have 13 hours coming up in a few weeks and that one does include it.
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Old May 20, 2024, 6:24 am
  #359  
Ziz
 
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It’s quite annoying that they don’t offer it for 24+ h layovers if it’s the shortest available.
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Old May 20, 2024, 12:36 pm
  #360  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by Ziz
Its quite annoying that they dont offer it for 24+ h layovers if its the shortest available.
Yeah well, they could simply not offer anything for any layovers either but they do. So them's the breaks...
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