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 21, 2024, 2:20 am
  #361  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: UK
Programs: Etihad Gold, Qatar Gold, flying Blue, Falcon, Lufthansa, Eva
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Originally Posted by Ziz
Itís quite annoying that they donít offer it for 24+ h layovers if itís the shortest available.
That is true of most airlines although it is true there are some that together with their governments see the economic benefits

I suspect the reason why they offer these breaks is that Ethiopian serve a lot of International destinations but often with just the one flight a day and that they have many long haul arrivals in the morning and many long haul departures in the evening meaning that they probably have more passengers than many other airlines operating the International hub and spoke with long forced transit times
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Old May 27, 2024, 6:26 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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If flying business and staying at in terminal hotel, can you access the cloud 9 Lounge after gettin situated in hotel?

Seeing reviews that the hotel food is not that good, although not sure club would be open after arriving 945pm from EWR. I am also business on my onward flight
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Old May 28, 2024, 2:12 am
  #363  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by RichWNJ
If flying business and staying at in terminal hotel, can you access the cloud 9 Lounge after gettin situated in hotel?

Seeing reviews that the hotel food is not that good, although not sure club would be open after arriving 945pm from EWR. I am also business on my onward flight
Yes you can. The lounge is open 24/7 although the buffet is reduced from dinner to just snacks from around 2am to 5am before they lay out the breakfast.

(Don't ask why I know this, but I've spent my share of nights in the lounge thanks to delayed flights!)
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Old May 28, 2024, 3:34 am
  #364  
 
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I have not stayed at the terminal hotel but I have stayed at the sister hotel outside the airport and had no complaints about the food
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Old May 28, 2024, 3:25 pm
  #365  
 
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
I have not stayed at the terminal hotel but I have stayed at the sister hotel outside the airport and had no complaints about the food
The food is edible at both Skylights, but not anything to write home about (unless you order a-la-carte on your own account from the speciality restaurants).
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Old May 29, 2024, 4:09 am
  #366  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
The food is edible at both Skylights, but not anything to write home about (unless you order a-la-carte on your own account from the speciality restaurants).
No I was not claiming it was a gourmet experience but then neither is the lounge but I would not worry about eating there
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Old May 29, 2024, 1:59 pm
  #367  
 
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Originally Posted by amnicoll
No I was not claiming it was a gourmet experience but then neither is the lounge but I would not worry about eating there
I'd rather eat in the lounge than the Skylight buffet nowadays. The Skylight food quality has gone downhill as the number of passengers they have to feed daily has increased.
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Old Jun 2, 2024, 3:18 am
  #368  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
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Just came back yesterday with layover in Addis, and indeed the food in Skylight Hotel Breakfast , Lunch and Dinner was awful compare with my 2 previous trips I had with them. The Lounge food at airport are much better compare to before, so it kind of reverse situation now days with ET.

But the worst part is the location where the food are now being serving, in a "Disco/Club" room with no window and looks more like a parking lot then a restaurant or canteen.

The Old Hotel building facilities start showing low maintenance work by the hotel, example the outdoor pool are in very bad condition so are the bathrooms in the rooms.

But the staff has been much better with their services and smiling.
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Old Jun 2, 2024, 7:00 am
  #369  
 
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Originally Posted by AegeanGold
Just came back yesterday with layover in Addis, and indeed the food in Skylight Hotel Breakfast , Lunch and Dinner was awful compare with my 2 previous trips I had with them. The Lounge food at airport are much better compare to before, so it kind of reverse situation now days with ET.
Yeah, I actually have been ordering room service (on my own account) rather than braving that dire buffet recently. It is only worthwhile for the cakes and pastries which continue to maintain their exceptional quality (and the bottled water).
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Old Jun 2, 2024, 6:32 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Suggestions and questions for a layover longer than 24 hours.

Good day all. Looking through this thread I see some great advice and suggestions.

Maybe using ET in 2024 or early 2025 and wanted suggestions on hotels to look into if your layover is 25 hours or so and thus not qualifying for the hotel voucher.

How would you deal with cash, atms, exchanging money when sightseeing for the day?

Transit visa still applicable?
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Old Jun 3, 2024, 4:35 am
  #371  
 
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Originally Posted by Acerola
Good day all. Looking through this thread I see some great advice and suggestions.

Maybe using ET in 2024 or early 2025 and wanted suggestions on hotels to look into if your layover is 25 hours or so and thus not qualifying for the hotel voucher.

How would you deal with cash, atms, exchanging money when sightseeing for the day?

Transit visa still applicable?
Transit visa not available you will need to purchase full visa
Easy enough exchanging money into birr BUT may well prove impossible to exchange unused birr back to currency of choice at airport ( a sort of hidden tax) so make sure you get rid of unused birr before setting off for airport
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Old Jun 6, 2024, 5:26 pm
  #372  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Flew LGW-ADD yesterday, currently on my transit. LGW check in desk knew very little about it, other than telling me to go to the transit desk once I arrived at ADD. All good, there's a line for J pax, but it was filled with Y pax. When the lady asked was everyone a J traveller, people did at least finally move out of the way and of course I was the only one left - so ended up getting my form fairly promptly in the end. Uh oh, it says Churchill hotel and says I'm travelling in economy. Not to worry ...... I was told to just mention I'm travelling in J and they'll put me in a better hotel. Umm... OK, but why not just fill in the form correctly?

Anyway, clear passport control and head downstairs and told them I was asked to ask for a better hotel, Skylight or similar. Nope, Skylight is full, I was told. Oh, OK .... no worries. Showed my BP, yes, sorry - it's full. Take a seat and wait. So I waited with the group of pax, then someone walks around and says J pax??? Follow me. Um, OK. We jump in a bus, with Skylight written all over it. We're taken to Skylight, but it appears not everyone who got on the bus (even though it was all pax who responded to the call of J pax??) was indeed actually a J pax. 2 of us got off and checked in.

All just a very weird experience really. Buffet meal at the hotel (landside version), which was crap, but no other option really as we couldn't just nip into the ET lounge as others here have mentioned as not in the in-terminal hotel.
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Old Jun 7, 2024, 3:08 am
  #373  
 
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Originally Posted by flashware
Flew LGW-ADD yesterday, currently on my transit. LGW check in desk knew very little about it, other than telling me to go to the transit desk once I arrived at ADD. All good, there's a line for J pax, but it was filled with Y pax. When the lady asked was everyone a J traveller, people did at least finally move out of the way and of course I was the only one left - so ended up getting my form fairly promptly in the end. Uh oh, it says Churchill hotel and says I'm travelling in economy. Not to worry ...... I was told to just mention I'm travelling in J and they'll put me in a better hotel. Umm... OK, but why not just fill in the form correctly?

Anyway, clear passport control and head downstairs and told them I was asked to ask for a better hotel, Skylight or similar. Nope, Skylight is full, I was told. Oh, OK .... no worries. Showed my BP, yes, sorry - it's full. Take a seat and wait. So I waited with the group of pax, then someone walks around and says J pax??? Follow me. Um, OK. We jump in a bus, with Skylight written all over it. We're taken to Skylight, but it appears not everyone who got on the bus (even though it was all pax who responded to the call of J pax??) was indeed actually a J pax. 2 of us got off and checked in.

All just a very weird experience really. Buffet meal at the hotel (landside version), which was crap, but no other option really as we couldn't just nip into the ET lounge as others here have mentioned as not in the in-terminal hotel.
My experiences in J class regarding the hotel in December (out) and February (back) were unlike yours very smooth I was given forms at check in in both Manchester and Bangkok and all I had to do was go through the immigration and make my way to the desk . At the desk asked to sit for about 5 minutes before being directed to the bus along with economy passengers and hotel given "executive room" and access to the "business class" buffets. It was all very smooth. My only problem was the lack of a paper boarding pass on the way out and had to queue to get one at Addis
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Old Jun 7, 2024, 4:24 am
  #374  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,718
Originally Posted by flashware
Flew LGW-ADD yesterday, currently on my transit. LGW check in desk knew very little about it, other than telling me to go to the transit desk once I arrived at ADD. All good, there's a line for J pax, but it was filled with Y pax. When the lady asked was everyone a J traveller, people did at least finally move out of the way and of course I was the only one left - so ended up getting my form fairly promptly in the end. Uh oh, it says Churchill hotel and says I'm travelling in economy. Not to worry ...... I was told to just mention I'm travelling in J and they'll put me in a better hotel. Umm... OK, but why not just fill in the form correctly?

Anyway, clear passport control and head downstairs and told them I was asked to ask for a better hotel, Skylight or similar. Nope, Skylight is full, I was told. Oh, OK .... no worries. Showed my BP, yes, sorry - it's full. Take a seat and wait. So I waited with the group of pax, then someone walks around and says J pax??? Follow me. Um, OK. We jump in a bus, with Skylight written all over it. We're taken to Skylight, but it appears not everyone who got on the bus (even though it was all pax who responded to the call of J pax??) was indeed actually a J pax. 2 of us got off and checked in.

All just a very weird experience really. Buffet meal at the hotel (landside version), which was crap, but no other option really as we couldn't just nip into the ET lounge as others here have mentioned as not in the in-terminal hotel.
From my discussions with ET UK team, Gatwick has been a challenge for them because of the high volume of passengers on that flight who qualify for the STPC vouchers. They are not always able to process all the vouchers in advance due to the volume, and also they tend to wind up sending passengers to a wide range of hotels around town since the daily block at Skylight is often filled up already.

You always have the option of buying a-la-carte food at Skylight (room service or one of the other restaurants) which are usually excellent quality. The buffets have now become hit-or-miss slop other than the pastries.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2024, 5:47 am
  #375  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,727
Originally Posted by B747-437B
From my discussions with ET UK team, Gatwick has been a challenge for them because of the high volume of passengers on that flight who qualify for the STPC vouchers. They are not always able to process all the vouchers in advance due to the volume, and also they tend to wind up sending passengers to a wide range of hotels around town since the daily block at Skylight is often filled up already.

You always have the option of buying a-la-carte food at Skylight (room service or one of the other restaurants) which are usually excellent quality. The buffets have now become hit-or-miss slop other than the pastries.
Interesting and makes sense. My flight back to LGW has a reasonably timed connection, so at least don't need to worry on the way back.
flashware is offline  

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