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 Jul 18, 2018, 3:13 pm
  #31  
 
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I am looking at business class flights LAX-ADD-BOM where the transit times are either 10 hours or 18 hours. Will I be eligible for the transit hotel program if I take the later flight? Both connections are between 8 and 24 hours but the web site seems to indicate you have to take the earliest available connection. Thanks.
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 9:38 am
  #32  
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So I can report back that our Ethiopian Air layover included a stay at the Hilton Addis Ababa, meal credit, r/t airport transfers and they also took care of the transit visas. We brought it up at check in and went to the desk upon arrival.
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Old Jul 26, 2018, 7:39 am
  #33  
 
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So luckily, I arrived with just about an hour for the connection. We were bussed from the remote stand and made our way upstairs. I joined the long queue to gates 8-9. Spent about 45 minutes inching forward.

The ET reps in both the light blue suit as well as the dark greens just walked up and down looking at their papers. I was the guy shouting "Johannesburg?" to them before they finally whisked a couple of us upfront.

Originally Posted by B747-437B
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 26, 2018, 7:56 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by TTC192Rocket
I joined the long queue to gates 8-9. Spent about 45 minutes inching forward.
Ugh, that was your mistake. You should have used the "GOLD TRACK" fast track lane for Cloud Nine / Star Gold passengers. Never longer than a few minutes there.
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Old Jul 26, 2018, 8:12 am
  #35  
 
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Ugh... I'm sure you recommended it to myself or others up-thread. I wandered halfway up and told myself I better just start lining up before it gets even worse. I didn't want to DYKWIA to the reps. I must have also missed the Cloud Nine/Star Gold signage. I didn't see any overhanging signs, so I definitely missed any signage mounted on a regular post.

Originally Posted by B747-437B
Ugh, that was your mistake. You should have used the "GOLD TRACK" fast track lane for Cloud Nine / Star Gold passengers. Never longer than a few minutes there.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 3:40 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by PilgrimsProgress
I am looking at business class flights LAX-ADD-BOM where the transit times are either 10 hours or 18 hours. Will I be eligible for the transit hotel program if I take the later flight? Both connections are between 8 and 24 hours but the web site seems to indicate you have to take the earliest available connection. Thanks.
Bump.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 4:21 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by PilgrimsProgress
Bump.
Yes.
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 9:53 pm
  #38  
 
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Just a data point here - when we checked in yesterday (BLZ-ADD-GRU in Cloud Nine) we were given vouchers for the "Debre Damo Hotel" (rated 110 of 125 hotels in Addis Ababa by TripAdvisor) rather than the expected Hilton. This was not acceptable so I sought out the duty manager and she very happily printed a new voucher for the Hilton instead and delivered it to us as we were boarding.

Moral of the story is that (especially as *G in Cloud Nine) you don't need to accept whatever fleabag (literally in this case) they put you in and agitating a little can deliver results. That said, you're unlikely to get into the Hilton flying in Economy although the Radisson Blu is supposed to be "priority" for *G in Economy subject to space available in the block (I've gotten lucky ex-BOM a couple of times).
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Old Nov 23, 2018, 7:52 am
  #39  
 
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May be slightly OT... but I was wondering about vaccination issues.

I have a 18-hour transit in Addis Ababa with ET - currently planning to spend the day in the city especially when there is free hotel provided! However, I was surfing online and realised that I need yellow fever vaccination if I am having a >12h transit at airport. May I know if this also applies if I plan to enter the city during my layover, and do I need to show any proof? I may have to cancel my ticket otherwise since I may not have enough time for the vaccine.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 24, 2018, 3:21 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by AviationAddict
I have a 18-hour transit in Addis Ababa with ET - currently planning to spend the day in the city especially when there is free hotel provided! However, I was surfing online and realised that I need yellow fever vaccination if I am having a >12h transit at airport. May I know if this also applies if I plan to enter the city during my layover, and do I need to show any proof? I may have to cancel my ticket otherwise since I may not have enough time for the vaccine.
Ethiopia doesn't care and doesn't check for Yellow Fever vaccination paperwork. Their Port Health people are screening inbound passengers for Ebola and that is their main (only) focus right now.

Your next destination might check however, depending where you are headed to. Keep in mind that your passport is not usually stamped if on an Ethiopian Airlines transit STPC voucher, so there is often not any proof you entered Ethiopia at all.
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Old Nov 26, 2018, 6:24 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
Ethiopia doesn't care and doesn't check for Yellow Fever vaccination paperwork. Their Port Health people are screening inbound passengers for Ebola and that is their main (only) focus right now.

Your next destination might check however, depending where you are headed to. Keep in mind that your passport is not usually stamped if on an Ethiopian Airlines transit STPC voucher, so there is often not any proof you entered Ethiopia at all.
Thanks a lot B747-437B. Also I would like to know since I am just staying in Ethiopia for around 18 hours, may I know if it is generally safe in terms of not being affected with ebola/yellow fever/etc. if I just stay in the city centre?
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Old Nov 26, 2018, 6:52 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by AviationAddict
Thanks a lot B747-437B. Also I would like to know since I am just staying in Ethiopia for around 18 hours, may I know if it is generally safe in terms of not being affected with ebola/yellow fever/etc. if I just stay in the city centre?
I'd say you are 100% safe from contracting ebola, regardless where you travel in Ethiopia.

As for yellow fever, you will also be fine in the city.
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Old Nov 27, 2018, 3:13 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by B747-437B
Ethiopia doesn't care and doesn't check for Yellow Fever vaccination paperwork. Their Port Health people are screening inbound passengers for Ebola and that is their main (only) focus right now.

Your next destination might check however, depending where you are headed to. Keep in mind that your passport is not usually stamped if on an Ethiopian Airlines transit STPC voucher, so there is often not any proof you entered Ethiopia at all.
I am a regular traveler to ADD. While I haven't been asked to present my vaccination card the past months, earlier this year they did ask both my wife and I to prove that we had a yellow fever vaccination. Last year this also happened once or twice to me. But I also think it depends where you arrive from? Recently I only got the usual "Have you been to DRC within the past 3 weeks?" question, then they let you go.
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Old Nov 27, 2018, 8:15 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by Goaguy
I am a regular traveler to ADD. While I haven't been asked to present my vaccination card the past months, earlier this year they did ask both my wife and I to prove that we had a yellow fever vaccination. Last year this also happened once or twice to me. But I also think it depends where you arrive from? Recently I only got the usual "Have you been to DRC within the past 3 weeks?" question, then they let you go.
Hmm I'm travelling from Europe to Asia via Ethiopia.. Now makes me worry if I should cancel my award ticket and book another one given that I still haven't had the vaccine..
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Old Nov 27, 2018, 8:25 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by AviationAddict
Hmm I'm travelling from Europe to Asia via Ethiopia.. Now makes me worry if I should cancel my award ticket and book another one given that I still haven't had the vaccine..
- You are planning a stop-over in Addis? If not, this will not affect you, even if enforced.
- I have been entering through ADD four times the past month alone, didnt get asked about the vaccine. Last time was beginning of the year. Now they seem to only care if you have been to DRC.
- I have a feeling, that even if you dont have the card, they will still let you go, since you arrive from a EU which isnt prone to yellow fever. (Unless you are on a 3rd world country passport?)
- Strangely, the one time I got harassed the most, I was with my wife, she is Ethiopian. Unfortunately, Africans often discriminate against their own kind, in this case same nationality. Chances are, if you are on an EU passport (and dont look African) you will walk right through.
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