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 Nov 27, 2018, 9:39 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by Goaguy
- 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.
It's more like a 18-hour transit rather than a stop-over. However, I will leave the airport during the transit and take a visit in the city centre.
I hold an Asian passport instead of an European one and hopefully (I guess) it will be similar. Thanks a lot for your advice and your experience sharing! Looking forward to this trip indeed
AviationAddict is offline  
Old Nov 30, 2018, 9:41 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SAN
Programs: PR Premier Elite
Posts: 1,950
What if I am traveling with someone who holds a Philippine Passport and therefore is not eligible for VOA? I'm presuming there would not be a exception from obtaining an eVISA in advance which looks like it is now at least possible to do online for $52 (x 2 on a round trip with two layovers). The layovers in question would be ~18 hours which is also over the "12 hour in transit" limit for Philippine Passport holders even remaining in the transit area, so it looks like the purchasing eVISA's is almost mandatory. Is that indeed the case or is there any remedy from ET for that scenario? Is the rest of the package still valid assuming a eVISA is held in advance?
Mabuk dan gila is offline  
Old Dec 1, 2018, 1:29 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,694
Originally Posted by Mabuk dan gila
What if I am traveling with someone who holds a Philippine Passport and therefore is not eligible for VOA? I'm presuming there would not be a exception from obtaining an eVISA in advance which looks like it is now at least possible to do online for $52 (x 2 on a round trip with two layovers). The layovers in question would be ~18 hours which is also over the "12 hour in transit" limit for Philippine Passport holders even remaining in the transit area, so it looks like the purchasing eVISA's is almost mandatory. Is that indeed the case or is there any remedy from ET for that scenario? Is the rest of the package still valid assuming a eVISA is held in advance?
The transit visa exemption does not have the same eligibility as the VoA. Everyone (with a few minor exceptions such as some categories of Somali refugees) is entitled to the transit visa exemption provided by ET, regardless of their nationality, including Philippine passport holders.
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B747-437B is offline  
Old Aug 17, 2019, 3:12 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NYC/PSP
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Can this be booked in advance?
justforfun is offline  
Old Aug 18, 2019, 9:32 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Tokyo
Programs: Marriott Plat, HH G,Hyatt E,*A Gold, OW Emerald.
Posts: 3,023
Originally Posted by justforfun
Can this be booked in advance?
What is "this"?
A stopover? Or a hotel during a long layover?
Tokyoite is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 5:18 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: AA Exp
Posts: 838
Hope this is helpful for someone: I recently connected in Addis on a business class award. I did not meet the connection requirements (I booked a flight with a 12 hour connection even though there was a 2 hour connection available). To my surprise, upon check-in in West Africa I was handed a voucher for the Skylight hotel + dinner + breakfast, without asking.

Was in the hotel within 45 minutes of landing. Excellent experience.
gnargel is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 6:05 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,694
Originally Posted by gnargel
I did not meet the connection requirements (I booked a flight with a 12 hour connection even though there was a 2 hour connection available).
As long as you are on a single ticket, they will provide the hotel voucher regardless of whether a shorter connection is available. For now, this is being done to reduce airside congestion as the new terminal opens up in phases.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 8:12 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: AA Exp
Posts: 838
Originally Posted by B747-437B
As long as you are on a single ticket, they will provide the hotel voucher regardless of whether a shorter connection is available. For now, this is being done to reduce airside congestion as the new terminal opens up in phases.
That is not what Ethiopian Airlines told me by email when I inquired about a free hotel or even a paid overnight package. They explicitly (and rather bluntly) told me that they would neither provide a hotel nor a visa as my ticket did not meet the conditions...
gnargel is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 9:10 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,694
Originally Posted by gnargel
That is not what Ethiopian Airlines told me by email when I inquired about a free hotel or even a paid overnight package. They explicitly (and rather bluntly) told me that they would neither provide a hotel nor a visa as my ticket did not meet the conditions...
Sure, they won't tell you that in advance as people will exploit it for obvious reasons. But that is what they are doing right now.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 10:47 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: AA Exp
Posts: 838
Originally Posted by B747-437B
Sure, they won't tell you that in advance as people will exploit it for obvious reasons. But that is what they are doing right now.
Not sure the reason is so obvious...

They sort of lied to me now by email. Dont really appreciate that. And if I would have actually already paid the $ 200 mentioned on its website for the Skylight hotel + the $ 40 for the E-Visa only to be handed a voucher upon check-in, I would have been rather mad....
gnargel is offline  
Old Jan 13, 2020, 9:00 pm
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: SQ, QF, UA, CO, DL
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Originally Posted by gnargel
Not sure the reason is so obvious...

They sort of lied to me now by email. Dont really appreciate that. And if I would have actually already paid the $ 200 mentioned on its website for the Skylight hotel + the $ 40 for the E-Visa only to be handed a voucher upon check-in, I would have been rather mad....
gnargel, not sure why you are unhappy about this. ET Reservations told you the correct policy. Your actual experience was better, they made an exception to accommodate you so you did not have to stay in a crowded terminal. Kind of like an upgrade, you take it with a smile and thank you!
uanj is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 1:50 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: AA Exp
Posts: 838
Originally Posted by uanj
gnargel, not sure why you are unhappy about this. ET Reservations told you the correct policy. Your actual experience was better, they made an exception to accommodate you so you did not have to stay in a crowded terminal. Kind of like an upgrade, you take it with a smile and thank you!
I am very happy about what they provided to me. I clearly stated that in my first post ("Excellent experience"). And I do get your point. However, they still explicitly instructed me to book my own hotel and arrange my own visa. Had I followed their instructions (that they know where wrong), I would have spend $ 220 for naught...
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gnargel is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 2:32 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,694
Originally Posted by gnargel
I am very happy about what they provided to me. I clearly stated that in my first post ("Excellent experience"). And I do get your point. However, they still explicitly instructed me to book my own hotel and arrange my own visa. Had I followed their instructions (that they know where wrong), I would have spend $ 220 for naught...
Their goal is to get people out of the airside during the peak periods to avoid congestion. If you do that at your own cost, perfect for them. If you don't, well then they are willing to bear the cost of accomplishing the same objective.

It should be noted that this is NOT the official policy so the customer service staff may not even be aware of this. The official policy remains what they told you. This is just what they are doing right now to reduce the peak congestion while the new terminal is being phased in.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Jan 14, 2020, 5:51 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Programs: Statusless and proud
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Quick question. I'm flying VFA-ADD-SEZ on an award in June. The VFA-ADD leg is in C while ADD-SEZ is in Y. (There were only two business class award seats on the ADD-SEZ sector and I gave them to my traveling companions instead of taking for my wife and me.) I'm kind of assuming if I ask for the hotel voucher in VFA, since they'll see I'm flying in C, then I'll get a pass to the Skylight, whereas if I wait until ADD, I'll get one of the "lesser" hotels? Or are both C & Y at the Skylight now? Thanks in advance.

Chris
JayhawkCO is offline  
Old Jan 15, 2020, 2:27 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,694
Originally Posted by JayhawkCO
Quick question. I'm flying VFA-ADD-SEZ on an award in June. The VFA-ADD leg is in C while ADD-SEZ is in Y. (There were only two business class award seats on the ADD-SEZ sector and I gave them to my traveling companions instead of taking for my wife and me.) I'm kind of assuming if I ask for the hotel voucher in VFA, since they'll see I'm flying in C, then I'll get a pass to the Skylight, whereas if I wait until ADD, I'll get one of the "lesser" hotels? Or are both C & Y at the Skylight now? Thanks in advance.
If your fare basis is for a Business Class award, point this out to them and they will provide you with Skylight anyway. You will not get assigned to Skylight in Economy class however, and some of ET's current Economy Class hotels are a bit dire.
B747-437B is offline  

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