So you found the best airfare and booked your flights, but it turns out your layover is going to be much longer than you anticipated. Sound familiar? Well, before you start packing your airport sleeping kit, we have some good news that may let you rest peacefully during that dreaded layover. Turns out, some airlines offer complimentary hotel stays for a night or even two, allowing you to recharge and possibly fit in some sightseeing during your layover.
To qualify for free accommodation, you have to meet certain criteria such as ticket types, minimum fares, and transit times. Conditions vary from airline to airline, so make sure to check the requirements carefully before booking your flight. Read on and we’ll tell you which airlines currently offer free hotels and other perks for long layovers.
Updated: 05 February 2020
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Serbia
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airways
- Emirates Airlines
- Ethiad Airways
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Gulf Air
- Hainan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- Sri Lankan Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
Air Canada offers one night’s free hotel stay for itineraries that include a layover in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver of more than 6 hours. This stopover program applies to both outbound and inbound flights, allowing you to book one free hotel night on the way to your destination and another one for your return flight. You can take advantage of the offer for one-way or round trips, no matter what cabin you’re flying in, as long as your ticket is booked more than 96 hours before the departure.
If travelling to your destination with Air China requires an extended layover in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin, or Chongqing, don’t miss the airline’s transit accommodation program. You’ll get a free overnight break in one of Air China partner hotels with free breakfast and airport-hotel transfer. The airline reserves luxury accommodation for eligible passengers with layovers in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai.
Make sure that your connecting flight ticket number begins with 999 (transit accommodation offer is not valid for economy superdeal tickets), and that all your flights are operated by Air China, Shandong Airlines, or Shenzhen Airlines. Upon arrival at the airport, visit the transit service counter or contact the hotel directly for airport pickup.
Passengers flying Air Serbia to New York via Belgrade can benefit from free hotel accommodation in the capital and a free return airport transfer. The service can be used by passengers in all cabin classes arriving from 30 different domestic and international destinations with a layover of 8-24 hours at Nikola Tesla Airport. To redeem the offer, contact the Air Serbia Call Center or your travel agent at least 5 days before the departure. You can then pick up your stopover voucher from the transfer desk at the airport.
China Eastern Airlines
Are you planning to fly with China Eastern or Shanghai Airlines from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Honolulu, Vancouver or Toronto via Shanghai, Xi’An, or Beijing? If your transit time is more than 12 hours with no earlier connecting flights available, you are entitled to a free hotel for an overnight stopover. The only other condition is, your flight needs to be booked at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled departure.
China Southern Airways
China Southern Airways offers a one-night complimentary stay in a transit hotel, free meals, and airport transfer for international passengers with layovers of 8-48 hours at Guangzhou Airport. Those lucky enough to fly business class will have a choice of somewhat better hotels. If you meet all the requirements (only certain cabin classes qualify), you can book your free accommodation up to 6 months in advance. For last-minute trip arrangements, visit the Guangzhou Airport accommodation counter and you’ll be assigned a room in one of the available hotels.
Dubai Connect Service is a special transit offer not to be missed if you have a long connection time between flights. Not only will you benefit from complimentary accommodation in one of the best hotels in Dubai—including Copthorne Hotel, Le Meridien Airport Hotel, and Arabian Park Hotel—but the airline will take care of meal vouchers, airport transfer, and the visa to enter the country. Dubai Connect is valid for transfers between 8 – 24 hours (for economy class) and 6 – 24 hours (for first and business class) when there are no other connections available. Your flights to and from Dubai must be operated by either Emirates or Qantas and booked at least 24 hours in advance.
With Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi stopover option you’ll be treated to two free nights in a top-rated hotel when transiting through Abu Dhabi for 18 hours or more. Simply choose from a list of hotels such as Ramada Abu Dhabi Downtown, Courtyard by Marriott WTC, and Radisson Blu Yas Island when booking your flight. The reservation must be done at least 72 hours prior to the arrival date. This stopover service applies to the economy, business and first class tickets issued before 1 March 2020, for travel between 20 April and 30 November 2020 except for the periods of major events and conferences.
If you’re travelling with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa with a connection of 8-24 hours, there’s no need to spend your time waiting at the airport. When there is no earlier connection available for your flight, the airline will arrange free hotel accommodation, including meals and a shuttle service to your hotel. Business class passengers can choose from the finest hotels in the city, including Hilton Addis Ababa and the Radisson Blu Hotel. Once you arrive at the Bole International Airport, all you need to do is head to the transit desk and an agent will take care of all arrangements, including a complimentary transit visa.
Gulf Air passengers are entitled to a free hotel accommodation when transiting at Bahrain International Airport anywhere from 7 to 24 hours. In addition to a complimentary hotel night, the stopover program includes airport transfer, a transit visa, and even a free guided tour of the capital Manama. To book your stay, call the Worldwide Contact Center up to 24 hours before departure or visit Gulf Air’s Customer Service Desk at the airport for any last-minute trips.
As part of their transfer services, Hainan Airlines provides free accommodation and airport shuttle for lengthy transfers in Beijing and several other Chinese airports. To benefit, your itinerary must have a next-day connection or a transit time of more than 6 hours starting between midnight and 6 am. Hotels can be booked through the Hainan Airlines App or Hainan Airlines WeChat up to 30 days in advance. Just remember to keep your ticket and boarding pass—you’ll be asked to show them when checking into your transfer hotel.
Qatar Airways can arrange a free stopover accommodation, including the transit visa, airport transfer, and meal vouchers for travellers with layovers from 8 to 24 hours in Doha. The offer is applicable if no shorter connections are available, for all flights bar Kuwait and Oman ones. Make sure to book within 72 hours of departure. Alternatively, proceed to the transfer desk at Hamad International Airport to arrange your last-minute transit accommodation.
Royal Air Maroc
If you are facing a layover of more than 8 hours in Casablanca, Royal Air Maroc will provide you with a free hotel room for one night. The accommodation can be arranged at the transfer desk after arrival at Mohammed V International Airport for passengers who either already have a visa for Morocco or are eligible for visa-free entry.
For passengers with long transit times in Amman, Royal Jordanian provides everything from hotel accommodation and meals to airport transportation free of charge. You must be travelling on a non-promotional economy or business class fares, with a connection time of at least 8 hours (6 hours for business class) and not exceeding 24 hours. The offer doesn’t apply for travel within the Middle East, except to/from Basra.
SriLankan Airlines offers one free night in a hotel for customers with an 8-24 hour stopover in Colombo, under the condition that there are no shorter connections available. The minimum required ticket fare is $350 for one way and $700 for a return trip. Travellers are expected to arrange the transit accommodation through their local SriLankan Airlines office, the Global Contact Center, or a travel agent at least 48 hours before arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport.
Turkish Airlines is one of the carriers that propose complimentary accommodation services for international passengers with long layovers. You are entitled to a maximum of two nights’ stay in a hotel chosen for you by the airline. To benefit from the program, your stopover must be longer than 12 hours if you fly economy or 9 hours for business class, and there can’t be any connecting flights with shorter transfer time. If you meet all the requirements, head to the hotel desk at Istanbul Airport upon arrival to claim your free hotel room.
Most itineraries operated by XiamenAir that include an international leg with a layover of 6-24 hours qualify for a free hotel room and free meals. Not all fare classes are eligible, so make sure to check what class you are ticketed in before requesting a transit hotel. The accommodation standard will depend on your cabin class. All arrangements can be made upon arrival at the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport transfer service counter.