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While the simplest option is always to look for a nonstop flight, you may want to reconsider for your next international getaway.
Airline stopover programs are on the rise, meaning you can enjoy extra time in a new destination — often the carrier’s home city — usually at no added cost. And for a limited time, these five carriers are making it even easier to enjoy two vacations for the price of one.
Some of the newest promotions even include options for complimentary hotel stays, like Singapore Airlines’ The Great Singapore Getaway, which includes a Singapore stopover for as little as $1 (including a one-night hotel reservation) if you book by Oct. 2, 2018.
Likewise, Qatar is offering free one-night stays for layovers of 12 hours or more if booked by Dec. 28.
In addition to the carriers listed below, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for promotions from COPA Airlines and Thai Airways, as both carriers have launched free stopover promos for Panama and Bangkok in the past.
Certain Alitalia flights are eligible for a free stopover in Rome. Stopovers can be up to three days long, though only a select number of routes are permitted, so check this chart to see if a free stopover is available for your itinerary.
To book, contact the Alitalia call center, and inquire about special hotel deals, too. This offer is currently available through Dec. 31.
Etihad has a variety of stopover packages at its hub of Abu Dhabi. Business-class passengers can stay one night for free while first-class passengers can stay two nights for free in an Abu Dhabi hotel. The transit stopover program allows passengers with layovers of 6 to 12 hours to play a round of golf, or get day access to a pool for $40.
A current promotion is also welcoming economy passengers with a connection through Abu Dhabi to stay two nights. Passengers will pay for the first night of accommodation, but the second night is free.
Stopovers in Oman are free for passengers traveling roundtrip on Oman Air. All destinations are valid and a free stopover is available on either the outbound or return journey. Because some charges may apply for the departure journey, it’s best to book your stopover for the return flight home.
Several participating resorts have promotions offering one free night if you stay two or three. These hotels vary in price and each hotel’s promo has its own expiration date, so make sure to check here before booking. Keep in mind Oman has visa requirements that will need to be satisfied if you plan to leave the airport.
The +Qatar program calls its stopovers ‘stayovers,’ and they can be booked in three easy steps:
- Book your Qatar Airways ticket with transit in Doha.
- Apply for your free transit visa, if necessary.
- Book your free, one-night hotel stay, or pay $100 for a two-night package (for stops of 12 hours or more).
Hotels included in the +Qatar program include the InterContinental Doha, the Marriott Marquis Doha and the Radisson Blu Doha. This offer must be booked by Dec. 28 for stays until Dec. 31.
While Singapore Airlines offers a basic stopover package ($40 for one night in a hotel and complimentary rides on the SIA Hop-on bus), you can get this package for just $1 if booked by Oct. 2 for travel between Oct. 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019.
You can book your stopover while booking your ticket, or add it on later using the My Booking section of the Singapore Airlines website.
Featured image by Rustam Azmi/Getty Images
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