If your layover in Addis Ababa is between 8-24 hours, chances are you can score a free hotel room courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines during your long layover.
Not everyone with a transit between 8-24 hours will receive a free hotel voucher. Note these exceptions.
- You must be transiting from an Ethiopian Airlines international flight to another Ethiopian Airlines international flights.
- The long layover must be necessary — in other words, if there is an earlier connection available inside the eight hour window, you will not receive a complimentary hotel voucher.
- Your passport must be eligible for a transit visa on arrival (most passports qualify).
Rapid Travel Chai points out that if you do not qualify for a free hotel, you can still buy one…generally at a cheaper rate than retail.
Earlier I outlined my Addis Ababa Transit Guide. If you’re looking for a free hotel, follow the transit signs and you’ll find a pair of desks that look like this–
> Read More: Addis Ababa (ADD) Transit Guide
There was no line when I arrived, but I hear it can get pretty busy.
Once you arrive at the desk, simply present your onward boarding or itinerary as well as your passport. If flying in business class, you may be given a choice of hotels. For example, I was offered the Hilton or the Radisson Blu. Economy Class passengers are provided lower accommodations.
Two Essential Documents
Your passport will be returned to you with both a hotel voucher (printed on regular paper) and a laminated yellow transit card. You’ll need both documents to exit passport control without paying for a visa.
Proceed downstairs where you’ll wait in line to be stamped into Ethiopia. I was directed into a line for “Ethiopians” then chewed out for being in the wrong line.
If you’ve checked bags, you do not need to collect bags during your layover.
Once in the country, look for a sign for your hotel. Most hotels in the Ethiopian Airlines transit hotel program have airport staff to arrange shuttle transport. Shuttle service is complimentary.
Once you get to the hotel, no credit card or cash should be needed. Meals are also included. At the Hilton, I was provided three meal vouchers: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Your hotel voucher will indicate what time you should return to the airport.
Ethiopian Airlines’ complimentary transit hotel program worked like a charm for me. If you have a long layover, take advantage of the opportunity for a free hotel to rest, recharge, and refuel.