Do airlines offer a hotel room if you have a long layover?

room2If you are facing a connection with a long layover, you may try to find a quiet place at the airport to sit and possibly lay on some seats. But even if you succeed, it remains inconvenient.

A reader asks whether there are airlines that offer accommodation services on flights with a long layover. Western airlines usually do not do that, but Middle East and Asian airlines may do so.

However, information about it may be hard to find on their web sites. Moreover, the offer may not be what you would want and you may not be eligible for the service.

One of the conditions is often that you must take the shortest connection. This may imply that you need to accept inconvenient travel times - for example, a red-eye flight - to be eligible.

Another quite regular condition is that you must have an overlay between a minimum (often 8 hours) and a maximum (frequently 24 hours). Also, there may be a difference between economy and business class passengers.

Turkish Airlines has a hotel service, which is hidden under “Special Service Requests”. It is an example of an airline with strict conditions that are difficult to find and that may force you to take a red-eye flight.

Some Gulf carriers are fairly transparent about their accommodation service although at Emirates you need to make a booking to find out whether you will be eligible.

Qatar Airways has strict conditions for complimentary transit accommodation.

etihad1aEtihad Airways may have the best offer. It is valid until October 1, 2015, but perhaps it will be extended. Gulf Air may have the most transparent offer as it specifies the booking classes that will be entitled to a complimentary hotel room.

Air China claims to offer a free hotel stay for passengers who transit overnight within 24 hours. This suggest a maximum rather than a minimum overlay, which seems unlikely and could be a language issue. But you need to contact their sales staff for detailed conditions.

China Eastern and China Southern Airlines provide better information. At China Southern you may find yourself in a 2-star hotel, which you may not want.

Malaysia Airlines has a stop-over offer under quite strict conditions.

At SriLankan Airlines you may be eligible for hotel accommodation, airport transfers and meals, but it is unclear under which conditions. You need to contact your travel agent or a SriLankan Airlines Office for further information.

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