What is a Stopover and What Airlines Allow it?

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A stopover refers to a longer duration between connecting flights, generally exceeding 24 hours.

Unlike layovers, which may last as short as 30 minutes to a few hours, stopovers provide travelers with an opportunity to explore the city or country they are transiting through.

One of the key distinctions between a layover and a stopover is that during a stopover, passengers can leave the airport and discover the local area, culture, and attractions before boarding their next flight.

Many airlines offer stopover options, and sometimes even promote them as part of their itineraries, encouraging passengers to take advantage of the opportunity to discover new destinations.

Benefits of Stopovers

Stopovers provide travelers with a valuable opportunity to explore additional destinations without incurring extra airfare costs. 

One of the primary benefits of stopovers is the ability to visit two cities for the price of one.

As travelers can spend up to five to seven days in a stopover location, it allows for ample time to immerse themselves in another culture, experience local attractions, and explore the city’s highlights.

Another advantage of stopovers is the opportunity to break up long-haul flights, providing passengers with the chance to rest and rejuvenate between lengthy travel segments.

This can be especially helpful for older travelers or those with mobility issues, as it reduces the physical strain associated with extended travel periods.

Moreover, stopovers can enable travelers to optimize their overall travel experiences by allowing them to explore destinations they may have otherwise missed.

They can discover hidden gems or learn about intriguing cities not initially on their itineraries, expanding their knowledge of the world.

What Airlines Offer Stopovers?

Several airlines offer stopover programs including the following:

  • Icelandair: You can spend up to seven nights each way in Reykjavik when flying between North America and Europe.
  • TAP Portugal: You can spend up to five nights in Lisbon or Porto.
  • Turkish Airlines: You can stopover in Istanbul between certain destinations and may include free hotel accommodations. 
  • Etihad: You can stopover in in Abu Dhabi for up to two free nights in a participating hotel.
  • Emirates: You can book a stopover in Dubai. 
  • Finnair: You can stopover in Helsinki for up to 5 nights.
  • Copa Airlines: You can stopover in Panama City for up to 7 nights.
  • Iberia: You can stopover in Madrid for one to six nights for no additional cost.
  • Oman Air: You can stopover in Muscat for free for a few days.
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