best business class stopover programs

World’s Best Business Class Stopover Programs

December 26, 2018 Nency Willims 0Comment

Traveling in Business Class has its own merits that sets it class apart from the regular cattle class. The creature comforts of flying Business Class are truly enticing and worth its price for passengers who care for quality.

Airlines are banking upon a unique concept of converting stopovers into an opportunity for travelers to visit their home base by turning a trip into a 2 for 1 that offers a possibility to explore more than one destination and save at the same time.

Laudable extended stopovers in cities like Istanbul, Doha, Dubai or Singapore are generating quite a buzz making them some of the best stopover programs in the aviation industry. The key is to turn over your layover into a long stopover and extend the perquisites of the business class travel.  

Tourism promotional entities also partner-up with airlines to deliver stopover packages to passengers that enable them to enjoy local attractions with lower rates, or even for free to lure them to spend some time at the city of transit.

A few of the airlines were been built on the concept of stopover; like Icelander which paved the way for other airlines to follow the same suit upon the massive success of such programs.  The program’s intensity is such that it sometimes outstretches their stopover program for full ten days and gives various assortment vacation packages, discounted hotel stays, and complimentary city tours along with it.

Here’s is a list of some of the best stopover programs that lets you enjoy 2 places at the cost of one.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines had made its mark as one of the world’s best super connectors when it comes to adding a stopover in its home base apart from adding covering more sectors than any other airlines.

Enjoy everything Istanbul has to offer thanks to Turkish Airlines and stay in some of the city’s best hotels free of charge.

The airlines has tied up with more than 10 hotels and offer a free stay for a night or even two in a 5-star hotel in Istanbul for free. And what’s best is that the stay costs just as much as the transportation cost around!

They even offer a free night stay in a four-star hotel to economy passengers with a layover of 20 hours and Business Class pax are entitled to two nights at a five-star hotel. Other passengers who have a 6-24 hour transit get a free guided tour of the city, watch spectacular places and engage in a rich variety of shopping and entertainment.  

Award flights using UA miles work as well.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways that has its headquarters and the largest hub here in Qatar is one of the world’s best airlines. Their business class is recently voted one of the best in the business. They have a visa-free entry into Qatar for nationals of 80 countries.  The transit visa is free of cost if a short transit or a stopover of 5-96 hours is added in Doha.

The place itself is a known cultural centre and a well-known foodie destination so you can extend your trip a bit and use your time to explore wonderful Doha, enjoy a desert safari, shopping, lively night lights of Doha and dining in a traditional Arabian Dhow.

Qatar Airways offers a perfect stopover program for both Economy and Business Class passengers with a free night on all flights with a stopover in Qatar via their +Qatar stopover program.  You can enjoy a free night stay and take on the city of Doha, enjoy a relaxing break by the sea and stay for free in many excellent hotels.

Emirates Airlines

Emirates consistently rated one of the best airlines in the world and paired with a range of stopover packages offered by Emirates this trip gets even more excited.

Emirates has one of the best connecting programs with ample chances of getting a connection in Dubai that offers a chance to convert an easy stopover into a side vacation. In the past year, 88 million international passengers traveled through Dubai Airport triggering Emirates to roll out a stopover program to make better utilization of passenger’s time and give them a chance to explore unforgettable Dubai.  

Explore one of the most luxurious cities in the world at an extremely low rate. Stay in one of the best skyscraper hotels. You can spend up to 3 days at the hotel enjoying meals and cocktails in one of Dubai’ skyscraper hotels with a range of partnered attractions and services courtesy Emirates Airlines.

They have a huge online catalog of layover options and all these stopover packages can be booked in as little as 48 hours ahead of the flight. All one needs to do is to contact an agent to book the hotel or apartment.

Etihad Airlines

Etihad offers really worthy stopovers for transit through Abu Dhabi no matter what cabin you’re flying in. Economy class passengers can avail a discount on first night stay and if they choose to stay two nights, the second night is on the house!

For the lucky Business Class flyers, a single night stay in a 5-star hotel is free, and two free night stay for the first class passengers. If they pay to book a suite in The Residence, they get an apartment in The Sky and also two free nights in the most popular Emirates Palace – Khaleej Suite; the offer is too hard to resist.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore’s stopover program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They have their hub at the “World’s Best Airport” – Changi which has won the nominations for 6 years in a row. Their Fantasy park lounge zone is a promising experience.

And once you step out of the airport you will get a firsthand experience of The island city-state. You won’t have to book a separate excursion as these are organized free by the airline, so say goodbye to worries of booking and enjoy the best of gastronomic and high-end shopping experience with the comfort of a sky-high hotel that can be booked for as less as S$45 for a one-night stay. Choose from over 20 cleaver stopover holiday package deals that include SIA hop-on, hop off bus rides along with other exploring wonderful attractions of Singapore.  

Enjoy some of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants, high-end shopping hubs, a happening nightlife, marvellous temples, and local binge plazas during a stopover at Singapore.

Icelandair/WOW Air

Iceland is an extremely popular place and major tourist attractions famous for its otherworldly beauty.  These low-cost airlines operate on a model of offering cheap transport connecting passengers between Europe and the US. Both the Icelandair and the WOW Air offer stopover programs that allow passengers to explore this magnificent country before they reach their final destination.  

Both airlines already provide great fares, like a round trip from San Francisco to London, went on sale on Icelandair’s, recently for $ 263 and a stopover options of up to three days at no additional cost.

This makes for a great chance to explore the island in all its majesty and enjoy the fantastic geysers, glaciers, volcanoes and so much more.

Icelandair’s “Stopover Buddy” program visitors to witness the amazing way of life of the local people while touring the fascinating place in the company of one of its staff members who spare time to show around visitors and that too free of cost.


The Nordic airline is sweetening the deal with its free layover on routes to Asia and Europe via Helsinki. The airline is also actively promoting the top attractions of its home country.

Finnair has an excellent stopover program that allows its passengers to stay in Helsinki anywhere between 5 hour-5 days. The exciting country has a bountiful natural beauty with over 3 million natural saunas, countless lakes and of course the most famous Northern Lights tourism which is a major theme of the stopover program! Although you passengers need to book a package separately with the partner Finland Tours.

There are hundreds of islands to explore, like 16th-century Seurasaari and the fortress of Suomenlinna. Hop into the Löyly sauna and shop for some cosy knitwear at Arela.

Choose for a Finnair’s stopover packages and purchase the activities at their partner’s website. Take the ferry to Tallinn or hop on a two-night cruise to Stockholm to squeeze in another city.

Choose a tailored day trip option in Helsinki or even in Tallinn, or opt for a longer stay to cover a visit to the Moomin world in Naantali and explore the beautiful and the world’s biggest archipelago area.

Air Canada

Air Canada’s nifty stopover program allows passengers to take some extra time out at any of its main gateways which include Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. And what’s best is that it allows you to take one route through any of these cities on your way out and route through a different city on the way back.

The airline offers a free or highly reduced hotel night stay at a nice hotel with no additional airfare in these cities. The condition is that tickets must be booked at least 96 hours in advance and the itinerary should involve at least one city outside the US and Canada.

These stopovers are for those Travelling on Business Class, Premium Economy, flexible Latitude fares, and they can also benefit from a no additional airline fees linked to the stopover.

TAP Portugal

Portugal was long under the radar of Jet Blue’s founder David Neeleman and his team since they took over Portugal’s flag carrier, so much so that they have gone as far as launching a dedicated app for this. Their plan was to launch this hub as “cool Portugal” and a part of the strategy was to project and transform Lisbon into a Europe’s major gateway and the airline has been quite successful in this effort with over 100,000 travelers going through it that has made their stopover program a hit.

Portugal has a surprisingly wide variety of landscapes and cultural treasures that have made it a popular hot destination in Europe, and with a booming tourism and hospitality industry TAP doesn’t want to miss the chance.

Passengers travelling through Lisbon or Porto can enjoy a 2 for 1 trip by adding a stopover in Lisbon or Porto. They get up to five nights of discounted rates as well as a chance of taking part in a number of experiences that are offered by their ground partners.

Lisbon’s architecture and art boom make it a perfect stop for a Portugal first-timer while Porto is a perfect stopover for the return visitor and “wino”.

The program’s outreaches further to cover Azores and Madeira apart from Lisbon and Porto with plans to include other regions as well.  

So just browse the TAP’s “Discover Portugal” page, book flights and select from a list of hotels offering reduced rates for a stay for the stopover program and pack a bathing suit for a visit to the man-made saltwater Piscinas das Marés.

Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines stopover program allows for a one night to five-night stay and passengers can select 2 Belgian cities of their choice.  Enjoy beautiful palaces, Antwerp architecture in cathedrals and museums, cultural liege of the 9,000-year-old Ardent city, ancient monastery, world’s best Altarpiece paintings, decadent chocolate, and other interests- free of charge. Given the size of Belgium, if you opt for a longer package then you might just end up exploring the country in its entirety.

Book a flight including your pit stop on Belgium and select two of the cities of choice. These sites are located within an hour from each other so why not check them and enjoy Belgium.

Ethiopian Airline

The flagship carrier of the ancient land launched its own stopover product back in last year August. If you opt for a connecting flight on Ethiopian, you can spend a few extra days in the country.

Enjoy the historical site packed with natural and cultural wonders, from the rock-carved churches of Lalibela to the cradle of coffee.

Ethiopian Airlines recently launched the very first flight from Chicago to Africa, connecting The City of the Big Shoulders with Ethiopia’s capital. Ethiopian Airlines has been promoting Addis Ababa as a truly global hub and has launched its own stopover product. They offer six packages in partnership with Ethiopian Holidays, a subsidiary tour-operator partner of Euthopia.

If you book a connecting flight, you are offered to spend a few days in the country and the airline flies all over the continent from Cape Town to Windhoek, Namibia to Madagascar. Book one of the airline’s multiple-days vacation packages, explore Addis Ababa and book an hour of connecting flight to the rock churches of Lalibela and the dormant Mount Wonchi volcano.

Check the transit services site for more info.

Next time you’re on a long flight, think about taking a break and adding a fun extra stop to your itinerary to utilize the price of one to explore multiple cities. Apply in advance and check the visa norms.

Nency Willims

Nency Willims is a writer whose words are fueled by the inspiration she gains from her surroundings. She also loves cooking, dancing and most of all traveling. She is a regular contributor to many acclaimed travel magazines and blogs. When she is not writing or traveling, you can often find her meddling with her guitar.

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