With airlines pushing the boundaries of how far they can go in a single flight, are they beginning to forget that “getting there is half the fun”? The answer is a resounding “No”.
Getting your business class flights booked through Just Fly Business is a good start at making those long flights more comfortable, but why not go one step further and make your connection into a destination all of its own! Airlines nowadays want passengers to make the most of their main cities (as well as trying to get you to spend your hard earned tourist money there), and they are enticing their passengers by offering a range of stopover facilities at a fraction of the price you would normally pay… or even free!
Now, I admit that some of these carriers do it better than others (and some only do it out of necessity), and I completely realise that certain cities in the world are better value to stay in than others, so for the sake of this article, I recently took a look through several airlines that want their customers to make the most out of their long-haul holidays and looked at specifically what they offered their passengers.
One of the leading airlines in the world, Etihad Airways has people from the UK connecting in Abu Dhabi on their way through to destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Asia. These far destinations provide the perfect opportunity to break up the journey with a stopover, and Etihad makes this a breeze!
They offer their business class passengers a free night accommodation in a 5 star hotel in the city, their first class passengers two free nights, and their The Residence passengers two free nights in the Khaleej Suite at the Emirates Palace. Couple this with the free chauffeur service in Abu Dhabi and it sounds like the perfect way to start or finish a holiday. Of course there are a lot of conditions including a minimum stay, and dates available.
Stopovers don’t have to be a hassle when you can experience two continents in one city!
Turkish Airlines offers international passengers with a connection of 6 hours up to 24 hours in Istanbul the opportunity to do a free tour of the city. Taking in museums, Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, both the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace, the tour gives a hurried but fascinating view of this diverse and historic city!
One of the most exciting and quickly developing cities in the world, Emirates may not offer stopover incentives as such in their main city but savvy travellers can still see the highlights if they want to break up their journey.
Utilising the free chauffeur service for business and first class passengers means that visitors can pre-book a chauffeur drive to and from Jumeirah Beach or the Mall of the Emirates if they have specifically organised an extended connection. This means you can spend a day in Dubai shopping and seeing the sights without having to organise any accommodation at all!
With some of the best reviews of any airline, the comfort and service levels of flying business class with Singapore Airlines is not the only reason to choose them. With one of the best stopover offers for its passengers, this airline definitely wants you to experience Singapore!
With one night stopover packages including transfers and a large list of 3 – 5 star hotels to choose from, prices are a fraction of what are available elsewhere. On top of this, just a couple of pounds more will get you free entry into over 15 attractions including the Singapore Flyer, Orchid Gardens, Sentosa Island, and several museums, as well as complimentary rides on the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus around the city. Fantastic value!
Don’t want to stay overnight? No problem. If you have over five and a half hours connection at the airport and want to get a glimpse of the city, take one of the free tours that Changi Airport offers from the transit lounge, meaning you don’t have to pass immigration.
Business class flights to Australia with Korean Air are becoming more popular for a few reasons. Firstly, they tend to be great value to begin with as it takes a little longer than most routes. Secondly, passengers are making the most of their stopover facilities in Seoul.
Because of the flight schedules, most return flights from Australia to the UK through Seoul are forced to have an overnight stay. Due to this, Korean Air offers this night free of charge to the majority of its passengers, giving the ability to explore this amazing city and provide travellers a second destination in their holiday! Even if you don’t end up with an overnight connection but still have substantial time in the airport, transiting passengers can still see some of the city on one of six tours offered from the transit lounge without having to go through customs and immigration!
The original airline offering stopovers in a bid to get travellers across the Atlantic to stop in their beautiful country, Icelandair may not offer free or discounted hotels and tours, but what they allow is breaking up your journey from the UK to places such as New York, Chicago, and Seattle, for a significantly longer time than other airlines… up to 7 days! Fancy a holiday after that business trip? Or a chance to see the northern lights? Or maybe you just want to wash away your worries in the Blue Lagoon? All things that are possible in Reykjavik thanks to Icelandair!
In 2016, they also had an offer of a local Icelandair employee to show you around for a day. Stories surfaced of pilots taking visitors cross-country skiing, and air stewards showing the country by bicycle, so who knows what this forward thinking airline will come up with next!
Like Singapore Air, Air Canada want people to experience their cities, and are enticing their passengers with deals on hotels in three of their main cities, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Pricing drastically better than what is generally available, and sometime even free of charge to business class passengers, you can rest between flights or explore these fantastic cities at your leisure.
The offer applies to passengers with flight connections longer than 6 hours where a shorter connection time was not available… so they do make it a little difficult to utilise but still, I wouldn’t mind visiting the CN Tower, Stanley Park, or Vieux Montreal on a North American adventure!
What a fantastic way to turn a business trip into something better, or to put an extra shine on your holiday! Just remember though, all these airline offers are subject to availability, and terms and conditions, as well as visa entry requirements, but if it means making the most of your holiday or business trip it’s always worth a go!