Do you want to know how to avoid sleeping on your backpack in the corner of the terminal hallway during your long transit? I can help you turn it into a comfortable stay at a luxury hotel and it’s gonna be for free, too! This is our guide to getting free accommodation from your airline for a long transit!
How to get a COMPLIMENTARY HOTEL?
There’s nothing more frustrating than an overnight transit at the airport. No way to get out, expensive coffee shops and restaurants, boredom and lack of privacy. After a flight, I bet everyone would love a hot shower and a comfortable bed to rest in.
Long transits are my least favorite part of traveling. But we finally found a way to avoid them!
Now the truth is I didn’t know about this before I’ve actually done it. And so far I only managed to make it happen only two times, but according to the research I made recently, it’s a pretty common thing among some airlines! More people should take this into consideration when booking their long-haul flights.
What do I mean? Well, turns out that some airlines actually provide complimentary accommodation between flights for their guests.
Do all airlines provide free accommodation for transit passengers?
No. It always depends on who you travel with, and that’s why you need to keep this in mind and research the subject carefully before booking the flights.
You can find a list of all the airlines I know about that offer this complimentary accommodation service for transit passengers below. Let us know if you had any experiences with any other airlines regarding this matter.
Do your research BEFORE you book the flights!
If you’re a traveler hunting for flights on special promotions and big holiday deals, you probably know this. Often if a flight is much cheaper than other flights by the same airline, it’s probably because the transit time is between 6 and up to even 24 hours. How can you take advantage of that?
Last month I was looking for cheap flights from London to Bangkok. I used a lot of resources and put quite a lot of effort into it, but at the end of the day, I had the comfort of choosing between three different airlines.
Each deal I found included a transit of over 8 hours. Thinking about sleeping at the airport again was making me sick.
All three options I had were in the same price range, so before I decided to book any of them, I went on each airline’s website to carefully go over their offer.
In the end, the airline we chose was China Southern Airline. Mainly because we found out that they provided free accommodation for their passengers with long connecting times.
The thing is it’s different with every airline, but usually, the terms and conditions of this service are clearly stated on every airline’s website.
Let’s take a look at what it says on the China Southern Airline website regarding the free accommodations.
Free Accommodation for Transit Passengers
I. Requirements and Standards:
1.Passengers flying with:
China Southern Airlines flights
China Southern Airlines international code-sharing flights
Domestic flights on Chongqing Airlines or Xiamen Airlines that connect with China Southern Airlines international flights or China Southern Airlines international code-sharing flights.
This paragraph explains which flights apply for the free accommodation for transit passengers. If your flight qualifies, you can proceed to the next paragraph.
II. Passengers with Connecting time:
8-48hours(included) for international-to-international, international-to-domestic ，domestic-to-international
domestic-to-domestic:Overnight Transit, no onward flight on the same day, less than or equal to 24 hours with an overnight stopover
When you book with China Southern, you can only apply for the free accommodation for transit passengers if your connecting time is over 8 and below 48 hours. If your transit leaves you at the airport for over 8 hours overnight, then you can apply for the complimentary hotel for transit passengers.
III. Transit in Guangzhou
Which basically means that in order to get the complimentary hotel, your transit with China Southern Airlines MUST BE in Guangzhou.
(source of the quotes China Southern Airline website)
How to apply for the free accommodation for transit?
Once we booked our flights, we tried to apply for the hotel for our transit in Guangzhou online, using China Southern Airlines website. However, their website isn’t particularly responsive as for today. Because of this, we had to email them, asking for information how we can book the transit if the website doesn’t respond.
We ended up calling them a couple of times on their helpline. We called them for the first time a couple of weeks before our flight to ‘book a room’. On the day of our departure, we gave them another call as we didn’t receive a confirmation email we’d asked for initially. They reassured us that regardless of whether or not we have a confirmation email, there would be no issues getting a room once we got to Guangzhou.
Where is the accommodation counter at the Guangzhou Airport?
We spent good half an hour wandering around the whole terminal in hopes of finding the accommodation counter for passengers with long connecting time.
It turns out that in order to get there, you have to get your passport stamped for the transit 72-hour visa in China. This means you can stay in China for under 72 hours free of charge and you can get this visa on arrival in most cases.
Then, you have to find the Accommodation Counter located by the exit gate 21 on the first floor of the departures hall.
We flew from London to Guangzhou and it took us quite some time to get from Arrivals to the Accommodation Counter.
Once you get there, you will be able to actually choose one of the hotels partnered with China Southern Airlines. You can take a look at the selection here as well.
HaoYin Gloria Plaza Hotel in Guangzhou
We chose the luxurious HaoYin Gloria Plaza Hotel located only about 15 minutes away from the airport. Transport to and from the hotel is provided free of charge as well.
Our room in the hotel was elegant and comfortable both times we spend the night there. Spacious, well-equipped and modern, with plenty of space and amenities provided to the guests. After a 10 hour flight, it was a great opportunity to rest before the next part of our journey.
I can’t remember last time I slept as well as during our night at HaoYin Gloria Plaza Hotel.
Due to the fact that our flight was early in the morning, we couldn’t enjoy the breakfast in the hotel. Instead, we were offered a takeaway lunch-box breakfast which was another nice touch.
What airlines offer a free accommodation for transit passengers?
This is the list of airlines that provide such services – but each of them on different terms and conditions.
Before you book your flight and hope for a free transit accommodation, go to their website and check carefully if the service is still being provided and under what terms and conditions.
These airlines provide some sort of a complimentary accommodation service for transit passengers with long connecting time between flights:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Asiana Airlines
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Egypt Air
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Gulf Air
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Air
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
- Singapore Airlines
- Sri Lankan Airlines
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
Let us know if you had any experiences getting free accommodation for your transit!
You can also check out our Guide to Saving Money for Your Travels! It’s time to start making these travel dreams come true!
Have a safe flight!