Disney images in the skies with Lift

Disney images in the sky with Lift Airline. Image : Unsplash

Fancy visiting Istanbul or Abu Dhabi for free? Here’s how!

How does the chance of ticking two destinations off your bucket list for free sound? Here’s how you can visit Istanbul or Abu Dhabi for free.

Disney images in the skies with Lift

Disney images in the sky with Lift Airline. Image : Unsplash

Travelling and exploring the world is on the rise again after the hiatus induced by the pandemic.  For many travellers the chance to visit an exotic destination as part of the journey to their final destination sounds like a great opportunity.

There are airlines that offer complimentary overnight stays to passengers travelling to destinations on connecting flights.    


Certain airlines try to incentivise passengers to stay over in their home bases. If travellers are willing to book a ticket on an airline with stopover benefits, it is often possible to check a destination off one’s bucket list.

While many airlines offer a number of discounts, there are some that will also pick up the cost of hotel stays. Here are two highly respected airlines that offer free hotel stays when booking a stopover with them.


Turkish Airlines is a certified 4-star airline with a large route network. The airline offers flights out of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to destinations all over the world.

The carrier’s hub is the magnificent city of Istanbul. This splendid destination should be on your bucket list. There are amazing sights to see when passing through this interesting city.


According to Traveloffpath, passengers passing through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines can spend at least 24 hours in Istanbul for free. Turkish Airlines offers a complimentary stay for passengers in Economy Class and Business Class.

Provided that a ticket is booked with at least a 20-hour connection, ticket holders will be eligible for at least a one-night free stay in a luxury 4-star hotel. Requests for a free hotel must be provided 72 hours before flights.

Details can be found on Turkish Airlines’ official stopover page on their website.


Gulf carrier Etihad Airways is another airline that offers free stopovers to passengers who meet specific requirements.  The airline offers passengers free stays in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad is also certified as a 4-star carrier. The airline flies out of Johannesburg to a number of destinations across the globe, via its hub in Abu Dhabi.


Passengers are offered complimentary 3 or 4-star hotel stays through Etihad’s Stopover on Us program. Travellers looking to upgrade can do so through Etihad’s other program, Best of Abu Dhabi, where discounts of up to 40% on 4 or 5-star hotels are offered.

Regardless of which package travellers choose, all they have to do is book a flight to Abu Dhabi in any class through Etihad’s official website. Hotel availability can be seen on their stopover page and reservations must be made at least 3 full days before travel.

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