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How to blag a FREE hotel from your airline on a long-haul stopover

MSE_Sarah Posts: 327 MSE Staff
First Anniversary Photogenic First Post I've been Money Tipped!
Over Easter, I made the mammoth 23,318-mile return trip to New Zealand and back - which included two stopovers in China, for 12 and then a whopping 18 hours. While I can handle a few hours in a departure lounge, this time I was fully prepared to pay for a proper bed and shower. But when I searched for airport hotels, I discovered my airline China Southern - like many others - would put me up for no extra cost...

Read the full blog: How to blag a FREE hotel from your airline on a long-haul stopover
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  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,411 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    All airlines offer this for travellers with full economy (Y) tickets or above. Few airlines offer this to people with Q (discounted economy) tickets.
  • richardw
    richardw Posts: 19,458 Forumite
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    The first time I did this was with Ansett Australia and stayed in Hong Kong.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • DUKE
    DUKE Posts: 7,360 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!

    I had a free meal once in Dubai, not that I needed it with Emirates! But missed out on the hotel as I should've pre-booked.
  • fifeken
    fifeken Posts: 2,706 Forumite
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    edited 25 May 2019 at 7:57AM
    Some (all?) of the airlines will insist you have chosen the shortest available connection, so you won't get the hotel if you choose a long transit just to enjoy a free room en route.

    I know Emirates have a minimum spend requirement too, which doesn't appear to be published and may catch the unwary out.
  • Jack_B52
    I often use China Southern for trips to New Zealand, and make sure I pick flights with a long connection in Guanzhau. Although the China Southern website says that free hotels are only available to certain booking classes, there is never any question at the transfer desk at Guanzhau airport. Simply get your 72 hour transit visa and go through to the China Southern transit desk with your onward boarding pass, where they will offer you a choice of hotels.

    Timinig to and from NZ is ideal, arriving in Guanzhau late afternoon and being taken back to the airport around mid-day after a relaxing night in a good hotel, a good breakfast and time to walk around the locality.
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