Have you ever experienced enjoying two trips for the price of one when travelling to an international destination? Well, this is possible and there are only a few airline carriers that can make this happen. Some airline carriers offer certain programs that allow you to avail a “free stopover”, especially if you booked a multi-city flight with one or more stopovers. This travel guide will give you an overview of the free stopover program that is called Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC).
In this blog, we are going to provide you in detail about what is Stopover Paid by Carrier airline program and whether it can benefit you during your travel.
What is a Stopover Paid by Carrier?
In air travel, a Stopover Paid by Carrier, often abbreviated as STPC, is a program in which passengers are allowed “free stopovers” in their multi-city flight itineraries.
Thus, as the name suggests, these are extra stopovers which are added by airline carriers and without charging the passenger.
Benefits of Having a Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) in Your Flight Itinerary
From the definition given above, it is already clear that a Stopover Paid by Carrier, or STPC, is a multi-city stopover that is offered for free to passengers travelling on long-haul flights. So, a major benefit which we see here is that passengers who are allowed this free stopover can enjoy a day or two in a mid-point destination.
For example, let’s say you are flying from the New York City to Moscow and have also booked a stopover at say, Paris via your airline carrier. Now, through a program, your airline carrier offers you a stopover at Berlin in your flight itinerary which is free of charge. Since the addition of another stopover in your flight itinerary is offered to you by your airline carrier, it is thus, not charged at all. The program may also include other free services, such as hotel accommodation or city tour for that particular stopover destination.
This gives you the benefit of spending a day or two in Berlin, explore the city and board your flight which is en route to Moscow. This benefit can make your travel worthwhile.
However, be aware that a free stopover can be any stopover in your flight itinerary, it may be the first stopover, a second, or the last mid-point city before you get to your final destination city. Also, the free stopover is selected by the airline carrier, which can depend on your flight’s route.
Airline Carriers that Offer a Free Stopover on Multi-City Flights
As of now, there are just a few airline carriers that offer a free stopover program called Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) to passengers travelling on long-haul flights. However, keep in mind that some airlines in the list given below may or may not offer hotel accommodation, city tour or transit to stopover customers.
Here, we have included some airline carriers in alphabetical order that are known to offer the Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) program on multi-city itineraries to their customers.
- Aer Lingus
- Air China
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Avianca Airlines
- Azores Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Fiji Airways
- Gulf Air
- Japan Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Ravn Alaska
- Royal Air Moroc
- Swiss International Air Lines
- TAP Portugal
You can always check with the airline carrier, even the ones which are not listed here, if they offer a free stopover program and how to book one for your trip.
How to Book a Flight with a Free Stopover
It is advised that you first, check with the airline carrier if they offer such programs that allow you to book a free stopover in your flight itinerary. We have already provided you the names of some airline carriers that offer Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) program from time to time to customers.
The following are the steps to book your flight along with stopovers, which can also include one free stopover allowed to you by your airline carrier.
1. Visit the airline carrier’s website you would like to book a flight reservation.
2. Select the Multi-city reservation option on the website’s booking page in order to book your flight with a stopover.
3. Next, you will be required to enter your details in the fields, such as name of passenger, date of travel, departure city, arrival city, number of passengers, etc. After providing all the required details, click the Search Flights button. This will find all available flights for the route.
4. The available flight and route will be displayed on your screen. Along with that you may also be provided additional options, like upgrades, baggage allowance and more. You can make your necessary selections. However, there may be additional fees charged for certain additions you make.
5. After you have found your available flight and made your selections, you will be directed to the check out page for making online payment. The booking process takes only a few moments to complete.
Once your multi-city flight reservation booking is completed successfully, you will receive a confirmation code, flight itinerary, receipt and other relevant information via e-mail. Additionally, you can also request for your boarding pass to be sent via e-mail, or use your airliner’s mobile app for better convenience.
You can use stopovers to add a couple of destinations in your flight itinerary that you wish to visit. Bear in mind that your free stopover has a limited period, which can vary with the airline carrier you are travelling.