✦ The word "stopover" can be confusing, so let’s get some definitions out of the way. A layover is less than 24 hours, while a stopover is more than 24 hours. (Generally this is for international flights, while the cutoff for domestic flights is typically only 4 hours.) So instead of simply connecting through a city, a stopover allows you to spend a day, or even a few days, exploring that city.
✦ Many airlines offer stopover programs that allow you to schedule in a stopover at no extra cost to your flight. Usually this is allowed on either the outbound direction or the return direction. A few airlines include other perks such as a free or discounted hotel room. Some of these offers are so enticing, you might want to skip the nonstop flight even if one is available.
✦ Check out a few of the airlines that offer stopover programs:
Icelandair: Icelandair has a stopover program that allows you to visit Iceland when flying between Europe and North America.
Finnair: Plan a few days for a stopover in Finland while flying between Europe and Asia.
Etihad and Emirates: Both have stopover programs for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively, if your journey takes you through the United Arab Emirates.
Air Canada: You can extend your layover into a Canadian stopover in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal.
Swiss Air: Schedule in a stopover of up to 4 nights in Switzerland.
Qatar Airways: If you’re flying through Doha, you can schedule a two-night stopover with Qatar Airways.
Singapore Airlines: Singapore is a popular connection point for flights to other parts of Asia and even long haul connections around the world, so scheduling in a stopover could be a great way to break up a long journey. Singapore Airlines has a few different stopover options that include a one night hotel stay.
TAP Air Portugal: Connect through Portugal on your way to or from another destination, and you can spend a few days in either Porto or Lisbon for a stopover. They even offer discounts on hotels, tours, and other activities.
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