Stopover is a long stop during the flight, which allows you to spend in an intermediate city or country from a day to several days.
When flying with a stopover, you fly on one ticket, but with a difficult route and a long transfer – usually from 24 to 72 hours; during this time, you can take a leisurely stroll around the city, see the main attractions, taste the local cuisine, sleep in the hotel and continue your journey calmly. New emotions and sometimes a very necessary respite on the way are provided. Therefore, stopovers are especially popular when flying long distances, for example, to Asia or the United States.
Prices for tickets with a stopover are usually no higher than for a direct or regular transit flight with a stopover for several hours. Some airlines will also pay you for airport transfers, excursions and even hotel accommodation. It is important that the entire flight must be performed by one airline or several different members of the alliance.
How to buy tickets with a stopover?
Major online ticket search services, including OneTwoTrip, automatically calculate stopover capabilities and offer different options. To do this, you need to select the option “complex route” (“multiple route”, multy city). The second option is to search for and issue stopovers directly on the websites of airlines flying in the desired direction.
Let’s analyze the situation with an example. Let’s say you are going to warm up in Thailand in winter, but you do not mind looking into another country on the way. With a simple search, we find out which airlines fly to Bangkok and through which cities. The choice is large, but you, for example, have long dreamed of seeing Istanbul, and Turkish Airlines just flies to Asia with a transit in this city. And not only to Asia, by the way. It is not for nothing that Istanbul is one of the most popular stopover cities. For Russians, stopping here is also convenient due to the visa-free regime.
If the transit time is more than 20 hours, you are entitled to free hotel accommodation. Economy class passengers are accommodated for free for one night in a four-star hotel in the historical part of the city – Sultanahmet district. If you are flying in business class, you can count on two nights in a five-star hotel in the iconic Taksim district, where local intellectuals usually spend time.
Please note that in order to receive the Stopover service, you must fly on Turkish Airlines flights from the following airports: Vnukovo (Moscow), Pulkovo (St. Petersburg), Koltsovo (Yekaterinburg), Kurumoch (Samara), international airports in Ufa, Kazan, Sochi, Voronezh, Stavropol, Rostov-on-Don. Stopover in Istanbul is valid for flights to the countries of North and South America, Asia, the Far East, Africa, as well as to Prague, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Belgrade, Baku, Bucharest, Munich, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. Tickets must be issued both ways with return to Russia.
If everything fits, feel free to arrange a flight with a long transit. After that, be sure to book a stopover service in advance – contact the airline’s representative office in Russia by phone or e-mail and reserve a hotel room. You will be sent a special voucher, with which you immediately go to the hotel upon arrival. Don’t forget to collect your luggage if the connection is over 24 hours. You need to get from the airport to the hotel and back on your own – use the metro, the terminal station of which is located right inside the airport terminal. Ataturk or catch a bright yellow taxi at the exit.
In this video, Yevgeny Trofimchuk, OneTwoTrip Recreation Director, explains why a taxi of this color is the most profitable to take.
What to do in Istanbul during Stopover?
Two or three days is quite enough to see the main sights of the city and feel its spirit. In the historical part – the Sultanahmet district – there are places of worship nearby: the famous Hagia Sophia, which has managed to visit both an Orthodox cathedral, a mosque, and a museum, the impressively finished Blue Mosque and the mysterious Basilica Cistern – a huge underground storage of water. If time permits, visit Topkapi, the main palace of the Ottoman Empire.
Take the tram to the most famous and popular tourist area – Beyoglu. This is a quarter with trendy restaurants, coffee shops, clubs and shops. Its heart is the famous Taksim Square. There are also many museums and art galleries in Beyoglu. Walk along the pedestrian Istiklal Street or ride the famous red retro tram. Climb the Galata Tower on a hill to admire the panorama of Istanbul, the Bosphorus and the vastness of the Sea of Marmara from above. Walk along one of the symbols of the city – Galata Bridge, which overlooks both banks of the Golden Horn. At the Eminonu pier along the strait, have a snack on the famous fish sandwiches and take a boat ride along the Bosphorus. But the best view of the Bosphorus and the Asian part of the city, in the common opinion of tourists, opens from the embankment in the Fyndykly park. From here ships make regular flights to the Princes’ Islands.