Etihad Abu Dhabi stopover holiday: FAQs & booking Experience - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Etihad Abu Dhabi stopover holiday: FAQs & booking Experience

Etihad Airways offers a stopover option- This option lets you stay in Abu Dhabi for 2 nights during your trip. You can land in AUH, stay for 2-3 days and then proceed to your original intended destination. Stopover holiday is a good option to explore a city- booking a ticket exclusively to Abu Dhabi would cost much more than a stopover holiday. I had my first hand experience of booking Etihad's Abu Dhabi "free" stopover holiday recently.

Things you should know about Etihad's Abu Dhabi stopover holiday!

#1 Is Etihad Stopover holiday free?

No. There is an extra cost: Though Etihad says you will get 2 night free stay, your ticket price goes up by couple of thousand rupees. For my flight, Kozhikode to Cairo, if I opt for Stopover holiday return ticket was 32200 INR, if I don't opt for it, ticket was 30000 INR. So Etihad is charging about 1000-1100 INR (13-15 USD) extra to offer stopover holiday.

Second catch is that you will have to book on Etihad website only. If you are booking multi city ticket on 3rd party website like Easemytrip, you will get different PNRs for each sector and with that you will NOT be able to claim stopover holiday on Etihad's website. Multi city tickets also cost a lot more than a return ticket. So only option is to book on Etihad's official website.

Same ticket that costs 30k on Etihad website was costing around 28k on Cleartrip and Easemytrip after some bank offers. So I lost another 2000 INR for stopover option.

So essentially I paid 4000 INR more for the stopover holiday and got 2 night stay. It is not a huge amount but essentially Etihad Stopover holiday is NOT Free.

UAE visa cost extra, but I wouldn't tag it to airline though.

#2 How to book Etihad stopover holiday?

First book your flight on While booking, you should remember to select Etihad stopover holiday and decide if you want to take it during the onward journey or return journey. 

Etihad website will give flight options where your connecting flight will be 2 days after previous flight. Check if the flight timing suits your need (like landing at 11 PM on 20th and next flight at 3 AM on 22nd will only give you 1 full day at Abu Dhabhi though it is 2 nights. Try to select flight timings that give you enough time at transit city Abu Dhabi.

Once your flights are selected proceed make other selections as per your need and finally make payment. You will notice that ticket price will be a few thousand rupees (20-25 Euros) more compared to price you would see if no stopover holiday was selected.

Once your PNR is generated you've to log into second website and select your hotel. Many users have complained that after they booked the ticket they see no availability of hotels on Etihadholidays. So if you are booking closer to travel date it is very high risk.

Check dates and other details are correct- I am not seeing any way to retrieve my hotel booking or make any changes

Website will ask your credit card details. You don't have to pay anything but they still need your card details.

You should get a hotel booking confirmation via email soon

Ensure you've UAE visa before your flight- else you won't be able to board and certainly can't enter your hotel

#3 Etihad Stopover holiday- known issues

1. Risk of unavailability of partner hotels

Etihad website doesn't say hotels are sold out for your travel dates. First you've to book your ticket, then go to Etihad holidays website to book hotel. If that site is buggy or says all hotels are sold out, there is nothing you can do.

Since check-in-check-out dates are known during ticket booking, Etihad must warn users if hotels are sold out for those dates. Else this whole scheme will sound like a scam as people may not be able to book hotels and will be on their own.

Internet is full of complaints from people who booked flight but now unable to book hotels under Etihad holidays. No refund, no compensation, you will be on your own. Maybe if you're booking flight 6 months in advance you have fair chance of getting a hotel, if it is closer to travel date, I see a risk.

2. Can't access my hotel booking anywhere

Once I booked a stopover holiday I could not see any option to see by hotel booking. No way to confirm, cancel or modify the stopover holiday. Your booking confirmation is your only evidence. Keep it safe.

Etihad website only shows main ticket and has no mention of stopover stay

3. Etihad main customer care is clueless about Stopover holiday. 

Etihad has 2 different websites and teams handling regular flight bookings and holidays and these teams do not seem to be in sync or able to coordinate among each other to resolve a customer issue. I had an issue so I called Etihad customer care but they had no clue. They could not even share my details of Etihad holiday support email. Eventually Etihad twitter handle provided me an email. 

4. Etihad Holiday customer care is hard to find.

Contact us page on takes us to main Etihad airways page.

5. Etihad holiday website seems not optimized to handle various use cases.

They already have my PNR, why ask PNR and flight details again? Not sure which airport I should enter- origin airport or AUH or final destination airport in these fields

Same PNR if you try to book stopover holiday again it won't stop you. Many other scenarios not supported. 

Website often gives errors and hasn't gon

Lorem Ipsum? Really? Website hasn't gone through much of a quality check

#4 My experience booking Etihad stopover holiday 2024

  • I booked a ticket to Egypt on by selecting stopover during onward journey- the ticket booking process went all fine, though it cost me 4k INR more compared to same flights on cleartrip
  • Next I tried to book stopover holiday on etihadholidays. I entered PNR and other details asked but system made booking on wrong dates.
  • Called Etihad customer care to resolve- they spent 15 minutes but could not do anything- gave me one international number which I can't call from India
  • Tweeted to Etihad handle on X and they gave me an email ID
  • Made another booking using same PNR, this time date got selected correctly and I even got a etihad holiday booking confirmation
  • Mailed Etihad holiday team to cancel my earlier booking, got acknowledgement
  • 2 days later tried to verify on Etihad holidays website if my first booking is cancelled and second booking is intact- unable to see anything on their website.
  • My travel is 6-7 months away. Hopefully everything will go smooth. Will update after the experience.
  • I booked another ticket later for my family member separately- no way to update my hotel and change it to double occupancy. Have to book another room separately- loss for Etihad only.Faced issue on their website couple of times but could eventually book for family member. (My flight ticket was booked 7 months in advance)

There are some more options- like we can book a 3 night stopover while only 2 night free- I am not sure how it works so I didn't risk trying. Felt 2 days enough. Each night costs 100-120 USD, if I am staying for 3rd night I need an option to stay in some cheap hostel of my choice on my own. Not sure such an option exists.

There is a premium stopover as well, with 5* hotel etc. Try if interested. 

My tips to Etihad group

  • If guest has selected stopover holiday during flight ticket booking check hotel availability and warn if hotels are NOT available
  • Avoid taking PNR, flight details multiple times
  • Provide an option to retrieve holiday booking, cancel or add another guest
  • Educate airline customer care about typical problems faced by stopover holiday guests
  • Get Etihad Holiday website updated with proper quality checks

Things to do in Abu Dhabi during stopover holiday

Abu Dhabi has several attractions of its own- Ferrari world, Grand Mosque and much more. You can also hop on a bus and head to Dubai


  1. So, how is your stop over experience?
    Is it worth it?

  2. So, how is your stop over experience? is it worth it?


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