A Guide to Gulf Air Transit Accommodation

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Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, offers a unique service to its passengers called the Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) program. This service aims to provide a more comfortable and enjoyable layover experience for passengers with extended transit times in Bahrain. In this article, we will explore the STPC concept, its benefits, eligibility criteria, and how to apply for this service.



What is a Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC)?

Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) is a service provided by some airlines to offer passengers with long layovers a complimentary hotel stay, meals, and transportation between the airport and the hotel when the transit is because there are no shorter scheduled flights for your route (i.e., because you are forced to, not because you want to sit in the lounge for an absorbent amount of time). Gulf Air’s STPC program is designed to make your transit experience in Bahrain more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Several other airlines also offer STPC programs for their passengers. Neighbouring Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines have the most prominent ones, with their Qatar Airways Transit Accommodation and Turkish Airlines Stopover in Istanbul programs. You can find a comprehensive list of airlines with stopover programs here.

What does Gulf Air STPC provide?

Gulf Air’s STPC program offers passengers with qualifying layovers the following services:

  • Complimentary hotel accommodation
  • Meals at the hotel
  • Transportation between Bahrain International Airport and the hotel

It is important to note that any additional charges, such as room service or minibar usage, are the responsibility of the passenger.

Eligibility for Gulf Air STPC

General Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for Gulf Air’s STPC program, passengers must meet the following general eligibility criteria:

  • The transit time in Bahrain must be between 8 and 24 hours
  • Both the inbound and outbound flights must be operated by Gulf Air
  • The passenger must hold a confirmed and ticketed reservation
  • The STPC request must be made at least 72 hours before departure

Monetary Eligibility Requirements

  • If your purchased ticket value is US450 (ticket fare + carrier imposed charges) or more (one-way and/or return ticket), you will be entitled to a complimentary STPC.
  • If your purchased ticket value is less than US450 (ticket fare + carrier imposed charges) (one-way and/or return), you can book your STPC for a fee of USD80 per Adult and US55 per child (between the ages of 2-12 years old) before departing their originating destination. Infants below the age of 2 years will receive a complimentary stay.

Non-Monetary Eligibility Requirements

  • Your outbound and inbound flights to Bahrain must be booked on a Gulf Air flight (including Gulf Air Codeshare flights) and operated by Gulf Air.
  • Should there be an available connecting flight within 7 hours out of Bahrain, your entitlement will not be applicable. All passengers choosing a longer connection will have to purchase a stopover product at their own expense.
  • If you are under the age of 16 years and entitled to a Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC), you must be accompanied by either a parent or a guardian.

What happens if you do not meet the eligibility requirements?

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for Gulf Air’s STPC program, you may still be able to book a stopover product at your own expense.

For passengers travelling between the Indian Sub-continent and the Middle East or vice versa, if the fare value is less than USD450 (ticket fare + carrier imposed charges), they will receive up to two meal vouchers (for connections up to 12 hours). However, passengers can pre-purchase STPC (24 hrs before departure) at their own expense‚Äč.

Additional Considerations

What if a customer’s connection is cancelled and/or delayed beyond 7 hours?

All customers, irrespective of booking class, will be entitled to complimentary STPC if their connection is cancelled and/or delayed beyond 7 hours.

What if Bahrain immigration refuses entry to a customer who is entitled to STPC?

If Bahrain immigration refuses entry to a customer who is entitled to STPC, the following provisions will be made:

  • Falcon Gold Customers will be entitled to use the Falcon Lounge and a meal voucher will be provided.
  • All other customers will be provided with a meal voucher or accommodated at the airport transit hotel (subject to availability and eligibility).
  • Customers who have purchased an STPC package and are denied entry, they will either be accommodated at the airport transit hotel or issued a refund.

Conclusion

Gulf Air’s Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) program is a valuable service that aims to enhance the layover experience for passengers with extended transit times in Bahrain. By understanding the eligibility criteria and additional considerations, passengers can take advantage of this service and enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable layover.

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Dan
Dan
Travelling on Points is the brainchild of a person who loves to travel and reap the benefits of doing so. Dan enjoys sharing the knowledge of travel as he believes that the more people travel the less narrow-minded, and more tolerant, people will be of each other.

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