Luxury Layovers: 6 Airlines for Exploring Layover Destinations

While travelling, a layover refers to a stop at an intermediate point, often an airport, before continuing to the final destination. Layovers may vary from a quick break of under an hour to an extended delay of several hours or overnight. During a layover, travellers can remain within the airport, but some may have the option to leave and explore the layover destinations or regions where the layover occurs. The concept of a luxurious layover is gaining popularity among travellers. It lets you enjoy a brief stopover in a pampered and rejuvenating environment. This experience with several can turn the layover into a seamless and luxurious interlude between flights. 

Layovers can be an exciting part of air travel to explore a new destination before reaching your final terminus. Some airlines are renowned for offering excellent layover destinations, allowing passengers to make the most of their time in a city. Here are 6 airlines that provide luxurious layover destination experiences:

Emirates (Dubai, UAE): 

When you fly Emirates, you can make a layover stop in Dubai. This modern and lively city provides one of the best layover destinations. With shopping outlets, restaurants, cafes and immersive exhibits, the Dubai Airport in itself is a township for travellers. Moreover, Dubai also exudes vibrancy at its core. Alternatively, if you want to explore other places during your layover, Emirates offers a complimentary service called Dubai Connect. This service is available for eligible passengers. Besides, you can head to several layover destinations, like Turkey, Bangkok, Sydney, New York City, and more.

Qatar Airways (Doha, Qatar):

Qatar Airways allows passengers to explore the majestic city of Doha during a layover. Doha is a rapidly growing city that combines modern architecture with traditional heritage. Moreover, when flying with Qatar Airways, you can choose from numerous layover destinations such as Istanbul, Bangkok, Sydney, New York, and more. The airline provides a complimentary stopover program that includes free hotel stays, city tours, and transit visas. It allows passengers to experience the rich culture and modern amenities of Doha.

Singapore Airlines (Singapore): 

Singapore Airlines operates a stopover program that provides passengers with various benefits. The airline’s hub, Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), is a state-of-the-art modern marvel and an international hub in Southeast Asia. Changi Airport is the leading hub for Singapore Airlines, renowned for its extensive network of destinations, airport amenities and excellent service. Moreover, the Singapore Airlines lounge access is a comfortable stop for short layovers as well. Similarly, you will receive access to attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, and eligible passengers will receive a complimentary tour of Singapore.

Photo by Vidit Goel

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul, Turkey)

Turkish Airlines offers flights to several destinations with layovers in Istanbul. Istanbul Airport (IST) is the prime hub with a diverse range of attractions, shops, eateries and more. Moreover, the airline also offers free tour assistance for passengers with layovers between 6 to 24 hours. These tours are complimentary and provide a great opportunity to explore this historic city. With major attractions including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, the city emanates a timeless charm that mesmerises travellers of all kinds. 

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Etihad Airways is the national carrier airline of the UAE. It is one of the most popular airlines for international travellers. Moreover, Etihad Airways is highly regarded for its excellent services and luxurious amenities including state-of-the-art lounges, dedicated traveller support and complimentary city tours at major airports including one at Abu Dhabi. Etihad’s primary hub is located in Abu Dhabi, providing connecting flights to most major airports across the globe. Passengers with layovers in Abu Dhabi can take advantage of Etihad Airways’ stopover program, which includes discounted hotel rates, complimentary airport transfers, and exclusive offers on city attractions and experiences. Some popular layover destinations include Bangkok, Sydney, London, and more.

Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)

Cathay Pacific is a renowned international airline that has flights to almost all major airports across the world. The prime hub of Cathay Pacific is Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) where it provides its flyers the opportunity to explore the city as well as enjoy world-class amenities at the airport including one of the best lounges. Moreover, the airline is also known for its premium assistance, one-of-a-kind in-flight experiences, and world-class airport services.

Photo by Arnie Chou


A layover can become a luxurious and memorable experience for travellers. From Abu Dhabi’s grandeur to Hong Kong’s bustling streets, indulge in world-class cuisine, relax in upscale accommodations, and explore iconic landmarks. These layover destinations provide a curated experience that allows you to savour the best in each city. Before planning a layover exploration, check with the airline for the latest information on their stopover programs and any visa requirements for the layover destination. Additionally, the availability of these programs may vary based on the class of service and other factors, so it’s recommended that you verify this information directly with the airline before booking your flight ticket.

So your airport waits don’t have to be dull and boring. With OnGoEazy, build your next itinerary and make the most of your layovers.

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