Guide to Turkish Airlines Free Istanbul Transit Hotel Program

Turkish Airlines is now offering accommodation services to passengers flying from outside Türkiye who have connecting flights departing from Istanbul Airport to their onward destination outside of Türkiye. Why not take advantage of a refreshing layover in Istanbul yourself? Passenger can also take advantage of a free Istanbul city tour, which is a great way to explore one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

As you’d expect, there are some terms to be aware of when it comes to the free hotel program, so let’s go over all of those details.

How long does your connection have to be?

In order to get a free transit hotel, economy passengers need a connection time of at least 12 hours in Istanbul, while business class passengers need a connection time of at least nine hours in Istanbul. You can receive a stopover hotel for a maximum of two days.

This program only applies if you take the next available connecting flight to your destination. In other words, you can’t intentionally book a connection for a later flight and still receive the free stopover hotel.

Receive a hotel if your layover is 9-12 hours or longer

Who is eligible for a free transit hotel?

Turkish Airlines has fairly few restrictions beyond the above regarding who is eligible for a transit hotel. It doesn’t matter if your ticket was issued by Turkish Airlines or a partner airline. Furthermore, award tickets qualify, regardless of whether you book through the Turkish Miles&Smiles program, or a partner frequent flyer program.

You must be connecting internationally. Codeshare flights also qualify, as long as Turkish Airlines is operating the flight. Furthermore, all of your segments must be on a single ticket, so you couldn’t take advantage of this if your flights to and from Istanbul are on separate tickets.

How do you book your free transit hotel?

With Turkish Airlines, there’s no need to reserve your transit hotel in advance. When you land in Istanbul, instead follow the signage to Turkish Airlines’ hotel desk, and your reservation can be made on the spot. We haven’t heard of any availability issues, so you shouldn’t get rejected once there.

Note that Turkish Airlines uses hotels outside of the airport for this service, so you won’t be accommodated airside. Therefore you can expect that you’ll be put on a (free) shuttle to get to your hotel. In some cases these hotels can be quite a distance from the airport, given that there aren’t many hotels around Istanbul’s new airport.

Do you need a visa for entering Türkiye?

Expect that if you take advantage of Turkish Airlines’ transit hotel program, you will need to meet the requirements to enter Türkiye. For many nationalities, this requires getting a visa, which you can either get at the airport, or apply for in advance. You can learn more about Türkiye visa requirements at this link.

If you’re traveling in business class with a shorter layover, you can get a complimentary nap room with a proper bed if you have a layover of between four and nine hours.

Customer Feedback

Many Turkish airlines passengers eligible for stopover program has complained of many instances of denial without any reason whatsoever mentioned to them. Also be aware of lack of English language skills of the staff at the hotel counter. Also many have complained about the quality of the hotels provided to the passengers. There have been many instances of charging for transit visa and accommodation as well.


  • Economy Class passengers having a connection time of 12 hours or longer and Business Class passengers having a connection time of 9 hours or longer can benefit from hotel service free of charge in case a transit flight with a shorter connection time is not provided for the related travel. (Note: For transit flights with a connection time shorter than the designated above, you will not be able to benefit from this service even if the transit flight with a shorter connection time is full.) For example, if passengers are provided with 2 different options for London – Dubai travel, as a flight with 6-hour connection time and a flight with 12-hour connection time, the passenger who has selected the flight with 12-hour connection time will not benefit from this service even if the 6-hour option is full.
  • The layover period is calculated taking the landing time of the first flight and departure time of the second flight as a basis.
  • Passengers under the age of 18 will not be accepted without accompanying adults.
  • A maximum of two nights’ accommodation will be offered.
  • Passengers holding tickets which qualify them for this service may no longer be eligible for it if changes to their tickets are made.
  • If the layover period falls below 12 hours for Economy Class journeys, or 9 hours for Business Class journeys, the hotel service will not be offered. Ticket changes can be made without paying additional fees or deductions.
  • Turkish Airlines will select the hotel accommodating passengers.
  • Hotel accommodation is available for passengers on international flights connecting through airports in Türkiye. “Codeshare” flights operated by the Company as the “Operating Carrier” are included within this scope. Passengers with connecting flights under the same confirmed ticket can benefit from this service.
Scroll to Top