There are several airlines that offer free stopover programs. I have written in past about Qatar, Etihad and Ethiopia stopover. Well, almost defunct Alitalia is also adding a stopover for people from 3 nations.
The general logic for offering a stopover program like this is twofold:
- Airlines use this as a point of differentiation and hope it will cause more people to fly with them, especially when they’re based out of a cool city/country; this is very much something that could cause someone to fly with them over a competitor
- Airlines can potentially earn extra revenue from this by partnering with local hotels, travel agencies, etc., and taking a commission on what people book
The latest airline to introduce a free stopover program is struggling Alitalia. Through December 31, 2018, Alitalia is offering a free stopover of up to three nights in Rome at no additional charge. As part of this stopover, you can also leave your baggage at the airport at no additional cost, and get discounted rates at the Sheraton Parco de Medici Rome Hotel.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to book them online. You would have to call Alitalia Customer Service center and ask them to book your stopover. However, for Indian, it is worth it. For all reasons, I was thinking to never fly them. They are an opportunity again. To further add, you can earn JPMiles and Tier Points on Alitalia flights.
Offer is applicable on all final destinations worldwide except Canada, Mexico, Italy, and the USA