I have a 39-hour layover with Etihad Airways at their hub in Abu Dhabi next month. I had to do it this way to qualify for their free stopover offering that requires a minimum 24-hour layover. The trip is all on Etihad under the same PNR. My question is, would the check-in counter at the first flight give me the boarding passes for the 2nd leg? I don't know if there is an industry standard approach, airline policy or just the mood of the check-in person that affects what happens in my case...

  • This may come down to how far in advance Etihad allows you to checkin. Normally I'd expect 24Hrs max, but seems that some airlines are significantly extending that period.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


No, by definition a stopover is a point in your trip where you really stop:

  • you won’t automatically get boarding passes for further flights at the firs check-in (unless you are within the check-in window of the second flight, which I doubt here)
  • your hold luggage will not be checked through. You are expected to pick it up and re-check it before your next flight
  • you are expected to go through immigration, customs, exit the airport, and come back later (though unless the airport or terminal closes at night it's difficult to force you to do so).

This is different from a layover where luggage is checked through, you are usually expected to stay airside, and as much as possible they'll give you the boarding passes for all flights.

Etihad's online check-in opens 30 hours before departure. Even if they have a bit of additional margin at check-in, between the 39 hours, the duration of the first flight, and how much in advance you check-in for the first flight, it's very very unlikely you'll be able to get boarding passes for the second flight.

The fact that you mix "layover" and "stopover" makes me wonder what your intentions are, i.e. whether you actually want a stopover, in which case I'm not sure why you would need the second boarding pass that early -- you can always check-in online during your stay, or you wanted a layover, in which case I don't know why you have such a long wait between flights.

  • 3
    Thanks for your detailed response. There are multiple reasons for the extended layover / stopover. The main one is that our choices were either an 18 hour layover where we pay for a hotel airside or landside, or a 39 hour layover where Etihad pays for 2 nights in a nice hotel as part of their "stopover on us" deal, and where we get to see the UAE for a day. As you know, many national carriers offer such deals: Turkish, Icelandic, Emirates, etc. have such offerings with hotel discounts, tours, etc. It would be nice to avoid another check-in counter visit, re-checking luggage, etc.
    – Ned
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 18:16
  • @Ned If you got your wish about the luggage, IMHO it could make for an uncomfortable 2 night stay in a hotel with just hand luggage.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 18:51
  • 1
    @PeterM, we'll of course plan for that with the essentials for a 2-night day with us in the cabin!
    – Ned
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 18:52
  • @PeterM a couple of days of clothing for a warm place would less than half fill my carry-on. Even for the Reykjavik winter I could probably manage.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 13:41
  • 1
    @jcaron But it also comes down to the sort of activities you will be partaking in. I could fill a small suitcase with just camera equipment. OTOH a small shoulder bag may suffice for a visit to the Cap d'Agde resort in France
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 14:37

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