The U.S. government has made it official! In early fall 2016, eight U.S. airlines will start to schedule commercial flights to Havana – the capital of Cuba. On August 31, 2016, JetBlue Airways had the honor of “cutting the ribbon” by making the first commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba in more than 50 years.
Where Can You Book Flights to Cuba?
In a few months, airlines will start to fly the new route to Cuba. Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and Spirit Airlines already have flight tickets to Cuba ON SALE.
Which Airlines Will Serve Daily Nonstop Flights to Cuba?
Nonstop flights to Cuba are launching early this fall from Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Orlando and Tampa. Every month there will be around 300 flights from the U.S. to Havana.
Only eight airlines – Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines – are allowed to provide commercial passenger flights to Cuba.
Flights to Havana with JetBlue
JetBlue Airways had the honor of “cutting the ribbon” with the first commercial flight to Cuba in more than 50 years. In future, JetBlue plans to run 27 flights a week to Havana. Two flights a day from Fort Lauderdale (FLL), one flight a day from New York (JFK) and one flight a day from Orlando.
Flights to Havana with American Airlines
American Airlines launched the second U.S. flight to Cuba from Miami International Airport on September 7th. Later this year, the airline plans to schedule four flights a day from Miami to Havana, one flight a day from Charlotte to Havana, as well as flights from Miami to Santa Clara and Camaguey on September 11.
Flights to Havana with United Airlines
Passengers can already book flights to Havana with United Airlines from New York / Newark (EWR) and Houston (IAH). United Airlines will start to operate daily nonstop flights to Cuba on November 29.
Flights to Havana with Southwest Airlines
In addition to two flights a day to Varadero and one flight a day to Santa Clara, Southwest Airlines everyday plan to run two flights from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and one flight from Tampa. Southwest Airlines will launch its first commercial flights to Cuba later this year.
Flights to Havana with Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines will serve the only Cuban flight route from the West Coast. Airlines plan to operate flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Havana once a day.
Flights to Havana with Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines will launch a daily nonstop flight service to Cuba on December 1. Passengers will be able to book flights to Cuba from Atlanta, Miami and New York later in September. Delta plans to serve 21 flights to Havana every week.
Flights to Havana with Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines will serve flights to Havana from Miami.
Flights to Havana with Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines started to sell tickets to Havana on September 1. They expect to have two nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Cuba every day. The new flight route will open on December 1.
Cuban Flights Pending Government Approval
Although some airlines are already selling tickets to Havana, available flights are marked “Subject to government approval”. It means that the airline still needs to get some “paperwork” done to legally operate the new flight route.
Why so? When an airline plans to open a new flight route, especially an international one, they need to get various government approvals before they can actually start to fly the new route. Usually, airlines are allowed to sell flight tickets on the planned route before the official approvals are granted.
Is it is safe to book new flights to Cuba? You could say “yes,” because if there are any problems with the “paperwork” and the route gets canceled the airline will notify you and refund your flight ticket.
Traveling to Cuba as a Tourist is Still Not Allowed
A U.S. ban on tourism to Cuba is still in effect. You can legally fly to Cuba only if you’re traveling for the following activities:
- Family visits
- Official business and government business
- Journalistic activities
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
- Certain authorized export transactions
4 Tips for Traveling to Cuba
✓ Get a visa
✓ Take out cash – US credit and debit cards don’t work in Cuba
✓ The Internet and mobile phone services have limitations in Cuba – you can check with your mobile phone carrier to see if they have coverage in Cuba
✓ Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to register with the nearest embassy or consulate and receive travel alerts and warnings
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