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Cubana Tupolev 204 - Havana To Cancun  
User currently offlineFlyingRoo82 From Australia, joined Aug 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 13374 times:

Welcome to my very first trip report! It is a bit light on the photos, but I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences.

I recently spent two nights in Havana, Cuba - part of a bigger holiday which included LA, Las Vegas, NYC, Mexico City and Cancun. This report will focus on the return leg from Havana to Cancun.

Date: 22 June 2012
Airline: Cubana
Aircraft: Tupolev 204-100E
Flight: Havana to Cancun
Duration: 1 hour 20 mins

After two interesting days in Havana it was time to fly back to Mexico. My friend and I were staying at the Parque Central Hotel in old Havana, which is about a 40 minute taxi ride to the airport. Having read reviews of Cubana Airlines (long delays on some flights) we decided to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure.

Some photos of José Martí International Airport (Terminal 3):







Our taxi driver dropped us at the arrivals hall in Terminal 3 (this section of the airport was built in 1998 so it is comparatively modern to the rest of the airport). We walked towards the Cubana check-in desk and saw that our flight had been delayed by one hour. We joined the long check in line:



After about 20 mins and having moved only a few meters, I walked up to the front and saw that only two staff were working - perhaps it was lunch time? The thing about Cuba is you have to be patient - very patient. After about 1 hour we got to the check-in desk and within a few minutes had our boarding passes. Having payed our departure tax, we decided to kill some time and check out the restaurant.



The airport restaurant had a certain 1970s charm


After a decent steak and chips, we went through immigration - surprisingly, this only took about 10 minutes. Security took a bit longer but all fairly orderly. After a quick drink at the bar we headed to the boarding gate. Oh no - another 1 hour delay. Perfect opportunity to take some shots of the wide-body that was due to depart for Buenos Aries.

Cubana Il-96-300


Cubana Il-96-300


After 1.5 hours, boarding for our flight was finally called. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of our TU 204 parked at the gate, but here are a few from the economy cabin:

TU 204-100E Economy Cabin


TU 204-100E Economy Cabin


Shortly after takeoff, drinks and light refreshments were served. There was a choice of soft drinks and either rum or vodka. I had a diet coke. The snack consisted of crackers. Not too bad for a 1 hour flight.

Crackers


The flight itself was uneventful and we made a smooth landing at Cancun International Airport, 2.5 hours after our scheduled arrival time.

Overall, it was a fairly good experience on Cubana considering the cheap airfare. It was my first time on a Russian-built airliner and I was very impressed with the TU 204. It was modern, clean and the cabin noise was comparable to Boeing/Airbus. The only downside were the delays (lack of explanation from ground staff) and the cabin crew - while they were efficient they certainly weren't the friendliest - not a smile in sight.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first trip report. Feedback is most welcome!

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLatinPlane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2737 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 13290 times:

Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12901 times:

Great report!
Thanks fot sharing, the TU154 is not an everyday catch!



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40034 posts, RR: 74
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 12772 times:

FlyingRoo82 , joined Dec 1969   

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
Parque Central Hotel in old Havana


That is a nice hotel and not too far from where I stayed.

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
Perfect opportunity to take some shots of the wide-body that was due to depart for Buenos Aries.


Nice! I hope to fly on theirs at some point.
I've been on Aeroflot's IL-96.

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
There was a choice of soft drinks and either rum or vodka. I had a diet coke.


What?  Wow!
Didn't have one last Cuban rum for the road while on a TU-204?

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
After about 20 mins and having moved only a few meters, I walked up to the front and saw that only two staff were working - perhaps it was lunch time? The thing about Cuba is you have to be patient - very patient.


It's a poor Communist country. Shouldn't expect conveniences that you get in developed countries.

That interior looks like it's 2-2 seating. I thought the TU-204 was 3-3.
Sure that isn't Clas Tropical?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 2):
the TU154 is not an everyday catch!



TU-204.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12527 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nicer report and pictures, not many Cubana or TU-204 flights posted here.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 2):
Thanks fot sharing, the TU154 is not an everyday catch!

- Err, it's a TU-204......

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSIBILLE From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 483 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 12473 times:

Nice report. Thanks a lot.
One question.
On the first cabin photo, on the wall, is it safety cards? Seems they are A4 models? Could you please confirm because the previous model was smaller.
Thanks.

Here is a video of my Cubana Tu-204 flight from Havana to Santo Domingo in November 2011, so you will have the sound  http://youtu.be/qkn4ZKXbva4


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2460 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 11624 times:

Fantastic TR! Always great to read from such "exotic" airlines...

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
There was a choice of soft drinks and either rum or vodka. I had a diet coke.

WOW! A diet coke- are you serious?! Last time I was in Cuba the only official available cola was something like TuCola (only regular). CocaCola was very limited and extremely expansive- Diet Coke was not available at all... Times changed - I guess!

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
It was my first time on a Russian-built airliner and I was very impressed with the TU 204. It was modern, clean and the cabin noise was comparable to Boeing/Airbus.

Any IFE? AFAIK AirKoryo's TU204 are equipped with drop-down screens.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
That interior looks like it's 2-2 seating. I thought the TU-204 was 3-3.

Have a closer look, around door 3 the configuration is changing to 2-2 (like on some Airbus A321, B757)- here a link to a KMV TU204: http://www.seatmaestro.com/airplanes...t-maps/kmv-tupolev-tu-204-100.html


User currently offlineokapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 11553 times:

Hey! Welcome and thanks for sharing this great experience.

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Thread starter):
Shortly after takeoff, drinks and light refreshments were served. There was a choice of soft drinks and either rum or vodka.

That would be enough to justify a flight on Cubana!!! Add the Tu-204 and this is a truly interesting trip to have.
A pity about their ontime performances but if you're on holidays, I guess one can cope with it.

Cheers!


User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40034 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 11082 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):
Have a closer look, around door 3 the configuration is changing to 2-2 (like on some Airbus A321, B757)- here a link to a KMV TU204: http://www.seatmaestro.com/airplanes....html

It shows a seat map with 3-3 seating.
The photo still looks 2-2 to me.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineFlyingRoo82 From Australia, joined Aug 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 11062 times:

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 1):

My pleasure.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 2):

Thanks. It was a TU 204 - still, not easy to come by these days!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 4):

Thanks Mark.


User currently offlineFlyingRoo82 From Australia, joined Aug 2012, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 11044 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):

I had too many rums the night before! You got me thinking about the seating configuration - I'm pretty sure it was 3-3 except at the back, when it narrowed to 2-2.

Quoting SIBILLE (Reply 5):

Yeah they were safety cards, pretty sure A4 size. Thanks for the link to your TU 204 experience!

Quoting debonair (Reply 6):

Thanks for the feedback! I actually came across Coke quite a bit in Cuba - as well as their local version of Cola which actually tasted OK. The plane did have drop down screens but from memory nothing played during the 1 hour flight.

Quoting okapi (Reply 7):

Thank you! Cubana was definitely a unique experience - and yes, the delays were unfortunate but it's all part of travelling to these parts of the world.


User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40034 posts, RR: 74
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 10983 times:

Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Reply 10):
I'm pretty sure it was 3-3

I had too many rums the night before!

Ok I get it.  
Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Reply 9):
Thanks. It was a TU 204 - still, not easy to come by these days!

Air Koryo sends their TU-204 here to Bangkok.
If you guys think a 1 - 2 hour delay is bad, try a 1 week delay which is common on Air Koryo.  
Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Reply 10):
Cubana was definitely a unique experience - and yes, the delays were unfortunate but it's all part of travelling to these parts of the world.

No delays with my Cubana experience.
I flew on their IL-62.
My trip report really begins at reply #48.
When I initially typed it up, it was my first trip report and I didn't include a lot of details and photos that I should have in the thread starter. So I added that later in the thread.

It starts at reply #48.

Cubana IL-62 Experience. Fantastic! (by Superfly Jun 18 2001 in Trip Reports)#1



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7966 times:

Hi FlyingRoo82 !
... congratulations on the first trip report ... really interesting "OPENING" ... thanks stipica  



Open your eyes and think
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