AA737-823
Topic Author
Posts: 4957
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:35 am

So now that I am out of college, have a job, and living in ALASKA, I am thinking about vacations.
And I came up with an interesting idea: Cuba.

How does an American travel to Cuba? Is it possible?
I know Continental has flown there in recent memory (search our photo database), but their booking engine says that they don't fly to Havana, and neither do any of their partners. Not true- Copa flies there routinely.

So that's two questions I hope you can answer:
1. Can an American travel to Cuba for leisure
2. If so, how


It'd be awesome to fly Cubana... get on an IL62 or something awesome like that.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:37 am

Go via Canada or Mexico, pay with cash, have the Cuban customs not stamp your passport and hope the USA does not find out.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 1):
nd hope the USA does not find out.

Can they really do anything if you go via Canada or Mexico? Furthermore I thought AA, CO and others ran special charters a few times a year to Cuba...
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:51 am

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 2):
Can they really do anything if you go via Canada or Mexico? Furthermore I thought AA, CO and others ran special charters a few times a year to Cuba...

Yes the USA can do something about it, and the flights by CO and AA our for people with permission to travel to Cuba, not for vacationers.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:54 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 3):
and the flights by CO and AA our for people with permission to travel to Cuba, not for vacationers.

Ah. I was unaware.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
FlyKev
Crew
Posts: 1295
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:02 am

Some reading material,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

Many US citizens travel there, many via Canada.

Hope that's of some help.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:03 am

It depends on where you are coming from:

o From the East go to Miami and turn left.

o From the West go to Miami and turn Right.

o I don't know about the North or South.

Just trying to help.
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4328
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:07 am

As it is much easier for Europeans, I cannot tell you on the specific US details, but since I have been to Cuba from Germany, I would like to add something nevertheless. For Europeans, Cuba offers the so-called Tourist Card, which is a paper which you have to keep in your passport during the visit. They do not stamp the passport itself, but stamp that paper. I do not know whether Americans can get that, too, but for us, the procedure was simple.

They require that you stay some days (3) in a public hotel for foreigners, after that you could freely live in a so-called casa particular, a private flat. These are cool, because there you get to see more real life of Cuba. Important, though, is that you get that Tourist Card before you fly to Cuba. In Frankfurt, they would not let people onboard without that Visa card anyway.

In any case, it is worth visiting the country, I have never seen a place with so many contrasts.

Another thing to bear in mind, there was nobody who spoke English from the authorities. So I had some problems to understand them since I speak almost no spanish, but in the end it was no problem.

In any case, try to go for it. It is reasonable cheap, very interesting and also a nice contrast to many other places.
 
MAH4546
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:16 am

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 2):
Furthermore I thought AA, CO and others ran special charters a few times a year to Cuba...

Hardly a few times a year. AA alone runs as many as 5-7 daily flights to Cuba from Miami to five cities: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Holguin, and Cienfuegos.
a.
 
TeamAmerica
Posts: 1540
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:38 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:16 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
So that's two questions I hope you can answer:
1. Can an American travel to Cuba for leisure
2. If so, how

Americans are welcome as tourists in Cuba, but you will not be welcomed on your return to the U.S. It is illegal for an American citizen to travel to Cuba without a license from the Treasury Department, and you must have a legitimate reason: Consular Information Sheet - Cuba

Quote:
Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. U.S. law enforcement authorities have increased enforcement of these regulations at U.S. airports and pre-clearance facilities in third countries. Travelers who fail to comply with Department of Treasury regulations will face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States.

So, you CAN do it, but the real question is whether you should risk it. There are plenty of wonderful places to go in this world that don't involve breaking the law.
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
bond007
Posts: 4425
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:23 am

Right, it's not so much that you cannot travel to Cuba...it's that you cannot spend any US dollars there.

There used to be a loophole where you could pay a third-party in another country for the full price of hotel/food etc., but in 2004 there were new rules about that. Basically you cannot pay any US dollars that may end up in Cuba...either directly in Cuba, or indirectly though somebody else.

I'm sure you could do it.....but it's hardly worth the risk.

You can get a license if you are immediate family, or on a educuational visit, and a few other exceptions...

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Ealsys1
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 10:55 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:23 am

Just wait for the dictator to die! He may already be dead so it shouldn't be long before you can visit a free Cuba instead of one where workers keep 5% of what they earn! Then the party will begin!
 
Gortsilo
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:17 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:27 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
2. If so, how

As mentioned above, you can get there via Canada or Mexico. MX has daily departures to HAV from both MEX and CUN; CU also flies to Mexico. You could easily connect from the US.-
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:28 am

Quoting EALSYS1 (Reply 11):
Then the party will begin!

Just like 1958 all over again?
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
fpofllflyboi
Posts: 224
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:32 am

You can also go throught NAS.
 
greasespot
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:57 am

Never mind stuk a political post in here thinking it was non-av.

GS

[Edited 2006-10-28 03:04:00]
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
Evan767
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:01 am

The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
Boeing744
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:27 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:42 am

If you were to go via Canada, you would have to fly ANC-YVR-YYZ (or YUL)-HAV. I would definitely recommend a trip to Cuba. It's an amazing country.
 
jamesjimlb
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:47 am

you do NOT want to go to cuba!!!
The sky is no longer the limit, but the mere minimum
 
utapao
Posts: 546
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:58 am

Quoting JamesJimlb (Reply 18):
you do NOT want to go to cuba!!!

Why do you say that? Bad experience???
Sawasdee khrab!
 
COERJ145
Posts: 1140
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:07 am

Fly to MIA, and take the Gulfstream Airlines public charter flight to Havana(book seperatly by calling Gulfstream Airlines).
 
cloudyapple
Posts: 1261
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:01 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:20 am

A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
 
Boeing744
Posts: 1737
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:35 am

Quoting JamesJimlb (Reply 18):
you do NOT want to go to cuba!!!

And why would that be? Have you actually been there?

I have, and would be thrilled to go again. (Might in December  biggrin  )

[Edited 2006-10-28 04:36:23]
 
legacytravel
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:05 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:34 pm

Uhmm maybe try to swim.  sarcastic 
Mark in MKE
I love the smell of Jet fuel in the Morning
 
jetblueatjfk
Posts: 1556
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:49 pm

A good swim is always nice.

Last year my spanish teacher told us stories about when she studied in Cuba for a semester. She liked it a lot there and told us a lot about it. From what she was saying is that it seems worth it if you are willing to go out and explore the country. She had some very interesting times in the small towns...

B6jfk airplane 
 
LimaNiner
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:32 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:10 pm

Air Jamaica flies LAX-MBJ, and MBJ-Havana.
 
YVRLTN
Posts: 2283
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:49 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:23 pm

I got a mail from TS today announcing their winter schedule to Varadero ex YVR & YYZ - i think AS still have a daily flight to here from ANC through the winter (though i believe AC only fly in the summer). No idea on the paperwork required though.
Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
 
cardiffairtaxi
Posts: 298
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:50 pm

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 10):

When i went to Cuba about 5 years ago,the place is well worth a visit.
I stayed in Varadero,but did visit Havana aswell.
Very friendly people!
We found that you can buy anything with US Dollars,but cannot use US credit cards(American Express etc.)
When asking how much things were,everything seemed to be 1 dollar .
Well worth a visit.
 
764
Posts: 490
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 6:34 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:11 pm

OK, now I am curous.....

I am a US citizen, but have been living abroad for several years now. So if I did travel to Cuba, I would be spending Euros, not dollaras and I would also return to the EU afterwards. Would that still be illegal?! And besides - what a stupid rule is that anyway (just a retorical question).
 
aero145
Posts: 2867
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:59 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
How To Get To Cuba?

Swim!!  stirthepot 

 duck 
 
art
Posts: 2697
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:46 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:42 pm

Quoting JamesJimlb (Reply 18):
you do NOT want to go to cuba!!!

Do you mean Cuba in particular? Or do you mean that one should not visit any country where repression is rife?

Out of curiosity (I'm not making any political comment here), are there any other countries that US citizens are not allowed to visit eg Iran, North Korea?

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 7):
They require that you stay some days (3) in a public hotel for foreigners, after that you could freely live in a so-called casa particular, a private flat.

That's interesting. Would you know how that can be arranged? Even better, can you stay with Cuban people in their homes? I would find that a lot more interesting than renting a casa particular.
 
APFPilot1985
Posts: 1840
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:51 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:09 am

I have friends that go down there regularly on their boat and really enjoy it. I also know people who go down there via canada all the time, as long as you pay cash for everything and are sure to get the tourist card so your passport doesn't get stamped you will be fine.
Stand Up and Be Counted Visit Site Related to Voice your opinion
 
planekrazy777
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:57 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:09 am

Try Air Trasnsat or Skyservice from YYC or YVR They both have winter charters, VRA, or HOG
 
boeingguy1
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:31 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:46 am

Might I suggest going through Jamaica? You get to fly on one of the Carribean's most hospitibale airlines and expereince true "LoveBird" Service...  Smile
"...Gatwick South!? Id rather crash in Brighton!"
 
bond007
Posts: 4425
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:08 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
1. Can an American travel to Cuba for leisure

Just be clear on all the answers here....Sure, there are MANY ways you can get into Cuba, just not directly from the US (with some exceptions)...but if you are an American, the answer to your question is LEGALLY no!

The legal methods of visiting Cuba are almost all non-leasure related...immediate family, educational.

We can discuss 1,000 ways of getting there, but the chances of you getting there and back legally are basically zero...

Are you going to get caught, prosecuted, or fined?...most probably not a chance. But just as long as you realize you might!




Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
User avatar
LH463
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:51 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:29 am

It's definately not allowed as a tourist, even if you go through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. The U.S. government does however issue licenses for people traveling there on "business". Here is a link describing all of the U.S. policy pertaining to traveling to the island.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1097.html
Turning final...
 
skyhigh777
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:07 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:31 am

You know I always wondered the same thing. I remember flying through MIA and specifically seeing a Continental 737 at the gate boarding for Havana. I always thought it was strange since there is no travel allowed between the U.S. and Cuba.
Prepare for take-off.
 
TransIsland
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:40 am

You can get flights to Cuba from almost any country in the Western Hemisphere - the U.S. has to be a rare exception. Just pick one conveniently located for you... Canada and Mexico have already been mentioned, there's of course our little Bahamas, too.  Wink

AFAIK Cuban authorities generally do not stamp your passport. They value your money too much to get you into trouble.
I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
 
airliner777
Posts: 413
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:10 am

I suggest you fly via MEX, YYC or YVR.
 
FXMD11
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:34 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:17 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
So now that I am out of college, have a job, and living in ALASKA, I am thinking about vacations.
And I came up with an interesting idea: Cuba.

Good decision and a really nice place. For you from Alaska it would be the best to use the AC connection via Toronto to Havanna, or if you can get a deal try Mexico City. I hold a Swiss Passport, so I do not have immigration problems but can tell you for sure that I have met lots of Americans during my Visits to Cuba.
 
IberiaA319
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:40 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:57 am

US Citizens who wish to visit Cuba legally can apply for a license at the US Department of Treasury:

http://treas.gov/offices/enforcement...ofac/programs/cuba/cuba_tr_app.pdf

General licenses which are easier to get are those related with the attendance of professional meetings or conferences.

Special licensed can be requested (through organizations) if related to (among others):
-Academic activities
-Religious activities
-Public performances
-Humanitarian projects

The list of the Authorized Travel Service providers in the US:

http://treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/cuba/cuba_tsp.pdf

Some agencies have a full list of events (meetings, conferences, etc.) taking place in Cuba and might help you in order to apply for a license so that you can book the trip with them.

Check for example the website of this agency (ABC Charters) with the list of the charter flights they offer to Cuba for the next days and the available seats for each of them. Their site has more info regarding their travel services to Cuba from the US:

http://www.abc-charters.com/pages/flights.asp
 
Gary2880
Posts: 1856
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:52 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting IberiaA319 (Reply 55):
-Academic activities



Quoting AA737-823 (Thread starter):
How does an American travel to Cuba?

Tell them you want to go and learn to how be a communist, video tape the reaction for me would you?  Wink
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
letsgetwet
Posts: 490
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:08 pm

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:08 pm

I was once told that it is illegal for US citizens to spend money or do business in Cuba. But it is not illegal to prepay your entire vacation in a third party country such as Canada, fly there from that country, and basically spend your whole vacation at a Ultra All Inclusive Resort. You technically did not do business with Cuba, nor did you spend any money there.
 
garnetpalmetto
Posts: 5351
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:38 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:26 pm

In the course of this discussion you may find yourself tempted to discuss politics - please refrain from doing so. Save those sort of posts for the Non-Aviation forum, please. As you'll see, I've removed several posts from this thread for that reason. In most cases those posts would have been find over in Non-Av. We strive to keep Civil Av as apolitical as possible so the question here isn't about the US embargo, nor about excoriations of either US or Cuban politics - simply about how an American citizen can travel to Cuba.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:08 pm

I believe member Superfly was there recently.

He may be able to provide insight on how he managed . . . around the antiquated US laws and restrictions.

The Cubans are very accomodating as far as "accidentally" failing to stamp your passport if I recall correctly.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
bond007
Posts: 4425
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting Letsgetwet (Reply 42):
But it is not illegal to prepay your entire vacation in a third party country such as Canada, fly there from that country, and basically spend your whole vacation at a Ultra All Inclusive Resort. You technically did not do business with Cuba, nor did you spend any money there.

It certainly is illegal to do that now. You actually did do business with Cuba, albeit indirectly. There were changes in the regulations in 2004 to coverf this 'loophole'.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
tcxdegsy
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:47 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:01 am

You could always come to the UK and fly from here!!! I know it's a long way for a shortcut, but it's the top longhaul destination for package holidays at the moment... and it's fairly cheap!

Of all the package tourists from the UK who visit Cuba, 50% go with Thomas Cook. (piece of trivia for ya)
next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5042
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:32 am

Put it this way, you go to cuba, you go to jail, end of story.
 
Motorhussy
Posts: 3270
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:49 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:00 am

Quoting JamesJimlb (Reply 18):
you do NOT want to go to cuba!!!

Well not if you're thinking of going for the fine cuisine, but if you're into old school Latin Jazz or an independent republic economically frozen in time in the 50's with stunning architecture, you might just want to. Pick up some cigars to on-sell back home while you're there (post them from Mexico or Canada).

What a very strange thing to say and then not qualify.
come visit the south pacific
 
bond007
Posts: 4425
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: How To Get To Cuba?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 47):
Put it this way, you go to cuba, you go to jail, end of story.

Do you have some evidence to back this up?

As far as I know, nobody has been sent to jail for going to Cuba illegally....in fact I'm sure it would cause quite a stir in the USA if that happened.

IF you get caught...you might get a fine..that's about it....and probably something you didn't want on your record.

That's a risk you take....and one I wouldn't.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!

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