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Dallas
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WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:46 pm

 
TerminalD
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:20 pm

Shocker. These were dumb from Day 1. Even Silver bailed.
 
wnflyguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:25 pm

Since Cuba been TRUMPED we all knew it's only been a matter of time!

With the lengthy 3 idle aircraft time especially for CUBA operations hopefully they can use the 2 VRA time to add KIN and the SNU time to add another MBJ turn.
Flyguy
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LAXintl
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:28 pm

Good, sanity prevails.

Bulk of the over exuberant Cuba flying should be dropped by US carriers.

wnflyguy wrote:
Since Cuba been TRUMPED we all knew it's only been a matter of time!


Merely convinent PR cover. Flights were losers from the git go.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
lavalampluva
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:32 pm

Cuba has been pretty much a bust. Every other international carrier has been flying there forever. But the U.S. just could not make it work. I bet SY is breathing a sigh of relief, that they didn't throw away $$$ at Cuba.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:32 pm

Didnt need Trump to make these routes bad.

Been empty since day 1. Airlines are bleeding on Cuba. Even HAV
 
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usxguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:35 pm

45 must be the most amazing President ever if a minor policy change, enacted by him not only a month ago, has had such a HUGE AND PROFOUND effect on Southwest Airlines.

Just wow!

I cant wait to see how quickly the ME3 fold after a policy change affecting the Middle East hits....
xx
 
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LAXintl
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:35 pm

Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly said that demand to Varadero and Santa Clara was "very spotty and sometimes very light".

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ns-438866/
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:37 pm

This will make Providenciales the 100th destination in November for WN, Havana was the previous one. With VRA and SNU going, they that will bring them down to 99.
Have a great day.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
dmg626
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:46 pm

I flew to Vra and had passengers in the single digits. Did a flight last month and plane was full. Seems to be a big Canadian vacation spot but not catching on yet with Americans
 
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spinkid
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:51 pm

While most others can still travel to Cuba easily, its still a hassle for Americans. Trump isn't making it any easier, but the problem has existed since day one. Even people who understand travel, know that you have to meet a certain criteria to visit Cuba. While pretty much anyone can meet it, most people don't think they can, or see it as an impediment.

Compared to just going online and booking a package through Southwest, Expedia, etc to any other island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a real hassle.

VFR crowd won't increase dramatically either. The people who wanted to go, already knew how to to and had plenty of charter options to choose from, of which they were likely loyal to in some ways.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:57 pm

Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.
 
commavia
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:19 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Good, sanity prevails.

Bulk of the over exuberant Cuba flying should be dropped by US carriers.


:checkmark:

These secondary Cuba markets were likely always going to be long shots for Southwest, but this is also another example of a situation where Southwest's all-737 fleet is, if anything, a hindrance. JetBlue has E190s and AA has the flexibility to downgauge to E175s - and that is undoubtedly useful is markets this thin. That said, again, I definitely agree that these were unlikely to ever be viable for Southwest.

LAXintl wrote:
Merely convinent PR cover. Flights were losers from the git go.


:checkmark:

I doubt this has the slightest bit to do with the present administration, especially since these non-HAV markets are likely far more reliant on VFR traffic that is relatively less affected one way or another by the recently announced changes, anyway.
 
rwsea
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:33 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.


Not true. No visa issues whatsoever for Americans wanting to visit Cuba.

The issue is the US treasury department restrictions placed on US Nationals, and I would guess that the issues related to the sanctions (can't book hotels online, use credit cards, etc.) seal the deal.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:39 pm

usxguy wrote:
45 must be the most amazing President ever if a minor policy change, enacted by him not only a month ago, has had such a HUGE AND PROFOUND effect on Southwest Airlines.

Just wow!

I cant wait to see how quickly the ME3 fold after a policy change affecting the Middle East hits....

It doesn't take a very big change to eliminate routes that were marginal at best. It doesn't even take a change, just talking about a change could be enough for enough people to book away to eliminate a route.

It may be a minor policu change in the big picture, but it's not minor from the perspective of load factors on a US airline flying to Cuba.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Didn't WN publicly admit to "guessing" when it came to these non-HAV route authorities? Although 21st century Cuba was very much uncharted territory for U.S. airlines, I was shocked to see WN actually follow through with SNU. It's not like foreign VFR markets are WN's forte. VRA maybe made sense given its alluring beaches and proximity to Havana (a convenient alternate, perhaps?), but then it quickly became apparent that even HAV was overserved. Hardly surprising to see these two secondary Cuban markets go; though it is nice to see WN reaffirm its commitment to HAV.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
INFINITI329
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:50 pm

rwsea wrote:
INFINITI329 wrote:
Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.


Not true. No visa issues whatsoever for Americans wanting to visit Cuba.

The issue is the US treasury department restrictions placed on US Nationals, and I would guess that the issues related to the sanctions (can't book hotels online, use credit cards, etc.) seal the deal.


I loosey worded it but I meant the State department restrictions, I didnt mean the cuban government
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:00 pm

lavalampluva wrote:
Cuba has been pretty much a bust. Every other international carrier has been flying there forever. But the U.S. just could not make it work.

Yeah, can be rather tough to tread water with an anchor on your back. :roll:

1) US carriers weren't even allowed to fly there until a year ago
2) I'm sure BA, LH, EK, LX, etc would be amused to know that they're not part of "every international carrier"...
3) US pax still must conform to the imbecilic "12 categories," which heavily stifles tourism...
4) ...as does limitations on independent purchase of accommodations and electronic funds transfer
Last edited by LAX772LR on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
MAH4546
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:01 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.


There are no visa requirements. You literally check a box and boom, you have a visa. There are restrictions on spending money - you can't use credit cards.
a.
 
TerminalD
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:11 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
rwsea wrote:
INFINITI329 wrote:
Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.


Not true. No visa issues whatsoever for Americans wanting to visit Cuba.

The issue is the US treasury department restrictions placed on US Nationals, and I would guess that the issues related to the sanctions (can't book hotels online, use credit cards, etc.) seal the deal.


I loosey worded it but I meant the State department restrictions, I didnt mean the cuban government

There's also not enough tourist infrastructure for all those flights and the good resorts raised prices through the roof. The whole thing was a disaster from the start. I've been predicting HAV will start seeing cuts now.
 
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usxguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:21 pm

Living in Florida and being close to a handful of operators, the Cuban market is only "so big". There are many charter operations, still, and the local Cubans really have no way to purchase a ticket since I believe Cuba isn't part of the IATA clearinghouse (or its getting there). U.S. Credit cards also can not be accepted at most places in Cuba, as there is no formal merchant link to transfer funds between US and Cuban banks; although I read one bank in Miami has completed this process.
xx
 
wnflyguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:36 pm

WN had proposed and applied for the additional vacant slot in HAV to go to 3 daily FLL-HAV flights.
I wonder if it will now repeal it's request.
As for the two vacant aircraft times it leaves a 7 hour gap for each aircraft. Only one can wonder we're they're going to redeploy those aircraft to?

Flyguy
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Biged
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:46 pm

There is literally nothing around Santa Clara. It is very rural and 3 hours from Havana.
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:06 pm

mtnwest1979 wrote:
This will make Providenciales the 100th destination in November for WN, Havana was the previous one. With VRA and SNU going, they that will bring them down to 99.
Have a great day.


Plus, when DAY and CAK ended 6/3 ;CVG or GCM became destination 100 then as well on 6/4 when service commenced to those two.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
Brickell305
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:13 pm

commavia wrote:
LAXintl wrote:
Good, sanity prevails.

Bulk of the over exuberant Cuba flying should be dropped by US carriers.


:checkmark:

These secondary Cuba markets were likely always going to be long shots for Southwest, but this is also another example of a situation where Southwest's all-737 fleet is, if anything, a hindrance. JetBlue has E190s and AA has the flexibility to downgauge to E175s - and that is undoubtedly useful is markets this thin. That said, again, I definitely agree that these were unlikely to ever be viable for Southwest.

LAXintl wrote:
Merely convinent PR cover. Flights were losers from the git go.


:checkmark:

I doubt this has the slightest bit to do with the present administration, especially since these non-HAV markets are likely far more reliant on VFR traffic that is relatively less affected one way or another by the recently announced changes, anyway.

I actually suspect that the non-HAV markets are less dependent on VFR and more so on tourism. Especially in the case of Varadero.
 
Brickell305
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:28 pm

MAH4546 wrote:
INFINITI329 wrote:
Cuba visa requirements for U.S. nationals are what's preventing the non-HAV flights from really taking off.


There are no visa requirements. You literally check a box and boom, you have a visa. There are restrictions on spending money - you can't use credit cards.


Exactly. You can literally do this at check in or at the departure gate.

I am sure these routes were weak from the beginning but the policy change to no longer allow self organized people-to-people trips was likely the last nail in the coffin. Did a trip to Havana on AA prior to the most recent policy change and flight was full in both directions. However, the fare was $150 RT so it's hard to see how that's enough to be profitable. At the same time, AA is asking for even more HAV frequencies so maybe not all Cuba routes are poor performers.
 
737max8
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:59 pm

mtnwest1979 wrote:
mtnwest1979 wrote:
This will make Providenciales the 100th destination in November for WN, Havana was the previous one. With VRA and SNU going, they that will bring them down to 99.
Have a great day.


Plus, when DAY and CAK ended 6/3 ;CVG or GCM became destination 100 then as well on 6/4 when service commenced to those two.


With all the cuts and additions this will be like the 3rd or 4th time WN reaches a 100th city lol
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grbauc
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:08 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
Since Cuba been TRUMPED we all knew it's only been a matter of time!

With the lengthy 3 idle aircraft time especially for CUBA operations hopefully they can use the 2 VRA time to add KIN and the SNU time to add another MBJ turn.
Flyguy


They were doomed even if my Libertarians party were to win.
 
wnflyguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:12 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
WN had proposed and applied for the additional vacant slot in HAV to go to 3 daily FLL-HAV flights.
I wonder if it will now repeal it's request.
As for the two vacant aircraft times it leaves a 7 hour gap for each aircraft. Only one can wonder we're they're going to redeploy those aircraft to?

Flyguy


Just heard a rumor that the US Virgin Islands STT and STX or Two Pureto Rico airports PSE and BQN may fill the Void of aircraft time out of FLL since DOT regulations are not required or subject to approval to start service with such short time.
If this rumor is true that would probably make better use of aircraft time. But knowing WN they will probably use the idle aircraft time to increase MCO-FLL or bring back FLL-JAX.

Flyguy
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
jco613
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:13 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
WN had proposed and applied for the additional vacant slot in HAV to go to 3 daily FLL-HAV flights.
I wonder if it will now repeal it's request.
As for the two vacant aircraft times it leaves a 7 hour gap for each aircraft. Only one can wonder we're they're going to redeploy those aircraft to?

Flyguy


Doubtful...from what I hear HAV is doing very well and TPA-HAV has been a home run. That said, I am worried about their standing with the Feds now for getting the other FLL-HAV

I for one and shocked at this announcement. I've said all along that these were favor routes, but it was worth taking the hit to get to HAV. I never understood 2X VRA but I know this is very disappointing. I only hope that one day these routes and others will return and we will be free to travel to Cuba unrestricted.
 
ScottB
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:26 pm

jco613 wrote:
Doubtful...from what I hear HAV is doing very well and TPA-HAV has been a home run. That said, I am worried about their standing with the Feds now for getting the other FLL-HAV


I doubt it will have much impact given that VRA & SNU aren't HAV and it's not as if WN had been squatting on those authorities to block others from getting them (there are plenty available for both).

TerminalD wrote:
There's also not enough tourist infrastructure for all those flights and the good resorts raised prices through the roof. The whole thing was a disaster from the start. I've been predicting HAV will start seeing cuts now.


I think that's been one of the key problems in the markets which aren't going to be primarily VFR (like VRD). Hotels/resorts don't get built overnight and there are plenty of Caribbean islands with lovely beaches which are just easier given the continuing existence of restrictions on travel (technically spending while traveling) to Cuba.
 
red66mustang
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:26 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
WN had proposed and applied for the additional vacant slot in HAV to go to 3 daily FLL-HAV flights.
I wonder if it will now repeal it's request.
As for the two vacant aircraft times it leaves a 7 hour gap for each aircraft. Only one can wonder we're they're going to redeploy those aircraft to?

Flyguy



From the press release:
Southwest currently serves Havana twice daily nonstop from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and once daily nonstop from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and has applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a third daily roundtrip between Ft. Lauderdale and Havana.

So no they are wanting that 3rd slot in FLLHAV
 
DfwAussie
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:49 pm

From the beginning, the only service that would probably ever work is MIA-HAV. Even those flights should be made by AA E75s maybe 2-3x times a day.
 
Brickell305
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:56 pm

DfwAussie wrote:
From the beginning, the only service that would probably ever work is MIA-HAV. Even those flights should be made by AA E75s maybe 2-3x times a day.


What are you basing this on? By all accounts, other HAV routes are performing well enough. Furthermore, there is too much traffic on MIA-HAV for it to be served by E75s at such a low frequency. AA is asking for more HAV frequencies, not less (albeit before the recent policy change).
 
aklrno
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:01 pm

a couple of weeks ago I flew EWR-HAV-EWR and the flights were 100% full. While waiting at the airport (old terminal 2) other planes were coming and going (WN and some south american airlines) and they were completely filled too. And that was not the peak of the season. For a small number of data points HAV seems to be doing well.

I booked an "educational" tour for my trip, which is still allowed under trump rules. Still enjoyed it. HAV airport needs improvement in border control and baggage claim. I think they are overwhelmed by current traffic.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:07 pm

Having just done TPAHVA about a month ago. Here are some quick points:
-Click the box get the visa at a desk next to the check in desk.
-HVA is packed...with more and more Americans.
-Prices have gone up, but you still can stay--very easily--at a casa particular--for relatively cheap.
-Big resorts a just a tad more expensive than big resorts in the US.
-Give lots of time getting back to the airport. It can take a couple of hours to navigate the lines. Or not. YMMV.

It's a big step back in time and a unique place.
 
axiom
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:19 pm

DfwAussie wrote:
From the beginning, the only service that would probably ever work is MIA-HAV. Even those flights should be made by AA E75s maybe 2-3x times a day.


If MIA/FLL/TPA-HAV weren't doing well, I doubt you'd 1) see carriers requesting additional slots (in S. FL) and 2) see charter airlines continue to serve those markets. Charter flights aren't cheap to secure -- they're a sign there's cash flow in the market.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:23 pm

axiom wrote:
If MIA/FLL/TPA-HAV weren't doing well, I doubt you'd 1) see carriers requesting additional slots (in S. FL) and 2) see charter airlines continue to serve those markets. Charter flights aren't cheap to secure -- they're a sign there's cash flow in the market.


The tours are still in business and taking traffic. My conspiracy theory is the current proposed regulations going back to tours for the most part is because of tour lobbying. Many of those operators have ties to the hardliners in Miami. But, it's just my theory.
 
axiom
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:47 pm

That's my point -- I don't think they're well capitalized enough to charter and fly empty planes just to hold market share against AA, WN, B6. They're there because there's traffic. Are they lobbying for tighter rules? Perhaps. It's in their interest to restrict capacity in the market. But I don't pretend to know Florida Cuban-American power politics that well.
 
QXAS
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:47 am

Slightly off topic but common theme... Do we know how the lone flight from the west coast to Cuba is doing? The AS LAX-HAV?
I am NOT an employee of any airline or manufacturer. I speak for myself, not on the behalf of any company.
 
zippy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:37 am

Biged wrote:
There is literally nothing around Santa Clara. It is very rural and 3 hours from Havana.


I did SFO-MIA-SNU on American a few months ago and both legs were packed. They had to bump some pax on the SFO-MIA leg even (and unlike United, American knew how to motivate people to deplane without violence). All told, I generally preferred the time I spent in Santa Clara to Havana but if you're looking for resorts there aren't any. Santa Clara itself is a pretty large city by Cuban standards (it's the state capital after all) and there's plenty to see and do within the city limits. Of course a large part of the charm is that it's far more laid back and devoid of tourists compared to Havana.

I flew back HNV-CLT-SFO, and let's just say a direct flight to the west coast would be great if only to avoid the extra TSA insanity. In general though I hope that service to secondary cities continues as there's so much more to Cuba than just Havana.
 
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B727skyguy
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:55 am

spinkid wrote:
While most others can still travel to Cuba easily, its still a hassle for Americans. Trump isn't making it any easier, but the problem has existed since day one. Even people who understand travel, know that you have to meet a certain criteria to visit Cuba. While pretty much anyone can meet it, most people don't think they can, or see it as an impediment.

Compared to just going online and booking a package through Southwest, Expedia, etc to any other island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a real hassle.

Who wants the hassle of documenting every minute of their activities while in Cuba and retaining those detailed records for a minimum of five years? It's interesting to note that according to the US Treasury site, the travel restrictions apply to anyone, foreign national or US citizen, who resides in the United States.

Here is the documentation requirement from the CFR:

§501.601 Records and recordkeeping requirements.

Except as otherwise provided, every person engaging in any transaction subject to the provisions of this chapter shall keep a full and accurate record of each such transaction engaged in, regardless of whether such transaction is effected pursuant to license or otherwise, and such record shall be available for examination for at least 5 years after the date of such transaction.

I never understood all the hype about the flood of new flights to Cuba considering that the travel restrictions were still in place just as they have been for over 50 years. It should come as no surprise to anyone that these WN flights were a flop.
 
Brickell305
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:39 am

B727skyguy wrote:
spinkid wrote:
While most others can still travel to Cuba easily, its still a hassle for Americans. Trump isn't making it any easier, but the problem has existed since day one. Even people who understand travel, know that you have to meet a certain criteria to visit Cuba. While pretty much anyone can meet it, most people don't think they can, or see it as an impediment.

Compared to just going online and booking a package through Southwest, Expedia, etc to any other island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a real hassle.

Who wants the hassle of documenting every minute of their activities while in Cuba and retaining those detailed records for a minimum of five years? It's interesting to note that according to the US Treasury site, the travel restrictions apply to anyone, foreign national or US citizen, who resides in the United States.

Here is the documentation requirement from the CFR:

§501.601 Records and recordkeeping requirements.

Except as otherwise provided, every person engaging in any transaction subject to the provisions of this chapter shall keep a full and accurate record of each such transaction engaged in, regardless of whether such transaction is effected pursuant to license or otherwise, and such record shall be available for examination for at least 5 years after the date of such transaction.

I never understood all the hype about the flood of new flights to Cuba considering that the travel restrictions were still in place just as they have been for over 50 years. It should come as no surprise to anyone that these WN flights were a flop.

While that is the law as written, next to no one actually does that as the likelihood of it being checked is slim to none.
 
MaverickTTT
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Re: WN Ending Cuba Service to VRA & SNU

Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:00 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Good, sanity prevails.

Bulk of the over exuberant Cuba flying should be dropped by US carriers.

wnflyguy wrote:
Since Cuba been TRUMPED we all knew it's only been a matter of time!


Merely convinent PR cover. Flights were losers from the git go.

They were losers with potential to be winners with further loosening of the rules regarding Cuba. Frankly put, like most everyone else on the planet, I think WN was banking on a Clinton administration that would do just that. Instead, they got the opposite and the routes no longer made sense.

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