One Caribbean capital is about to experience what could be the biggest influx of new airline service from the U.S. of all times. In early July, the Transportation Department approved routes to Havana, Cuba for several U.S. airlines. Those route awards were finalized in late August, and airlines have started to announce their inaugural service dates for late fall and winter. Some are still subject to Cuban government approvals.
Alaska Airlines, which will have the only non-stop service to Havana from the West Coast, has set a January 5 start for its new Los Angeles-Havana flights, which will depart LAX at 8:50 a.m. The flight will originate in Seattle. Roundtrip fares from LAX start at $490.
Because the purpose of a traveler’s visit must fall within one of a dozen specific categories, and other formalities and requirements must be met, Alaska has posted a handy blog page with details for customers to know before they book their flight. Alaska said it is working with Cuba Travel Services to help customers obtain visas, accommodations and ground transportation at the destination.
Here is a link to the U.S. government’s official restrictions on travel to Cuba; scroll down to Page 10 to find specifics of the 12 categories of travel.
Delta has targeted December 1 for the launch of daily flights to Havana from Miami and New York JFK along with one-stop service from Atlanta. For travel in February, we found roundtrip fares starting at $200 from Miami, $410 from JFK and $452 from Atlanta.
United Airlines has set a November 29 start for daily non-stops from Newark to Havana, followed on December 3 by weekly Saturday service from Houston Bush Intercontinental to the Cuban capital. Fares in January start at $413 roundtrip from Newark and $513 from Houston.
November 30 is the target date for American Airlines’ new daily flight to Havana from its Charlotte hub. American was also awarded rights for four daily roundtrips from Miami, although it hasn’t yet announced a starting date for those. January roundtrip fares start at $421 from Charlotte.
Frontier Airlines on December 1 is expected to start daily service from Miami to Havana, and will offer connections to that flight from Denver and Las Vegas.
Other new Havana routes expected to start in the next few months include JetBlue service from JFK, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando; Southwest Airlines flights from Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa; and Spirit Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale. Several airlines have already started or are about to launch service on routes to secondary cities and beach resorts in Cuba; those routes were awarded earlier.
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