After resuming diplomatic relations with the United States, Cuba is coming out of its isolation. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Havana this March signaled a new era for the island country. Perhaps the most significant change, one that can more readily be felt by average people, is the new announcement of this week. Infrastructure connecting Cuba to the United States and Cuban-Americans to what many still perceive as their home was lacking as part of the embargo on the country. But the first step in a new direction has been taken. Commercial flights to Cuba are available, starting today.
Flights to Cuba in a Few Easy Steps
The first commercial flight to Cuba in 50 years happened this week. Commercial airline JetBlue flew the first flight from Miami to the country’s capital, Havana in half a century. A plane full of Cuban-Americans eager to get back home and see family and friends and also tourists looking to be one of the first to visit the country.
Buying a plane ticket is simple and practical. You can easily do it on JetBlue’s website, where you fill in data and tick a box for the federal affidavit. That is all of the paperwork you’ll need when purchasing a plane ticket to Cuba. The whole process doesn’t take more than five minutes.
The electronic tickets cost 99 dollars for one flyer. The price for extra luggage is just as affordable. You can carry 100 pounds of extra luggage for 35 dollars. The flight takes just 45 minutes. In less than an hour you can be in Havana.
Travelling to Cuba in the Future
For Cuban-Americans the airline’s flights to Cuba mean a real change in US – Cuba relations. Something that they were only hoping for years ago. Many of them have already become JetBlue members and could become frequent flyers in the future. There are many Cubans and Cuban-Americans that split their lives between the United States and Cuba. For them, this new route made available could become a frequently used shuttle to take them back and forth between the two countries.
Cuba had already seen a surge in tourism in the last years, from travelers the world over. It was a popular destination for its authentic culture, a society in a time bubble, a postcard from a long time ago. Cuba attracted the type of tourist that is more of a backpacking traveler than a tourist, doesn’t care much about creature comforts and is interested in interacting with genuine, warm and welcoming people.
Just how easy it is to book a flight and the affordable price for the ticket means that many Americans could chose Cuba for a weekend getaway. That could mean more than a boost to Cuba’s tourism industry. The new flights to Cuba could bring the two countries together culturally, now that the diplomacy retied them. Americans that know Cuban culture only from media reports could get to know the country for what it really is. This will dispell myths about the country’s political regime, economic situation and healthcare system even.
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