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JetBlue Launches Flights to Cuban Destinations
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JetBlue Launches Flights to Cuban Destinations

by Parker McDonaldJuly 30, 2016

JetBlue announced it will launch flights to Cuba on August 31, 2016 (subject to government approval). The airline said it is aimed at removing the high costs and complexity of travel to Cuba so that customers can instead get the most of their time visiting loved ones, arranging a unique cultural experience, taking care of business opportunities, or organizing their educational or not-for-profit organization group trip.

“It’s a new day for Cuba travelers and one we have thoughtfully prepared for,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We are proud to usher in a new era of Cuba travel with affordable fares and great service.”

JetBlue will initially operate flights on three routes between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and:

  • Santa ClaraAbel Santamaría Airport (SNU)
    • Monday, Wednesday & Friday flights starting August 31, 2016
    • Daily flights starting October 1, 2016
  • Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte Airport (CMW)
    • Daily flights starting November 3, 2016
  • Holguín Frank País Airport (HOG)
    • Daily flights starting November 10, 2016

JetBlue’s fares start at $99 one-way (restrictions apply), include Cuban government-required health insurance and will be offered on an ongoing basis. JetBlue’s fares to Cuba offer the same amenities – like free seatback entertainment, free Fly-Fi wireless internet (not available on flights outside the United States), unlimited complimentary snacks and soft drinks, and the most legroom in coach – that have made the airline a leading carrier in the Caribbean. Seats on the three routes are available for purchase for customers who meet government travel requirements.  Certain restrictions apply.  Contact JetBlue directly for details.

Removing Cost & Complexity for Customers

True to its customer focus, JetBlue is taking a number of steps unique to its Cuba launch to set it apart from competitors known for offering high prices and inferior service:

  • Affordable fares: JetBlue is introducing a low starting fare to make Cuba more accessible to those visiting family members or traveling to Cuba for cultural, business or group travel.
  • Health insurance included: JetBlue will include Cuban government-required health insurance coverage for all travelers on all Cuba-bound flights so that customers do not have to worry about obtaining the insurance separately.
  • Affidavit in a few clicks: Under U.S. regulations, every customer traveling to Cuba must complete an affidavit affirming the customer is going for one of 12 reasons of approved travel from the U.S. Department of Treasury. JetBlue has built the completion of the affidavit right into the booking process so it can be finished in only a couple of clicks.
  • Day-of-travel Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card): Separate from the U.S. regulated 12 categories, visitors must also obtain an entrance visa into Cuba. For customers who qualify for a Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card), JetBlue will make those visas available for purchase upon check-in at one of its gateway airports or at the gate for connecting customers on the day of travel. All travelers to Cuba should contact the Cuban Embassy in Washington to determine the appropriate type of visa required by Cuba for their purpose of travel.
  • First bag flies free (f), 1+1 carry-ons: To make travel more affordable than it is today, JetBlue will include at least one free checked bag, up to 50 pounds, in all of its fare options to Cuba. Normal carry-on regulations will apply: one carry-on and one personal item.
  • Breeze in, breeze out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood: Broward County’s Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is considered South Florida’s most convenient airport, centrally located just 30 minutes north of Miami, and 45 minutes south of Palm Beach. With convenient parking located a close walking distance from the terminals, travelers can breeze in and clear security within minutes.

“We are honored to partner with JetBlue as they launch this historic inaugural service to Cuba for Broward County residents and the South Florida Community,” said Mark Gale, CEO/Director of Aviation for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). “We are very pleased to be offering the region’s first regularly scheduled commercial flights to the island nation in more than half a century, and providing our passengers with a wonderful and economical air service option between JetBlue’s gateway at FLL and Cuba.”

In addition to the service that is out for sale, JetBlue was also tentatively awarded flights between Havana and three U.S. cities (upon government approval) – for a total of up to seven daily roundtrips between the countries – and will announce a start date and fares for Havana later this year.

Flights between the U.S. and Santa Clara, Camagüey and Holguín will be operated on JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft offering the airline’s award-winning service and a variety of other complimentary JetBlue amenities including free snacks.

SCHEDULES (Subject to government approval)

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Santa Clara (SNU)
Monday, Wednesday & Friday flights starting August 31, 2016 and daily flights starting October 1, 2016.
FLL – SNU flight 387 11:00 a.m.-12:12 p.m.
SNU – FLL flight 388 1:15 – 2:35 p.m.

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Camagüey (CMW)
Daily flights starting November 3, 2016
FLL – CMW flight 2327 10:35 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
CMW – FLL flight 2328 1:01-2:33 p.m.

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Holguín (HOG)
Daily flights starting November 10, 2016
FLL – HOG flight 2033 11:30 a.m.-1:04 p.m.
HOG – FLL flight 2032 2:05-3:46 p.m.

Additional information on traveling to Cuba will be posted at jetblue.com/flights/cuba as it is available.  All flight schedules and options are subject to change and are upon government approval.

About The Author
Parker McDonald
Parker hails from the Big Apple. While he normally jumps on the 7-line to get where he needs to go, you'll occasionally find him jumping on a plane out of New York City to destinations around the world.