Update: Today is the day. At 9:45 this morning, a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale landed in Santa Clara, Cuba. Per the New York Times, this was the first-ever scheduled passenger jet service from the United States to Cuba in more than half a century; those on-aboard are now a part of history. Now that JetBlue has touched down on a Cuban runway, many other airlines will soon follow suit. John S. Kavulich, the president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, told NYT that six airlines have been approved for flights to nine Cuban cities. These include Silver Airways, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. With all these options, it looks like we'll soon have plenty of opportunities to make the historic journey ourselves. This article was originally published on July 31, 2016.
Cuba, anyone? This week, JetBlue announced that it will launch regularly scheduled commercial flights to Cuba on August 31, with fares starting at just $99 each way, reports The Miami Herald. Technically, JetBlue's plan is still pending approval from the Cuban government. But if everything goes through, JetBlue’s nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Santa Clara–Abel Santamaría Airport (which is about three hours away from Havana) will make it the first airline to fly to Cuba from the U.S. in more than 50 years. The total cost of a round trip could be as low as $204. And that price includes all mandatory taxes and fees, plus Cuba-required health-insurance coverage and taxes. The August 31 date puts JetBlue ahead of its competitors, American Airlines and Silver Airways, which have announced departure dates in October and November. The U.S. government awarded approval for Cuban travel to six U.S. airlines in June of this year. But visitors still require an entrance visa, the most common form of which is referred to as a tourist card or visa. JetBlue said it will also sell visas upon check-in for about $50. Sounds like it might be time to start planning your big vacation in Cuba, doesn't it?