Delta Air Lines has resumed flights to Havana, Cuba, marking one of the final resumptions of pre-pandemic service to the beleaguered island nation. Even with tourism still technically impermissible, this marks a great time to visit one of the world’s last communist states.
Delta Air Lines Relaunches Havana, Cuba Service
Joining American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, Delta has resumed service to Havana this week with two daily flights from Miami. The flights will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft and operate according to the following schedule:
|Miami at 9:05 a.m.||Havana at 10:20 a.m.||Daily||A320|
|DL1788||Havana at 11:55 a.m.||Miami at 1:05 p.m.||Daily||
|Miami at 1:40 p.m.||Havana at 3:00 p.m.||Daily||A320|
|DL1790||Havana at 4:25 p.m.||Miami at 5:35 p.m.||Daily||
A Good Time To Visit Cuba
I recommend that everyone who can visit Cuba does so. The island nation a mere 90 miles off the coast of the USA and remains a time capsule of a different era, showcasing its failed communist experiment. Visit not because it is charming, but because it serves as an important lesson.
The Cuban people are warm and kind and if you go beyond the surface, you will learn about how much they despise their government. The Cubans I interacted are curious too. With information blackouts, there is still uncertainty over what life is like in the USA. American travelers have teh ability to serve as positive ambassadors, which may eventually help to stimulate internal change within Cuba.
Travel explicitly for tourism is still prohibited, but you can travel to Cuba for the following reasons:
- official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
- journalistic activity
- professional research and professional meetings
- educational activities
- religious activities
- public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- support for the Cuban people
- humanitarian projects
- activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials
- certain authorized export transactions.
Delta has resumed flights to Havana and promises more service to Cuba in the days ahead. Joining other US carriers, most pre-pandemic service to the Cuban capital has now been restored.
As soon as Cubana starts flying its IL-96 again, I will be traveling to Cuba myself. Until then, do consider a trip there: it is an eye-opener.
One of my FA friends traveled there and said it was the most impactful place he’s been to. The poverty is mind boggling and he experienced electricity blackouts when there, which I see are now back, too, along with the information blackouts.
Blackouts in communist-run Cuba – a country already suffering from severe shortages of food, fuel and medicine – touch a political nerve and are widely seen as the tipping point that led to anti-government protests in July 2021, the largest since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.
I have to say that most of that is unfortunately pretty common in Venezuela too. I would not recommend visiting Venezuela as it is pretty dangerous.
Yes, Venezuela, whew, so sad. I was always confused by Bernie Sanders considering Venezuela’s timeline: https://i.postimg.cc/yxnBsRCx/Screen-Shot-2023-04-12-at-1-26-52-PM.png
having lived in Venezuela for 15 years now, I will say the changes here in these past 3 years are striking. the regime, due to nesisita, has embraced the U.S. dollar as the “de facto” currency. U S. dollars are everywhere and prices are almost always presented in USD. restaurants in the capital Caracas are as 3 to 5 star as anywhere else in the world now. U.S. products are sold everywhere, albeit at a small premium. sanctions? WHAT sanctions I say. I still would not recommend Venezuela as a mainstream tourist destination, as it is next to impossible for U.S. citizens to visit, however it is a far cry from Cuba in so far as infrastructure is concerned. the regime has tried to follow the Cuban socio-economic model however there was (is) so much corruption amongst the rank and file Venezuela looks more like a capitalist society than a socialist quasi-communist one nowadays.
Thanks for the first-hand perspective. Glad to hear of the improvements.
Thanks for that, Duane. Would you say that Caracas and Maracaibo are now reasonably safe to visit for an experienced traveller? I had a good time on a couple of visits there there around 2010 but according to all my friends and acquaintances there it was getting more and more dangerous (some of them have now emigrated to Argentina and Colombia).
as a friend visiting a friend or friends? yes, as you’ll be around or with them most if not all of the time. they’ll know the “lay of the land” so to speak. if you’re referring to coming to visit and party, so to speak, then you’ll definately be a “mark”. be aware that you’ll need a visa now to visit, and with all of the Venezuelan embassies closed in the States for years now getting a visa to visit will involve a costly trip to either Ottawa Canada or Mexico City Mexico. it ain’t easy anymore to come visit, unfortunately.
I should be fine on the visa front, I am pretty sure that I can just turn up and get in with my EU passport. On the other hand, finding a decent business class offer or availability with miles to CCS is probably going to be rather tricky.
We spent a long weekend in Havana in 2017, before the US closed the “educational” loophole in the rules that basically let anyone go as long as they learned something about Cuba while they were there. We found it fascinating. We stayed in an Airbnb run by a lady who’s a cardiologist and really enjoyed hearing her thoughts on the country and the government. Havana as a tourist destination is very pretty. As a cultural destination it’s absolutely fascinating.
I spent a week in Havana (and the surrounding area) in 2012. To this day, it ranks as one of my least favorite places I’ve ever visited. Granted, I went before US tourism opened up, so outside of resorts, tourism was in its infancy, but I just didn’t really enjoy myself. The food was bad, the hotels were bad, things were expensive, and I felt like every person I interacted with was trying to extract money from me. Of course a lot of this was a direct result of the economic situation, but in general I just didn’t feel welcome.
I understand the idea of wanting to see Cuba, but I think a weekend trip is plenty. The beaches are indeed lovely.
Next time I’m going to stay at Kempinski and see if it is any different. I agree, the food was surprisingly bad.
I’m pretty sure the Kempinski is on the prohibited list of hotels Americans can stay in, as it’s partly owned by the Cuban internal security services. There is a list somewhere of approved hotels for Americans. In 2017 I stayed at the Iberostar Parque Central in Havana across from the capitol building and I’ve heard it’s the nicest hotel in Madrid that American’s are legally allowed to stay at.
Thanks for your article. It would have been better without your political statements presented as facts.
You’re welcome Robert. Thanks for reading and if you have a problem with anything I’ve written, you’re welcome to specifically articulate where am I wrong. I’ll be waiting. Remember, I’ve been there too.