Jun 14th, 2016
Jon Covich breaks down the recent news of U.S. commercial airlines beginning direct flights to Cuba:
So, we knew that this news was coming. However, all is certainly not done, and you have to read the information closely to see where things are at right now. Here are some highlights from the recent news:
1. Six US Airlines have been granted licensing to start direct commercial flights to Cuba. The largest of these is American Airlines.
2. Currently, Havana is not an approved destination city. That will come with time, because it has some additional complications, such as where planes will park and what terminal international travelers will use. Some of the cities now approved are Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Holguin and Cienfuegos.
3. More US airlines, such as United, will probably gain licensing as well. They have yet to be announced because in many cases they will only fly to Havana.
4. Timing for these flights to start is late Fall or early Winter of 2016
5. Complications are many: US Airlines cannot use US credit cards in Cuba currently, so they are trying to figure out how to charge customers in Cuba for things like ticket changes or extra baggage. SIM cards for US cell phones do not work with the Cuban cell network. US airlines right now may be forced to use workers employed and trained by the Cuban government rather than the airline.