U.S. Bans Commercial Travel to Cuban Cities Other Than Havana

Havana Cuba
Havana, Cuba // Photo by Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Trump Administration has further changed the ways in which Americans can travel to Cuba—this time, by banning commercial flights to all airports, with the exception of Havana’s José Martí International Airport (HAV). The ban takes effect December 10, 2019.

The good news: Cultural Cuba, a destination management company specializing in private tours to Cuba, says the ban will not affect Americans’ ability to travel to Cuba. David Lee, Cultural Cuba founder and owner, says, “This decision will have minimal impact on travelers because nearly 100 percent of visitors to Cuba fly to and from Havana via daily nonstop flights with the major U.S. airlines.” 

Currently, several airlines in nine U.S. cities offer multiple nonstop flights to Havana, including from New York, Newark, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

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JetBlue, one of the airlines that serves cities other than Havana, released a new travel waiver:

"Due to an updated U.S. policy regarding travel to Cuba, JetBlue will no longer operate to and from Camagüey, Holguín and Santa Clara as of December 10, 2019. As a result, we will offer a refund or full credit for customers traveling to/from the following cities on or after Tuesday, December 10, 2019:

  • Camagüey, Cuba (CMW)
  • Holguín, Cuba (HOG)
  • Santa Clara, Cuba (SNU)

"Alternatively, customers can choose to rebook travel on available flights operating before December 10, 2019 or be rebooked through Havana."

American Airlines and Delta also fly to Cuba.

In a notice—and reiterated in a tweet—by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he says the reason for the ban is due to the Cuban regime’s repression of the Cuban people and its support for Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

In June, the Trump Administration announced it was ending group people-to-people travel to Cuba; however, certain tour operators like Cultural Cuba and Apple Vacations were not affected by the regulation, as they satisfy the still-acceptable “Support of the Cuban People” category.

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