Not long ago, traveling to Cuba from the United States was nearly impossible. But now, not only can you hop a commercial flight from the US to our communist neighbor to the south, you can actually search and compare flights online to find the best deal. It’s like if Travelocity ditched their gnome for a Fidel Castro bobblehead.
CheapAir.com, a company founded in 1989 out of a University of Michigan dorm room, announced that their site now allows travelers to compare various airlines’ flights to Cuba and even mix and match travel segments between different carriers. “As far as I know we are the first U.S. online company to do Cuba,” Jeff Klee, the company’s founder and CEO, told the Miami Herald.
At this point, only American Airlines, JetBlue and Silver Airways, fly commercial to Cuba. Although charter flights are also available and Southwest will join the fun with flights to the island from Fort Lauderdale starting in November. In total, eight different airlines have received US Department of Transportation approval to serve Cuba, meaning the number will continue to rise. “Thanks to that, it has greatly expanded the inventory of Cuba flights we’re offering,” Klee stated.
Related: HOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA
However, though CheapAir.com may make finding good flights easier, flying to Cuba still isn’t just click and go. “The only difference,” says Klee – and it’s a big difference – “is in the final step you have to indicate the reason you’re traveling.” The twelve categories the government considers allowable are “family visits; 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 information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.”
Notice how “smoke mad cigars, bro” is not on the list. Though sinceCheapAir.com was founded in a UM dorm room, maybe Klee and his team have some ideas about how to help you out anyway.