Ever thought of visiting Havana, Cuba? The Seattle-based Alaska Airlines recently announced that from January 5th 2017, it will offer daily, direct flights from Los Angeles to Havana, Cuba. Alaska will be the only company that flies nonstop from the West Coast to Cuba, though anyone looking to fly from Seattle or Anchorage will have to go through Los Angeles first.
Recently, Alaska Airlines and eight other airlines received final approval from the U.S. government, though some minor restrictions still remain. However, there is one last minor regulatory hurdle to clear as the routes are still subject to the go-ahead from the Cuban government, though no delays are expected. The flights will originate from LAX and leave at 8:50 a.m. and arrive at José Martí International Airport at 4:55 p.m. Return flights will leave Havana at 5:55 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 8:45 pm.
While Havana and the rest of Cuba have a lot to offer to its visitors, anyone planning on purchasing a ticket should ensure that they are authorized to visit the island as travel restrictions haven't been fully lifted yet.
There are multiple ways one can get authorization to travel to Cuba, such as visiting family, embarking on humanitarian projects or even journalistic activities, to name a few. The entire list can be found on the Embassy Of The United States in Cuba website.
Anyone buying a ticket should also have all their necessary documents in order, their accommodations booked and enough cash to last the entire trip. Luckily, Alaska Airlines provides help obtaining a Cuba visa, and, included with the ticket is travel insurance, which the government of Cuba requires. Alaska Airlines is going out of its way to make the travel experience as smooth as possible. It even offers resources to find help travelers find lodging.
While Alaska is the only airline planning to offer flights from the West Coast, other airlines are getting in on the mix, and that's not just with high-priced charter flights.
American Airlines already has daily flights from Miami to Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguín, Varadero and Cienfuegos. There are plenty of other airlines getting in the mix with plans to fly to Cuba:
Southwest Airlines – Fort Lauderdale to Varadero, Havana and Santa Clara and from Tampa to Havana.
Frontier Airlines – Chicago to Santiago de Cuba and Varadero, Philadelphia to Santa Clara, Varadero and Camaguey, along with one daily flight from Miami to Havana.
Silver Airways – All flights originating from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Cayo Large del Sur and Manzanillo.
Spirit Airlines – Fort Lauderdale to Havana.
United Airlines - Newark and Houston to Havana.
Sun Country Airlines - Minneapolis to Varadero and Santa Clara
Delta Airlines - New York, Atlanta and Miami to Havana
HavanaAir – Miami and Key West to Havana.