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Travel to Havana, Cuban visa

Travel to Havana, Cuban visa

Old May 3, 13, 11:35 pm
  #1  
kpc
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Travel to Havana, Cuban visa

Next year I'm attending a conference in Puerto Rico (SJU). After this, I would like to go to Havana, Cuba.

I see that Copa allows me to book flights on its website via Panama: SJU-PTY-HAV return on one ticket. I'm not a US citizen (Australian actually), and assuming SJU is an US port, is this OK / legal to purchase on the one ticket?

Also, I read that one can get a Cuban visa at the Copa checkin desk but would this be at SJU? or PTY? If PTY can this be done airside without the need to clear immigration at PTY?

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 4, 13, 4:21 pm
  #2  
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Puerto Rico is a US port. I've always had to nest the fares in order to get it to work.

Another option is B6 to SDQ and CU to HAV purchased separately.
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Old May 4, 13, 6:24 pm
  #3  
kpc
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Originally Posted by mkt View Post
Puerto Rico is a US port. I've always had to nest the fares in order to get it to work.
Thanks, I understand this but if COPA lets me book the Sju-Pty-Hav fare on one ticket (multi city booking), is it legal (given SJU is an US port) and would I be allowed to board the plane? see below
Code:
 Air Itinerary Details
	
Fare Rules
San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico
Thu, Aug 08, 06:30 AM
	
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 08, 08:22 AM
	
CM0451
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-700
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 08, 09:22 AM
	
Havana (HAV), Cuba
Thu, Aug 08, 12:51 PM
	
CM0322
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-700
Havana (HAV), Cuba
Thu, Aug 15, 08:55 AM
	
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 15, 10:33 AM
	
CM0321
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-800
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 15, 12:10 PM
	
San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico
Thu, Aug 15, 04:05 PM
	
CM0142
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Embraer 190
FARE BREAKDOWN
Passenger Type
	
Base Fare
per person
	
Fuel Surcharges
per person
	
Taxes
per person
	
Total Fare
per person
	
Number of
passengers
	
Total Fare
ADULT 12+
	
962.00
	
280.00
	
21.50
	
1,263.50
	
x 1
	
USD 1,263.50

All passengers are entitled to at least one carry-on item and two checked bags. In addition, charges apply for extra bags, overweight or oversize bags, and certain types of items.

See our Baggage policies for more information.
Total Air Fare: USD 1,263.50

Last edited by kpc; May 4, 13 at 6:37 pm
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Old May 5, 13, 11:46 am
  #4  
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Try booking it. When I've tried to book it before, I've been refused. i've had to nest it, and for the cost, it's not worth it - it's cheaper to fly SJU-SDQ/SDQ-HAV on B6/CU.

One thing to mention though, if you DO get to book it, your bags may not get checked all the way through to HAV at SJU, so you may need to clear customs/immigration at PTY to get your bags and recheck them. Allow for a long enough layover in PTY to do that.

Last edited by mkt; May 5, 13 at 8:12 pm
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Old May 6, 13, 6:08 pm
  #5  
 
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Out of curiosity I have done a little research and have found the following websites which have information for Australians.

http://www.honeymoonguide.com.au/car...ing-there.html

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/cuba

Somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 Americans visit Cuba yearly and get there just as you are planning - with a connecting flight through a non-U.S. country (although admittedly it is difficult to ascertain whether "connecting" means a same day flight or a layover and whether it is on a single ticket or two separate tickets).

As far as I can tell, the restrictions apply only to U.S. citizens and I can't imagine U.S. authorities being able to tell an Australian where they can and cannot go!

A visa on arrival is available in Cuba but you may be more comfortable with a Tourist Card, arranged ahead of time, which allows a single entry visit for up to 30 days.

I have also just come across the following. Post # 13 answers your question specifically. If this is correct then you are better off with a single ticket.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=2275144

JMHO but it appears you'll be fine.
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Old May 6, 13, 6:39 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by chchkiwi View Post
Out of curiosity I have done a little research and have found the following websites which have information for Australians.

http://www.honeymoonguide.com.au/car...ing-there.html

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/cuba

Somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 Americans visit Cuba yearly and get there just as you are planning - with a connecting flight through a non-U.S. country (although admittedly it is difficult to ascertain whether "connecting" means a same day flight or a layover and whether it is on a single ticket or two separate tickets).

As far as I can tell, the restrictions apply only to U.S. citizens and I can't imagine U.S. authorities being able to tell an Australian where they can and cannot go!

A visa on arrival is available in Cuba but you may be more comfortable with a Tourist Card, arranged ahead of time, which allows a single entry visit for up to 30 days.

I have also just come across the following. Post # 13 answers your question specifically. If this is correct then you are better off with a single ticket.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=2275144

JMHO but it appears you'll be fine.
Clearly your research skills are MUCH better than mine as I have been searching on the 'net the last week and didn't find that Lonely Planet thread which answers my Q!! Let me buy you a drink in Perth in 2.5 week's time chchkiwi !!

PS: I will apply for a Cuban visa in Oz (costs $60 so a bit more expensive than buying at Pty) so I don't have to worry about buying one at Pty.
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Old May 6, 13, 9:10 pm
  #7  
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I hope that it works that way... I just literally attempted to make that booking on the phone (SJU-PTY-HAV) through the elite call center in Panama City using skype (in case they saw my US number and that gave them some additional restriction)... and their words were that they would have to be nested, and you'd need at least a 3 hour layover in PTY to clear customs/immigration and recheck your bags.

My personal preference is via SDQ for lower cost, novelty of flying CU, and well... it's not out of the way.
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Old May 6, 13, 11:55 pm
  #8  
kpc
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Originally Posted by mkt View Post
I hope that it works that way... I just literally attempted to make that booking on the phone (SJU-PTY-HAV) through the elite call center in Panama City using skype (in case they saw my US number and that gave them some additional restriction)... and their words were that they would have to be nested, and you'd need at least a 3 hour layover in PTY to clear customs/immigration and recheck your bags.

My personal preference is via SDQ for lower cost, novelty of flying CU, and well... it's not out of the way.
Interesting....are you a US citizen? Would that make a difference to the agent on the phone? (As already mentioned above, the COPA website allows the Sju-Pty-Hav booking on 1 ticket)
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Old May 7, 13, 6:22 am
  #9  
 
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kpc - just glad to come up with the information you were seeking and learn something in the process. Look forward to seeing you both again in a couple of weeks.
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Old May 7, 13, 10:47 am
  #10  
mkt
 
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Originally Posted by kpc View Post
Interesting....are you a US citizen? Would that make a difference to the agent on the phone? (As already mentioned above, the COPA website allows the Sju-Pty-Hav booking on 1 ticket)
I'm a dual US/EU (Spain), I've only disclosed my Spanish citizenship with them, and I specifically told them I'm a Spanish citizen. Hell, the address in the system for my Onepass/MP account isn't even a US address. The rep said that the US won't allow them to sell that route due to the embargo.

I didn't ask as a multi-city itin though... but I'd still be wary regarding the checked bags all the way.
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Old May 7, 13, 10:55 am
  #11  
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Heh... it just allowed me to get as far as the payment screen as a multi-city. In that one you win.

However, I had to compare the prices. It costs twice as much as how I've done it before (SJU-SDQ on AA or B6, and SDQ-HAV on CU)
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Old May 15, 14, 4:55 am
  #12  
kpc
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Update for others' benefit: I bought Lifemiles with a 100% promo and booked 2x J return awards Sju-Pty-Hav for a net cost of approx USD1284 (or USD622 each). We returned from Cuba a week ago, and flew this return route with no problems. A few points: You cannot get the tourist card at Sju; if you haven't already obtained one prior (We obtained ours in advance for 20 each from http://www.cubavisas.com/index.php ), you can get one at the departure gate at Pty.

On the return, it took a little while to get both the Hav-Pty, and Pty-Sju BPs. We were asked to show our etickets showing our flights leaving Sju (and the USA), and the info was typed into the computer. The computer picked up my +1s ESTA (both travelling on Australian passports) without any problems but i was asked to provide a printout of mine, and I think the authorisation code was entered manually. Took about 25 minutes all up to produce the 2 BPs each.

At Sju, we declared that we had been to Cuba, and were asked how Havana was, and had absolutely no problems returning to Sju (USA).

Oh...had a blast in Havana!

Last edited by kpc; May 15, 14 at 5:08 am
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Old May 15, 14, 9:49 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by chchkiwi View Post
Out of curiosity I have done a little research and have found the following websites which have information for Australians.

http://www.honeymoonguide.com.au/car...ing-there.html

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/cuba

Somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 Americans visit Cuba yearly and get there just as you are planning - with a connecting flight through a non-U.S. country (although admittedly it is difficult to ascertain whether "connecting" means a same day flight or a layover and whether it is on a single ticket or two separate tickets).

As far as I can tell, the restrictions apply only to U.S. citizens and I can't imagine U.S. authorities being able to tell an Australian where they can and cannot go!

A visa on arrival is available in Cuba but you may be more comfortable with a Tourist Card, arranged ahead of time, which allows a single entry visit for up to 30 days.

I have also just come across the following. Post # 13 answers your question specifically. If this is correct then you are better off with a single ticket.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=2275144

JMHO but it appears you'll be fine.
The embargo also applies to green card holders.
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Old May 15, 14, 9:50 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by kpc View Post
Next year I'm attending a conference in Puerto Rico (SJU). After this, I would like to go to Havana, Cuba.

I see that Copa allows me to book flights on its website via Panama: SJU-PTY-HAV return on one ticket. I'm not a US citizen (Australian actually), and assuming SJU is an US port, is this OK / legal to purchase on the one ticket?

Also, I read that one can get a Cuban visa at the Copa checkin desk but would this be at SJU? or PTY? If PTY can this be done airside without the need to clear immigration at PTY?

Thanks in advance!
Your visa would be the tarjeta de turista that is handed out onboard.
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Old May 15, 14, 9:54 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by kpc View Post
Thanks, I understand this but if COPA lets me book the Sju-Pty-Hav fare on one ticket (multi city booking), is it legal (given SJU is an US port) and would I be allowed to board the plane? see below
Code:
 Air Itinerary Details
	
Fare Rules
San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico
Thu, Aug 08, 06:30 AM
	
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 08, 08:22 AM
	
CM0451
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-700
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 08, 09:22 AM
	
Havana (HAV), Cuba
Thu, Aug 08, 12:51 PM
	
CM0322
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-700
Havana (HAV), Cuba
Thu, Aug 15, 08:55 AM
	
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 15, 10:33 AM
	
CM0321
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Boeing 737-800
Panama (PTY), Panama
Thu, Aug 15, 12:10 PM
	
San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico
Thu, Aug 15, 04:05 PM
	
CM0142
Copa Airlines
	
Fare Family: Economy Extra (E)
Non stop
Embraer 190
FARE BREAKDOWN
Passenger Type
	
Base Fare
per person
	
Fuel Surcharges
per person
	
Taxes
per person
	
Total Fare
per person
	
Number of
passengers
	
Total Fare
ADULT 12+
	
962.00
	
280.00
	
21.50
	
1,263.50
	
x 1
	
USD 1,263.50

All passengers are entitled to at least one carry-on item and two checked bags. In addition, charges apply for extra bags, overweight or oversize bags, and certain types of items.

See our Baggage policies for more information.
Total Air Fare: USD 1,263.50
???

Therefore, as expected, the fare is pricing out as SJUPTY v.v and PTYHAV v.v
*FARE GUARANTEED AT TICKET ISSUANCE*

E-TKT REQUIRED
*PENALTY APPLIES*
LAST DATE TO PURCHASE TICKET: 18MAY14
$B-1 C15MAY14
SJU CM PTY Q80.00 299.00EHW28C65 CM HAV Q60.00 227.00E14F30 CM
PTY Q60.00 227.00E14F30 CM SJU Q80.00 239.00ELX28C65
NUC1272.00END ROE1.0
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