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Copa from JFK to Havana now bookable? Will I be able to get back into the US?

Copa from JFK to Havana now bookable? Will I be able to get back into the US?

Old Apr 17, 17, 7:49 am
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,667
Originally Posted by The_Bouncer View Post
I am considering the following itinerary:

Ticket 1:

ORD-PTY on CM229
PTY-HAV on CM294 (next day but less than 24hrs)

This would be on a single PNR, but with PTY as a ticketed destination (i.e. multi-city). I would clear Panamanian immigration and stay overnight.

Ticket 2:

HAV-EWR on UA1503, connecting next day to SAN.

I am triple national (UK/Irish/Australian)

My questions are:

1. Is my outbound flight considered to be travelling from the USA to Cuba, or am I technically entering from Panama?

2. Am I likely to get any hassle on the direct inbound from HAV-EWR?

3. Am I actually violating any laws?
All this has been covered ad nauseum on various travel forums on Cuba.

Traveling direct from the US to Cuba, you are subject to US law, no matter what passport you hold, which requires that you declare your reason for travel from the 12 OFAC choices. The airline asks this and keeps the answer in its database. You are supposed to keep records for 5 years of your "full time" schedule doing whatever you declared you'd be doing.
You are also, as a US passport holder, not allowed to go via a third country to avoid this declaration. You would be traveling from Panama if your tickets were separate.
Up to you whether you see any of that as "violating any laws". Do you ever drive over the speed limit?
OFAC or any government entity has not been checking (and in fact, how could they check on schedule in Cuba?) for decades. You might be asked on re-entry to US what the purpose of your trip was. As long as you don't respond "vacation" or "tourism", you are waved through.

Direct flights from the US to Cuba seem to be cheaper than those via a third country; same for return.
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