For more than 50 years, getting to Cuba as an American has been difficult. You could do it, but it might require either subterfuge or a convoluted route through a different country, and the State Department wouldn’t be the most excited about the prospect. But the easing of restrictions on the country that Obama announced in December mean that if you fall into one of the previously approved groups traveling to the country, including journalism, business, and cultural exchange, you can now travel there a lot easier. How much easier? Next month, for the first time in decades, there will be direct flights from JFK into Havana. Cigars all round!
The flights, run by California’s Cuba Travel Services, will run weekly starting on March 17. The far for that first week will by $779 and $849 after that.
“It’s obviously very, very exciting. The more cities we have connecting the United States to Cuba, the better,” Emily Sanchez, Cuba Travel Services’ marketing president, told DNA Info. “We’ve been excited to do it for quite a while, we’ve just been waiting for the right time. Culturally speaking, New York and Cuba are so close. We wanted to bridge that gap.”
But there are still obstacles in place if you’re just looking to soak up some rays. The restrictions mean that tourism for the sake of it is still nixed. But who knows how long that’ll be true? Legislators have proposed lifting all travel bans. Maybe by this time next year, you’ll be able to hop a JetBlue to hang at Hemingway’s old haunts.