You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

JetBlue to make history with flights to Cuba starting Wednesday

Hoping to travel to Cuba? Your trip is about to get a little more convenient.

Airline JetBlue on Wednesday begins flying regular commercial service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Santa Clara-Abel Santamaría Airport in Santa Clara, Cuba.

The first flight leaves the Fort Lauderdale JetBlue terminal at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. It will be the first regularly scheduled flight between the U.S. and Cuba in more than five decades, and marks another milestone for U.S.-Cuba relations since the two countries announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations in December 2014.

One-way tickets for the flights — which will run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until daily service to Santa Clara begins Oct. 1 — start at $99, JetBlue said in a news release.

Later this year, the airline will begin daily flights between Fort Lauderdale and two other Cuban airports: Camagüey-Ignacio Agramonte Airport beginning Nov. 3, and Holguín-Frank País Airport beginning Nov. 10.

What travelers will need to go to Cuba

The ticket price includes health insurance, which is required by the Cuban government for any visitors, JetBlue said.

JetBlue also is offering a perk to travelers to Cuba: a free checked bag — up to 50 pounds — in addition to the usual free personal item and carry-on.

Travel to the island nation, however, isn’t as simple as booking a flight. Passengers must belong to at least one of 12 categories — including family visits and research efforts — permitted to travel to Cuba.

Travelers also must contact the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., to find out which visa they will need. JetBlue will offer Cuban tourist visas for purchase at its gates before each flight.

Beverly Kelly of Palm Beach Gardens Travel Leaders said she and her team began planning for an influx of Cuba travel requests earlier this year. However, so far, the demand just hasn’t been there.

Many of the trips they have booked so far have been for people traveling with tour groups.

“It is based on religious heritage, or volunteerism,” Kelly said.

It’s important to note, she added, that trips to Cuba still are very expensive — even though a roundtrip ticket could cost as little as $200.

Logistics also can be an issue, Kelly said: “There’s not as many hotels as everybody thinks.”

She recommended reaching out to a travel agent for help planning a trip.

Future flights and destinations

American Airlines soon will join JetBlue, with its own commercial service to the Cuban cities of Cienfuegos and Holguín kicking off Sept. 7. Silver Airways will begin its regularly scheduled service to Cuba beginning with flights to Santa Clara on Sept. 1.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has given tentative approval for eight airlines to fly into José Martí International Airport in Havana. However, those selections have not been finalized. Final U.S. approval should be announced by the end of the year, and then the selections also must be approved by the Cuban government.

Until then, travelers can navigate to the island’s capital via a variety of methods, including taxi or bus.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Teaser trailer for Stephen King’s ‘It’ released
Teaser trailer for Stephen King’s ‘It’ released

Clowns will be haunting your nightmares, thanks to the master of horror Stephen King and latest big screen adaptation to one of his best selling books. >> Read more trending news The teaser trailer for the reimagined “It” was released Wednesday.  Pennywise is the true embodiment of the terror that many people feel when they...
NEW: Alligator spotted on Florida tennis court
NEW: Alligator spotted on Florida tennis court

One Florida reptile seemed ready to leave the swamp to make it as an athlete when it was spotted on a Sarasota tennis court Wednesday. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Someone was looking for a match this morning at the Englewood Sports Complex. Maybe...
Giant gator interrupts golf match, strolls through links like a regular player  
Giant gator interrupts golf match, strolls through links like a regular player  

A giant alligator interrupted a golf tournament in South Carolina, sneaking onto the links and sauntering by stunned golfers who watched in amazement as the dinosaur-like creature walked by. Players teed off at the 10th Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational on Kiawah Island on Monday, but the star of the competition wasn’t a golfer. It was the huge...
What we loved at these restaurants in Boca Raton 
What we loved at these restaurants in Boca Raton 

Our Palm Beach Post writers anonymously visit a restaurant in your neighborhood each week in search of the best menu item. We have rounded up the best neighborhood eats in Boca Raton and tell you why they liked each one! Reason To Go: The huge menu proves there’s something for everyone, especially when it’s tough to agree on a...
BREAKING: One dead, 2 injured at West Palm Beach shooting scene
BREAKING: One dead, 2 injured at West Palm Beach shooting scene

One person was found dead and two others injured Wednesday afternoon at a shooting scene in a West Palm Beach apartment complex, city fire rescue crews said. Police confirmed the shooting shortly before 2 p.m. inside a unit in the Caribbean Villas apartment complex off Haverhill Road. The neighborhood is north of 45th Street, about a mile north of...
More Stories