If you’re flying to Cuba using JetBlue, I have to say great choice. Although I normally fly Delta, JetBlue happened to be one of the first airlines to make the first commercial flights from the United States to Cuba. This was one of the many reasons why I booked my flight with them in November of 2016. If you’re thinking about booking a flight with JetBlue to Cuba from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, here is a step-by-step guide on what to expect when you book a direct flight.
Step One: Booking Your Flight
Book your flight through the JetBlue website select your dates of travel and your destination, which should be Havana, Cuba HAV. Once you do, “click” on the find it button.
Step Two: Select your Ticket
Based on your flexibility you choose the best time and price that works best for you. Decide whether you want a direct flight, which is usually shorter or a stop in-between. Since it’s only a 3.5 hour flight, I would recommend opting for a direct. It will save you a lot of time especially if you’re only going for a few days.
Step Three: Confirming your reason for travel
Once you hit “continue” at the bottom of the page you will be directed to the “Traveler Information” page where you are required to fill out your personal information. As you approach the bottom you will notice a field that states “reasons for travel to Cuba”. Select your reason for travel. Note it has to be one of the 12 categories indicated by the Cuban government. As an American, you cannot travel as a “tourist.” You can find more details as to which of the 12 categories you should choose in the How to Travel to Cuba as An American blog post.
The most popular option is educational activities and people to people exchange. It is the option myself and many other travelers have chosen. People to people activities range from experiencing live music demonstrations and discussions with some of Cuba’s musicians to touring museums or dining at a private family-owned Cuban restaurants. Choosing your option is definitely up to your discretion, but remember to choose the one that pertains to your reason for travel the most.
Step Four: Survey Confirmation through email
Once you complete the checkout process you will receive an email confirming your flight details. The email will give you details on your flight including your Cuban insurance, which is included in your flight. Phewww…
After a few days, you will receive another email that will ask you to fill out a survey. It will serve as your affidavit, which must be completed prior to boarding your flight. It’s a quick 2-minute survey that confirms the exactly the reason for travel you selected when you purchased the ticket. Once that is completed you are all set with everything except your VISA. Don’t panic! Your visa will be purchased separately for $50.00 at the check-in gate in the JetBlue at the John F. Kennedy International Airport the day of your flight.
Step Five: Getting through JFK Airport
The day of your flight you should arrive at least 3 hours prior to your departure time. The last thing you would want is to miss your flight. When I flew out of JFK in January of 2017, there was a separate check-in gate for Cuba. In this area, you will fill out paperwork and pay for your visa. Once you obtain your visa, which is a piece of rectangular paper, the attendant will take your check-in bag(s). After that, you will be on your way to security to enjoy your trip. Easy right?