Travel Card - Last minute solution
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 3:38 PM Last Post By: BeardoUK
Nov 15, 2012 7:54 AM
Travel Card - Last minute solutionVery embarrassing but I am flying to Havana in 24 hours from HK via Milan on Blue Panorama and I don't have a travel card. If anyone has any up-to-date information they can share this would be great. Will Blue Panorama be selling them, can I get one at Milan airport, will Blue Panorama let me on without one? Any ideas gratefully accepted. Have only just sat now now to read my Lonely Planet guide book as I pack and I realize I have an enormous problem. Thank you
Nov 15, 2012 2:53 PM
1There is a Cuban consulate in Milan, it seems - Via Pirelli #30, 20121 Milano, tel. 02/6739-1344, fax 02/6671-2694, email@example.com (consulate).
Nov 15, 2012 4:47 PM
2Thanks but only have three hour stop over so no time to do in Milan . Will go to consulate in hk today to see if they can do in one day. Their usual time is five days and with double price they can do in 2 days but not sure if they are even able to do in only one day because they may need to touch base with Havana once to issue. Anyway fingers crossed will work out. Thanks
Nov 15, 2012 6:57 PM
3The "Cuban Consulate" in HK is kindof funny - actually it's more of a commercial office really. Should be able to work it out since the "visa" is only really a fillable coupon - that they charge a arm and a leg for, part of the "not-really-a-consulate-supported-by-fee's" common for Cuba in Asia.
If your airline will allow you to board in Milan - then the Cubans don't like to issue visa's on arrival - but they will.
Like you say - should work out.
Please rember to give yourself decompression time in Cuba 1st couple of days - flying East to Cuba thru Euro will whack you out a bit - and for your best expeerience in Cuba requires sound mind and both feet underneath you.
Keep the beat !
Nov 15, 2012 8:14 PM
4I, along with several others, had to buy a tourist visa recently on arrival in Havana due to changed circumstances. It was not a big deal but did require almost a one hour wait. Maybe the guy was at lunch, who knows?
Six weeks ago it was US$20 (no CUC option offered) but I understand it is now US$50. No idea what they charge non-Americans.
Nov 15, 2012 9:57 PM
5#2 "but not sure if they are even able to do in only one day because they may need to touch base with Havana once to issue."
A TCard is a flimsy piece of paper of which they will have a pile in a drawer! There is no need for the Consulate to access Havana or anywhere else. But whether they will do it same day pls let us know subsequently.
Nov 17, 2012 7:37 AM
6bob - I would think that the cost would be the same (but who knows), and the time typical. Not sure what they do if the guy has gone home for the evening.
However, there is a strong chance that the OP would not be allowed on the plane in Milan without one.
As fabbri and John indicate - in other consulate (London for instance) people simply turn up and simply buy the cards over the counter - I don't know how long it takes but it can't be more than 30 minutes, surely ?
Nov 17, 2012 10:46 AM
7Beardo: I plan on the only thing remaining the same in Cuba is the pattern of inconsistency. I haven't been disappointed yet.
When boarding in Miami, I was given the name of a woman and told she would be waiting to sell me my tourist visa. Sure enough, she was there but told me and four others that another person would be out with the cards. After the extended wait, he appeared with a zip lock bank bag and sold us the blank cards in a few minutes.
Too bad they cannot have an e-commerce site or a vending machine at arrivals to sell these. But that efficiency would eliminate jobs.
Nov 18, 2012 11:42 AM
8I have been kicked of a scheduled aircraft carrier in Amsterdam for failing to show my Tcard. It seemed very rude at the time because they told me I could not buy one in Havana upon landing and that the Cuba authorities would put me on the same flight back.
I had to travel 2 days later because of this but it seems no one knows for sure if the Cuban authorities will let you in if you don't have a Tcard.
Nov 18, 2012 12:11 PM
9I'll be curious what happened to katsuharu... Blu-Express is a low cost no frills airline so hopefully they're smart enough to make a few extra euro by selling the Tourist Cards right at the airport.
Unfortunately your situation isn't unique django_xl, it's not unheard of to be denied boarding in Europe if you can't produce a Tourist Card. The officials there don't know and don't care what the situation is once you land in Cuba - they simply say no and watch you walk away. (Air France are pricks about this too, fortunately there's other places to purchase the Tourist Card at Charles De Gaulle Airport.)
Nov 18, 2012 3:38 PM
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